Checkerboarding

Welcome to NZ Beekeepers+
Would you like to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up
245
156
Christchurch
Experience
Beginner
So I was reading Grant's list of beek acronyms and abbreviations ... which probably says something about me or my social life ... and ran into the phrase checkerboarding.

Looked it up in DuckDuck Go and saw an excellent explanation of it as a swarm management and honey production enhancer. Explanation here:

Has anyone tried it and how did it go?
 
  • Good Info
Reactions: Josh
8,434
4,864
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
So I was reading Grant's list of beek acronyms and abbreviations ... which probably says something about me or my social life ... and ran into the phrase checkerboarding.

Looked it up in DuckDuck Go and saw an excellent explanation of it as a swarm management and honey production enhancer. Explanation here:

Has anyone tried it and how did it go?
its fairly common but i think there listed "results" are more BS than anything.
its simply another method of expanding a hive and also drawing out frames better.

if you put foundation straight on it acts as a block and they hive will tend to stay under it which causes over crowding, which is a major factor in swarming. by alternating it still lets the bees come up the boxes. also because the foundation frames are next to good fully drawn out frames it helps the frames get drawn out nicely. a box of foundation often ends up with some frames drawn out short and the one next to it drawn out longer. at worse it can interlock the frames.

the alternative is "laddering" where you put drawn out frames in the centre of the box, with the foundation frames on the outside, to create a path for bees to go up into the boxes above.
there is a variations of the theme such as putting capped honey to the outside.
 
715
563
Christchurch
Experience
Semi Commercial
Checkerboarding is an interesting system but not a great one for swarm control in chch as the nights are usually too cold in spring. So, if you separate brood by checkerboarding the outside frames will most likely be abandoned and the brood will die.

Checkerboarding honey supers works well when needing to draw frames on a slow but steady flow. And it works particularly well when using foundationless frames for comb honey - I start by putting on a fresh box of 10 foundation frames, then a week or so later bring a box of foundationless and checkerboard them all (20). A week or so later you should have 10 beautifully, and seemingly miraculously, drawn full frames of comb honey.

Only works on a good flow of course 😬
 
  • Like
Reactions: Josh and Wknz


Top