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Changing to 14x12

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I want to change my BB to 14x12, and had intended to do it next Spring but someone local said I should do it now? Surely putting enormous new frames in would be best in spring when they are ready to draw them out??:banghead:
 

PaleoPerson 

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I have been converting mine to 14x12 this year.

I would sugest that you leave them as they are for now (so long as they have enough room for stores) and do a bailey change in the spring of next year. It will be a lot of work for them to do, but it is better than putting std frames into a Jumbo box. They will need a very good flow/ a lot of feed to draw the wax out. I found OSR was excellent for doing this on.
 
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Yep - thank goodness for that. I only decided to swop a couple of weeks ago, and that is what I had intended or very similar anyway. I just couldn't understand asking this of the bees at this time of year;
 

rae 

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We did it in spring. We had a good colony on a standard brood, so we simply dumped an undrawn 14x12 on, along with 5 litres of syrup, and they drew it in a week, and had it fully laid up in 2 weeks. The mistake we made was leaving both boxes on for a bit too long - when we next looked, there were about 20 swarm cells and bees everywhere. That colony made 4 colonies, and produced a shed load of honey.
 

Rosti 

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Same as everyone else is saying on timing, spring, they'll draw nowt now! I converted this year from Std Nat BB. I started them off as soon as the rape flow started coming in by putting a new 14x12 brood box, fully stocked with frames/foundation on top of the existing Std BB and moving the QE up. Mixed performance from the 2 hives. One went like a train and by the time the rape was over had a fully drawn 14x12 being laid in and a full super for harvest, the other struggled and even now is only on 10 of 11 frames drawn with only half a super of honey late by late July. Spring is the time to do it but recognise that its a long term strategy and that typically you will trade honey for long term larger brood benefits. Worth while in my opinion I think my monster hive (that I have now left on a 14x12 & Std BB combo and will winter like that as an experiment) is the exception in terms of the speed they converted.
 

Leigh 

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Rosti - when they have moved up to the 14x12 box, did they leave the BS BB below laid up too? I'm thinking of doing the same with my BS BBs, and have a vague hope that the bottom BS frames will continue to be laid up and can then be made into nucs.

I'd be interested to know what happened with yours. I guess results will be variable with different strains of bees - I have a right mix of mongrels black/striped/light.....will be quite telling which ones make full use of the brood area.
 

Rosti 

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Leigh, effectively I had a brood nest that bridged between the original BB and the 14x12. I demarried to hatch the remaining brood and took some queen cells from the demarrie as well and planned to use the drawn comb for nuc's etc. The colony was so strong though that I dropped that idea and ended up giving them back the Nat BB later in the year and then left them on it, hence the 2.5 Brood colony I now have and hope to winter in that format as a trial. My thinking is that on an OMF you often put a super under to protect againsst drafts so the only diff here is that they have some comb and stores and can hopefully start low and move up, they also have a big winter population but of course much more stores into the bargain. At this stage there are still 5 14x12 frames of brood, the bottom of the brood nest is half filling 4 of the std nat frames below and they have loads of capped stores. Should be interesting - Have now taken 12 ltrs 2:1 in a week and are pigging out on ivy and HB. The straight 14x12 colonies have visibly less traffic by a long way. It could of course all goes mamories-up but we'll see and I have 3 other strong hives wintering, so there is insurance.

and all of mine are local mongrels, this is yorkshire remember, I've heard that some people down south pay good money for bees?
 

Black Comb 

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I moved 2 colonies from national to l/s this spring.
Similar method to Rosti.
I left the lower brood box under until all the brood had hatched (placed Q/E between once queen had moved up & was laying in upper box).

One box no problems, 2nd box they made queen cells in lower box.

I will be doing same this spring but will do a shook swarm.
 
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Could I use the swarm cells to make up a nuc or three?
 

Black Comb 

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yes I did

You need some spare frames of brood to putinto the nuc
 
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I'll see how the girls do next year then - always supposing I get them through their first winter!
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Trying to get a colony to move to 14 x 12 now is plain daft. Did the suggestion come from someone who actually kept bees?
 
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Did the suggestion come from someone who actually keeps bees/no hoping to sell me a nuc

Bit of both I guess - my 'ex'-mentor...for obvious reasons...
 

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