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Bees to the side or centre of your brood box?

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Mushy Bees 

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Hello,

I had my bees drawing out foundation and building up numbers in the centre of my national brood box - with the undrawn frames either end. An experienced beek has advised me to move the fully populated frames to one end, and leave only one end for the bees to concentrate on building up.

I have now done this and was wondering what other peoples opinions are on this? I guess my main concern would be the bees thinking they are low on space and buzzing off!

What would you say is best practice here? :bigear:
 

Onge 

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Yes always start them from one side of the box.

You can move the end honey frame now and then to help them expand.

When ever I have started from a swarm they always build from one side.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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"When ever I have started from a swarm they always build from one side"

Unless you put an old frame in.
 

rae 

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Most of the books seem to say this is a bad idea, but Polyhive of this parish suggested "working the brood box" and it worked well for me.

We had a similar problem with a 6 frame colony, not particularly keen on expanding, several undrawn frames in the sides. We simply took one of the undrawn frames and stuck it in the middle of the brood nest. Lo, next week, a 14x12 frame perfectly drawn and laid up. So we did it again....and within about 3 weeks, brood was on 9 frames and we were throwing supers on as fast as we could.

Probably not a good idea in the winter/spring (split the broodnest, one half might get cold), but in the summer it worked very well.
 

Floss 

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So, (without wishes to hi jack this thread!) when you transfer a nuc into hive one should put the frames already occupied by bees at one end rather than in the middle leaving the empty frames/foundation and other end???

Floss
 

Rosti 

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Similar experience to Rae, not quite so aggressive in application though! I tend to put a fresh frame in between the last and second last frame of the brood nest so that it is not completely cut in half (just in case HM is reluctant to cross the undrawn frame and is restricted by laying space). Don't tend to use it unless they are on 5 drawn frames at least. Seems to work with reasonable reliability.
 

barratt_sab 

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We've done exactly the same thing as Rosti, with good results.

We have had more mixed results with mixed frame sizes. We bought a nuc on BS frames, but use 14x12. Two issues have resulted.

First, the isolated frame of 14x12 in a batch of BS only got drawn 2/3rds of the way down for a time (i.e. to the level of the surrounding BS frames).

Second, the queen in question seemed unwilling to cross the single 14x12 frame, so the 'outer' BS frames ended up used for stores, not brood.
 

Midland Beek 

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Absolutely, definitely stick them in the middle and near to the entrance because it is important that your bees protect the entrance to their hive at this time of the year. Do otherwise and get a wasp or robbing problem develop.
 

oliver90owner 

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Are you trying to get us to disagree with an experienced beek? Go with the experience over your lack of same.

To comment on Midland Beek's post, I would say 'depends on cold or warm way' which may depend on what type of beetainer it is, and may depend on the type of entrance block you choose to use. Yep, depends on time of year - early and they would be at the back of a 'warm way' hive and at the side of a cold way. Warm way would likely be at the front at this time of the year. You see, never a simple yes and no answer, even to an apparently simple question, but all you need do is write down all the options with the pro's and con's of each, then make your decision. It will likely be an obvious choice.

BTW, I also use dividers for restricting space rather than dummy frames - warmer and less access where not needed.

Regarding space. Are you not keeping a watchful eye on your colony? Not too difficult is it, to add in frames as and when required, taking into account: rate at which they have been progressing; increased number of bees, brood and stores; the weather; the time of year and all the other items on your inspection check list?

Regards, RAB
 

Onge 

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So, (without wishes to hi jack this thread!) when you transfer a nuc into hive one should put the frames already occupied by bees at one end rather than in the middle leaving the empty frames/foundation and other end???

Floss
Yes.
 

Finman 

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Comb drawing is not a right goal when you start a new colony. The goal is to get maximum size brood area.
If you have a 6 frame swarm, the size of space shoud be 6 frames. Or join another swarm. if the swarm har a virgin it takes 7 weeks, that the colony start to enlarge. So you have a lot of time to make nuisance to bees, 'to encourage' as you say.
 

Mushy Bees 

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Are you trying to get us to disagree with an experienced beek? Go with the experience over your lack of same.

To comment on Midland Beek's post, I would say 'depends on cold or warm way' which may depend on what type of beetainer it is, and may depend on the type of entrance block you choose to use. Yep, depends on time of year - early and they would be at the back of a 'warm way' hive and at the side of a cold way. Warm way would likely be at the front at this time of the year. You see, never a simple yes and no answer, even to an apparently simple question, but all you need do is write down all the options with the pro's and con's of each, then make your decision. It will likely be an obvious choice.

BTW, I also use dividers for restricting space rather than dummy frames - warmer and less access where not needed.

Regarding space. Are you not keeping a watchful eye on your colony? Not too difficult is it, to add in frames as and when required, taking into account: rate at which they have been progressing; increased number of bees, brood and stores; the weather; the time of year and all the other items on your inspection check list?

Regards, RAB
Yes RAB, it seems it isn't a simple yes/no question.

The reason I questioned the advice is because I read (Ted Hooper I think?)that the brood should be in the centre. There is a lot of experience here on this forum and was interested in hearing peoples opinions on this. As you correctly point out, no one persons opinion can be taken as the definitive "right way". Even a scientific fact is only temporary agreement.
It is healthy to question what we are told and give "faith" no dominion.

On the question of experience, it would be interesting to know how many colony/years of beekeeping experience are behind say the top thirty posters on this forum. I worked out it was around 3500 years at our local association.
 

Poly Hive 

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Here is mine.

Year one 1 hive.

Year two 6 hives

Year three 14 hives. Then took on Craibstone and found I had 60.

Years four to nine, 60 to 80 colonies rising to 100+ including nucs.

Year 10 40 hives, left Craibstone and had a honey house built at house.

Years 11-15 40-50 odd depending.

15-20 numbers dropped for various reasons dwindling to 0.

Gap of two years.

found swarm on very handy branch and............

Am now at 14 colonies and 24 nucs.

PH
 

Mushy Bees 

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Here is mine.

Year one 1 hive.

Year two 6 hives

Year three 14 hives. Then took on Craibstone and found I had 60.

Years four to nine, 60 to 80 colonies rising to 100+ including nucs.

Year 10 40 hives, left Craibstone and had a honey house built at house.

Years 11-15 40-50 odd depending.

15-20 numbers dropped for various reasons dwindling to 0.

Gap of two years.

found swarm on very handy branch and............

Am now at 14 colonies and 24 nucs.

PH
Blimey PH! I work that out to around 750 years!!
I think this calls for a new Thread!!.....
 

Poly Hive 

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Hung out washing and edit function has gone..

Should add lectured at local college level for 7 years taking the evening class Beekeeping course.

Wrote for the SBA magazine for a number of years.

Lectured at Local Associations from Dundee to Caithness.

Mentored by arguably the most successful Bee Farmer in the UK for many years, thanks again Hamish.

I only do what works. Canna be bothered with faffing around with fads. Use poly becasue the bees consistently tell me they prefer it.

KISS

PH
 
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oliver90owner 

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Mushy Bees,

I can put them in the middle if I wanted to. Would just require 2 dividers and cannot really see the point of that, unless I was using those highly priced entrance blocks which are not so very useful IMO.

Beekeeping is a compromise, effort over effectiveness ratios and real world requirements - like what weather conditions, wasps around?, etc are prevailing at the time - and I try to keep it simple. Less effort and just as effective. Just consider what the bees would do, or want, and the answer will likely be obvious.

Oh, BTW, bees don't read Hooper, or any other book, and have managed well enough for a lot longer than we have even been down out of the trees.

Regards, RAB
 

keithgrimes 

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Here is mine.

Year one 1 hive.

Year two 6 hives

Year three 14 hives. Then took on Craibstone and found I had 60.

Years four to nine, 60 to 80 colonies rising to 100+ including nucs.

Year 10 40 hives, left Craibstone and had a honey house built at house.

Years 11-15 40-50 odd depending.

15-20 numbers dropped for various reasons dwindling to 0.

Gap of two years.

found swarm on very handy branch and............

Am now at 14 colonies and 24 nucs.

PH
NOW I understand how you got three freebie swarms this year. And here's me thinking it was 'cos you were a nice guy.:p
 

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