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document: Easy Bee keeping for hobbyists in New Zealand

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tudor submitted a new resource:

 

[plain]Easy Bee keeping for hobbyists in New Zealand[/plain] - [plain]One Size Boxes no queen excluder[/plain]

 

 

  1. Summary

 

An early draft of this book.[ATTACH=full]10566[/ATTACH]

 

The goal of Easy Bee keeping is happy and healthy bees and bee keepers. And keep your hives alive, not swarming, and bringing in enough honey so you can take some.

 

It is based on One Size Box (¾ or also called “medium”) and no queen excluder (unless the bee keeper specifically wants to use one). Many principles are similar to those of “Conventional Bee keeping”, and some are very...

 

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"And one can give ¾ frames of brood for use in a FD brood box hive".

 

I am likely being dense but what does your last sentence mean, see above,

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Hi Howie,

If you want to give another BK some frames of brood (with or without eggs) who has a FD brood box, you can use 3/4 frames which are not of the right size. The bees don't worry, and immediately drawn some drone size cells below the frame and after a while it looks just like a FD frame.

And you can then remove the extra wax with your hive tool, and its back to a 3/4 again. Neat.

Regards.

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Your proposed system appears to be very similar to the 'Rose Hive System' that uses all the same size 3/4 boxes for brood and supering up with additional boxes of the same size, and even very similar to the 'Warre Hive System' where , again you use the same size of boxes, but you nadir the boxes and place them under the stack and allow the colony to build brood comb down into the new box, leaving the honey in the upper most box for harvest.

I do agree with using all the same size 3/4 boxes for brood and honey for convenience.

Hope your book is a great success.

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This is fast becoming my first port of call before I foray into the Great Forum and seek the Wisdom and dodge the bullets :-) ...I esp like the process from moving FD to 3/4... and like the "right <.....>" format....many thanks

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Hey @West Coast Kid

Thanks for your comments.

Please raise any other issues you want me to work on.

Regards.

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Hey @West Coast Kid

Thanks for your comments.

Please raise any other issues you want me to work on.

Regards.

 

Hey @tudor - not so much a work on...but regarding the swap from FD to a 3/4 set up - Is there a best/preferable time of year to do this? I am currently running two hives, each comprising a FD Brood (both bought) and a 3/4 Super on top of that (for brood expansion and stores) and intention is to continue with 3/4 honey supers. Would like to move to a 3/4 set-up and a bit stuck on the timing or to leave the FD Broods in place...but when I want to split??... newbies eh? :rofl: Thanks.

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Hi,

I would not change much now as the hives would have good populations, and lots of honey in already, and more coming. Now its time for the crop. It would be like doing a split now, it upsets the cart.

I have tended to do this in the early season when the hive is growing and there is little honey in the FD box. When the queen has set up shop above the excluder and the brood has hatched out in the FD box, you may not need to put the FD box up the top for recovery of honey, so its not sacrificed.

Regards.

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Hi,

I would not change much now as the hives would have good populations, and lots of honey in already, and more coming. Now its time for the crop. It would be like doing a split now, it upsets the cart.

I have tended to do this in the early season when the hive is growing and there is little honey in the FD box. When the queen has set up shop above the excluder and the brood has hatched out in the FD box, you may not need to put the FD box up the top for recovery of honey, so its not sacrificed.

Regards.

many thanks...will sit tight and wait until next year... appreciate the info and time (y):)

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Hi @tudor - sorry, this may seem like a silly question, but how exactly should the change from a FD box (with brood) be done if the frames being added to the 3/4 boxes don't have any drawn foundation i.e. they are brand new out of the factory? Will it take long for the bees to start drawing out comb so there is enough space for the queen to lay? Thanks.

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Hi @JayBee Good question, I'll discuss this in the next draft of the book.

 

A box of foundation may not be used by the bees, but if the queen is there I would be confident that the bees start drawing immediately as long as there is some flow, or you feed them.

However, safer would be to remove from the FD box a couple of frames without brood, and put 2 3/4 frames with foundation just next to the brood frames, on each side. The bees will probably draw those frames quickly, and you can use them in the 3/4 box with foundation frames to draw the bees up. And there will be cells for the queen to lay in straight away. And put back the FD frames you took out.

 

So it puts you back a week or so, no long time.

 

Regards.

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Thank you! That makes SO much sense! :)

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Hello again - managed to come up with another question! When converting from a FD to a medium hive, what is the reasoning behind placing an empty medium box between the two medium boxes and FD box containing honey (for internal robbing), as opposed to just placing the FD box right on top of the excluder and medium boxes? Thanks.

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Hello again - managed to come up with another question! When converting from a FD to a medium hive, what is the reasoning behind placing an empty medium box between the two medium boxes and FD box containing honey (for internal robbing), as opposed to just placing the FD box right on top of the excluder and medium boxes? Thanks.

The extra vacant space gives the bees the impression that the wets are not part of their own hive and rob it out and take the honey back down to their frames. This generally leaves the frames pretty dry.

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Spot on @Trevor Gillbanks , this applies to extracted frames and the FD to be retired. Can I quote you directly in the book ?

 

regards.

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Spot on @Trevor Gillbanks , this applies to extracted frames and the FD to be retired. Can I quote you directly in the book ?

 

regards.

Yes. No problem at all.

Just as an extra with the wets. I have a hole in my hive mats and I put that on the hive mat,then put the wets above that. I also use a 90mm spacer/feeder ring to give the separation.

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How big is the hole ?

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How big is the hole ?

The initial hole is 64mm (that is the size of my hole saw) and I have it fully open for feeding. When I clean wets I restrict the opening to about 3 or 4 bee spaces. This just makes it a little more difficult for the bees in their robbing mode, and I further enhances the idea that the wets are not part of the hive (IMHO)

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I'm really enjoying reading your draft @tudor (and obviously enjoying coming up with questions, too)! On page 20, you mention that you like to use frame feeders - is there a reason you prefer them over top feeders?

 

Also, in the 'Getting Started Right' chapter, you recommend a winter structure as consisting of three medium boxes - would there be an issue if a colony went into winter with just two medium boxes (and lots of honey and pollen stores around the brood nest)? Thanks.

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Hi @JayBee

 

Frame feeders small and convenient, and we feed so seldom that top feeders are clumsy and a hang over from commercial bee keeping. And if you want space for the bees to work wax cappings or a big feed, put on an empty 3/4 box and a container to use.

 

Winter structure can be what you want, or rather the bees want, and can be 1 - 4 boxes !

 

I aim for 3, m1 having stores (often pollen is being stored now) and honey and some brood, m2 lots brood and stores, m3 mainly stores and lots honey. The bees seem happy with setting up in 3 boxes, which gives them space to make a nice cluster which moves as winter goes on. But some settle well into 2, and i sometimes leave an another box with uncapped honey at m3.

 

And no excluder ...

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