Second thoughts on B+1/2

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Moggs 

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What a beautiful day it has been. I have been mulling this over on my travels today. I had intended to go through winter on single national brood boxes and change to 14x12 next year. I have been thinking about the brood and a half option, chiding myself at not getting some more space for them earlier in the year (newbie deliberations).

With this cracking weather set for the rest of the week (I might regret having said that), I'm minded to fill three supers with drawn comb and put them on (three hives) now so that they can rearrange substantial stores of syrup that they have guzzled down recently. The queens will have some last minute laying space (the current brood frames are full to bursting with capped syrup, with maybe only a single frame or two at the most with brood).

They're carni's, good full-sized colonies after some recent uniting moves.

What do you reckon? Brood and a half now? I'm thiinking that the only work that they'll need to do is to shift some syrup about and the queens might have some opportunity to get some more winter brood going. I would have left them alone but it has actually been very warm in the sun today, with more to come (perhaps).

Undecided...
 
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Vortex 

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I'd say yes...
My langstroth (second cast swarm mid July) which has been brood and a half since the word go - I only had drawn comb for the super, and until 2 weeks ago only had 6 brood frames (coz they wouldn't draw the rest) - currently has a full super (7 frames capped manley plus 2 3/4 filled and partially capped hoffman), plus 3 frames stores, some capped, in the brood box, and they're now pulling the undrawn frame I put in 2 weeks ago.
They're also working the local ivy like crazy, have been for the last 2 weeks, and if the weather forecast is correct will be for the next week or so.
 

RoofTops 

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I would suggest add the supers underneath the brood box. If the queen needs the space for laying she will use it but if not the top of the hive where the bees are will remain warm.
 

Midland Beek 

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I'm with RoofTops. Put an empty super of drawn comb on the top and they will most likely not move around the syrup as you would hope they would. It will just be left as an empty super.
 

Moggs 

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Thanks all, useful information. Supers and frames are prepared for tomorrow's visit.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Expect this is obvious,but best to check under the bottom of the brood frames before placing the brood box on top of the supers,some build a lot of comb below the bottom bars of the brood frames.....could result in squashed bee's if not removed,one could be the queen.
 

Moggs 

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Good point HM - something easily overlooked in the heat of the moment!
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Super under OK but they may well do little with them.
Not over at this time of year - too late.

If you move to 14 x 12 next year you will also have brood in your super frames which you don't want I assume.

Are you sure that you're not just messing? It's October you know!
 

margob99 

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I placed a full super under one hive recently; won't move it for the winter now, but I'll never do that again! Found it very disruptive to hive and bees in the brood box.

So for now, supers on top for me.
 

Moggs 

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Hi HeebeeGeeb

No, not messing, just making a reasoned decision that the bees might take advantage of the unseasonal warm weather to use a bit of extra space. Reasoning being, very 'full' nationals with bees clustering at the door, pollen going in, loads of stores, minimal laying space. If the queens are still laying (and they are) then they might as well give her every opportunity to get some more winter brood in, using space freed by shifting some syrup down to the basement. Weather is set fair for the rest of the week and when I paid a visit today the bees have clearly thought that summer has come around all over again. I will feed some more so that they don't pack too much ivy in (but they will probably do just what they want)!

With talk here of standard nationals through winter being a bit risky, I would rather give the bees the best chance that I can. "Strike while the iron's hot" and all that. If the bees want to give it a go, I'll give them a hand.

I've been wrong before....

Hi Margo - interesting point about the supers - I would imagine that they might get a bit feisty with any such disruption! In my case, it's only empty, drawn comb going in - which I suppose isn't likely to get them too excited.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

kazmcc 

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I really dislike brood and a half. So messy. Going to have to stick with it while learning, and as i gain more experience, the problems we've found may become easier to deal with, but for now I don't like it.
 

Moggs 

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Hi Kaz

I can see what you mean - I have yet to experience the fun of manipulating two bee containers! I'm thinking that it may be the best course until I can get the 14x12 solution. Dunno, just seems 'sensible' given the circumstances and there shouldn't be too much need to delve deeply in there until the spring. We'll see :)
 

kazmcc 

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All I can say is it gets very sticky. I don't like the idea of them keep building the frames together with comb, for us to keep coming and cracking it in half. Once they are in for winter and get left alone, then it won't be a problem though.
 

Moggs 

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Hmmm - good point. 'Supers' are now underneath the BB - as you say, it could be a sticky business when I get around to unravelling it all. Is that a regular clean up? I will probably get the same, Langstroth would no doubt turn in his grave if he could see what I have done for his bee space.
 

kazmcc 

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I am very new to this, and our mentor decided on brood and a half for us. The problems I've found are lots of dripping when inspecting, when taking out supers to check. Some are stuck that fast that you can't help but have to yank them out. When our mentor isn't there I leave those ones. My worry was if the queen had laid in the comb between the brood and super frames, then I'd be destroying brood by inspecting. Then when we needed to take off the super to change the apilife strips, my fellow keeper picked up the super, but a few brood frames came up with it. We had to lower the super back down as low as we could, then unstick them with the hive tool, which meant a drop back into the brood box......very unhappy bees anyway, but livid after that. Thinking about it now I should have just slid the new strips in instead of unsticking to take the super off completely, but we didn't think of that at the time. It's just really messy, but like I said, I am inexperienced and I'm sure these things are easier to deal with the more you learn. If it's just for over winter and you don't intend on disturbing much then I can see it's plus points though.

Isn't bee keeping wonderful :p
 

Moggs 

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You've got me worried now! I have an idea.... Never mind all this malarkey with boxes and frames. Get a load of straw and weave it all together in a sort of a basket shape..... lol
 

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