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Living in a bee house
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Populating the hive with an artificial swarm. (For an experiment I use artificial swarms, to have the same size of the swarm, sister queens and so on. To make things comparable.)


Using a floor padding as a cover.


First remove some topbars in the center.


Drilled a hole into one topbar. Using a bucketfeeder to feed from the top.


Video of the installation process.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHuKrYC1uGs


Last edited by zaunreiter on Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also started a "Bienenkiste" for comparison.

The Bienenkiste gets layed upside down, you work it from "below".


Used a chair to hold the bottom, so I can quickly close up the hive after pouring in the swarm.


Entrance is closed up for another two days (artificial swarm!)


Using a bucketfeeder here, too. You can see the queen running on top of the bee mass when pouring in the bees. A common sight whereever you find a swarm or so on the floor, the bee queen runs on the surface of them all.

Video of the installation process.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_C1C-nQuhI
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



First quick inspection of the both hives.

TBH
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkC3a62tMi4

Bienenkiste
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enLoLa29Pig

Silphium perfoliatum (cup plant)






Echinacea (cone flower)




Bee bee tree (Tetradium daniellii) - harvested by birds...


...seeds still present on another tree.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
To make use of the first flows, we have to here, because there is not much nectar flow later in the year, one has to super the hives and keep the broodnest as free of nectar as possible. Preventing the backflooding of the nest with nectar.


Hi Bernhard,

Im not sure I entirely understand how this is done in a Warre hive. Can you elaborate please?

When do you super the hive? The first serious flow here in Denmark is the Dandelions. And how do you keep the broodnest free from backfilling with nectar? In the horizontal hive its easy to simply space and move the other top bars backwards since there is always lots of space behind the follower board but in a Warre the only way to do this is to move some of the frames into the super box and place an empty frame in its place?

If so, which frames do you take out of the brood box to open up the space? Im guessing the once at the ends no? Or do you checkerboard?
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Che,

checkerboarding is about the cruelest thing one can do to honeybees. Forget about checkerboarding.

The hives are supered just before the first flow. That is when plum and cherry trees start to bloom at our place.

The trick to keep the broodnest free of pollen and nectar is the timing of supering and keep supering ahead of time.

In the first flying days there is little nectar available but a lot of pollen. So bees forage for pollen. Any empty cells receives pollen. A lot of pollen. The broodnest is clogged with pollen if there are too many empty cells in early spring. So the whole trick of keeping the broodnest free is, to adapt the size of the broodnest to the size of the Bien. Open up the hive in early spring, just a couple of days after the first cleansing flight. See how big the winter cluster is. Remove all combs that are not well populated by bees.

This way you reduce the amount of empty cells. If you leave a lot of empty cells, you end up with a pollen clogged broodnest. Pollen is consumed slowly, and this is why a sudden nectar flow backfloods the broodnest and the hive wants to swarm later on.

By removing the surplus combs, the combs that you left will get a lot of brood. The queen lays one egg after the other. Circeling and spiralling her way through the broodnest. After 21 days she returns to the first cell she layed an egg into, the brood emerges and the queen quickly replaces the emptyied cells with eggs - again one by one. In her pace.

Now, if the laying path is longer because there are a lot of empty cells, the queen does not return to the first cell after 21 days but after lets say 26 days. So there are five days emtpy cells. Bees hate empty cells and try to fill it. So the soon begin to fill it with either pollen or nectar. The broodnest backfloods. The queen returns to the first cell after 26 days and does find a cell filled with nectar. Cannot lay eggs. This produces a stretched and chaotically distributed broodnest.

A tight clustered broodnest, well adapted to the queen's ability to lay eggs, so she returns to the center of the broodnest after 21 days and starts spiralling again: that is a main factor for a healthy and productive honeybee colony. The queen keeps pace with the brood that emerges.

It also is a honey pump. Such a broodnest virtually pumps honey up into supers.

So by taking away the surplus combs in early spring you actually end up with more available cells for brood than you do if you leave a lot of combs.

Practically:

- check the hive after the first cleansing flights. Estimate the size of the winter cluster. In a Warré hive this usually is perfectly distributed throughout the two hive boxes that they wintered in. So nothing is to do. If the winter cluster is very small, and populates only one hive box, I remove one box. Leaving just one box.

I wait until the broodnest grew and the first flow is ahead in a short time. I super then right before the first flow, so the cells quickly get filled with nectar. If you use foundation or starter strips (with a bee ladder) the bees will start drawing comb when the first nectar comes in. Usually the cells get filled with honey immediately and the queen stays in her broodnest, where she is satisfied because she has a nice spiral laying pattern and enough cells to lay eggs into. One by one, as the broods emerges.

Keep supering ahead of time. The bees get into an upward motion, all the young bees are drawn into the supers and the compact broodnest and the young bees in the supers: that really is a honey pump.

Keep adding supers as the nectar comes in. But stop one or two weeks before the flow will end. Usually the flow of a certain nectar source ends after two to three weeks. Sometimes after just one week.

Do not fiddle much in the broodnest. I do not replace or shift combs if not really necessary. So basicly I leave the broodnest intact and as is. Even the size: I do not add more broodchambers until late May. Even those that had only one brood box.

If you add foundation or starter strips in the broodnest, the comb that is drawn get filled with nectar right away. This way you pull honey into the broodnest and this triggers backfilling.

If you insert empty comb in the broodnest, the bees ...fill it with nectar. Too much cells for the queen to lay eggs into. The queen waits until new cells get cleaned by the workers. Workers on the other hand start filling nectar into the new comb. Backfilling is the result.

If you increase the broodnest, for whatever reasons you want that, do it at the sides. New comb is drawn best next to pollen combs. Pollen is the buidling material for the bees to draw wax. So the building site is next to pollen. Empty comb is put to the far sides, or you wait until a dearth where there is little nectar. It get filled with some pollen then and after that brood is layed into it. Put the emtpy comb right into the center of the broodnest.

So basicly it is:

a) Adapting the number of combs to the size of the initial broodnest after wintering.
b) Supering just before the flow. Not earlier, not later.
c) Keep supering ahead of time, so if the new super is half full, put on another one.

Bernhard
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update Bienenkiste:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-51ilPPR-o

Update TBH:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDt2v6u505g
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
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Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow , thank you for such detailed reply Smile much appreciated!

When you say "open up the brood nest", do you mean simply to take out frames which are not populated by the bees and placing empty frames in their place or take out the un-populated empty combs and just leave empty space? You are referring to the bottom box here right? Because the top box should still be mostly food stores?

Also, how do you renew the comb inside the brood nest if you dont fiddle much with the brood nest?
you wrote this, which I dont really understand;

Quote:
Do not fiddle much in the broodnest. I do not replace or shift combs if not really necessary. So basicly I leave the broodnest intact and as is. Even the size: I do not add more broodchambers until late May. Even those that had only one brood box.


Do you Nadire broodchambers or do you place it between the super and the bottom box?

With this very intense spring management when do you split your hives?

Also, do you extract honey with an extractor and then give those empty honey combs back to the bees or do you cut and crush comb and give the bees back the foundationless frame?

Thank you for helping me understand this (for me) new way of beekeeping. I will soon start to build a few Warre Hives. What do you think of the 2 box deep warre frame for the brood nest?
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Che Guebuddha wrote:
When you say "open up the brood nest", do you mean simply to take out frames which are not populated by the bees and ...just leave empty space?


In bigger sized hive I do take away frames, but in a Warré I take away full boxes only. Usually that is not necessary, the two boxes for wintering are just the optimal size. You do not need to anything like that in Spring to Warré hives. As said: only small colonies get their bottom box removed.

Che Guebuddha wrote:
Also, how do you renew the comb inside the brood nest if you dont fiddle much with the brood nest?


I am wintering on two boxes. Frame hives: Three weeks before the last bigger flow ends (lime trees and chestnut) I remove all the brood combs from the hive, basicly making a shook swarm onto one box with foundations. This box gets drawn within days and holds new brood within a week. After the harvest they get another new box with foundation and while feeding the bees draw this box, too. This way you get two boxes of fresh comb the bees winter on, which massively enhance the bees' health, because viruses and pesticides are removed from the hive with the contaminated combs. Varroa too. No summer treatments needed for those colonies. Queens and wax never get in touch with a summer treatment.

I pool the supers with brood combs, stacking them up to five or six boxes high. Each with a spare queen. The brood emerges and I treat those stacks with thymol throughout the 21 days the brood emerges. After that time I do one formic acid flash treatment. The collected brood should go to seperate and distant apiary, so there is no way for the bees drifting back to the original hives. (With the mites.) In three weeks you got a lot of young bees in those stacks. You can either recombine them with the wintering colonies. Use them for artificial swarms. Or to make splits. I usually make splits and use them for queen mating nucs.

This way described above has advantages. No summer treatments for the production hives. Queen and fresh wax are not contaminated with treatments. Bees winter on fresh wax, free of pesticides and viruses. That significantly enhances their health and wintering strength.

The stacks of brood boxes get treated but outside the colonies. The combs are distributed into splits or molten if they are too old.

Fixed comb hives: Because I do not give back extracted comb the bees build two boxes per season, one is removed for honey harvests and the other left on the hive. The bees are in three boxes after the harvest. In Autumn I remove the bottom box. Sometimes I go in and cut out a lot of black comb in Spring, especially if the colonies are smaller. (Instead of taking away the box I cut combs. Leaving one center comb as a ladder and guide.)

Che Guebuddha wrote:
Do you Nadire broodchambers or do you place it between the super and the bottom box?


Within the season I do not add any broodchamber if possible. In the first year I start the hive, the other box gets nadired. After the two first boxes are build, so after the broodnest is established, I do super only. I want the entrance close to the broodnest. So bees walk in and unload their packets right away. Also: fresh brood near the entrance reduces swarm intentions. (Fresh wax does, fresh brood and a fresh young queen. Seems to make the bees happy and not wanting to swarm much.)


Che Guebuddha wrote:
With this very intense spring management when do you split your hives?


I usually don't. I keep the strength of the colonies as strong as possible. I run into poisonings sometimes and bees need that strength to survive. In frame hives I pool brood combs into stacks for queen rearing and mating, later before the last harvest I remove all the brood from production hives and this way I have a lot of bees for making extra hives. No need to split. Although I did splits in the past, I started to dislike them and instead I try to avoid small and weak units. Splits are always weakened and lacking either bees or stores or something. Plain numbers. I do splits with the pooled brood - but after the brood emerged and there is no more brood in that hive. This way the bees in that split have no need to care for brood, those splits have a lot of young bees and those optimally take care of your young queen.

You can do splits in fixed comb hives to prevent swarming to a certain extent. But I rather would let the hives swarm and do cutout the surplus queen cells after the swarming. Leaving only one cell and distributing the surplus cells into small mating nucs for spare queens.

Che Guebuddha wrote:
...extract honey with an extractor ...or do you cut and crush comb


Both. Frame hives get extracted, the combs given back to the hives. Fixed comb hives get their combs cut and the honey pressed out. You can extract fixed comb, too, as Émile Warré himself did, by putting the combs into cages. Never did this, because you either do fixed comb or you do frames. Can't see the point to mix that up.

Che Guebuddha wrote:
...What do you think of the 2 box deep warre frame for the brood nest?


I always thought about it and did some experiments. I'd say it is not too bad a thing. Certainly a good thing for the bees. I do not do the 2 deep frames because of uniformity of frames and boxes. All is interchangeable at all times. That helps much in certain situations. Another thought is, that I can reduce the space by removing one box, the empty one, which certainly helps smaller colonies. Colonies just started or smaller colonies that are weak, benefit from the crowding of the bees and that helps to keep them warm nicely. So I stick to original dimensions, they are pretty much optimal.

I am thinking of some more improvements, especially to harvest bee bread, but that is still experimental.

Summary

Frame hives: winter on two boxes - (option: remove one box if colony is weak) - add super with drawn comb just before the first flow (plum and cherry) - keep supering - harvest and give back empty combs - remove single brood frames and pool them for queen rearing - three weeks before the last bigger flow ends remove all brood and shake them down into one box of foundation - last harvest: put on another emtpy box with foundation and feed - let them build up strong for winter.

Fixed comb hives: winter on two boxes - (option: cut out combs in a weak hive, but leaving the almost empty box. Do not super in the first flow) - add super with starter strips and a bee ladder just before the first flow (plum and cherry) - keep supering well ahead - harvest one box one or two weeks before the last flow ends. Leave the bees on at least three boxes - remove the bottom box in autumn - feed if necessary.

Some general advice.
Care for a good pollen and nectar supply all year round.
Keep strong colonies strong. Try to avoid splits.
Care for a good pollen and nectar supply all year round.
Do not allow weak hives: use them as supers for strong hives.
Care for a good pollen and nectar supply all year round.
Do not touch the broodnest. The broodnest is holy.
Care for a good pollen and nectar supply all year round.
Think of the spiralling laying pattern of the queen, think of the queen laying one egg by the other, one by one. The same pace the brood emerges. It is all about rythm and patterning. Do not disturb that pattern. Bees with an intact broodnest are a honey pump, they are productive and healthy and happy. Yes, happy. I cannot describe it other than that. If they have a compact broodnest with lots of fresh brood, they are plain happy.
Care for a good pollen and nectar supply all year round.
Care for a lot of comb to store the nectar into. Keep them bees building a lot of fresh wax. Fresh wax makes them happy, too. In studies it has been found, that the smell of fresh wax keeps them from swarming. As does the smell of fresh brood and a young queen. If you have a nice compact broodnest which concentrates the smell of brood, you have a colony in a very good mood.
Care for a good pollen and nectar supply all year round.
Do not let the bees go hungry. In most places bees are hungry at certain times. Do give some honey, a pot of honey, in Spring during weeks of rain and no flow. That really helps them to not starve. The bees do not necessarily touch their stores, sometimes they go hungry although there are stores available. They simply hesitate to touch the stores. So a pot of honey given during that time keeps them warm and in a good mood.
Add combs to the sides. Drawn comb between brood and honey. Empty comb with foundation or starter strips either between brood and pollen comb, right at the top or bottom. Do not insert empty combs between existing combs. Nor do insert boxes between populated boxes. It harms the bees.

A lot of people do not recognize their bees starving. I did not for a long time, too. It is so important to recognize this and keep the bees well nourished in a harsh environment like we live in today.

Bernhard
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Che Guebuddha
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Joined: 31 Jan 2012
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Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh boy Smile it seem like I have been doing everything pretty much the opposite of what you are describing here.

Is there a book out there you could suggest describing such management? I think it would be easier for me to understand it better if I could see illustrations coupled with text.

Im still not sure if Im to go foundationless with Warre frame hive or with the Danish 12x10 frame hive, because I could easier sell colonies in the danish one than with Warre since not many use Warre hives in DK (actually I know only 1 person) and I dislike selling packages.

The danish 12x10 is used in their traditional horizontal hives but also in vertical hives.
http://www.swienty.com/shop/vare.asp?side=0&vareid=102520

I could design a Warre-kind box which accepts only 8 such danish frames if narrower cavity benefits bees better.
The 12x10 frame is; top bar 356 mm x height 282 mm x width 326 mm

Does it matter much if it is a 10 frame box or 8 frame box? I mean I keep Buckfast which will very likely cross breed with Carnicas so it seems maybe that 8 frame box is more of the cavity to choose.

How wide are your Warre top bars? I use 38 mm in my hTBHs in the brood. And do you recommend Hoffman frames?
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I calculate like this: a queen lays average 1,700 eggs per day. In 21 days - from egg to emerging young bee - that is roughly 35,000 cells. So in order to get a properly sized broodnest you need about 35,000 cells in the brood chamber(s). [That of course can differ from queen to queen and age of queen. This is why you need to adapt the combs to the queen's ability to lay eggs.]

The Danish frame is about 28.2 cm by 32.6 cm which is 919.32 cm² per one side (1,838.64 cm² per frame).

In average there are 750 cells per dm² - both sides of the comb that is. So 919.32 cm² is 9.1932 dm².

750 cells per dm² by 9.1932 dm² is = ~6,895 cells per frame.

So for the brood you need 5 frames. Add another for pollen and some food and you end up with 7 frames. So yes, an eight-framer of the Danish comb would be just right. Nice frame dimensions.

I would recommend one brood box holding eight frames with the Danish sized frames, supered with two more shallows with a height about 10 or 15 cm. This way you can put an excluder on top of the broodbox, the first shallow super will see pollen and empty cells, the other second super will hold the bees' honey portion throughout the year, that you never touch. On top of that you can work with more shallows for honey supers. (Remember: do not increase the brood chamber, but the honey supers.)

That would make an almost perfect hive. You can make bee bread with the first shallow super, which is a very nice and healthy bee product to eat.

So I really would recommend to use the Danish sized brood frame, especially to be adaptable to locals.

Bernhard
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am at war with Hoffmann frames; instead I prefer the metal spacers that hold the frames in place. That is a personal preference though. The Hoffmann frames are good to move hives, because the combs do not shake/wobble. But they are a pain to work with. You really need to press them together tightly after working the frames because otherwise the bees glue it and you need to pry them out the hive. I hate it.

With no spacers except the metal band spacer you simply lift the frames up onto the spacer's ridge and then lift the frame out. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gafQGvwlkM8 The frames do swing freely when moving hives, but they stay in place even on rough roads.
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imkeer
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So for a Warré hive (fixed comb, no frames) that would give 20 x 30 = 600 cm2. (6 dm2) 6 x 750 = 4500 cells per comb
7,77... combs like this have 35000 cells. Following the same line of thinking and adding 2 more combs for pollen and other food, that would make the Warré box too small??? (Not for keeping bees of course, but to keep the broodnest in one box.)

Which square decimeter measurement was used to get to the 750 cells/dm2? If the Baudoux square was used, that would mean the cells measure 5,55 mm; if the Rhombic was used, that would mean cells are 5,15 mm. Commercial foundation here has 900 cells/dm2 (in the matrix; less if I buy them - I count 836) I hear natural comb of all european honeybees have 800-820 cells/dm2.
I just counted 1 natural broodcomb (Rhombic, to avoid partial cells) and I got 19 x 19 = 361. Two times, for both sides give 722. Converted to Baudoux that would be about 840...
These different measurements are confusing !

I do NOT want to start a cell size discussion here, I'm just curious where you got the number of 750 and what it means.

I'll use your management method. At least with part of my hives... We have good flow in general between cherry and sweet chestnut and then it ends. Of course the bees have white clover, himalayan balsam and ivy for late nectar flow and many other plants that give pollen, but no main nectar flow after sweet chestnut.

Anyway, thanks Bernhard for going a bit deeper into this !

Luc
http://hapicultuur.be/nl
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

750 cells per dm² is a figure for 5.4 mm cell sizes.
900 cells per dm² for 4.9 mm.

From what I experienced 4.9 mm is just too small for my bees. Even after years they do not want it. I use 5.1 mm foundation right now, and the bees are OK with it. So I stick to that.

Two Warré hive boxes are perfect for the broodnest. It doesn't harm much, if the space is a little tight. The trick is that the queen comes back to the cells at the time the brood in the cells emerge. If the laying path is too long, the nest backfills quickly.

Some encounter this by providing huge space and lots and lots of brood combs, but this only leads to a broodnest spread out throughout the hive and this is not beneficial to the bees. The number of nurse bees is limited and they can not clean all those cells, and not to forget warm the brood. Tight and compact is better.

According to Seeley's findings a tree hollow has a diameter of 15-20 cm. There is not much space at the sides and so the brood reaches wall to wall in such cavaties. There is no pollen and nectar at the sides, just brood.

Some queens lay more than 2,500 eggs per day at some days. So she may exceed the 35,000 eggs in 21 days at times. But I think it is better to keep'em a bit tighter than giving too much space and thus triggering backfilling.

In a Warré you find two combs with pollen and food at each side per box, making it 12 combs of brood and 4 combs of food in the broodnest. Usually there is a patch of brood in the honey comb. The comb at the sides I call "bacon comb" or probably better translated into "flab".

The combs with the brood are usually full of brood, wall to wall. 6 of it are fresh brood, the other six capped. During the season. 12 Warré combs are about 6 Dadant frames. Most queens can be kept on 6-7 Dadant frames, only very powerful queens use more than 8 Dadant frames full of brood. Most queens are average and the Warré dimensions are pretty much average for everything in bee terms. So you might have too little space for the above average queens, but for all the rest of the bees, this is a nice home.
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Che Guebuddha
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I would recommend one brood box holding eight frames with the Danish sized frames, supered with two more shallows with a height about 10 or 15 cm. This way you can put an excluder on top of the broodbox, the first shallow super will see pollen and empty cells, the other second super will hold the bees' honey portion throughout the year, that you never touch. On top of that you can work with more shallows for honey supers. (Remember: do not increase the brood chamber, but the honey supers.)


I would rather keep all boxes the same size but I read that bees easier go up into shallow than deep supers. Is this true in your same box Warre?

If I do it as you suggested and go with 2 shallow supers on top is that one honey super enough for them to winter on? If it's 15 cm deep + 8 frames how much honey is this?
Is there any way to avoid queen excluders? I really dislike those and they cost money and are far from sustainable.
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not just that they take shallows better, there are some nice tricks you can do with them, inlcuding harvesting bee bread.

Of course you can avoid queen excluders, although what they do is to exclude queens. That is it. They do not harm the bees other than keeping the queen away from certain places.

Unsustainable...I don't know. If queen excluders help saving boxes, you are probably better off using queen excluders and more sustainable. Means: If you can't restrict the laying path to a certain length, you have not much of a choice other than providing lots and lots of comb. (Stretching and spreading the broodnest as described above.) Lots of comb = more boxes = more costs, more material, more of everything. Saving boxes and material and time is a thing to consider.

Also if a queen excluder helps producing honey for you and the bees, while without you produce nothing but bees and need to feed, maybe an excluder is more sustainable than without.

So I am all for natural beekeeping and it can be done without queen excluder, of course, but I wouldn't rule it out right from the start.

With a queen excluder one can observe the following: in an adapted broodnest of the right size according to the queens' laying pattern, right above the queen excluder produce patches of empty cells. A dome of empty cells, cleaned by the bees for the queen to lay eggs into. So there are layers like this:

- honey dome -
- pollen dome -
- empty cells, cleaned -
- queen excluder -
- broodnest -

If you see this empty cells the setup is about to be most perfectly. Bees do not show any signs of wanting to swarm if the empty cells occur. They provide the cells for the queen but she can't lay eggs into it. The mood of the bees is very excited, an upward feeling of increasing the colony. When a hive grows in Spring the bees are in the best mood you can think of, the Bien is growing and enjoying it. By having a dome of empty cells above the excluder the bees think they are still growing and increasing. With this trick you get a very powerful hive. Even smaller colonies produce good portions of honey this way.

You can make a wooden excluder if you dislike the metal. Just slatted racks, boards or something. Will do. The spacing must be of 4.2-4.5 mm. With wooden excluders you better go to 4.5 mm because wood shrinks and expands.

Shallows are good to avoid queen excluders, because the supered shallows are filled with honey rather than brood if timed to a starting strong flow. I would receommend to super with starter strips or foundation only, not drawn comb, because this way the cells drawn by the bees get filled with honey quickly. Also you can space the combs a bit wider, so the combs tend to be thicker which also helps to keep the queen out of it.
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Che Guebuddha
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Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for hijacking your thread Bernhard.

I was researching about alternative DIY queen excluders and only found this one on D. Cushman site made of plywood;
http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/gif/plywoodqe.gif

He writes;
Quote:
Some beekeepers prefer to use a rimmed plywood board with 9 mm slots or a large number of 12 mm holes around the outer edge. The workers will pass through without a problem, but the queen who is normally in the center of the nest is reluctant to. (If drone foundation is used in supers then this type will not work.)

The Diagram shows both types. (I have heard of variants that had holes or slots only on two opposite edges.)

Although the queen is capable of 'going upstairs' they rarely do so and in this respect this type is of similar reliability to the perforated sheet types.

I have heard that squares of fertilizer sack (heavy polythene), cut slightly smaller than the hive area, have been successfully used in this fashion.
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Che Guebuddha
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Joined: 31 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I calculate like this: a queen lays average 1,700 eggs per day. In 21 days - from egg to emerging young bee - that is roughly 35,000 cells. So in order to get a properly sized broodnest you need about 35,000 cells in the brood chamber(s). [That of course can differ from queen to queen and age of queen. This is why you need to adapt the combs to the queen's ability to lay eggs.]

The Danish frame is about 28.2 cm by 32.6 cm which is 919.32 cm² per one side (1,838.64 cm² per frame).

In average there are 750 cells per dm² - both sides of the comb that is. So 919.32 cm² is 9.1932 dm².

750 cells per dm² by 9.1932 dm² is = ~6,895 cells per frame.


Hi Bernhard,

Im trying to understand this comb math Embarassed
You said 919.32 cm² per one side so 1,838.64 cm² per frame (both comb sides)

Shouldn't we then multiply 750 cells per dm² which is a figure for both sides of the comb by 18,3864 dm² ? This would give 13,789.9 cells per frame (both sides of the comb).

By the way the inner measure of the Danish frame is 30,6 cm wide x 26,2 cm height.
If calculating as you described it gives 6,012.9 cells per comb (both sides) which is less for more than 800 cells from your calculation above which is based on the outer measures of the frame.
Just wondering if 8 frames is still OK or should I add the 9th frame?
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zaunreiter
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Che Guebuddha wrote:
Shouldn't we then multiply 750 cells per dm² which is a figure for both sides of the comb by 18,3864 dm² ?


No, 750 cells per dm² for both sides. So 375 cells per dm² onesided.

Che Guebuddha wrote:
which is less for more than 800 cells from your calculation ... should I add the 9th frame?


Would not harm. You can take it out, if needed.
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Che Guebuddha
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So for the brood you need 5 frames. Add another for pollen and some food and you end up with 7 frames. So yes, an eight-framer of the Danish comb would be just right. Nice frame dimensions.

I would recommend one brood box holding eight frames with the Danish sized frames, supered with two more shallows with a height about 10 or 15 cm. This way you can put an excluder on top of the broodbox, the first shallow super will see pollen and empty cells, the other second super will hold the bees' honey portion throughout the year, that you never touch. On top of that you can work with more shallows for honey supers. (Remember: do not increase the brood chamber, but the honey supers.)


Ok I understand how to renew comb in the brood box (shook swarm after last flow) but I don't understand how do I renew comb in the 2 supers above for pollen and their honey stores? You said never to touch those.
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can remove them as needed and let them be rebuild during the flow, or you remove them after the last harvest and feed to let them build those combs. However, any comb is quickly replaced as lomg there are enough bees, enough young bees, enough food and sufficient warmth.
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Che Guebuddha
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bernhard,

At the moment I have 10 colonies in hTBHs and I am planning to move at least 4 or more into the new vertical hives. I will have to do sort of a "cut out" and fasten the combs into the frames with rubber bands and let the bees fasten the comb to the frame top bar.

I am only wondering when to do this? Before the main flow starts or during? I was thinking at the end of April but that depends I guess of the outdoor temperature. What do you suggest? And when the combs are transferred into the vertical hive should I immediately super with the 2 shallows?
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would do it at the end of the first flow. At a time when swarming preparation start. This phase is almost optimal, because a good mixture of young bees is available. (Which is not the case at the beginning of the first flow.)

Use a hive scale (luggage scale) to weigh your hives and find the end of the flow. (No or little weight gains.)

If you set them into the new hive at the end of the first strong flow, you better wait until the next flow starting before supering. This gives them time to rework the old combs and fix them to the frames.

Bernhard
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just documented how a bottom box at this time of year (autumn) looks like in a Warré/Gatineau hive. This is a young queen from 2014, so she has more brood than older queens.

Broodnest on September, the 28th, 2014: right and left are front and backside of a comb, one row one comb.



bigger more detailled picture: http://immenfreunde.de/pics/28_9_2014/BrutnestEinwinterung.jpg

As a table to calculate the number of broodcells


Tried to make an x-ray model




The upper brood box usually contains a cap of brood, too, at this time of year. Roughly 10,000 broodcells still can be found in the hive. The emerged cells in the pictures in the center of the comb all contain eggs, so there will be another round of brood.

There is a nice dome of pollen above the brood so winter bees raised at this time will be fatty and long-lived. The investment into bee forage now pays out.

Once all the brood will be emerged, the bottom box contains empty cells only, so bees can sit as a cluster on the empty cells which are far warmer than are cold capped honey cells. The honey cells can be find in the upper broodbox, the bee cluster stucking with it's head into the food.
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't look like winter in the hives at the moment.





The central brood combs are brood wall to wall. You see the larva at the bottom and the pollen at the sides. Cells that emerge, receive new eggs immediately.


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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bees foraged for Japanese Knotweed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallopia_japonica) in Septembre and filled the hive up with it. A wonderful tasting honey. Never had it before, it is a really nice flavour.




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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In autumn the bees supersede a lot of their queens. Today I saw another hive with two queens in it and even on the same comb:



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ingo50
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Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may be more common than most think. If the queen is marked most beekeepers won't look any further once she has been seen. The new queen will be unmarked and would be harder to spot. Great fotos as always, vielen Dank for sharing Bernhard.
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Che Guebuddha
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernhard I see your frames have 2 slits on top bar. What tool do you use to make them? I need to do the same but not sure if I can do it on the table saw.
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a miter saw like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Miter-Saws/b?ie=UTF8&node=552940

You simple dive the blade into the topbar.
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The common crane is heading South now.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn51_T2dfxE

A fascinating sight.





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