Frame arrangement in new colony

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meirch1 

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Hi I have just bought some bees and placed them in my new apiary (consists of one National Hive - brood box plus super). The chap I bought them from arranged the 6 brood and honey bearing frames as follows:- Warm way, front to back ; 2 new frames of wired foundation at entrance end, 4 frames of brood and honey, 4 new frames of foundation and finally 2 brood bearing frames at the back. So far (week 1) the only new frame with drawn comb is the 7th frame from the entrance, the 6th frame has eggs in cells.
I have just swapped them round reuniting the 'old' frames.
Questions: 1. Is there a reason for splitting the colony within the hive at time of transfer?
2. Have I made a mistake in swapping the frames round?
3. How do I find the queen?
Many thanks for any helpful replies

Bee me up Scotty
 

Mike a 

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Hi I have just bought some bees and placed them in my new apiary (consists of one National Hive - brood box plus super). The chap I bought them from arranged the 6 brood and honey bearing frames as follows:- Warm way, front to back ; 2 new frames of wired foundation at entrance end, 4 frames of brood and honey, 4 new frames of foundation and finally 2 brood bearing frames at the back. So far (week 1) the only new frame with drawn comb is the 7th frame from the entrance, the 6th frame has eggs in cells.
I have just swapped them round reuniting the 'old' frames.
Questions: 1. Is there a reason for splitting the colony within the hive at time of transfer?
2. Have I made a mistake in swapping the frames round?
3. How do I find the queen?
Many thanks for any helpful replies

Bee me up Scotty
Welcome to the forums Meirch1

I won't go in to the warm or cold way debate, IMHO each to their own.

With regard to your questions, I'll try and answer them in one go.
Some like to feed their colonies during the early part of the season to encourage them to draw out frames quickly so they fill the whole brood box with all the frames. This method I find works well with an already established strong colony which has been shook swarmed into a new hive with all new frames, if however the colony is from a nuc or small (covering 4-5 frames) I only add 1-2 new frames as required and use a dummy board to help keep the colony condensed and warm.

I don't like to swap frames around unless I have to or I need to replace a frame or I'm managing the colony as part of an artificial swarm split.

I think it is better to allow the colony to expand at their own rate and not to force them into trying to keep two or more areas of the hive warm when new frames are placed in between existing frames. If the colony is small dividing it with a new frame is more likely to slow their expansion progress down not speed it up. It takes a fair amount of effort to keep the eggs, larvae and sealed brood warm if they are nicely bunched up together but less bees are required allowing others to get on with their normal duties. If you split the brood by adding a new frame in between more bees will be needed to keep the temperatures up high enough in two areas instead of one. Small colonies are unlikely to have enough bees to manage this properly which in turn could lead to them abandoning the frame which has been moved away setting the colony back days if not weeks, plus the time to clean up the cells again when they are strong enough to use them.

Sorry that is a bit long winded but hopefully you understand what I mean.

Finding the queen
Don't beat yourself up trying to find the queen, look for eggs instead. The more time the hive is left open the more heat escapes which is hard work for a small colony to build up again once you close the hive up. I know it may give you some peace of mind knowing your queen is alive and running around inside the hive but believe me some queens are masters at hiding and you may not see her for weeks at a time.
 
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Poly Hive 

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I had to read that three times to make sure I read it right?

Your "supplier" had FOUR frames of foundation between the two sets of brood frames? Interesting to say the least.

Please remove them soonest and put the brood frames together lest you have a sup cell in the split as this is effectively what you have, a split off.



PH
 

Rosti 

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Welcome, a couple of points if you are installing at this time of year.

1. instal cold way and instal centrally to give them the best chance of defending the hive against wasps, the season is just starting (or in front of entrance if not central)
2. make sure you have a heavily restricted entrance to improve defence - both against wasps and robbing
3. Splitting brood nest -no - I think Mike has covered - same reasons but also - see 1 above and I would not have the super on either. You want them drawing and building for winter not splitting their efforts and losing heat above.
4. I would be using some dummy boards left and right to reduce the space for warming further and add a couple of frames at a time as required
5. As Mike on Qn searching
 

MuswellMetro 

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Welcome, a couple of points if you are installing at this time of year.

1. instal cold way and instal centrally to give them the best chance of defending the hive against wasps, the season is just starting (or in front of entrance if not central)
2. make sure you have a heavily restricted entrance to improve defence - both against wasps and robbing
3. Splitting brood nest -no - I think Mike has covered - same reasons but also - see 1 above and I would not have the super on either. You want them drawing and building for winter not splitting their efforts and losing heat above.
4. I would be using some dummy boards left and right to reduce the space for warming further and add a couple of frames at a time as required
5. As Mike on Qn searching
DITTO agree exactly

but also insulate above the brood box, i would fill the super with scrap polystyrene and block the porter escapes/feed holes unless feeding...keep them warm
 

m100 

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Welcome, a couple of points if you are installing at this time of year.

1. instal cold way and instal centrally to give them the best chance of defending the hive against wasps, the season is just starting (or in front of entrance if not central)
Why would the orientation of a frame within the cavity make the slightest bit of difference to the defence of a colony?

Bees will always defend hive entrances, or to be more precise they defend the hive extremities as can be seen when removing a crown board from a super.
 

barratt_sab 

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Meirch1

As a fellow newcomer, I would like to emphasise one of Mike A's answers:

"Don't beat yourself up trying to find the queen, look for eggs instead"

All the books say it, all the courses say it, and you know it's true, but there is still this nagging desire to find the queen.

We examine with some other newcomers, and in one hive, we looked for literally weeks without finding her. Each time, we saw eggs and told ourselves it was fine, but every time we got ready to open up I know that all we were thinking about (particularly the relevant beek) was whether or not we'd find the queen this time.

As a result, we didn't really look properly at anything else, and we didn't find the queen either.

After a few weeks we stopped looking for her, just looked for eggs, and tried to to a proper examination... at which point we found her.

It turned out that either the queen was not marked or she'd been marked in a non-standard colour (a sort of furry brown),

We've since found her again and marked her (although that required pairing the frames).

Look for eggs, and don't worry about finding the queen.

We've found that if we take this tack, we have a more relaxed time and nine times out of ten we see her anyway.
 

Rosti 

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Why would the orientation of a frame within the cavity make the slightest bit of difference to the defence of a colony?

Bees will always defend hive entrances, or to be more precise they defend the hive extremities as can be seen when removing a crown board from a super.
Warm way should mean a store frame closest to entrance, even assuming next one in is edge of brood nest. Cold thinking goes, easier to centre brood over entrance, therefore highest concentration of bees closer to entrance + more ends on to the entrance = faster passing of alarm message and a greater reserve of bees available at short notice over shortest travel distance.
 
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