Multifunction Crown Board and swarming tips
In essence a simple piece of equipment with many functions, designed to stay with the colony.
Firstly, it acts as a very good crown board, the deep side allows the beekeeper to feed his bees with the minimum amount of fuss.
In winter it allows the addition of a thick winter warm layer, bubble wrap or carpet tiles as preferred. Or feeding fondants on top of the frames
In spring time we have rapid feeders that fit within the top space allowing easy feeding.
This time of year we can use the board to aid one of our swarm control methods, briefly:
At the first sign of queen cells, find the queen and isolate her in a roller then place this on top of the frames to one side.
Now choose one open cell with a well fed large larva, check every frame thoroughly, destroying all the other queen cell.
Next, with the crown board deep side up, close off the hole in the bottom of the crown and place on your upturned roof, add empty brood box.
Now taking each frame one at a time and place it with bees on in the new empty brood box, the aim is to transfer as many bees as possible to the new box. The frame with the queen cell should be in the middle of the new brood area. Fill the box with frames and a dummy board
Leave the original hive with just 2 frames of brood and two frames of stores using a six frame pattern keep the two frames of brood next to each other in the middle of the hive, then each side place one frame of foundation then each side of that place one frame of stores making a six frame hive. Fill the rest of the hive with frames of foundation and the dummy board, release the queen from the roller over the brood area, let her leave in her own time.
Cover middle hole in the Multifunction crown board and place on top of the existing brood box, deep side up with the yellow plug facing the opposite direction to the main hive entrance and remove the yellow plug from the side wall. Place the new brood box with bees on top of the Multifunction crown board. Arrange the frames so the queen cell frame is in the middle of the brood area and the dummy board and close up.
Feed if necessary.
If needed the bottom box can be fed using a FD170 feeder under the frames of the top box within the space of the deep crown board.
Turn the board over so the deep side is facing down and you have the perfect space for varroa treatments such as Apiguard
So many uses a real practical piece of kit.