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When do you nadir your hives?

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Etton 

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When do you nadir... ie leave a super below the brood box over winter and reverse in the spring?
I intend to use apivar this year and would like to nadir first so I’m not moving the BB with the strips inside or when I remove them. Therefore will nadir this week. Then feed once the strips are in.
 

Erichalfbee 

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First ask yourself why you are putting a super under. Is it full of food for the bees? Then it goes on top. Do they really need it? Even a National has room for all the food the bees need for winter. They want 7/8 frames of stores. There is always the option for fondant on the top bars in February if they are running low. Nadiring a shallow is simply a device for getting the bees to move uncapped stores into the brood box. Bees won't leave stores underneath them, they will move them if there is room in the brood. If you're on brood and a half then it doesn't matter where your half is but leave it where it is now.
If there are uncapped stores to move then do it before you feed.
Ten years ago hardly anybody put boxes under, now people are doing it for the wrong reasons
Also remember there are wasps about and a box of stores at the entrance is much more difficult to defend
 
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First ask yourself why you are putting a super under. Is it full of food for the bees? Then it goes on top. Do they really need it? Even a National has room for all the food the bees need for winter. They want 7/8 frames of stores. There is always the option for fondant on the top bars in February if they are running low. Nadiring a shallow is simply a device for getting the bees to move uncapped stores into the brood box. Bees won't leave stores underneath them, they will move them if there is room in the brood. If you're on brood and a half then it doesn't matter where your half is but leave it where it is now.
If there are uncapped stores to move then do it before you feed.
Ten years ago hardly anybody put boxes under, now people are doing it for the wrong reasons
Also remember there are wasps about and a box of stores at the entrance is much more difficult to defend
Thank you Dani, that's the clearest, detailed explanation I've seen.
 

Erichalfbee 

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The idea of nadiring is to let the bees build so that the brood nest moves downwards. The bees will then store honey in the empty cells that have been vacated above. If the colony isn't expanding then they won't build .
Yes
Etton is talking about winter configuration though.
 

madasafish 

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I run Langstroth jumbos - brood box twice the size of a standard National.
I nadir in winter, mainly because my hives are on 25-30cm stands - partially with OMF (closed for winter) and partially solid floors..
I nadir because it can be very windy, we are in a frost pocket and the garden is exposed to the North. A 30 mph wind into an entrance creates a lot of draughts..

It would take an extremely prolific queen to lay in the nadired supers- not happened- ever..They are removed end March .

If I kept bees close to the ground.I would not nadir . but it is very damp - and my back does not like bending..(I used to have sciatica)
 
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Etton 

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Thanks for comments and advice. I have nontheless today removed QE’s and nadired my hives with a view to removing them in early spring and have placed apivar strips to combat varroa.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Thanks for comments and advice. I have nontheless today removed QE’s and nadired my hives with a view to removing them in early spring and have placed apivar strips to combat varroa.
The bees are going to be busy for the next week shifting those stores
 

Etton 

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I should have added that part of my plan this year was to get more drawn comb for next years splits and swarms, so by running double or brood and a half and nadiring now, then next spring I will have a fresh supply empty drawn comb.
 

Etton 

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Also realised today that by nadiring, I’m bringing the current brood nest (I saw lots of sealed brood) to the warmth of the top of the Hive.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Also realised today that by nadiring, I’m bringing the current brood nest (I saw lots of sealed brood) to the warmth of the top of the Hive.
but they'll spend the next week or two moving the stores in the nadir up above the brood, and in doing so, the cluster will move down again
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes. That is exactly what’s going to happen and precisely what I said.
 

Etton 

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By nadiring, the brood is at the top of the hive and the only place the bees can therefore move the honey to is where (& when) the brood has emerged or the sides of the brood nest (which already has stores & pollen). Thanks for the warnings and I will leave some hives as you suggest without nadiring and try to compare results. By nadiring it also makes it a lot easier to remove the Apivar strips in 6 to 10 weeks, rather than separating the boxes and disturbing the colony.
 

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As a (relative) beginner I find this very confusing....

The argument for nadiring appears to be that initially any stores that were in the nadir when put under the brood box can be assimilated into those around the cluster in the brood box. Once that has happened leaving the nadir in place acts to lift the brood box away from the potentially draughty entrance while the empty frames act as baffles to further reduce cold air getting to the brood. If the stores have been moved out of the nadir then the potential for robbing is surely reduced as the intruders have to venture further into the hive to get to the stores. That all sounds good to me.

The argument against seems to be that the extra stores that come from the nadir may displace the brood and move it down into the nadir, closer to the entrance. If that's the case then surely the cluster is no closer to the entrance than if there was no nadir and at the same time the brood has a better stock of stores for the winter from the nadir. That also sounds good to me.

Is the argument against based on experience that the bees tend to build vertically rather than horizontally and may therefore leave open space at the side of the boxes, making the whole nest taller and therefore with a greater volume to heat?

Forgive me but unless that's the case I can't see the problem with nadiring. Please educate me! Thanks.
 

Amari 

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As a (relative) beginner I find this very confusing....

The argument for nadiring appears to be that initially any stores that were in the nadir when put under the brood box can be assimilated into those around the cluster in the brood box. Once that has happened leaving the nadir in place acts to lift the brood box away from the potentially draughty entrance while the empty frames act as baffles to further reduce cold air getting to the brood. If the stores have been moved out of the nadir then the potential for robbing is surely reduced as the intruders have to venture further into the hive to get to the stores. That all sounds good to me.

The argument against seems to be that the extra stores that come from the nadir may displace the brood and move it down into the nadir, closer to the entrance. If that's the case then surely the cluster is no closer to the entrance than if there was no nadir and at the same time the brood has a better stock of stores for the winter from the nadir. That also sounds good to me.

Is the argument against based on experience that the bees tend to build vertically rather than horizontally and may therefore leave open space at the side of the boxes, making the whole nest taller and therefore with a greater volume to heat?

Forgive me but unless that's the case I can't see the problem with nadiring. Please educate me! Thanks.
This nadiring conundrum has been aired several times on the forum. Personally I disagree with the fairly dogmatic opinion of our esteemed moderators, JBM and Dani above. I see nothing wrong with the bees working to move the stores upwards from the nadir. May I plead for less dogmatism on the forum? Every method in beekeeping has its pros and cons and we all see things differently. Of course there are a few tablets of stone: if you overwinter with two boxes always remove the queen excluder.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Personally I disagree with the fairly dogmatic opinion of our esteemed moderators, JBM and Dani above.
so because you disagree with it it's dogmatic.
Big difference between putting scraps of stores and uncapped/unripe honey below the brood for them to move up and the blinkered dumping of a whole super of capped stores beneath the brood where it's harder to defend and move up just because 'I've always done it this way'
 

Murox 

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As a (relative) beginner I find this very confusing....

The argument for nadiring appears to be that initially any stores that were in the nadir when put under the brood box can be assimilated into those around the cluster in the brood box. Once that has happened leaving the nadir in place acts to lift the brood box away from the potentially draughty entrance while the empty frames act as baffles to further reduce cold air getting to the brood. If the stores have been moved out of the nadir then the potential for robbing is surely reduced as the intruders have to venture further into the hive to get to the stores. That all sounds good to me.

The argument against seems to be that the extra stores that come from the nadir may displace the brood and move it down into the nadir, closer to the entrance. If that's the case then surely the cluster is no closer to the entrance than if there was no nadir and at the same time the brood has a better stock of stores for the winter from the nadir. That also sounds good to me.

Is the argument against based on experience that the bees tend to build vertically rather than horizontally and may therefore leave open space at the side of the boxes, making the whole nest taller and therefore with a greater volume to heat?

Forgive me but unless that's the case I can't see the problem with nadiring. Please educate me! Thanks.
Yes, but what a total waste of energy, beetime and nectar. Intrinsically there is nothing wrong with nadiring; however be very aware of why you choose to do it especially as it is one facet of a whole other system of keeping bees.
 

Swarm 

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The whole idea is for the convenience of the beekeeper who wants his/her supers clean and ready for next year. Nothing to do with what's best for the bees (have a look where they put their stores) They do all that work and then have to do it again, poor bees.
 
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