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Nick W 

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Hi

I have 2 boxes package bees coming around April-ish to install in my new hives from Hivemaker. I will have 14x12 brood chambers.

I now have no choice for package bees as opposed to Nucs, so I have what I have, so to speak.

Question - when I install, I am aware they will need feeding and will be buiilding comb. Im also aware if I leave all the frames in, they may well take the wax from the un-used frames.

So what should I do?

Would I, say leave 4 frames in, install the package, then fill the rest of the space with newspaper. Then as they draw the frames out, gradually put the frames back in?

Or would I just leave all of the frames in and let them do what they are going to do, even if it means they will nick the wax?

Cheers

Nick
 

beeboybee 

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i think its best to use dummy boards to make the brood box smaller hen add frames as the bees need more space.....

someone with a bit more experience will be along in a min to sort this one!
:cheers2:
 

buffalow 

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i think its best to use dummy boards to make the brood box smaller hen add frames as the bees need more space.....

someone with a bit more experience will be along in a min to sort this one!
:cheers2:
I agree but instead of dummy boards use a frame feeder 2 birds with one stone

Mark
 

Poly Hive 

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Firstly they will not nick the wax. no idea where you got that from but it's just not so. Or rather in my experience it has never happened.

so you have a hive, package and frames with foundation.

To install, remove the queen from the package. She will be in a little box and easily found.

Remove the frames. Have to hand one or two frame feeders (my preference) or a large top feeder.

Check you are beetight.

angle your package to get most of the bees at one end turn it over and with a soft bang shake the bees into the hive.

Put your frame feeder in next to the hive wall. Insert four frames of foundation. Plus feeder and fill both feeders with 1:1 syrup.

Remember to add the queen in a way that the bees can access the candy. HINT do remember to remove the plug (if there is one) so that the bees can access the candy so that the bees can eat it out and release her.

Put rest of frames behind the feeder. As the bees draw the comb and they may well astonish you then add a frame between the feeders and drawn frames.

Keep feeding until there is a flow. (they will begin to ignore the feed, nectar is sweeter and preferable)

Enjoy your bees.

PH
 

Nick W 

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Firstly they will not nick the wax. no idea where you got that from but it's just not so. Or rather in my experience it has never happened.

PH
Thanks. It was a chap from my local BK branch that said!

Thanks for the info.

One final thing - when/how do you know its time to put on a super?

Nick
 

sherwood 

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Sorry why do you think that the bees will pirate the wax from the outer frames. I have housed a considerable number of swarms in my time and never had this occur.
Just house them and put a rapid feeder on with a mix of 2lbs sugar to 1 pint water and let them get at it
 

oliver90owner 

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Wax nibbling can be a bit of bother with 14 x 12 frames (in particular). Usually because there is too much, unused, for too long. Usually a colony not filling the space quickly. Usually it will be at the bottoms of some of the frames, if it does happen and can be down to several causes (strain of bees , strength of colony, time of year etc).

Fairly simple to add frames of 'fresh' foundation as required, or a bit earlier and a dummy. drawing against a dummy will give best chance of a nice even frame. Same with the super - no point in adding it too early or they may not draw the brood frames.

If your package has a good mix of young bees and foragers, as I am sure it will, they will draw comb quickly at first. But do remember it is the younger bees that generally draw comb and there will be a gap while the new brood develops, when there will be fewer young bees (as in none) and more foraging bees. The developing brood will also need attention so there you have one of the down-sides of a package system for getting started.

Personally, I would still recommend you to get nucs - easier to deal with, as a new beek - even though the frames would need changing, or be modified to fit the brood box. But I am sure you will get the necessary support and advice from the vendor, if that is what he advises.

Regards, RAB
 

Chris B 

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Foundation nibbling certainly does happen but for me it's always been in the supers when the nectar flow has suddenly halted. I've seen no evidence of them using it elsewhere - I think it just ends up on the floor in fragments.

Regarding new comb for the bees. I saw a fair few nucs from at least 3 sources last year and at least 50% was on brand spanking newly drawn frames, and the remainder were newish looking. It's generally not a problem.
The reason being, the instructions described by Polyhive, or provided by your supplier, or whatever you've found on the internet, will all be variations on a theme, and this is also more or less the most efficient way to produce nucs in volume anyway. You are probably just saving your supplier the effort of the final couple of stages.

Does your supplier also provide nucs, and if so would you be allowed an upgrade?

Good luck
Chris
 

MuswellMetro 

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Hi

So what should I do?

Would I, say leave 4 frames in, install the package, then fill the rest of the space with newspaper. Then as they draw the frames out, gradually put the frames back in?

Nick
Never seen newspaper used,how would you use it?

My bees seem to have a total aversion to paper and destroy it in days, either in the hive or near bye

The ink in newprint can contain toxic dyes so on combining i use paper towel

Dense expanded plastic foam roof insulation slabs (75mm and 100mm) with a top bar to form a dummy board is what i use to reduce space in hives
 
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Ely 

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I'm new to bee keeping myself so this could be nothing to do with anything. Anyway...I was reading the other day that when bees do their waggle dance, because it is in the dark, they don't actually see the dance but pick up the vibrations. Because natural comb doesn't have frames the vibrations are carried easily and are picked up well by the bees. According to my book the bees may nibble at the bottom of the frame too free it a little so as to pick up vibrations more easily.

I'd have thought plastic comb would have a big effect on the waggle dance as it is harder and can't be nibbled. Maybe it effects the success of foraging?
 
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From the description of the waggle dance in Jurgan Tauz's book (possibly the same one you are referring to) the vibrations are carried along the top surface of the comb, utilising the bulging rims of empty cells. It is a bit like waves, the water on the sea bed doesn't move but the wave can still travel over the surface. This is why he has observed that the bees choose somewhere to do their dance where the vibrations will be carried furtherest, which means not generally near capped cells, unless they are surrounded by uncapped cells or near the edge of the comb where there is a frame member unless they chew away at the comb to free it first.

If this is the case then with plastic foundation providing the bees can chew away the top of the comb at the frame edge it doesn't matter about the base, as that is like the sea bed and doesn't move and is not involved in transmitting the vibration. With wax foundation they chew it all away I suspect simply because they can.

My evidence for the above reasoning is the largest bee farmer I know is a keen advocate of plastic foundation and I am sure he wouldn't use it if it affected the honey crop.
 

crazy_bull 

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Sorry why do you think that the bees will pirate the wax from the outer frames. I have housed a considerable number of swarms in my time and never had this occur.
Just house them and put a rapid feeder on with a mix of 2lbs sugar to 1 pint water and let them get at it
I have seen it on a few colonies, i'm not sure if they are recyling the wax to use elsewhere in the hive or just being destructive. But i have definatley seen it on outer frames in the brood box if they are foundation and also as also noted by Chris B in the supers, i would say i have only had 2 or 3 colonies do it in the last few years but wouldn't worry about it, they soon fill in the gaps once a flow starts or you feed them up.

C B
 
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