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NZBF Contemplating conversion from FD to 3/4

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As @M4tt said. 3 x 3/4 boxes for brood. That is slightly larger than 2 x FD boxes.

That's a big draughty space for a wee nuc to go into in the chilly springtime

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That's a big draughty space for a wee nuc to go into in the chilly springtime

Agreed. You need to grow the hive size as the bee population grows

You can run two 3/4 brood boxes with an excluder , but one 3/4 brood box is a bit small

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That's a big draughty space for a wee nuc to go into in the chilly springtime

Sorry. We were talking about a hive that swarmed. In the spring I run 3 x 3/4 brood boxes.

If I had a 5 frame nuc now (which I do) then they will stary in that 5 frame NUC until spring time. Then they will go into a 10 x 3/4 frame etc until they get to 3 x 3/4 boxes.

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Started with one and a super. Got the second brood box on and lost them on the rewa rewa flow.

 

2x 3/4 brood is generally enough. having it as a single may have set them off. putting a second brood box on doesn't always make them change their mind. also there is loads of factors in swarm.

i tried 3x 3/4 and they never put brood in the third.

 

while a FD + 3/4 may technically be a better size, being able to swap frames around is more important and certainly more useful then an "ideal" brood size.

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Sorry. We were talking about a hive that swarmed. In the spring I run 3 x 3/4 brood boxes.

If I had a 5 frame nuc now (which I do) then they will stary in that 5 frame NUC until spring time. Then they will go into a 10 x 3/4 frame etc until they get to 3 x 3/4 boxes.

I am interested in this configuration and I do like my excluder (there is something terribly unromantic about picking larvae out of your honey) sounds like it needs more regular attention than the double FD next to it.

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It important that people understand how the bees handle the brood nest without an excluder - read my "Easy Bee keeping". My strong hives can grow to 6 * 3/4 boxes (even up to 7), and the art is to insert boxes of alternated drawn/foundation INTO the brood nest when the hive is growing fast, gives the bees space and lots of work to take their mind off swarming.

As the season passes, there may even be some brood right in the top box, but as the season progresses the brood hatches out and the cells are filled with honey, and the brood nest sinks down into the lower 3 boxes which is what I aim to go through winter. So I take the top 3 boxes off in a couple of collections, usually 30-40 Kg.

And when harvesting honey, every frame is carefully checked for capping and brood (of course) and if there is any brood the frame is not taken, may well be swapped for a well capped frame from the box below. Or no frames taken, and come back in 3 weeks and all will have been cleared, filled, and capped.

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I don't anticipate too much trouble with the boxes, I bought 10 FD boxes complete with frames so 100 plastic frames to replace or convert. I tried a little experiment today, cut 55mm from the bottom of a frame and then glued the bottom section back on with silicone mastic which is inert once cured so should be ok.

 

If the frames are new... why dont you swap them for 3/4 frames with someone by arrangement.

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Any takers? I have only just started cutting them down but it seemed to me that most people were going the other way, ie. FD to 3/4.

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while a FD + 3/4 may technically be a better size,

I thought the thing about 3/4 was that a double is the right size for a cluster, a single FD being too small and

two of them too big....

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I thought the thing about 3/4 was that a double is the right size for a cluster, a single FD being too small and

two of them too big....

yes, but it kinda depends on how fast the queen lays. i've had completely lay out 2x FD brood boxes before.

fd+3/4 would be better for those faster queens, but i suspect 2x 3/4 is probably about right for average queens.

both my two hives at home here, 2x 3/4 broods, have yet to completely lay out both 3/4's.

 

with such variability, the "right size brood boxes" is not all that important. better to have boxes all the same so you can increase or decrease when required and do frame swaps etc.

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@DuncanCook How many FD for 3/4 are you wanting to swap?

 

Sorry for the delay in reply, I am zipping between home and Auckland at the mo doing a few little maintenance jobs for our daughter.

 

I started with 10 FD but I am planning to leave FD brood boxes and I have a FD box above each one that is full of honey for winter stores so will probably leave them for the time being. I have already converted 2 boxes which only leaves 4 = 40 frames.

Now I have got the hang of it I can convert a frame in less than 10 minutes so probably just as easy to bimble away and do the rest while it is raining this week.

 

ps. I tested one for strength, once the silicone is fully cured you have to cut to separate them and is hard to tell from original so I am quite pleased.

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@DuncanCook we know well the road between Auck and the Waikato...for similar reasons

Sounds like you know what you're doing with the FD to 3/4 frames

Well done

We have 1 hive with FD frames on the bottom and the top 3/4 the other 2 hives are both double FD boxes.

It's good to be working comparisons.

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@DuncanCook we know well the road between Auck and the Waikato...for similar reasons

Sounds like you know what you're doing with the FD to 3/4 frames

Well done

We have 1 hive with FD frames on the bottom and the top 3/4 the other 2 hives are both double FD boxes.

It's good to be working comparisons.

 

Sounds as though we have very similar set ups and experience (or lack of in my case) I should probably inspect more often than I do but my philosophy is that it only upsets the girls and half the time I don't really knowe what I am looking at anyway.

 

ref. Auckland trips, odd thing is that when our parents were in their 70's we were running around looking after them. That doesn't seem to be working for us though, still get the call when anything goes wrong.

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Sounds as though we have very similar set ups and experience (or lack of in my case) I should probably inspect more often than I do but my philosophy is that it only upsets the girls and half the time I don't really knowe what I am looking at anyway.

 

 

 

Kind of what I was getting at with my posts about my 3/4 hives. I found that they need slightly more attention not less.

 

My philosophy is the more you manage your bees the less upset they get, they get used to interruptions. Check out bees at bee clubs; gentle and constantly inspected.

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My philosophy is the more you manage your bees the less upset they get, they get used to interruptions. Check out bees at bee clubs; gentle and constantly inspected.

thats more about clubs etc simply removing anything thats not nice and gentle.

ever inspection is an invasion on a hive. thats why i don't like beeks playing with hives.

i prefer doing least possible but doing the right work at the right time. ie get in a do the work but otherwise hands off, let the bees do their thing.

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Kind of what I was getting at with my posts about my 3/4 hives. I found that they need slightly more attention not less.

 

My philosophy is the more you manage your bees the less upset they get, they get used to interruptions. Check out bees at bee clubs; gentle and constantly inspected.

The bees in my back yard (that get played with often) are no different to my bees on farms.... I highly doubt they get used to being inspected, more likely that because you are more familiar with that hive you know the gear better and take it apart in a more careful way.....

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thats more about clubs etc simply removing anything thats not nice and gentle.

ever inspection is an invasion on a hive. thats why i don't like beeks playing with hives.

i prefer doing least possible but doing the right work at the right time. ie get in a do the work but otherwise hands off, let the bees do their thing.

 

So you are suggesting to someone who doesn't know what they are doing to act like a commercial keeper. I can see a problem with that approach.

 

Overinspecting is clearly preferable to underinspecting for a novice.

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So you are suggesting to someone who doesn't know what they are doing to act like a commercial keeper. I can see a problem with that approach.

 

Overinspecting is clearly preferable to underinspecting for a novice.

As long as you know how to safely work a hive.....

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The bees in my back yard (that get played with often) are no different to my bees on farms.... I highly doubt they get used to being inspected, more likely that because you are more familiar with that hive you know the gear better and take it apart in a more careful way.....

 

Interesting take on familiarity of gear but I give the hive a lot of credit for knowing what is going on but yes confidence and familiarity must play a part.

 

I did a cut out the other day through very rotten weather boards so pretty gentle goin in, obviously a totally undisturbed hive .I had 50+ stings stuck in my gloves. Perhaps just aggressive bees but maybe they were unused to being disturbed.

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Overinspecting is clearly preferable to underinspecting for a novice.

true, but often that gets taken to extremes. i've seen them pull a hive apart every day. or in the middle of winter. its not needed, leave the bees alone.

they really need to know what they are going to do and plan their hive visit.

and that knowledge and planning really is the key.

 

its not a hobbyist vers commercial thing.

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its not a hobbyist vers commercial thing.

Dang ! Things have been too quiet lately.

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More novice v experience?

FD v 3/4 frames?

Wood v Plastic?

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