This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Frame managment on a new hive

New Frame Being Drawn, pic by T. Roska
Package bees are expanding their brood nests. The populations are on the upswing. As the hive get more populated, the bees will expand on to more frames, drawing comb and filling the new comb with nectar and pollen.
 A common theme that happens to all new colonies is the drawing out of the outside frames. Bees always seem reluctant to finish the outside frames.
 A beekeeper can help the bees finish this job. As the bees work on the outer frames like the one above. There is nothing but nectar and a little pollen in this frame, no brood. The beekeeper can turn this frame around and put it back in the same place it was in. Now the bees will have a fresh side to work on.
On the next visit the bees will be working on the other side. The frame should now have drawn comb on both sides. Now the beekeeper can move this frame out one frame and a new frame with foundation put in its place. Repeating this process until all of the frames are being worked on. Never move frames that have brood on the frames, only frames with nectar and pollen.
When 8 out of ten frames are pretty much done being drawn out, it is time to put on the second box. Move a frame that the bees are working on, with nectar and maybe a little pollen, into the center of second box. This frame is bait for the bees to move up into the second box. The bottom box now will have 9 frames. Evenly space out the frames in the bottom box. Running 9 frames makes it easier remove frames for inspection.
 10 frames are needed in the top box for proper comb building.
When the second box is added the entrance reducer is increased to the larger opening.
Larger opening on entrance reducer with the second box added.  This reducer is upside down and in its winter position it should now turned over. Pic by T. Roska