A little help please

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CornishD4 

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I have been trying to do a bailey change on my 1 hive because wax has not been changed for more than 4 years. Last spring i put a new brood box on top of the existing brood box filled with new undraw wax frames the bees drew out the new but then filled them with honey ignoring the super that was on top filled with drawn wax frames. I removed the new brood box filled with honey gave it its own entry and sited it alongside the existing hive with honey suppers on the bees then took the honey out of the new broodbox and put it into the suppers i am now left with a new broodbox with drawn wax. By the time this had been completed i felt it was to late in the season to risk further upheaval as autumn had arived. So i stored the new brood box to try again this spring to get the colony to move into its new home. Has anyone got any advice as to how i can get the queen to move up into the new brood box with minimum invasive measures. I am using commercial brood and sited in Cornwall uk.
 

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I have been trying to do a bailey change on my 1 hive because wax has not been changed for more than 4 years. Last spring i put a new brood box on top of the existing brood box filled with new undraw wax frames the bees drew out the new but then filled them with honey ignoring the super that was on top filled with drawn wax frames. I removed the new brood box filled with honey gave it its own entry and sited it alongside the existing hive with honey suppers on the bees then took the honey out of the new broodbox and put it into the suppers i am now left with a new broodbox with drawn wax. By the time this had been completed i felt it was to late in the season to risk further upheaval as autumn had arived. So i stored the new brood box to try again this spring to get the colony to move into its new home. Has anyone got any advice as to how i can get the queen to move up into the new brood box with minimum invasive measures. I am using commercial brood and sited in Cornwall uk.
Put it below the old one now. If they don't move down by themselves in spring then find the frame the queen is on, put that in the new box with a QE on top before putting the old box back on that. Once all brood is hatched from it, remove old box.

Does the comb definitely need changing?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I have been trying to do a bailey change on my 1 hive because wax has not been changed for more than 4 years
What's that got to do with the price of coal? too much obsessing on doing things by numbers - the frames only need changing if the frames need changing - not because the BBKA comic tells you to.
In the first instance you were trying to do too much at once, there was no need to put supers on until they had finished drawing out the frames, but then they would have naturally filled them as that is what they are geared to do, you could have moved the queen on her frame up there and put a queen excluder between the two boxes, get her to start laying it up and then put a super on. This spring, what I would do is either wait until they are on six to eight frames of brood, put the new box on top then move the queen up and put a queen excluder under her, wait for all the brood in the old box to emerge, then remove
Or..... wait until they are on about eight frames of brood and starting to fill the first super, conduct a Demarree leaving the queen in the bottom box full of new comb and wait for the brood to emerge from the top box.
That way you will also have conducted your preemptive swarm avoidance
 

Amari 

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I have been trying to do a bailey change on my 1 hive because wax has not been changed for more than 4 years. Last spring i put a new brood box on top of the existing brood box filled with new undraw wax frames the bees drew out the new but then filled them with honey ignoring the super that was on top filled with drawn wax frames. I removed the new brood box filled with honey gave it its own entry and sited it alongside the existing hive with honey suppers on the bees then took the honey out of the new broodbox and put it into the suppers i am now left with a new broodbox with drawn wax. By the time this had been completed i felt it was to late in the season to risk further upheaval as autumn had arived. So i stored the new brood box to try again this spring to get the colony to move into its new home. Has anyone got any advice as to how i can get the queen to move up into the new brood box with minimum invasive measures. I am using commercial brood and sited in Cornwall uk.
If I understand you: you put a BB of foundation on top of the old BB, then a super. I presume that the Q carried on laying in the bottom BB. I deploy the classic Bailey:
1. Close the bottom entrance to the hive
2. Find the Q and place that frame with the Q in the new BB with foundation in the rest of the frames.
3. Put a QX over the bottom box
4. Put an eke with a section removed on the QX. The removed section is the new hive entrance.
5. Place the new BB containing the Q on the eke.
6. Replace CB and roof.

The bees will quickly draw the foundation so that the Q continues to lay. After 3 weeks all the brood in the bottom BB will have hatched so that BB with the old combs can be removed and the original hive entrance restored.
7. If there is a nectar flow place the QX on top of the new BB and add a super.

Some pundits on here don't like the Bailey and prefer sequential removal of old comb as JBM says above. Combining with a Demarree is another possibility as he states. One drawback with the classic Bailey is that the drones in the bottom BB are trapped there for 3 weeks.
 

CornishD4 

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Thanks for all your advice will try it all when temp starts to rise. Dont know how bad comb is as I've been low intervention regime ie if theres enough space leave it only using gassing for veroa control never going on a Queen hunt but checking hive visually 2 or 3 times a day its worked for 4 years but got windy when told id been Lucky to get away with out changing wax so decided on baily change as the least obtrusive meathod
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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told id been Lucky to get away with out changing wax
Whoever told you that was talking absolute rubbish to be honest 'get away' with what?
Did they tell you what happens if you don't religiously change the comb every handful of years?
 

CornishD4 

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Yes he inferred that the build up of detritus in the ageing wax could lead to the colony being open to infection he sounded very convincing and vastly more experienced than me so i thought about it then after a bit of research decided that a baily change would be the way forward as it doesn't involve invasive destruction of the brood chamber as the colony looked very healthy and had wintered well with new brood showing.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Yes he inferred that the build up of detritus in the ageing wax could lead to the colony being open to infection
Definitely talking through his hat, a far better way if you need to replace a comb is, as I said, work it to the side then swap it, no need to do a total swap, a big waste of the bees' energy.
 

Wilco 

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Yes he inferred that the build up of detritus in the ageing wax could lead to the colony being open to infection he sounded very convincing and vastly more experienced than me so i thought about it then after a bit of research decided that a baily change would be the way forward as it doesn't involve invasive destruction of the brood chamber as the colony looked very healthy and had wintered well with new brood showing.
As JBM says- I also personally prefer to gradually switch out combs. New one in the middle, older ones automatically move outward. Works well if doing weekly inspections although from your posts I'm not sure if you are doing weekly checks during the season?
 

CornishD4 

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Yes he inferred that the build up of detritus in the ageing wax could lead to the colony being open to infection he sounded very convincing and vastly more experienced than me so i thought about it then after a bit of research decided that a baily change would be the way forward as it doesn't involve invasive destruction of the brood chamber as the colony looked very healthy and had wintered well with new brood showing
 

CornishD4 

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As i said i prefer a less invasive bee keeping i don't do any brood chamber checks if everything looks ok from the outside and looking in to the brood chamber from the top. I check the supers weekly or even daily when the bees are very busy checking the external area round the entrance twice a day. When i first started 6 years ago i did do weekly checks into the brood chasing the queens down I then had 4 hives and they were swarming a-lot and would not produce honey in the supers the bees would not go through the excluders into the supers plus the colonies never built brood levels in any one hive. My answer to this was to take out the queen excluder in one hive and keep adding suppers as required this proved very effective the brood in this one hive just kept building the other hives were in decline and even combining in autumn failed to save them through a long wet winter. This all happened 4 years ago and since then have kept this one hive through 4 winters to my knowledge they have not swarmed since. I always have a swarm box adjacent to the hive and although the bees are checking it out frequently in summer have not swarmed . As i say above i no longer use queen excluders but the queen has never ventured into the supers to lay. I think you will have a better idea of why this other bee keeper would consider that I've been lucky so far and why i took his advice to change the brood comb. I thank you again for your advice and hopefully i can complete this bailey change when the weather warms up a little.
 
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This all happened 4 years ago and since then have kept this one hive through 4 winters to my knowledge they have not swarmed since. I always have a swarm box adjacent to the hive and although the bees are checking it out frequently in summer have not swarmed .
They have swarmed about 10 times over this period. Guaranteed. Swarms take about 5 minutes to leave the apiary, and if you aren't there during that 5 minutes, and don't inspect frames, you'd never know.

That's one reason why they done well I suspect - lots of brood breaks!

EDIT: They would reject a bait hive right next to them if there was anything remotely better in the vicinity, as spreading their geographic location is part of the point.
 

CornishD4 

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Put it below the old one now. If they don't move down by themselves in spring then find the frame the queen is on, put that in the new box with a QE on top before putting the old box back on that. Once all brood is hatched from it, remove old box.

Does the comb definitely need changing?
Hi would you put the prepared new brood box with drawn comb under the old brood box now or wait for spring sunshine.
 

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Hi would you put the prepared new brood box with drawn comb under the old brood box now or wait for spring sunshine.
I'd do it now, they'll move when they're ready but I would recommend weekly inspections and you can then move the queen frame if you need to.
 

pargyle 

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Hi would you put the prepared new brood box with drawn comb under the old brood box now or wait for spring sunshine.
I wouldn't do a bailey change anyway ,,, the kindest way is to simply remove a couple of frames at either end of the brood box and insert two new frames either side of the brood nest, they will draw them out very quickly as, when the colony starts to expand in Spring, they will draw the frames out - because they NEED them. Each week do the same again ,.. over the season you will have changed all the frames you want to without stressing the bees - Because, making them (or trying to make them) draw out all those frames is going to stress them. That's not low impact beekeeping. I would not be entertaining any manipulations until spring has firmly sprung as you can then use their natural desire to expand the colony to your advantage. Work WITH the bees ...

I'm a low interference beekeeper but you do need to inspect ... inspections are not about chasing the queen - they are about looking for queen cells, signs of disease, checking for BIAS and whether they have enough stores for the next couple of weeks.,

You don't need to take every frame out .. you can ignore frames of stores and a quick look at the brood frames will tell you all you need to know.

Personally ... it's a load of cobblers this incessant desire to change frames - some of my colonies have frames that are 7 or 8 years old and more .. the bees still use them - if they didn't like them they would take them down and rebuild them - but I don't see that happening en-masse. If you have not had disease in your colonies there's no real need to change brood frames until they really do become unserviceable ..
 

Patrick1 

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Putting a swarm trap next to the hive you think is going to swarm is pointless, the short version is:- they will settle close by to regroup, scout bees will find a new how a long way from the hive/apiary a bait hive 50 mts away would be more useful.

They need a reason to drop in to a new location, a great inducement is old comb.

We change foundation every 2 years ish, moving frames to the outside then changing them, we put the old frames in the crown board above, I find the inspections are easier on fresh comb and the bees more active.
 

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