Jump to content
  • 0

GoED
 Share

Question

Background;

First check of the season done a few days ago. Couldn’t see brood but colony numbers seemed quite good. Orange, yellow sandy white coloured pollen coming in at Tanners Point. Just one Wintered down new hive -bees looked happy all winter. Very active. Have been top feeding my one hive over Winter having started with a nuc in late Autumn (long story, exited Auckland, returned to live in childhood stomping ground, thought I had swarm, didn’t, local commercial beekeeper took pity on me with a lovely nucleus and is now mentoring me when I need it) Colony seems to have expanded in numbers from 5 frames to 8 and amply covers all but the outside frames which are plastic. Full depth brood box. My girls seem to be stoically refusing to draw out comb on these outside frames. Bottom board was all wet and funky so I replaced it with a dry cedar bottom board. Kept the small winter entrance on. 

Did a quick initial check only- since the weather was changeable-8/10 frames choka with honey (and probably pollen when I take a closer look). Couldn’t spot any brood, and being a new bee hobbyist have had a slightly sleepless night worrying there’s no brood, and is my queen ok. Feel slightly better reading Dansars post re no brood yet. Replaced those undrawn frames with my only two decent drawn frames and moved them to position 4 and 7. 8/10 frames chock full of capped honey in what should be a brood box .

 

Will have another closer look for queen on the next sunny day.  I’m fairly confident she’s there. Colony very calm and busy all through Winter, bringing in nectar and pollen. Young active hive with a young mated queen who doesn’t seem to be laying at the moment but all indications are that she is present.

 

I Only have undrawn 3/4 frames and supers now -wax moth got all my other decent drawn out frames in the chaos of storage during move. Old hive ware all 3/4D. New Hiveware FD. 

 

Tanners point has a very mild climate and lots of flowers so our season might be early here, we are right on the sea, so Winter overnight temps 5-8 degrees, day temps are between 12-18degrees at the moment. 

Questions:

-do I need to find the queen? It seems a bit chilly still to unpick the hive....Wait till it’s a sunny day and temperature reaches 20 degrees to do a proper check and clean up of burr comb?

-when do I Stop feeding sugar syrup? The colony seems to be doing well with it available....I’m hesitant to stop. 

-putting two capped honey frames in the 1 and 10 positions seems daft if the Bees aren’t doing that- they had two empty undrawn frames on the outer edges where it was cold and damp, should I take these capped honey frames out and put the empty plastic frames back in position 1 and 10?

 

-at what temperature range is it reasonable to add another empty undrawn FD brood box? There’s no room for the queen to lay in this existing honey filled brood box...

-Do I take capped honey out  (and pollen probably) on FD frames, and keep it stored in a cool place, sealed away from wax moth -to put back later as bees require it? 

-my new colony is on FD frames. My existing hive ware is all 3/4 D and ihave enough ready to go for 2 x 6 super hives all 3/4 D. So- I’m planning to have the 2brood boxes FD and the honey supers 3/4 D. (Lifting FD honey supers might be a stretch for me)-do you see problems with this initial plan?

-when can I put another empty super FD brood box on? Baring in mind this new FD super only the new black plastic frames undrawn as yet, so it is going to take the workers a while to draw it out for queen to lay brood. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

11 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

You are asking a whole lot of questions there, which is fine , but I’ll have a go at one.

 

The frames at 1 and 10 are not the most favoured by the Bees . Leaving them undrawn our there won’t get them drawn unless your bees are very congested, which isn’t ideal . 

 

Its a bit early yet, but sooner or later it’s your job to move a honey frame out and the undrawn frame in so the bees will draw it. 

 

Its too early yet though . You risk chilling brood by expanding the brood nest .......

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 0

@GoED- as Matt said, a lot of questions and I wont attempt to answer many.

A mixture of box sizes can be frustrating, but as with all things beekeeping, opinion on that will differ. There have been several threads on here in the past 2 years dealing with this issue, and also how to achieve conversion . If you think lifting FD honey supers is going to be a stretch- remember you also have to lift the FD brood chamber off to examine the bottom box.

Can I suggest you have a serious read through all the threads here-(it takes weeks).... often gems are hidden in threads about seemingly unrelated topics. I know its not answering your question directly, but it will give you a range of information from which you will formulate your plan going forward. FYI- I started with mixed box sizes and frame styles, and have now converted all to 3/4- so I am clearly in the 3/4 camp. 

 

Re stopping feeding your hive- if I have understood you correctly, you have 8 FD frames of honey? That is about what a hive would be wintered with and as we are getting towards spring, I would suggest they have enough to get by on. If they start to eat some of their stores, there will be room for the queen to lay..

 

Happy reading

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 0

Ahhh that is very helpful thank you to both of you!

 

M4tt yes I was concerned I would chill brood at this early point in season if I added another brood box. 20 degrees today but half that overnight. Will stop feeding. The bees are flying and very active daily. Will now read as suggested.... Really appreciate the response.

 

Mummzie yes I’m in the 3/4 camp but my nuc arrived in FD frames and have expanded to a FD brood box following my mentors preference. All my other hiveware is 3/4 and I had prepped enough 3/4 ware for 2 hives, an investment not to be sniffed at.. Really appreciate the response.

 

 

D13F3E79-1748-46B1-9100-3498E2903B18.jpeg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 6/08/2018 at 6:43 PM, M4tt said:

You are asking a whole lot of questions there, which is fine , but I’ll have a go at one.

 

The frames at 1 and 10 are not the most favoured by the Bees . Leaving them undrawn our there won’t get them drawn unless your bees are very congested, which isn’t ideal . 

 

Its a bit early yet, but sooner or later it’s your job to move a honey frame out and the undrawn frame in so the bees will draw it. 

 

Its too early yet though . You risk chilling brood by expanding the brood nest .......

M4tt -had a look last weekend having stopped feeding them syrup. Yes the honey had been removed from the outsides of frame 1 and 10 and there were two frames of capped brood in spots 5 and 6. Laying pattern made my heart swell with motherly pride. Looks like the girls are making room for the maternity ward. Still didn’t see our Queen since I was trying hard not to keep the hive open too long, being August. I suspect she’s a real cracker. All Thanks to my mentor providing such a healthy nuc. I’m watching night temps waiting for them to rise above 10 degrees before I put a 3/4 super of drawn comb on top. Not far off. Night temps are at 7-8 degrees. While I’m waiting I’m freezing those 3/4 frames to kill the lesser wax moth eggs I know are lurking, reading posts as suggested, laughing till I cry at some of the subject streams, and along the way getting all my white belt questions answered, and more. 

Edited by GoED
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 6/08/2018 at 10:18 PM, Mummzie said:

@GoED- as Matt said, a lot of questions and I wont attempt to answer many.

A mixture of box sizes can be frustrating, but as with all things beekeeping, opinion on that will differ. There have been several threads on here in the past 2 years dealing with this issue, and also how to achieve conversion . If you think lifting FD honey supers is going to be a stretch- remember you also have to lift the FD brood chamber off to examine the bottom box.

Can I suggest you have a serious read through all the threads here-(it takes weeks).... often gems are hidden in threads about seemingly unrelated topics. I know its not answering your question directly, but it will give you a range of information from which you will formulate your plan going forward. FYI- I started with mixed box sizes and frame styles, and have now converted all to 3/4- so I am clearly in the 3/4 camp. 

 

Re stopping feeding your hive- if I have understood you correctly, you have 8 FD frames of honey? That is about what a hive would be wintered with and as we are getting towards spring, I would suggest they have enough to get by on. If they start to eat some of their stores, there will be room for the queen to lay..

 

Happy reading

Hi Mummzie Thank you for the tip to read the posts, I’m already finding answers to my questions...and also laughing till I cry with topics ranging as far as rhubarb crumble.....

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 0

Ill add an upvote for going 3/4. I have had several disasters I caused which were easily solved by having one box size. A queen above the excluder for example, would be a complete pain with different box sizes. Having all one size is great as a beginner.

 

The easy(ish) lifting is a massive plus. Once it’s 7 tall I was struggling and I’m tall. Lifting from head height with grumpy bees about is difficult.

 

Changing a box or 2 over wouldn’t be too hard or expensive, and there are guides available.

 

You might be all over it, but if not, can I recommend a few sugar shakes and probably a treatment? Things can look really good until they aren’t, especially when you’re new. I have first hand experience in that unfortunately.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 26/09/2018 at 7:59 PM, cBank said:

Ill add an upvote for going 3/4. I have had several disasters I caused which were easily solved by having one box size. A queen above the excluder for example, would be a complete pain with different box sizes. Having all one size is great as a beginner.

 

The easy(ish) lifting is a massive plus. Once it’s 7 tall I was struggling and I’m tall. Lifting from head height with grumpy bees about is difficult.

 

Changing a box or 2 over wouldn’t be too hard or expensive, and there are guides available.

 

You might be all over it, but if not, can I recommend a few sugar shakes and probably a treatment? Things can look really good until they aren’t, especially when you’re new. I have first hand experience in that unfortunately.

Yes that good advice on all fronts. I need to sugar shake and treat if necessary, I need to convert all hiveware to 3/4 and get away from my one FD box, that confirms my own To Do list. Really appreciate advice. Will look for guides on changing over. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 26/09/2018 at 11:03 PM, tudor said:

You are starting to "read" the hive and react to what the bees want to do.  Good.

I would suggest going to "Downloads" and get a copy of my "Easy Bee Keeping" to help you along the way, and get back to all 3/4 boxes.

Regards.

Gee thank you.. That is very generous. I will download this and I’m so appreciative. Will let you know how it turns out. At the moment I think I’m making a dogs breakfast for my girls with a FD brood box with two 3/4 frames in it, now with drone cells built underneath with boys snuggly inside ready to hatch. I have much to learn and time to finally do it all better. I need to inspect hive more often now it’s warm enough. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 0
3 minutes ago, GoED said:

Gee thank you.. That is very generous. I will download this and I’m so appreciative. Will let you know how it turns out. At the moment I think I’m making a dogs breakfast for my girls with a FD brood box with two 3/4 frames in it, now with drone cells built underneath with boys snuggly inside ready to hatch. I have much to learn and time to finally do it all better. I need to inspect hive more often now it’s warm enough. 

I have already answered this question in your thread.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...