Problem removing eke - can you advise?

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Juststarting 

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I have a colony in a poly national that I reduced down to 1 BB plus a 2 inch eke whilst I was treating for varroa (apiguard). I have finished treatment and been winter feeding. I had planned to remove the eke so they wintered in BB, but I have had a lot of brood hatch and the eke is now completely full of bees (no comb).:party:

I had not expected quite such a large increase in numbers - queen now only laying in two frames the rest is being filled with stores. As it getting colder up here and I seem to have so many bees thought it best to feed all they want and not worry about restricting laying space.

Even when flying there were alot of bees in eke and BB, had a quick peek today when they are not flying in any numbers (getting too cold and very windy) it is packed no way they'd all fit in BB.

If I'm patient will the number of bees drop enough to remove eke? in which case i'll take a :chillpill:

Should I just wait till they are flying again, smoke rest down into BB and then remove eke in couple of weeks?

or should I wait until they cluster and then remove it very quickly?

or should I leave it on? - worried thats it would be extra space to heat once clustered.

or should I be doing something else?

Happy to provide extra info if it helps get best advice.
Thanks for advice/suggestions.
 

oliver90owner 

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or should I be doing something else?

The joys of keeping bees on a single standard brood!

A bit more lateral thinking going on.

If you are so worried about space for the bees, you could remove it from above and replace it beneath the brood box?

Doubt they would build wild comb down there now but at least you would be able to get into the hive at the top and if there were any wild comb it would not be fastened securely to the floor?!

Regards, RAB
 
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drstitson 

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You'd be surprised at how many bees can fit in a brood box. i'd say just take the eke off (perhaps with a decent smoking), shake off any bees and let them work their way back down. if this evening you have a heap outside the entrance then perhaps they need the space but otherwise bet there'll be no problem.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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You'd be surprised at how many bees can fit in a brood box. .
The best way to judge the space is to examine at a least active time of day, a quick lift of the crown without smoke will give you more of a true reflection of bee numbers. You will be surprised how tight they can and will pack.
 

Dishmop 

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Packed. Rainy day no bees out.

One of these days I will master the technique of taking photos thro glass...
 

roe1uk 

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One of these days I will master the technique of taking photos thro glass...

manual focus ...natural back light
 

Dishmop 

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One of these days I will master the technique of taking photos thro glass...

manual focus ...natural back light
Ta.

Any idea how to tell the bees to keep still???????????
 

Queens59 

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Just ask the all to smile!!
 

Dishmop 

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Just ask the all to smile!!
At the moment they are very inactive as its raining.
Every so often one goes down the tube,,, gets about 3/4 of the way,, decides its too cold and goes back and tells the others... Even the tube is cold when they are not in it running about..

They do the same in the morning to see if its working weather.
 

Juststarting 

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Dishmop - love the photo.

O90O - hopefully be off single BB next year - still deciding on which option to take though - no doubt more questions over the winter!

Like the idea of putting eke under BB even if only to prove to myself if the need the extra space. Thinking outside the box! Cheers
 

Black Comb 

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Are you they are just not moving "up top" for winter?

The idea of leaving an eke on is new to me and guaranteed to get them to build comb.

If the brood box is not big enough you need 14 x 12 or a super above or even double brood (you don't have to have 11 frames in each brood box - look on the Scottish beekeepers website and it explains wintering with 8 & 8).

Also, don't forget that the number of bees will reduce over winter.

Perhaps you should read this thread.
http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7187
 
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Juststarting 

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PeterS

I do not want to leave the eke on - it was put on whilst using apiguard and when I went to take it off two days ago there seemed to be so many bees it that even with most of the foragers out flying i couldnt smoke them all down so i left it on whilst I thought about it.

Today i had another look to see how many bees there are and whether I was just be over cautious and if there just seemed alot as I'd "disturbed" them whilst checking the BB. However today (bees werent flying) and it was absolutely packed with bees so I was worried about removing it and trying to fit all the bees in the BB.

O90O idea to put it under the BB allows the bees to stay on the frames at the top of the box when they cluster and gives then a bit more space for now - whilst they may build comb below the frames I'd rather risk that than overcrowd them at the moment
 

Black Comb 

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JS I understand.

If you have 12 frames you could have 8 + 4 then have you 4 drawn from your other box (presume you have one as you are back down to 1) ?
 

drstitson 

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8+8

"look on the Scottish beekeepers website and it explains wintering with 8 & 8)"

where is the info on the website???
 

Juststarting 

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PeterS
can you point me to the right bit ot the SBKA website?
- I've just spent a very pleasant hour or so investigating it and whilst finding loads more to read and another forum to investigate:hurray: (admin - dont worry my allegiance will still hold true to this one!:rofl:) I couldnt find the reference to 8 + 8.:willy_nilly:
 

Poly Hive 

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Juststarting?

Much ado about nothing.

Take it of.

No worries

PH
 

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