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Joined
May 28, 2023
Messages
78
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61
Location
Highland
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
5
Further to a question I'd asked about Bailey comb changes, I really really want to go to the apiary, set up a nice clean floor and brood box full of new frames with new foundation and a clean CB and roof, next to a hive needing brood frames scrapped. The bees are all in the super with stores. I want to take the super off the old hive and plunk it on the new one, then slide the lot over a foot back to position. Minimum disturbance. It seems that if I wait and they start laying in the dirty brood comb, then that would be more of a setback to have that brood thrown away. I don't want to do a partial change either, it seems to defeat the purpose.

Obviously not when it's near freezing and a howling gale like today.
 
Further to a question I'd asked about Bailey comb changes, I really really want to go to the apiary, set up a nice clean floor and brood box full of new frames with new foundation and a clean CB and roof, next to a hive needing brood frames scrapped. The bees are all in the super with stores. I want to take the super off the old hive and plunk it on the new one, then slide the lot over a foot back to position. Minimum disturbance. It seems that if I wait and they start laying in the dirty brood comb, then that would be more of a setback to have that brood thrown away. I don't want to do a partial change either, it seems to defeat the purpose.

Obviously not when it's near freezing and a howling gale like today.
Foundation needs a flow and some warmth to be drawn out. It takes a good amount of energy which has to come from food to make wax. Please don't be too hasty. You can do more harm than good. A lovely clean hive is nice to work with and nice to look at but not necessarily what the bees need. I use a conveyor belt system. When I check my bees on a hive that has old comb on each inspection I take the old comb out of one end, move the frames into the space as I inspect them and then put a new frame in at the other end. After 11 inspections you have new comb with no huge shock. The frames you take out tend to be stores as they are on the outside.
I would be wary of doing what you intend to do yet so far North.
 
start laying in the dirty brood comb
Can you post a photo of this dirty comb?

The bees are all in the super with stores
Not that strong, then, and I agree with Enrico: too early, too cold to draw wax, too few new bees to make wax, too little income to turn into wax.

Why not take away the old BB & floor, put down a clean floor and add super and roof? The reduced space will enable the colony to thermoregulate more effectively, and you can add a new BB on top when the colony is strong with young bees ready to make wax, and when a flow is on to provide fuel to do so.
 
Further to a question I'd asked about Bailey comb changes, I really really want to go to the apiary, set up a nice clean floor and brood box full of new frames with new foundation and a clean CB and roof, next to a hive needing brood frames scrapped. The bees are all in the super with stores. I want to take the super off the old hive and plunk it on the new one, then slide the lot over a foot back to position. Minimum disturbance. It seems that if I wait and they start laying in the dirty brood comb, then that would be more of a setback to have that brood thrown away. I don't want to do a partial change either, it seems to defeat the purpose.

Obviously not when it's near freezing and a howling gale like today.
it's way way too early for those shenanigans - a surefire way of killing the colony. A big part of beekeeping is patieance and waiting for the right conditions for something as aggressive as you're suggesting. If you are so certain that all the bees are up in the super (have you actually opened up already!?) then you have a pretty small colony to dump into what is basically a cavernous emptiness. the 'Best' outcome from that would be bees struggling to draw any comb in the new deep, and as soon as there is a hint of a flow, doing a suicidal swarm attempt.
If you really are adamant in conducting a Bailey change you have to wait until the weather, colony size, and flow is sufficient, then do the modified Bailey change correctly (a 'proper' Bailey change means putting a box of clean/sterile drawn comb on top of the current box and leaving them move up in their own good time.
Personally I would advise waiting until they are ripe enough to think about swarming and conducting a Demarree.

In the meantime, quell your enthusiasm and do a bit more reading in front of the fire.
 
Thanks all. I'll have another look In a few weeks. -2 here today🙄
I'm at a real disadvantage because I do not have new drawn brood comb, only foundation. So yes there would be a lot of work involved on the bees' part.
I am not a fan of modified Bailey because with brood and a half it means literally cracking the brood nest open too often. Bridge comb, propolis seals etc.

Another possible plan then, and it would free me of the troublesome brood and a half situation on these two hives. I have never actually found much brood in the brood super. Certainly no significant amount, they seem to use it for stores only. And they tend to build the nest up rather than out, when they actually have plenty of room in the brood box to go sideways. If I catch them early when the flow starts and as suggested put the super on the floor plus a clean brood box above, would it work to just let them move up to the brood box and eventually remove the super? My greatest concern is that the super is so shallow that the brood would get chilled on an open floor. Albeit the mesh is on top of a 4" frame, sitting on 4x2 rails behind a solid fence. Thanks.
 
Thanks all. I'll have another look In a few weeks. -2 here today🙄
I'm at a real disadvantage because I do not have new drawn brood comb, only foundation. So yes there would be a lot of work involved on the bees' part.
I am not a fan of modified Bailey because with brood and a half it means literally cracking the brood nest open too often. Bridge comb, propolis seals etc.

Another possible plan then, and it would free me of the troublesome brood and a half situation on these two hives. I have never actually found much brood in the brood super. Certainly no significant amount, they seem to use it for stores only. And they tend to build the nest up rather than out, when they actually have plenty of room in the brood box to go sideways. If I catch them early when the flow starts and as suggested put the super on the floor plus a clean brood box above, would it work to just let them move up to the brood box and eventually remove the super? My greatest concern is that the super is so shallow that the brood would get chilled on an open floor. Albeit the mesh is on top of a 4" frame, sitting on 4x2 rails behind a solid fence. Thanks.
What you suggest would work. I would personally leave the old brood box on, put a queen excluder between the old brood box at the bottom and the super and make sure the queen is in the old brood box and then when she is laying in the brood box properly do as you suggest or remove the frames slowly. But not for a few months yet
 
Another possible plan then, and it would free me of the troublesome brood and a half situation on these two hives. I have never actually found much brood in the brood super.
A subtle hint that you do not need to run the colony on brood and a half - it's a ridiculous setup anyway and whoever invented it should be burnt at the stake
 
-2 now so may have a look in two weeks , more like end of April/May before seriously deciding on a more drastic course.
There is no set rule or time that bees need to be first opened and inspected , one has to be guided by temperature and colony activity.
Work with the bees and not against them.

The time to start messing with the bees is when there is strong foraging activity as the dya time temps raise, inspecting not to early or too late in the day during early spring.

The variables of first inspections and fiddling vary greatly, 6 or 7 years ago I remember being able to carry out full inspections on March 1st with day temps at 18c , then march on a year or two and my first inspection was well in to May as the beast from the east hit in April of that year.
 
Argh! Matchsticks!! 😱
yes, I think if I was given that document it would be safely stored in the fireplace after reading the first page, as any other advice from such a cuckoo would need to be taken with a large pinch of salt.
But at least he covered his feeder holes :rolleyes:
 
What you suggest would work. I would personally leave the old brood box on, put a queen excluder between the old brood box at the bottom and the super and make sure the queen is in the old brood box and then when she is laying in the brood box properly do as you suggest or remove the frames slowly. But not for a few months yet
Thankyou for suggesting a way forward on a bit of a conundrum for me. I ended last year with a double BB which I was reluctant to reduce to a single. An unmarked Q to boot. I had wondered about using a QE and when.
Yes, learning from mistakes, which in this case was heeding advice from outside the Forum. It seemed iffy at the time...!
 
Thankyou for suggesting a way forward on a bit of a conundrum for me. I ended last year with a double BB which I was reluctant to reduce to a single. An unmarked Q to boot. I had wondered about using a QE and when.
Yes, learning from mistakes, which in this case was heeding advice from outside the Forum. It seemed iffy at the time...!
It is worth remembering that bees don't know what is a brood box or a super. They just use what is there so you can do a lot of manipulating by swapping/ moving boxes as well us using or not using queen excluders. It is also worth remembering how bees work. They always have brood under food. As they bring more stores in the brood moves down, as the stores disappear the brood moves up. That means that you can encourage where the brood is going to be. For example if you put a new brood box above an old one and the food on top of that the queen will naturally lay in the new brood box to get the brood under the food.
 
Thanks that explains a lot! I have been too afraid of upsetting them by rearranging things, otherwise would have got rid of brood and half a long time ago.
 
yes, I think if I was given that document it would be safely stored in the fireplace after reading the first page, as any other advice from such a cuckoo would need to be taken with a large pinch of salt.
But at least he covered his feeder holes :rolleyes:
I've just read the first three months of Ian Craig's guide to the beekeeping year. Obviously it was written a while ago, and has been informed by many decades of experience of what works, possibly at the expense of considering other ways that might also work.

Even when I ignore the stuff which is different from practices promoted here, I find that there is a lot of sensible material remaining.

A couple of times at talks on 'What I've learned from fifty years of beekeeping' and suchlike, I've asked that smartass question, 'bees in tree cavities have max insulation and little ventilation, so why do you seem to be promoting the opposite?' There is no answer, of course, and usually the reply is something like, 'this is what works for me - and if I don't ventilate sufficiently, I get chalkbrood.' (You don't need to be an old beekeeper to have this view.)

So instead of looking for differences, I read Ian Craig's guide to see what I could learn, and, not least because he can write, I am finding that there is a substantial body of beekeeping sense - or so it seems to me.
 
I've just read the first three months of Ian Craig's guide to the beekeeping year. Obviously it was written a while ago, and has been informed by many decades of experience of what works, possibly at the expense of considering other ways that might also work.

Even when I ignore the stuff which is different from practices promoted here, I find that there is a lot of sensible material remaining.

A couple of times at talks on 'What I've learned from fifty years of beekeeping' and suchlike, I've asked that smartass question, 'bees in tree cavities have max insulation and little ventilation, so why do you seem to be promoting the opposite?' There is no answer, of course, and usually the reply is something like, 'this is what works for me - and if I don't ventilate sufficiently, I get chalkbrood.' (You don't need to be an old beekeeper to have this view.)

So instead of looking for differences, I read Ian Craig's guide to see what I could learn, and, not least because he can write, I am finding that there is a substantial body of beekeeping sense - or so it seems to me.
I agree. What puts me off is that it is very "wordy". 27 pages; however, I recognise that some beekeepers hold some practices very dear and others reject those same practices. A classic was during a practical exam when I reinstated the QE exactly as it was on an Association hive when I had opened it. The displeased examiner told me that the slots ran the "wrong way" despite my pointing out that it had clearly been that way for some months and other hives in the apiary were similarly configured - it didn't seem to be detrimental to those colonies. My conclusion is in matters of detail the test is how the bees respond. If it works for them, it works.
 
I've just read the first three months of Ian Craig's guide to the beekeeping year. Obviously it was written a while ago, and has been informed by many decades of experience of what works, possibly at the expense of considering other ways that might also work.

Even when I ignore the stuff which is different from practices promoted here, I find that there is a lot of sensible material remaining.

A couple of times at talks on 'What I've learned from fifty years of beekeeping' and suchlike, I've asked that smartass question, 'bees in tree cavities have max insulation and little ventilation, so why do you seem to be promoting the opposite?' There is no answer, of course, and usually the reply is something like, 'this is what works for me - and if I don't ventilate sufficiently, I get chalkbrood.' (You don't need to be an old beekeeper to have this view.)

So instead of looking for differences, I read Ian Craig's guide to see what I could learn, and, not least because he can write, I am finding that there is a substantial body of beekeeping sense - or so it seems to me.
:iagree:
 

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