Advice Needed - Empty Lower Deep

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by billyb, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. billyb

    billyb New Member

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    I need some advice or feedback after my latest inspection.

    One of my hives looks good, lower deep has plenty of brood, upper deep has lots of capped honey, and a medium super has lots of honey and just starting to get capped.

    The other hive though looked like they had largely abandoned the lower deep. There was a bit of pollen here and there and maybe even some honey, but not a single egg and virtually no brood. The second deep had a fair amount of brood, eggs, etc. Some honey on the outer frames and the medium super is perhaps 50% full of honey.

    Should I continue to let them do their thing, should the upper and lower deeps be swapped?
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    In all probability they will backfill the top with honey and force themselves back down into the lower deep as you head into fall. In the spring or early summer I would reverse but given the time of year I might be inclined to let them do what comes natural.
     

  3. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I'm glad you asked about this. My hive have a similar pattern developing. Top deep hive body filled with honey, brood, and pollen. lower deep while not abandoned, is definitely "more empty". limited brood, and pollen but little in the way of honey stores. Then up top, I have 1.5 medium honey supers full.
     
  4. kemptville

    kemptville New Member

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    I had the same issue with one of my hives where the bottom deep seemed completely ignored. I left it for a few weeks and when I returned to do my 4th inspection (July 28th) I noticed it was slowly being built up again. From what I understand, August/September is when the colony produces brood for their winter cluster. The queen will likely start laying again down below.
     
  5. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    This is another one of those questions where you can get several different opinions. Some folks advocate reversing boxes, some say it's unnecessary. I (thinking that it can't hurt) reverse in the spring and fall. This gives the bees a chance to work upward, and me a chance to clean the bottom board.
     
  6. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    I was observing the same situation in my hives a few days ago. At least, the top box was heavy and the bottom box was so light it was hard to get them apart without a catastrophe. I stopped my inspection when robbing started to take place.
     
  7. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    I think that what you decide to do is largely dependent upon your location. I have had the same situation develop in hives over the years. In the past, I simply didn't do anything - feeling as though it was unnecessary. Most often though - that didn't work. What I would end up with (most often) is 1) an empty bottom deep and 2) a brood nest that continued to move steadily up - even into the supers and in a couple of cases abandoning the 2nd deep as well. That configuration won't survive winter up here.

    I don't know why they tended to do that (perhaps our short growing season?). This year, when I have seen that situation develop, I have reversed. I don't know what the overall effect will be, but I can say that it has kept the broodnest and cluster in the deep boxes so far. They seem to fill the deep over them - and then start to move up again.

    Mike
     
  8. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    If you reverse now the bees will probably work the honey super less and start working on the empty big box in the middle. Wouldn't you like them to finish capping the honey first?