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Brood and a half question.

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acepestdetective 

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Hi all.

As a newcomer to the bee keeping world (second year) I currently have 4 WBC's. Due to the nature of having 10 frames in the brood box and a strain that have been expanding very quickly indeed I'm looking at increasing to brood and a half next season.

My query is that my super has castellenated (sp) runners in it will this cause a problem when the queen uses it as an extension to the brood box? - I mean in terms of when I pull the frames out am I in danger of squashing bees during the inspexction (as I currently use a dummy board in the brood box). I was planning on moving the queen excluder to allow the bees to feed off a super over winter and then letting her lay in this super.

Hope that makes sense and look forward to your views.

Rob.
 

Moggett 

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You can get Hoffman super frames (SN4) but you would have to convert to rails. It's a simple job to take off the castellated spacers and replace.
 

Poly Hive 

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I rather doubt that WBC's even on brood and a half will accommodate the more prolific strains with any comfort. I foresee swarming issues for you .

PH
 

Gaz Fella 

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Try double brood? I agree with Polyhive that brood and a half on WBC may well be not enough. And castellated brood frames may well be a pain ... depends a bit on the castellation width as well... wide spacing - suitable for honey super - is too much for brood, and will just encourage brace comb, additional natural comb, wavy comb ... just making things complicated for you.
 

JCBrum 

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You could always buy or make a 14x12 brood box and frames for your WBC. It would be much easier to use than double bb's.
 

oliver90owner 

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I would say, simply don't use castellated frame runners.

EVERY frame has to be lifted vertically before removal. Real pain.

Standard 'old' text book instructions were to remove first frame (or dummy board) to make it easier to remove the rest by moving them sideways.

No need to re-invent the wheel. That way works perfectly well. Maybe others on here will think differently but I can see no reason whatsoever to 'rub the bees together' if at all possible to avoid it. Simple common sense not to rub the bees up the wrong way!

I don't personally like split broods. Every inspection entails opening more brood to the outside. Every inspection the queen might be up or down. Every inspection means there are more bees disturbed. Single broods are easier to manipulate gently.

I might suggest 14 x 12s, if you can make your own brood box, or convert a standard brood with an eke, but it is your choice. A 14 x 12 would still be 10% smaller than a similar National.

She has been laying upstairs this year even with the larger frames. Some, have been excluded but some I have left to get maximum brood size for splits as I am more interested in colony numbers than honey yields this year.

Plenty of time to consider your choices. Don't rush into a decision.

Regards, RAB
 

acepestdetective 

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Hi all.

Thanks for your replies! Am I correct in thinking that a 14x12 is a box with deep frames as opposed to mediums which I have at present then?

I am looking to expand my bees next year and will be going with nationals or commercials from then on but will probably still keep my good old WBC's for sentimental reasons.

Swarming has been an issue and due to the poor weather we had a few weeks back and a manic work schedule one of my hives swarmed ( unable to check for a fortnight). On that subject I was thinking of making a nucleus up by taking a few of the frames out from my hives to ease congestion in the busiest one as I'm worried about a late swarm.

However, is it too late to have a nuc raise their own queen even if I fed them really well to help build up stores? I guess the easy alternative is to carry out regular inspections although it's never nailed on you can stop them swarming even if the signs are there due to the design of a WBC.

Thanks, Rob.
 

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