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I helped a friend inspect 8 hives yesterday. Almost all of them had mainly pollen stores and empty cells in the bottom box and brood/honey in the top box. We both questioned whether this indicated a need to reverse the boxes? Most of what I've read speaks of doing this in early spring, not summer. I found the same situation in two of my own hives on Saturday. I left mine as they were. My friend reversed his. Your thoughts and experiences on this would be appreciated.

PBK
 

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I'm thinking it might depend a great deal on your season.
If you are nearing the end of it I would leave them alone, they will backfill the top and slowly "force" themselves into the lower box in preparation for winter.
If you do this too early of course, they may quickly become congested and possibly throw a late swarm.
If there is plenty of time left in your season I don't think reversing would hurt.
My opinion only, I'm further north than you and we need heavier hives going into winter.
 

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Here in southern Ontario, some beekeepers reverse boxes, and some not. I don't.
Just finished inspection of my hives and there is a brood and food in both deeps.
 

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Here in this section of NC the flow ceased a week ago. Not sure if it's temporary or done for the season. I would remove any boxes not covered well by live bees. SHB can become a problem in hives with too much empty space. With the strange weather we have had this year, the hives need constant monitoring for stores and supplies. Keep enough free space for stores coming in without enough space for SHB.

A tricky situation, for sure.
 

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a snip..
Almost all of them had mainly pollen stores and empty cells in the bottom box and brood/honey in the top box.

tecumseh:
were there very many adult bees (enough to cover the edges of the frames) in the bottom box? If no, then in it's current configuration the bottom box will be over run with wax moth and small hive beetles in less than 45 days.
 

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How about a compromise? Move the queen and 2-3 frames with available cells and young (open) brood down. Place empty frames above, alternating them with honey frames. Removing one frame above (leaving only 9) and increasing the space between them discourages the queen from going back up. As the brood from closed cells emerge, the bees should full them with honey and even extend the depth of the cells, making for good heavy combs. The success of this method depends on the honey flow not having ended. If the flow is over, it's a different ball game.
 
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