Question on Snelgrove and Demaree

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May 26, 2021
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I've run Demarees for the last couple of years with what I think is some success. They've resulting in large productive colonies in which I appear so far to have managed the swarming. The only drawback I've found is that the bees seem keen to store in the upper BB which seems eventually limits the scope for circulating the emerged frames back into the lower BB because they become full of honey. I've been thinking about what I'm doing wrong and how it might be possible to prevent the over-storing of stores in the upper BB.

This year I am experimenting with a Snelgrove Board on one of the colonies. It's too early to say whether it's working as well as the Demarees but I've already noticed that there is very much less tendency for the bees to store in the upper BB, presumably because the bees within the colony can't get up past the Snelgrove Board's gauze within the hive. It has so far left a much less uncluttered upper BB - although it's early days.

So, I have two connected questions.

In a Snelgrove Board set-up, what do the nurse bees and brood survive on? Presumably the only stores coming into the upper BB are brought in by a relatively few foragers using the upper entrance? So (and this may seem a sillly question) how are the nurse bees and brood in the upper BB sustained?

The second question is, if I put some gauze across the horizontal hole in a Demaree board (the hole that links the upper BB and the rest of the hive) then the board would serve more or less the same function as the Snelgrove Board (without the multitude of opening options). It might also stop the bees over-storing in the upper BB. But would the brood in the upper BB be sustained in the absence of bee-traffic moving up the hive? Would enough pollen/nectar come in through the external opening?

Grateful for any suggestions.
I think you are over complicating things. It is fine and normal for the upper boxes to be full of honey ready to take off at the end of summer to be extracted as normal. It's a non issue
I would think increasing the number of supers between the brood boxes encourage the stores to be held lower.
If there is honey in the top brood the bees will not move it down. Just use it as a bigger super.
And removed ripped frames replacing with foundation so they draw these and store more honey!
Yessssssss! They draw foundation pretty quickly up there.
Until all brood has emerged then I find the majority of young bees migrate back down below and the top box is not very busy and drawing stops. In that case (if I am sure there is no queen, I will remove the demaree board and put the box between the BB and supers until frames are ready to extract.
Some of my colonies pile in pollen up there, slightly trickier to get rid of until I start making nucs and cell raisers.
Thanks for all that. My question still remains, however. What sustains the nurse bees and larvae in the upper brood-box if (as is the case with a Snelgrove Board) bees bringing stores into the colony can't move up the hive from the lower entrance because gauze physically separates the top brood box from the rest of the colony>
I am also curious to know what sustains the top BB ,As i am using the Horsley Board mathod on a perticular Hive and the slider closed ,so the bees have no contact with supers.
how are the nurse bees and brood in the upper BB sustained?
I'm not entirely sure of your set up (I've tried Snelgrove only once) but I would have thought they are sustained by the honey and pollen stores up there perhaps?
In a vertical split (which I do often) with the queen in the top, with few foragers initially, they do quite well over time. Bit by bit they start foraging.
Probably sufficient stores contained within the combs plus the ( quite a considerable number of ) new foragers in the upper box.
I split an upper brood box into mating nucs yesterday, it had been above a double screen board. A sizeable cluster gathered at the rear of the hive later on, where the old entrance was.

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