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Help in moving colony to a deep brood

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8LGM 

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Hi.

My first year and my one colony has done well (I think) with thanks in a number of ways to the great help from this site.

I ordered a new brood box in a sale as I thought it would be useful if the colony grew well and also as a standby in an emergency (swarm etc). The one I received is deeper that the one I am using at present, I thought it would be the same depth.

My question is: Is it possible (and how) to move your colony over to another (different size) brood chamber or should I just start a new colony in the larger brood box?

I have a third new standard brood box that I had lined up to start a new hive with.

One other quick question. On another thread there was talk of treating with Oxalic Acid. I treated at the end of autumn with Apiguard and I will do again in spring. Should I treat now with Oxalic acid as well? I am concerned that I do not want to over treat as I fear I could harm the bees.

Any advice would be welcome.

Many thanks.
 

Poly Hive 

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The answer to your question is yes.

However it would be very helpful if you knew and told us what this new brood box is? How it is that you arrived at this situation might be interesting too.

PH
 
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If you treated with Apiguard in late summer then a winter treatment of oxalic acid right now is the recommended follow up. The thymol on its own is not enough.

Using Apiguard in spring is unusual, it is unlikely to be warm enough for it to be effective.

Use thymol (Apiguard) in August and oxalic acid in late December or early January and you will keep on top of the varroa. I strongly suggest using no other regime if you are just beginning. The phrase learn to walk before running springs to mind. Above all, follow the instructions on the Apiguard box to the letter and use 5ml of 3.2% oxalic solution in each gap between frames (seam) where there are bees. A search on this forum will find recipes but you can buy it ready made but it is not difficult to make your own solution. I also posted a link to a video on using OA on this forum a few days ago.

If your brood box is too deep then just put the frames in it you have. The worst that will happen is the bees will build extra comb on the bottom of the frames which as it is likely to be drone brood can be used as a way to control varroa by cutting it out and destroying as soon as it is sealed.

If the box is too wide then you have the wrong sort and you might as well try and sell it, assuming the supplier will not take it back. Send us the dimensions and we can help identify what you have. A picture would help as well.
 

8LGM 

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The answer to your question is yes.

However it would be very helpful if you knew and told us what this new brood box is? How it is that you arrived at this situation might be interesting too.

PH
I bought it in a sale in October thinking it wa a standard Commercial brood box. Only unpacked it over the weekend with other stuff I ordered from Thornes last month when I noticed it wa deeper than the standard size.

I'm quite happy with it, just would like to put my stongest conlony in the larger brood box if I can.

Thanks for any help.
 

Finno 

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It is generally recommended to standardise on one size of hive, in order that all components, frames etc. may be interchangeable. You have to make a decision on hive type and then stick with that.

P F
 

tonybloke 

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I bought it in a sale in October thinking it wa a standard Commercial brood box. Only unpacked it over the weekend with other stuff I ordered from Thornes last month when I noticed it wa deeper than the standard size.

I'm quite happy with it, just would like to put my stongest conlony in the larger brood box if I can.

Thanks for any help.
sounds like you got a 'deep national' brood, 14" deep?
 
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oliver90owner 

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As your hive is a National and presumably so is the new box it is likely a Jumbo National or commonly known as a 14 x 12. If this is the case it will be about 3 1/2 inches deeper than your existing brood. Using 14 x 12 frames is the sensible way to go, rather than allowing wild comb to be built. There are conversion pieces to change framesto the larger format, but I would not be keen to do that. Alternatively, you could make a box to take up the excess space (leaving space for entry exit) and stay with you standard brood frames.

The usual way to change the colony over is to place the frames, with bees at the back of the hive and the new frames, with foundation, at the front. A cut-down cardboard box to prevent comb building on the frame bottoms is an easy option, and wait for the new frames to be drawn and occupied, then exchange frames until all the old are removed.

You would have a similar problem with starting a new colony in the larger brood box unless you were to buy a 14 x 12 nuc.

I would strongly advise getting advice on ways to reduce varroa all the year round and not rely totally on chemical treatments.

I, for one, do not automatically treat with oxalic acid as there are some down-sides for the bees. It is a better option than risking losing them, however. Regular mite-drop counting is important and early action before they are numerous enough to damage the colony is paramount.

Brood trapping (and with shook swarm), drone trapping, bait combs at artificial swarming, and other treatments are available. Some of these are appropriate with a nectar flow and all help in the war against the mite.

You are right to be concerned for the bees but the varroa will kill them if not kept in check.

Regards, RAB
 

oliver90owner 

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Changing your standard broods to 14 x 12 is a piece of cake if you can make an eke (you can buy them, too).

Sounds like you need some spare floors, roofs, and supers, etc!

Regards, RAB
 

8LGM 

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If you treated with Apiguard ......

If the box is too wide then you have the wrong sort and you might as well try and sell it, assuming the supplier will not take it back. Send us the dimensions and we can help identify what you have. A picture would help as well.
Sorry for the delay in responding - had to help the wife. :)

The lenght/depth are the same but the hight is 12" intead of 9" which the standard comercial that Thornes supply
 

8LGM 

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Sorry - I said Commercial - meant National - showing my ignorance. :((
 

8LGM 

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Changing your standard broods to 14 x 12 is a piece of cake if you can make an eke (you can buy them, too).

Sounds like you need some spare floors, roofs, and supers, etc!

Regards, RAB
Got all the stuff for a complete second hive, plus 4 extra suppers on top of the existing 2 per hive plus this odd size brood. (could make a third hive with a floor, roof and a few odds and ends)
 

taff.. 

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odd coincidence, I came on here to start a thread on this same topic.

I have 1 colony that is way too strong for a national BB so have bought a couple of 14x12 boxes, I have so far thought of 2 ways to get the bees from the standard to the 14x12.

one is plonking the 14x12 on top of the standard and letting the bees draw the comb in the 14x12 then remove the standard when the queen is laying in the 14x12.

the other is doing a shook swarm, find and cage the queen, shake all the bees into the 14x12, release the queen once the rest is complete, the main advantage I can see for doing this is knocking back the varroa a bit more by taking some away in the brood from the standard box.

can anyone with experience of doing shook swarms please chip in with words of advice, things to look out for, potential pitfalls or any other nuggets of info on the shook swarm :cheers2:

I think thats pretty much the same question as the OP
 

Poly Hive 

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To move hives is simple.

If the boxes are compatible put the new on top of the old, after a few days check to see where the Queen is, check the top only and if there are eggs up there then pop in the excluder between the two. Check again in a few days and ensure that she is actually up there working, ie fresh eggs, and leave for 24 days to allow all the brood below to hatch. Super above if required.

If not compatible ie Nat to Lang then cut a bit of ply make holes to suit and put the boxes as above but with the ply between. . Yes the bee space will be wrong but it's only for 24 days.

I do not and will not shook swarm as it seems a manipulation for the beekeepers satisfaction and not a lot to the benefit of the colony. Also very stressful. I will not indulge in it for one.

PH
 

chalkie 

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I'm also going to change over a double brood to 14x12, when would be the best time to do this.
 
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I am a devotee of the shook swarm. From my own experience and that of others who have started to do this in the Spring the colony will bounce back healthier and stronger than it would be if left alone. My advice would be do a shook swarm on them in late March/early April and then feed with 1:1 syrup for a week or so. The weather will be a factor so don't do it if there is snow on the ground!

Swarming is a natural part of a bee colony's evolution and a shook swarm just forces the bees to swarm. It triggers a reflex in them that makes the bees work harder and the queen to lay prolifically, exactly what happens when a swarm leaves a colony and sets up a new home. They start off with a low varroa load and on new comb and this what helps them thrive.

However, I recognise a shook swarm is not for everyone so I won't get into an argument about this!
 

gavin 

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I'd say around April or May, when the colony is actively growing and food is coming in. I'll be trying Bailey comb changes this spring - essentially the same but into the same-sized box. Feeding might help to speed the process.

G.
 

Black Comb 

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PH
I'm changing Nat to Lang this year.
when you say cut holes to suit how many will I need?
i.e. will just a couple do or do they need to be tailored to the nat box?
 
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PeterS, I moved a colony from a National to Langstroth by this method a few years ago. What PH means is get a bit of ply the same size as the Langstroth box and cut a hole in it the same size as the internal dimensions of the National. Stand this adapter on the National box and then the Langstroth full of frames and foundation on top. I would also give them syrup for the first week or two until they have drawn out plenty of the foundation. Once the queen has moved up into the Langstroth and started laying then slip a queen excluder in between the boxes, either above or below the adapter dependng on whether it is a National or Langstroth QX and then leave them for atleast 21 days to allow all worker brood to emerge from the lower National box. Then dismantle everything and put the Langstroth brood box onto its correct floor.

If the queen is reluctant to move up into the Langstroth box I suggest tying the frame she is on to a Langstroth top bar and lift her upstairs on it, putting the QX underneath at the same time. After a few days she should have moved over onto the new comb and the old frame can be put back downstairs. I have seen the queen picked up and desposited upstairs but this is not very safe. Better to keep her on a frame of brood.
 

Poly Hive 

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Precisely that Rooftops.

The queen will go up of her own accord or if she don't she is a massive exception. I find queens like nothing better than to get higher...

PH
 

MJBee 

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I have used this method to get bees from Commercial into Dadant it worked a treat:)
 

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