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Do I need to swap the brood boxes again?


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I swapped the two FD brood boxes over 9 weeks ago to give the queen more laying room as she was running out, now the problem has arrised again, is it common practice to swap the brood boxes again? There is very little stores and brood in the lower box, most brood is in the top, and because I didn't use a queen excluder the 3/4 honey box is now a brood box with lots of honey around the sides, I should of used a queen excluder, if I use one now will the drones get trapped and die?

 

Another quick question, I split hive 2 last week, picked off all the queen cells that were in the new box with the queen, looked today and there were a dozen supersudure cells, some capped and some very close to being capped, does this mean my newly split hive may swarm? Or just a coincidence the bees want to supersede the queen during a swarm split?

I saw the queen and lots of fresh eggs in nice new comb the bees made over the last week.

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@HSV_Darren are you using a mesh base board? Sounds as though the lower box is simply too cold. Make sure the hive gets good sun and close up any drafty holes in the base. If the area is windy you might try placing something to act as a wind break.

Hi Rob, I do use a mesh bottom board, and the hives get first sun, but is exposed to the wind as we live on a hill, I could make a wind break, should I still swap the boxes or leave as is? Cheers

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I swapped the two FD brood boxes over ......., most brood is in the top, and ...........the 3/4 honey box is now a brood box with lots of honey around the sides,

they won't use the bottom brood box because they are using the 3/4 super as a brood box.

 

make sure the queen is not in the 3/4, fit an excluder and let the drones out next time you open the hive.

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Hi Rob, I do use a mesh bottom board, and the hives get first sun, but is exposed to the wind as we live on a hill, I could make a wind break, should I still swap the boxes or leave as is? Cheers

Close up the mesh base or swap it for a solid one. Wind break is a good idea. If the bottom box is drawn out then I wouldn't swap it. The bees will expand down into it eventually. If it's more than half undrawn then I'd swap the boxes.

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If there are a dozen queen cells, they won't be supercedure cells.

They are either swarm cells, or emergency cells , ( if the queen isn't there) and yes, they will probably swarm if all those are left in there

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If there are a dozen queen cells, they won't be supercedure cells.

They are either swarm cells, or emergency cells , ( if the queen isn't there) and yes, they will probably swarm if all those are left in there

Hi M4tt, I don't quite understand why there would be new swarm cells or emergency cells, the queen is last springs and is a great layer, the split method I use was one from Dave Cushman, it was said to have a 95% chance of not swarming, the queen went into a new FD box on the original site with all the foregers, she got put into the new hive on the frame she was found on and the rest of the frames were undrawn foundation, also the honey box went on this hive, so she had all the room she needs but still the bees made queen cells.

One week later I swapped the position of the queen right split and the queenlees portion so the queenlees half get some foregers.

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the queen went into a new FD box on the original site with all the foregers,

There's your answer. The hive was all ready thinking of swarming before you split.

Part or swarm prevention is separating the queen from the flying bees, and yours were still all together getting on with it.

Removing the brood and nurse bees can make them even more determined.

Queens that are great layers can still swarm and become great layers in their new location, for another season or two. Swarming is just one of the tricks up natures sleeve to ensure survival of their species

 

 

Im a fan of swapping brood boxes around if one is full of brood and one has empty comb

Yep me too. I like the bulk of my bees and the guards right by the entrance

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, the queen went into a new FD box on the original site with all the foregers, she got put into the new hive on the frame she was found on and the rest of the frames were undrawn foundation, also the honey box went on this hive, so she had all the room she needs but still the bees made queen cells.

she actually didn't have any room due to the foundation. she was restricted to one frame and that will make them want to swarm.

 

i prefer to copy (more or less) what they do naturally. ie split the hive and take away the queen in the split.

all the foragers and scouts come back to a queenless hive thats reduced in population, just like it had swarmed.

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she actually didn't have any room due to the foundation. she was restricted to one frame and that will make them want to swarm.

 

i prefer to copy (more or less) what they do naturally. ie split the hive and take away the queen in the split.

all the foragers and scouts come back to a queenless hive thats reduced in population, just like it had swarmed.

 

I am 100% with @tristan on this. Split for swarm prevention by artificially swarming and removing the Q in a split. The split (normal nuc strength) can stay on site as long as you cover / block the entrance to it so they have to re-orientate to the split. Seems to work well for me re stopping swarming and the split holds its bees.

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Sounds like an opportunity has risen for you and a club member for a 3/4 nuc. As you're aware of the difficulty of getting 3/4 nucs order last year and it will be the same this year.

Suggest you use the queen cells when it gets capped and split. Wait for it to lay and collect $ at the going rate. Tee up with club member on the club website and get them involve in the whole process of surrogacy. Get the new 5 frames and foundation from your purchaser as the replacement. Problem solved.

I will be intentionally adding 3/4 brood box on my FD hives for that purpose.

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Sounds like an opportunity has risen for you and a club member for a 3/4 nuc. As you're aware of the difficulty of getting 3/4 nucs order last year and it will be the same this year.

Suggest you use the queen cells when it gets capped and split. Wait for it to lay and collect $ at the going rate. Tee up with club member on the club website and get them involve in the whole process of surrogacy. Get the new 5 frames and foundation from your purchaser as the replacement. Problem solved.

I will be intentionally adding 3/4 brood box on my FD hives for that purpose.

I was thinking the same thing P K. If I make a split using the 3/4 frames I would not have 3/4 with pollen go in the split, whould that matter?

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I swapped the two FD brood boxes over 9 weeks ago to give the queen more laying room as she was running out, now the problem has arrised again, is it common practice to swap the brood boxes again? There is very little stores and brood in the lower box, most brood is in the top, and because I didn't use a queen excluder the 3/4 honey box is now a brood box with lots of honey around the sides, I should of used a queen excluder, if I use one now will the drones get trapped and die?

 

Another quick question, I split hive 2 last week, picked off all the queen cells that were in the new box with the queen, looked today and there were a dozen supersudure cells, some capped and some very close to being capped, does this mean my newly split hive may swarm? Or just a coincidence the bees want to supersede the queen during a swarm split?

I saw the queen and lots of fresh eggs in nice new comb the bees made over the last week.

No you shouldn't need to swap them back, unless you want to, the queen will move freely between them if she can.

 

I run all mesh bases, I have never closed off a mesh base, for the most part my hives are very strong and healthy.

 

Over winter they are FD single brood boxes with a queen excluder and a FD box at least half full of honey depending on the site.

 

In spring when I go around and put in my varroa strips I take out the queen excluder and pretty well on the same day the bees will move up into it, when the queen gets up there she loves it and she lays like stink and it gives the hives a good boost.

 

Then I go around and I see how they're doing and grade them out of 10, 1 mark per 2 frames of bees in the hive.

If they are or stay under a 5 too long they are requeened.

 

When I go to give them their next box I pull them all apart and check them thoroughly and find the queens and put them down into the bottom box and put the excluder in.

 

I want that bottom box to have next to no brood in it and combs for the queen to lay straight into or it's just going to swarm so I'll lift brood into the 2 or maybe the centre of the 3rd box if I have to.

 

Because you have different sized gear you could just find Queenie and then gently flick her into the box you want her in.

It's highly likely if she's filled up the top box she will go down again on her own.

 

It's good not to have too many stores in the bottom if you are trying to run them in one box(as long as they have food somewhere), they like to lay right to the outside frames when they're pumping.

 

Because I'm always lifting brood the drones do sometimes get stuck above or in the excluder, if the hive is strong you could give them a top entrance to get out.

I only bother to do this if there are a lot of drones and the hive is strong enough to defend from the top and the bottom.

 

Does the queen in your split have space to lay?

If the queens run out of laying room they may well try to swarm.

 

Where did the queen for your split come from?

Is she laying single eggs? If she is laying multiple eggs she might be a dud queen.

Sometimes the bees know things we don't, perhaps she didn't mate well.

I've had a few supercedures this year, it's not necessarily bad.

Photos are always good if you can put some up

:D

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I was thinking the same thing P K. If I make a split using the 3/4 frames I would not have 3/4 with pollen go in the split, whould that matter?

Not really knowing what you have in the 3/4 makes it difficult to comment. If you're intending to split it as a nuc, may be put the 3/4 as the bottom box with excluder for a little while so all the foragers deposit their load. Maybe with the queen as well to lay up a few more worker brood. Not sure if that would work. I like to experiment with bee keeping. Cut out swarm cells capped and uncapped today placing them on a bar. Capped ones in a hair roller to see what happens next. That's instead of grafting.

Stopped a swarm from traveling too far using sprinkler today. Now in someone's top bar hive with a frame of top bar brood from my experimental hive. I posted top bar coversion photo in @dansar thread about top bar hive.

I learn on the basis of what would the bees do if I did this or that and wait for the outcome with some expectations.

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Where did the queen for your split come from?

Is she laying single eggs? If she is laying multiple eggs she might be a dud queen.

Sometimes the bees know things we don't, perhaps she didn't mate well.

I've had a few supercedures this year, it's not necessarily bad.

Photos are always good if you can put some up

:D

The split came from my most calm hive, which was my strongest, I took two capped queen cells out of the queen right split and took the cells to Featherston to my grumpy hive that I split also, I put the cells into the queenless split there and picked out all the cell the grumpy bees made, hopefully I get a nice calm hive, the split at home that made queen cells, I picked the remaining cells out because the split had a queen, if this stops it from swarming I don't know, but so far so good, the queen is laying big time in newly drawn comb.

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Yep it pays to only leave one or two if making a swarm cell split or they can still swarm from the split.

If you think the queens ok and it's laying well just cut the cells out.

Because it wasn't really a split by the sounds of it more of a requeen then they could well be trying to swarm.

Just make sure queenie has plenty of laying room and it should be ok.

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