Another 14x12 question..

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BeeHill 

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My colony is in a double brood box and was very busy collecting pollen yesterday. {I'm not sure if I've managed to attach a photo!!}

I have been given to understand that the brood should be in the top box by now. I plan to move it into a 14x12 BB this year to make it easier for me to manage. I hope to use the bottom box together with an eke for the new BB. When putting frames in the new BB is it best to :
a) Put a few 14x12’s and left the rest of the box empty
b) Put some 14x12’s and some existing frames to encourage drone comb
c) Fill the BB with 14x12’s
d) Some other configuration.


Ta

Andy.
 

admin 

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How many frames of bees/brood do you have in the bottom box?
Weather seems about 4-5 weeks behind 2009 this year in Hants,I am not sure if they are ready to expand up yet,you need around 7 frames of brood before adding another box.
It is still a little to cold to be making wax on the coast,not sure though up your end of the county.

To much room and you will set them backwards as they get despondent with to much work to do.
 

BeeHill 

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I've not inspected after winter yet. I guess its only then that I can decide exactly what I can do. I was somewhat hoping that all bees/brood would be in the top box. I'm quite happy to wait a few weeks!!
 

oliver90owner 

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Does it really matter which box they are in?

When it is warm enough you can move them easily enough. Your problem may be that they are in both boxes, so an excluder may be a good idea as early as appropriate (from your post, you only have two brood boxes?)

If they were over-wintered on two brood boxes there may well still be lots of stores in the top box. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of remaining stores in my hives, when I had a quick look at the weekend. Already looks like a lot of brood too, but I didn't delve in to look at how much, just to check the general condition in the hive.

One thing you don't want early on is drone comb. They may well build worker comb under the standard frames, which would be a waste of effort and time. If you want to put her downsatairs in the large box, you can transfer some frames with her and fill the space under with a shoe box or similar to avoid that very problem. She will move forward onto the new frames and then you can put any frames with brood upstairs when adding the other foundation frames.

Regards, RAB
 

MuswellMetro 

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My colony is in a double brood box and was very busy collecting pollen yesterday. {I'm not sure if I've managed to attach a photo!!}

I have been given to understand that the brood should be in the top box by now. I plan to move it into a 14x12 BB this year to make it easier for me to manage. I hope to use the bottom box together with an eke for the new BB. When putting frames in the new BB is it best to :
a) Put a few 14x12’s and left the rest of the box empty
b) Put some 14x12’s and some existing frames to encourage drone comb
c) Fill the BB with 14x12’s
d) Some other configuration.


Ta

Andy.
D)

i would make up some wide dummy boards out of 4" polystyrene painted with a couple of coats of water based varnish

then put the dummy boards either side of 5 14X12 frames in a 14x12 brood above the old brood boxes. When the frames are drawn i swap the outers for new foundation and repeat until i have 9 drawn frames (five in Box)


when the queen is laying in the upper box put on a QX

once the brood inthe lower boxes is hatched, i put one of the standard frame store in the 14x12 and briuse the stores in the lower boxes, remove the dummy add the saved drawn 14x12 and fill up with14x12 foundation

i have also drawn 14x12 foundation in a brood and a half early spring but you would need to feed , 14x12 does not draw well with standard brood frames next to it i n a 14x12 box, but in a deeper brood and ahalf, i found it is drawn quite well, so can be used to bring the transfer sooner

when: well i would try to draw 14x12 in your double brood now and we a 4 week behind but i think that will catch up by the end of April/early may

then do a mini bailey change as above when in full flow and you vave 6-7 brood frames in your double
 
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m100 

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Fill the 14x12 brood box with foundation, and use it as a super but only do this when a flow is on

Wait until all the foundation is drawn right to the edges and right to the bottom of the frames swapping frames out to the edges as they get drawn, if they get partially filled with nectar/honey its not a problem.

Fit a queen excluder below the 14x12 move the queen into the 14x12

(Possibly move one frame with brood from the brood box into the centre of the 14x12)

When all the brood has emerged from remove bottom brood box and put queen excluder on top of the 14x12 and super as required
 

Midland Beek 

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I would do the change over sooner in the season, rather than later.

Put all frames containing brood plus one or two frames containing food/pollen into new brood box. Do not jumble up the frames - keep the same order to what they are in now. Fill the rest of the box up with 14x12 frames and feed with 2:1 syrup. Aim - through careful manipulation - to take out standard deep frames by the end of the season. The objective by the end of the season is to have your box containing only 14x12 frames.

Make sure you know where the queen is when you do the transfer. Obviously, she needs to be on one of the frames that end up in the new brood box.

Consider operating your 14x12 hives with just one super. But make that a standard deep super.
 
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Poly Hive 

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Beehill?

Build up the colony until they are on a good few frames of brood, say 8 or more.

Now for the fun bit. Find the queen and put her into your box of foundation, with the excluder between her and the bottom brood box.

The bees will get on with drawing out comb and she will get on with laying it up.

NO NEED to move up any combs of brood. Let the bees do the work, they are after all the experts.

KISS

PH
 

m100 

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Midland Beek, if you put normal brood frames in a 14x12 then in my experience you'll get wild comb (often drone but not always) on the bottom of the frames that doesn't always align with the plane of the existing frames making manipulation difficult. The bees will also eat holes in the bottom of the 14x12 foundation to get from one frame to another, they also won't draw it to the bottom of the frame. Why buy foundation if significant areas of it are not going to be used?

Polyhive, your method isn't that far away from mine but isolating her in a box with just foundation especially if the flow stops can be dodgy, for a start you'll end up with emergency queen cells just like the method I proposed but you'll also disrupt the laying rate of the queen, if the foundation is already drawn out in the super the queen can carry on laying at her usual rate and you end up with some continuity of colony expansion. Also, if the flow stops and you take the precaution of adding a feeder, they are often very reluctant to take it down due to the remoteness of the feed source. The result is a brood box full of queen cells and a queen that is only just laying in the top box.

Maybe poly hives make a difference with regards to comb drawing and queen mobility, removing top ventilation does to some extent, and while I've not tested it on a 14x12 I'm sure solid floors have an impact based on the difference it makes to the speed of drawing with normal brood foundation.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Midland Beek, if you put normal brood frames in a 14x12 then in my experience you'll get wild comb (often drone but not always) on the bottom of the frames that doesn't always align with the plane of the existing frames making manipulation difficult. The bees will also eat holes in the bottom of the 14x12 foundation to get from one frame to another, they also won't draw it to the bottom of the frame. Why buy foundation if significant areas of it are not going to be used?

Polyhive, your method isn't that far away from mine but isolating her in a box with just foundation especially if the flow stops can be dodgy, for a start you'll end up with emergency queen cells just like the method I proposed but you'll also disrupt the laying rate of the queen, if the foundation is already drawn out in the super the queen can carry on laying at her usual rate and you end up with some continuity of colony expansion. Also, if the flow stops and you take the precaution of adding a feeder, they are often very reluctant to take it down due to the remoteness of the feed source. The result is a brood box full of queen cells and a queen that is only just laying in the top box.

Maybe poly hives make a difference with regards to comb drawing and queen mobility, removing top ventilation does to some extent, and while I've not tested it on a 14x12 I'm sure solid floors have an impact based on the difference it makes to the speed of drawing with normal brood foundation.
i have no problem with PH method of drawing 14x12 in full flow but ihave found they get bored trying to draw a full 11 frames in normal flow( equililent to two super) and that the outer 2+2 frames are drawn pretty badly if at all and others are drawn slowly and eaten out.

i prefer to use a5 frame nuc size restriction on the top box and swap to new foundation as they are drawn out, . other posts on here have objected to me using aQX while they draw the top box, but thats what i do, i prefer to know i have warm brood and no queen cells until i want her to move up with the main brood frame( then move it to the side and out),
Allowing her to move up to a full 14x12 box all at once with brood below, means supercede cells in the lower box....ok it's possible my bees as funny, but do you all have 14x12s, as all four BS nuci i have help my grandfather put to full 14x12 broods dont do it per book and try to supersced wheras myGF's method we had no supersced cells
 
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BeeHill 

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Thanks for all the input on this one. Yesterday I opened the hive and had a look at both brood boxes. There seem to be plenty of bees in both of them but I didn't think it warm enough to go pulling frames out just yet. However with the judicous use of a couple of spare supers and an Apiguard eke I put four 14*12 frames on top hoping that they will start drawing comb. Now all I need to do is go and buy some new shoes - so that I have the boxes to fill the spaces!!!

Ta

Andy.
 
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