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Poggle 

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8am this morning. Has taken me weeks to find the time to do this properly and check the hives properly grrrrrrr!! Minus5 on the thermometer, decent ground frost as well. Opened what I call my "small" hive, the one that swarmed twice last August and October, out of 14 frames, only 4 with bees. Full of bees right enough on the frames but, not much food reserves, thankfully I put a 2 pound block of fondant in there just before Christmas. Lots of room for expansion come the spring time as well which I am thinking is good? Second hive is the "big" hive, this is the one with the first swarm and origonal queen from the first hive (the second swarm did not make it, even in a poly nuc, it was way to small), out of 14 frames 6 full to the brim with bees, and three other frames with stores in them. Same thing with this hive in that I put a 2 pound block of fondant in at Christmas and it is nearly gone!!! Looks like plenty of room for expansion as well with this one. Guess I had better get the fondant pot out again though. Bees in the first hive bustled about a wee bit on the top but didn't make a move to come out. bees in the second hive just looked at me and complained:) Actually, I got another noise from them this morning that I have never heard. I accidently knocked the hive with a bit of wood, the next minute there was this high buzzing and I though they were going to come out and do battle, a few seconds later there was another lower buzz that started, when that started the high sound stopped. Another few seconds later and there was no noise. I do like bee keeping:)
 

oliver90owner 

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out of 14 frames 6 full to the brim with bees,

Perhaps this needs some explanation. Is that seven up and seven down, all deeps or are the top ones shallows? Or are you simpl miscounting the frames?

4 frames of bees could be quite good, with reference to the outside ambient over-night temperature. Especially if on a single deep with OMF.

RAB
 

Poggle 

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out of 14 frames 6 full to the brim with bees,

Perhaps this needs some explanation. Is that seven up and seven down, all deeps or are the top ones shallows? Or are you simpl miscounting the frames?

4 frames of bees could be quite good, with reference to the outside ambient over-night temperature. Especially if on a single deep with OMF.

RAB
Sorry, I keep forgetting one has to be a bit pedantic with explainations on here. I have one brood box in each hive with fourteen frames in a row. The hives are these hives. http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6187/6064899372_a3786406d4_m.jpg The hive in the image is the first hive I got that swarmed twice. The bees are clustered to the left hand side of the hive as you look at the image, same with the other hive. As one looks into the hive one sees a row of frames? And I made a slight mistake, the hive in the image has 12 frames, the other is slightly larger for some reason at 14 frames. Hope this helps you?
 

oliver90owner 

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Thanks. Doesn't particularly help me but might explain to others that read your main hive type as bing National. Nationals, historically, were a design to hold eleven frames (12 with Hoffmans was a later 'squeeze' job) but never 14. Your OP indicated that neither were Nationals if there were 14 frames in a single box, or some 'other-than-normal' arrangement with two boxes. Accuracy is far better than misleading posts. Thanks.
 

Poggle 

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Thanks. Doesn't particularly help me but might explain to others that read your main hive type as bing National. Nationals, historically, were a design to hold eleven frames (12 with Hoffmans was a later 'squeeze' job) but never 14. Your OP indicated that neither were Nationals if there were 14 frames in a single box, or some 'other-than-normal' arrangement with two boxes. Accuracy is far better than misleading posts. Thanks.
No problems Rab. I try my best:) Do you think that four and six frames of bees are good? I also wondered about the 14 frame brood box when I got it and built it, but just assumed this was what was the norm with me being brand new to bee keeping. Anyway, many thanks for your input, it is always appreciated:)
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Poggle, A 14 frame hive is somewhat odd!
 

Poggle 

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Poggle, A 14 frame hive is somewhat odd!
I know this. I will go and recount in a weeks time but the wife put 14 frames in the new brood box when I put it together, 4 frames of bees from the swarm and ten empty frames so...................Sorry:( If I am totally wrong everyone can beat me mercilessly with verbal denunciation:)
 

Rosti 

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I am assuming you actually have an 11 frame std national BB?
4 frames on a -5'C morning and a tight cluster feels OK to me!

More to the point where were they clustering and what are stores like?
 

Poggle 

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I am assuming you actually have an 11 frame std national BB?
4 frames on a -5'C morning and a tight cluster feels OK to me!

More to the point where were they clustering and what are stores like?
Clustering on the left hand side in both of the hives, bees all the way down from the top to the bottom of the frames and the stores are not brilliant, never were to start with. As the fist hive swarmed twice last year like I have said before, it never got a chance to fill up, we had no supers on with frame in them either. The second hive has stores but there are empty frames. This is why I had a two pound block of fondant in each hive and will be putting more in before the big blocks get eaten up.
 

oliver90owner 

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You have two hives, both needing different size supers? Not a good situation, but OK as long as you don't have too many differing variants around!

WBCs and National mixes were about enough to put up with.

Clustering on the left hand side in both of the hives,

Likely the warmer side.

RAB
 

RoofTops 

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The hive in the picture looks like a normal National to me.

Poggle - can you say what sort of frames you are using? Do they have wide side bars (Hoffman) or are you using plastic spacers - or no spacers at all?
 

Poggle 

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The hive in the picture looks like a normal National to me.

Poggle - can you say what sort of frames you are using? Do they have wide side bars (Hoffman) or are you using plastic spacers - or no spacers at all?
Wide side bars. And, as I said, I am going by the wifes counting when we moved the nuc to the second hive. We had FIVE frames of bees etc when the swarm came out of the poly nuc to go into the hive I got as a flatpack. Louise says "Yes, I took all the empty frames out of the super and you put 5 frames in with bees on them from the poly nuc and I topped them up making 11 then I added another as there was a space and we didn't have a false board"................I am sorry guys, I was obviously miss hearing Louise last October. I heard NINE frames and added the FIVE frames of bees to it. Sorry once again for the confusion....OH GOD CAN I BE FORGIVEN!!!!!!!!!!!! We have standard national hives it seems:)
 

gavin 

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You're forgiven Poggle.
 

Luminos 

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I reckon 5 Hail Marys will save you from eternal damnation, Poggle ;)
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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If nothing else it's been a good five minutes of mental stimulation trying to think of how (or what hive) you can accomodate 14 frames in a brood box :D
 

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