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Warm way or cold way?

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jenkinsbrynmair 

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Just wondering if there's a danger of a virgin queen returning from a mating flight getting into the wrong hive by mistake if side by side?
I have my mating nucs (all more or less the same colour) lined up on one stand, maybe five or six in a row sometimes with only a little room between them, never had a problem, but just in case all my nucs are numbered front and back.
Only once I can remember, It was at the association apiary (before I took over) an old marked queen being introduced to a hopelessly queenless nuc at the end of the stand, which was sat next door to another (also queenless - don't ask, I can't remember what it was all about, or why, may have been a test frame in there) a week later, no sign of the queen in the first nuc, opened up the second nuc to see if we had QC's on the test frame, we didn't, but there was the old,marked queen wandering around.
I think this whole drifting concern is just another thing we have just invented for us to have something to fret about.
 

Arfermo 

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I want mine with pink and yellow dots on sepia/red striped background. Any offers?
 

Barbarian 

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I prefer to have my frames warm way.

If I have a frame that needs replacing I put it next to the entrance. The Q seems relucant to lay on this cold frame so I can lift it out when all the larvae have hatched/reduced.
 

Little_bees 

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I want mine with pink and yellow dots on sepia/red striped background. Any offers?
Go for it.
Bees can't see red/pink but they'll be able to see the yellow dots. You could arrange them in number values like on dice and see if you've got that particular clever subtype of bees who can count the dots.😉
 

elainemary 

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I have my mating nucs (all more or less the same colour) lined up on one stand, maybe five or six in a row sometimes with only a little room between them, never had a problem, but just in case all my nucs are numbered front and back.
Only once I can remember, It was at the association apiary (before I took over) an old marked queen being introduced to a hopelessly queenless nuc at the end of the stand, which was sat next door to another (also queenless - don't ask, I can't remember what it was all about, or why, may have been a test frame in there) a week later, no sign of the queen in the first nuc, opened up the second nuc to see if we had QC's on the test frame, we didn't, but there was the old,marked queen wandering around.
I think this whole drifting concern is just another thing we have just invented for us to have something to fret about.
Ok thanks, that’s good to know
 

elainemary 

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In reality most bees aren't sloppy navigators (unless diseased/poisoned).

Drones will always wander regardless of apiary configuration. Queens usually do their last minute fine-tuning by the pheromones of workers at the entrance/landing board.
I’ve seen that happen 2 or 3 times now, a great sight, welcoming her home
 

BeeKeyPlayer 

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It makes no difference which way they are- the cold/warm 'difference' is just another myth
I'm sure you're right that it makes no difference to the bees. But there are advantages to the beekeeper which are more than just where you want to stand during inspections. Some on here have already hinted at this.

As someone recently pointed out to me, there are times when you want a frame mostly of pollen (queen-rearing protein), or of honey (for nucs etc), and this is more likely to be available if the frames are parallel with the front of the hive (warm way). Pollen will be at the front of the brood nest, honey behind. Cold way tends to have a bit of everything on most frames.

There's also, during colony build-up, the possibility of getting drawn comb in, what my friend called, a 'hot slot' between the nest and the honey.
 
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oliver90owner 

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Tom Seeley found that in feral nests there is no preference for the orientation of comb.

Did he compare compass direction or just orientation compared to the entrance? Colonies nesting some way from the entrance should beignored and ley lines might make the bees choose one way compared to another? I think it might often be a matter of the most economical way to build comb, when the bees arrive at the new nest. There is no choice with Langstroth hives? And some other types. But Langstroth gave his bees no choice in his hives.🙂

Anyone have nucleus hives with frames the warm way? Even Langstroth are the cold way. I would suggest the position of your hives, for inspection, might be the factor on which to base your choice?

Bees will always prefer to build forwards from the warmer rear of the box. For weaker colnies, does one way or the other encourage wasp entry? Any other factors to consider, anyone?

Perhaps it needs someone with multiple skeps to make an experiment - with entries at various directions. I reckon they would start building comb at the warmest part of the skep - whether furthest from the door, closet to the Sun, or whatever. Possibly they would just build downwards, from the centre top?
 

Hebeegeebee 

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As colonies go into autumn, the brood nest will be by the entrance with the honey behind and above, so the food can be protected; there's no point the bees being at the rear at this time of year as they will potentially lose their stores to robbers. Thankfully there are no real predators in spring so the bees can nest where it's warmer - and as winter progresses, the bees move up the comb towards the top of the hive.
Does the cold way allow bees to get to the entrance quicker when wasps are about? Possibly.
 

Little_bees 

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Does the cold way allow bees to get to the entrance quicker when wasps are about? Possibly.
The guard bees are close by the entrance whichever way the frames are orientated.

In relation to other bees getting to the entrance, I'm assuming they go down to the floor then straight across, rather than up and down each frame. That wouldn't make sense at all.
Bees that need to be near the entrance, e.g foragers, tend to stay in that area anyway.
 

Little_bees 

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IMG_20200729_145830171.jpg

This was the underside of a friend's hive floor after a failed swarm when the Queen returned and undershot the entrance.
The frames were cold way in the hive but the returning swarm built neatly 'warm way' relative to front of the hive.
In case it's relevant, the hive faced south and was very well sheltered.
 

derekm 

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My apiary is a bit windy, so I thought (rightly or not) warm way is better. I also prefer working bees standing behind the hive.
The interaction of the stand, prevailing wind and the open mesh will dominate. Even low speed winds ~ 1ms-1 can cause currents next to the crownboard and disrupt the natural covection unless the bees counteract it.
 

gmonag 

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Tom Seeley found that in feral nests there is no preference for the orientation of comb.

Did he compare compass direction or just orientation compared to the entrance? ....
Quote from "The Nest of the Honeybee", Seeley and Morse:

We noted in 15 nests the direction of the main plane in which combs were aligned. The directions of these planes were randomly distributed with respect to both the nest entrance and the earth. ULRICH (quoted by WERNER-MEYER, 1960) had previously demonstrated random comb orientation with respect to the entrance.
 

BeeKeyPlayer 

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The interaction of the stand, prevailing wind and the open mesh will dominate. Even low speed winds ~ 1ms-1 can cause currents next to the crownboard and disrupt the natural covection unless the bees counteract it.
Struggling a bit with this. The interaction... will dominate what?

I've looked ms-1 up now and see you're talking about a wind speed of 2.238mph. And this causes movement of air which, after it has crept up through the frames to the underside of the crownboard, does what?

And does it make a difference if your frames are warm or cold way?
 

Beebe 

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The interaction of the stand, prevailing wind and the open mesh will dominate. Even low speed winds ~ 1ms-1 can cause currents next to the crownboard and disrupt the natural covection unless the bees counteract it.
Is that an argument for having solid floors or, at least, leaving the inspection-tray in place permanently?
 

derekm 

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At 20C, in an absence of obstruction by hive stands or bees, wind underneath at low velocity bends in as it crosses under the floor walls. it then hits the far side floor wall. Part of it is deflected upwards. This part goes through the mesh up the brood box wall, hits the crownboard and then moves across the frames along the crown board.
It wont matter warm way or cold way as the wind can always come from another direction.
 

derekm 

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Is that an argument for having solid floors or, at least, leaving the inspection-tray in place permanently?
Definitely. Much bigger effect than warm or cold way. But if you leave the inspection tray in you need to also seal the slot it goes in otherwise its worse.
 

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