Remove third box or not?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by crazy8days, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    My two hives right now are 3 deeps each. I left extra on to get them through the winter. When spring hits and the weather is good should I take the third off ? Do it before spring hits? Did the cluster move to the top and should I move the top down, bottom to middle and middle to top? And should I add a excluder so the top box becomes the honey super?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If the bottom box is TOTALLY empty of bees and honey, remove it until the flow is ready to start. Otherwise, leave as is.
     

  3. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Remove it when ? They end of this week will be in the 50's. do it then?
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    It should be the bottom box. Remove it anytime. Just don't remove the lid. Lift the 2 top boxes and have someone check the bottom box. If empty, remove it and set the 2 top ones on bottom board.
     
  5. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    crazy, unless you want to be running 3 deep hives, do as iddee says, remove the bottom deep if it is TOTALLY EMPTY, otherwise leave as is and divide accordingly as you would with 2 deeps (if strong enough when they build up enough) into what you have to work with and queens to give them. i guess, best question, what do you want to accomplish and desire for these 3 deep hives, can better answer your question....if you want 3 deeps, then reverse around as you said, if you want the third box a honey super, put the excluder on.....
    hope i made some sense....:grin:
     
  6. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    By the end of the week they are talking 50 degrees. If I was betting the Hail Mary hive bottom box is empty. The other not so sure. The strong hive will be getting split this spring so if bees are in the bottom il leave it. If any are empty ill remove. Thanks you two.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    Did the cluster move to the top and should I move the top down, bottom to middle and middle to top? And should I add a excluder so the top box becomes the honey super?

    tecumseh..
    you seem to be asking a question that only you can know! What is empty and where and the expected temperature is really what you need to know before you make any kind of decision. depending on the answers to your own questions you might wish to 1)leave it just like it is, 2)reverse or 3) partial reverse. at this point given what I and you don't know I just cannot say.

    excluders typically go on much later and as a rule if you have anything that looks like a honey cap above the primary brood nest you likely don't even need to consider an excluder. I use excluders a good bit (and for several end purposes) but they can be a dangerous bit of hardware in the hands of the new bee keeper <for doing some things in the bee yard they are essential and if you want to do these things yourself you do likely need to learn how to use an excluder.
     
  8. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I used a excluder last year during the honey flow. Only when the second deep was 80+% full. This year I'm debating using them at all. That's a whole different subject.

    This is what I'm thinking.

    My weak hive that I will be re-queening this Spring if the bottom deep is empty remove it.
    The second hive that I want to split this Spring and have them make their own queen leave all 3 deeps on. IF the bottom deep is empty reverse them to help build numbers to have a stronger split.

    Weather here will start being like a roller coaster. History average is mid 40's-50's with record highs in the 80's. So, with this weekend hitting 50 would this be a good time to do this to get a good jump on this year.
     
  9. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If you reverse in that kind of weather, remember that heat rises. The bees will not follow the heat up into an empty box. They will stay down with the brood and die. That's why they are in the top now
     
  11. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    This second year of beekeeping is getting discouraging. Can't figure what I should do, what time to do it, etc. :frustrated:
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "My weak hive that I will be re-queening this Spring if the bottom deep is empty remove it."
    i would.
    "The second hive that I want to split this Spring and have them make their own queen leave all 3 deeps on. IF the bottom deep is empty reverse them to help build numbers to have a stronger split."

    "If you reverse in that kind of weather, remember that heat rises. The bees will not follow the heat up into an empty box. They will stay down with the brood and die. That's why they are in the top now"

    a good point by iddee with timing of any reversal. crazy, when i was running 3 deeps, i would remove the bottom deep (empty), and then put it back on top when the bees built up. i did very little reversing with 3 deeps, because you wind up separating the brood. although i disagree with this practice, here is the recommended reversals with 3 deeps as follows:

    bottom deep 1, mid 2, top 3 to reverse in mid april to bottom 1, top 3, mid 2 (on top) so from 1, 2, 3, to 1, 3, 2.

    end of april a full reverse: bottom 1, mid 2, top 3 to reverse in this order 3 on the bottom, 2 left in the middle, 1 on top.

    another full reversal at swarm season: bottom 1, mid 2, top 3 to reverse in this order, bottom on top 1, mid box 2 (in the middle) top 3 on the bottom.

    i'll see if i can find a diagram of this......
     
  13. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    clarification reversing 3 hive bodies

    can't find a diagram just right now on the net...

    mid april
    deep 3 (top).................reverse order> deep 2 (placed on top)
    deep 2 (middle).............reverse order> deep 3 (placed in the middle)
    deep 1 (bottom)...... .....reverse order> deep 1 (left on the bottom)

    end april:
    deep 3 top...................reverse order> deep 1 (placed on top)
    deep 2 middle...............reverse order> deep 2 (left in the middle)
    deep 1 bottom..............reverse order> deep 3 (placed on the bottom)

    swarm season:
    deep 3 top..................reverse order> deep 1 (placed on top)
    deep 2 middle..............reverse order> deep 2 (left in the middle)
    deep 1 bottom.............reverse order> deep 3 (placed on the bottom)

    hope this makes sense?
    personally i wouldn't do all this reversing, just take the empty bottom deep out as iddee said, and put it back on when your bees build up and if you want reverse your bottom 2 deeps when the weather permits.
     
  14. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Crazy8days, new beekeepers sometimes get in to big a hurry, that can cause more trouble than it's worth. I like to wait till the temp. is in the 65 F to 70F to break down hives, the mean ones are out working and you only have nurse bees to deal with when you break them down the first time. You can tell which hive has a good queen, (building up fast) and the ones you need to watch.You can then clean the bottom board and take off empty supers or put more on without chilling the brood. Just MHO, i think 40F and 50F is just to cool to manipulate the hives to much unless it's a do or die situation. Jack
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    One of the oldest rules in beekeeping.

    WHEN IN DOUBT, DO NOTHING!