A little help please

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Nannysbees 

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Thank you. Very interesting.
Watched a webinar with Roger patterson I think the guest speaker was marin, he said the same that there is a build up in the comb cells and because the cell walls are thicker smaller bees are produced?
 
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Amari 

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Unlikely to be dead after 3 weeks? There will still be bees including drones (but no brood) in the bottom box so the combs could be shaken into the new brood box.
 

Patrick1 

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There is no evidence to suggest the brood suffers any significant size differences when using a small cell, Tom Seeley has done work on this.

Along with work on the other contentious area, of less varroa in smaller cells.
 
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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 ..
I don’t agree with the view that combs doesn’t need changing and leaving it black or dark brown is ok. There is research that has proven the benefits of changing comb regularly. I do agree this has to be done in a common sense way - with your eyes ie change when darker brown, I think generally changing every 3 years is good advice


Here’s an except from research that I heard about last week when watching a Bibba zoom session on changing comb


“Comb age had negative effects on the cell diameter, cell depth, cell volume, cell honey or pollen capacity, and newly emerged worker body weight. Significant negative correlations were observed between the accumulated substances in a cell and the cell diameter, cell depth, and cell size, while significant positive correlations were observed among the cell volume, cell diameter, cell depth, cell honey capacity, cell pollen capacity, and worker body weight. It can be concluded that the dimensions of the comb cells and worker body size changed with the age of the comb. The obtained results recommend beekeepers to replace combs aged more than 3 years with a new comb to allow large workers to gather more nectar and pollen, rear a larger brood, and store more honey.“

I’ve done a Bailey comb change a couple of times - to change comb on colonies I bought at auction when expanding and wasn’t happy with the combs. Worked well at the time. Colonies bombed away afterwards. However now, I change a third of combs approx every year, targeting the darkest combs; as others have said moving to the edge of boxes first
 
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Amari 

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Bronwen White of Sheffield Beeks does a good demo of this routine that may be helpful. How to Perform a Bailey Comb Change | Sheffield Beekeepers' Association
Yes, but putting the new BB with foundation on top of the old BB, with nothing in between, didn't work for the OP - his Q didn't move up into the new box. Therefore it's better, IMO, to put the Q, on a frame of brood, into the new (top) box and separate the two boxes with a QX and new entrance, having closed the original entrance as in Post 5.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
Or even better, stop fiddling and just replace old comb piecemeal as and when required
But anyway - if I recall correctly, the OP has already got a box of freshly drawn comb from last season's shenanigans (the one he left alongside the colony to be robbed out instead of extracting it)
People are forgetting that the 'Bailey change' everyone has described is not actually what Leslie Bailey first devised, but a modification thereof.
Bill Bailey's original comb change was aimed at getting a diseased colony quickly on to new comb to help in their recovery and actually consisted of putting a full box of sterilised drawn comb above the ailing colony, moving the queen up onto the new comb so that the bees would follow. He sensibly thought that depriving the colony of all it's fresh brood as a shook swarm does was counter intuitive.
so all that needs to be done is, once the proper spring is well underway, put the box full of new comb above the old brood box, move the queen up there, put a QX under the new box and leave the old box empty of brood.
Putting a new entrance above the old box and closing the bottom entrance will help discourage the bees from storing fresh pollen down there as well.
 

pargyle 

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Or even better, stop fiddling and just replace old comb piecemeal as and when required
But anyway - if I recall correctly, the OP has already got a box of freshly drawn comb from last season's shenanigans (the one he left alongside the colony to be robbed out instead of extracting it)
People are forgetting that the 'Bailey change' everyone has described is not actually what Leslie Bailey first devised, but a modification thereof.
Bill Bailey's original comb change was aimed at getting a diseased colony quickly on to new comb to help in their recovery and actually consisted of putting a full box of sterilised drawn comb above the ailing colony, moving the queen up onto the new comb so that the bees would follow. He sensibly thought that depriving the colony of all it's fresh brood as a shook swarm does was counter intuitive.
so all that needs to be done is, once the proper spring is well underway, put the box full of new comb above the old brood box, move the queen up there, put a QX under the new box and leave the old box empty of brood.
Putting a new entrance above the old box and closing the bottom entrance will help discourage the bees from storing fresh pollen down there as well.
Yes ...That's very much my philosophy ... work with the bees rather than taking an anthropomorphic view of what we THINK they need ....
 

F.F.Stung 

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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.
Having only one hive is a pain. At least two hives would give you elbow room in so many ways
 

oliver90owner 

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There seem to be some misunderstandings - possibly a 2nd language prblem? Or maybe just

Unlikely to be dead after 3 weeks? There will still be bees including drones (but no brood) in the bottom box so the combs could be shaken into the new brood box.
Quite correct. But the Q/E should not be left in too much longer or there may be drones emerging above the Q/E. One good reason why it is carried out fairly early in the season (but clearly not yet!).

Is this the common understanding among beekeepers in UK?
It should be by everyone, not just in the UK. Every brood cycle will leave a cocoon within the cell. That cannot do anything but make the cell wall thicker? When it becomes too small for brooding is when the bees will remove those cells and rebuild with new wax! Very simple and quite obvious if one actually thinks about it. It is not rocket science - unless the person does not know about the cell wall thickening.

Colonies can abandon old comb and build new, within the cavity, if there is space, but waxmoth should only be able to devour old wax after the bees have long gone.

As for comparing human habits with those of bees - sometimes OK as a quick analogy but not as previously posted. Bees are far more hygienic than humans.
 

Ian123 

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It should be by everyone, not just in the UK. Every brood cycle will leave a cocoon within the cell. That cannot do anything but make the cell wall thicker? When it becomes too small for brooding is when the bees will remove those cells and rebuild with new wax! Very simple and quite obvious if one actually thinks about it.
Cant say it’s ever something I’ve experienced or seen referred to in any beekeeping literature. Anything you can point us to. Years ago I helped an old beek who claimed his combs were 20years old and they still had brood being reared in them😂 Theoretically the idea would be sound but I wonder how many years this wax would have to be in use for such an issue to occur,
 

Sanntos 

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...
It should be by everyone, not just in the UK. Every brood cycle will leave a cocoon within the cell. That cannot do anything but make the cell wall thicker? When it becomes too small for brooding is when the bees will remove those cells and rebuild with new wax! Very simple and quite obvious if one actually thinks about it. It is not rocket science - unless the person does not know about the cell wall thickening.
..
I have thought about it, and it's not so obvious to me. The bees are good at many things, but they are especially good at measuring their precious cells with their antennas. They are also good at cleaning, and removing things with their mouth.
 

CornishD4 

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I'll start by thanking again all of you for the time and thought you have put into my enquiry. I have now put the new brood box complete with entrance full of drawn wax under the old brood box the old entrance taken away a honey supper that has been on the old bb through out the winter with some of last years honey still present left on. The bees that came out when the bb was lifted off its base were very lively and all returned into the hive through the new entrance i didn't use smoke. The bees selling back into the hive quickly. To address some of the constructive criticism, firstly i haven't a honey spinner that will take commercial brood frames the old brood chamber placed nearly entrance to entrance seemed logical as i live very remotely and have no other hives, I did collect a substantial amount of this reclaimed honey in the supers put on the old brood box, well down on my previous years crop but that was expected with the amount of new wax they had made. I don't use qx as I've had problems getting the bees to go through into the supers but as soon as I took the Qx away all went well. 2 years ago I had 6 suppers on with not any queen excursions into the supers. As regards swarming as I said in my first responce when i first started my hives swarmed regularly, then I was keen to do things properly and inspected fortnightly for queen cells and sighns of any thing not right, taking out any unwanted queen cells which resulted in even more queen cells being produced then i was having the problem of the bees not going through the Qx as well. The swarms when first emerging always settling very close to their original hive before setting off on their adventures in all cases the swarms were collected and resulting in me multiplying my hives resulting in problems of to small a colony to overwinter. I have just one Commercial hive now that is very full of brood. I have a theory that because i'm using commercial brood chamber without a qx and keep stacking supers on whenever they start to fill the hive never runs out of space together with not going into the brood chamber disturbing there well being they do not swarm allowing the colony to get very large. I realise i'm going to get quite a bit of criticism for putting forward this analogy but I am here observing this happening through out the year. I will let you all know how this turns out as the bees are now wintering again with the outer covers on their new larger hive till the weather warms and drys up.
 

Ian123 

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You giving them the extra box now is a waste of time and effort for the bees.
 
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You giving them the extra box now is a waste of time and effort for the bees.
No time or effort - it's just a box of drawn comb, beneath their existing box. Just makes the trip to the door a bit longer I guess, that's all. Personally I might have waited till March - they aren't going to use it before then - but whatever.
 

pargyle 

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" I realise i'm going to get quite a bit of criticism for putting forward this analogy "...

I think you might get a bit of crticism - full stop.
 

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