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March 28, 2009

Brother Adam Insider Secrets

Comments from and about The Brother Adam System of Beekeeping

On Mating nucs:
Owing to the particular climatic situation, we had a difficult problem to solve in the design of our mating nucleus hive. We made numerous experiments to find the type best suited to our purposes. The first trial was made with half-British standard size frames, helped in boxes accommodating four nuclei, each of three-size frames. These proved to be very good for summer use, but they were too small for overwintering. In the end, the half-frame Dadant proved to be the only suitable one for our needs, consequently we built our mating boxes to accommodate half Dadant 16 frames, dividing a box into two (crosswise) to take them. Another division (lengthwise), by means of moveable division boards, gives four compartments each holding four half-frames queen. These mating nuclei can support themselves in a normal summer, and are strong enough to overwinter the fertile, on the other hand they are small enough to prevent the breeding of drones. (Note: each frame is 8 1/4" x 11 1/4" deep or 210 x 286mm, Editor)
Our feeders are designed to suit this type of hive, and they depend on the same principles as those used in our honey producing hives. All the four nuclei have simultaneous access to the syrup. At present we have 500 mating nuclei, which enable us to overwinter approximately 400 fertile queens in the mating apiary. BROTHER ADAM.
On His Hive:
I use boards as frameworks for all my hives, and all my hives are modified Dadant 12 frames, single-walled. But I would be sad if I gave you any impression that I consider Dadant modified single-walled as the ideal type of hive. The Buckfast Abbey hive is similar to the Modified Dadant, helped but accommodates twelve frames instead of eleven. The honey supers are as deep as the brood boxes, ie 15.2 cm (6 in.), and a full super contains about 25 kg (55 lb.). of honey. We have also made several important changes in the design of our hives and equipment to facilitate rapid and comfortable operation, and to simplify transport to the moors. BROTHER ADAM
On Swarming Control:
After removal of the queen, I maintain the hive to the orphan status for 10 days and, after destroying all the cells of a queen, I give the hive a young mated queen, I saves me a lot of work and fatigue and - more importantly - get a crop far more abundant on white clover, which is not the case otherwise. Upon acceptance of the queen and brood presence of non-capped, any people rushing to work and working to harvest with a zeal that can not be compared to that which leads a swarm. This method of preventing swarming has also other important advantages: interruption of brood production for nearly two weeks, resulting in some disease prevention brood - the disastrous AFB exception - provided that diseases of adult bees And thanks to this ruling of the brood, we get a decrease in population since the end of the harvest, just when a surplus of bees is disadvantageous. BROTHER ADAM
On Preparing for Winter:
September 7, all increases, whether filled or empty, are placed on the shelf-hunting bees and removed after two days. Each colony receives the same day 6 liters of syrup; the feeding is administered to all the hives without taking into account the amount of honey they may still contain. The 6-liter syrup supra, stored by bees in the center of the nest of brood, will be consumed primarily in during the winter. Thus the danger of dysentery will be largely excluded, although there is still some risk. So after that first feeding, all hives were weighed and all those who do not reach an average weight identified, receive an extra syrup corresponding to their weight deficit.

Finished feeding, it remains to make a final check specifically for the presence of the queen in each hive. The number of frames is reduced to ten. After 1 October, no hive will be opened.
At home some winters are harsh, with temperatures from -20 ° C, no special measures to protect beehives are taken. Experience has shown that even the coldest days do nothing to harm bees, but rather their are advantageous because the consumption of reserves is lower and the population growth, less spring is even better. We do not specifically protect our hives against the cold, but we strive to accommodate the wind. BROTHER ADAM

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