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Heather 

Queen Bee
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Did I do it wrong somehow.
I have put all new foundation in an upper brood box and waited till it was being drawn nicely and the queen came up and started laying - seemed to be text book. I put the new box to the lower level - and the brood filled, queen vacated box upper - to allow all the brood to emerge and then I could remove the old box and foundation. BUT I have sacrificed a lot of precious drones. They were held back by the QE and stuck and died. How could I have prevented this without giving the queen free rein to use both brood boxes. I need those drone (and they were BIG healthy bees) as I am hoping to queen rear.
Is this an inevitable sacrifice in the scheme of things:svengo:
Heather
 

Heather 

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I have had temps of 16-18 daily as I am in the very South - the rain is warmer down here:)
I have frames that have brood wall to wall - amazing queen in one hive - others doing nicely - and a full super of this years honey mostly capped. :cheers2:
But the drone problem - ???

I have done a Bailey Exchange, Finman- to get a clean start to the year
Heather
 

MJBee 

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Hi Heather,
I am changing a colony from National to Commercial - similar to a bailey exchange - I put the Commercial on top and as soon as the queen moved into it I put a queen excluder under it. In 25 days all brood will have emerged and the drones are free to come and go, I will remove the National, having shaken all the bees into the Commercial. Queen excluder on top of the Commercial and a super to give them room ends the process.
I think the mistake was to swap the boxes which put the sealed brood above the excluder and trapped the drones - did you lose many?
Regards Mike
 

admin 

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Hi MJ,are Commercial hives popular in your neck of the woods?
Whats the most common hive in France ?
 

Finman 

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You are too eager to change boxes too early. One month later it would much more better. That disturbs quite much build up.
 

admin 

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It is one month to early but like Heather I would of done it now as well.
 

Heather 

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Lost some lovely big healthy handsome drone (cant you tell I am used to building up men's ego). but more in the hive and many in the others.
As to too early, I have 2 very active hives, with 9 frames of bees, and i felt they were strong enough to cope with the change, and so could settle down earlier to the honey season. The other 3 hives have changed, using 6 frames in each and 'dummy' frames either side. seems to be ok - all changed now - but yes in hindsight- i see my error - with the QE. (now will this senile old girl remember this next year:svengo:)
 

admin 

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I must say Heather I think some of us are sprinting out the traps this spring on the south coast,I added a second brood box to two of my hives 10 days ago and they are both fully drawn out and being used already.

It looks like the middle of May in my hives with the number of drones hatched out.

I am already splitting for my first Nucs of the year.
 

MJBee 

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Compared to last year's nightmare April this spring has been brilliant. I am also 4 - 6 weeks ahead with supers being capped:):)
Regarding hive type Admin - I am the only one in step in this area:( everyone else uses Dadent. I started to introduce Commercial when I found that the French Mongrel bees I have now needed a brood and a half National and some needed double. In the UK I was all National and when we decided to move over here I sold/gave away my bees but kept the equipment.
Having two sizes of brood frame is a bit of a pain at times but at least I can use my supers on either:):)
:cheers2: Mike
 

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