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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mornin' guys - Tomorrow starts Spring Break!:yahoo:and my intentions are to reverse my hive bodies. I run two deeps and I have a super on top of that now. My question is...I just bet that I have brood in the top hive body as well as in that super.....SO how should I reverse? I know what I WANT to do, but it might not be the best for the bees???

Looking forward to reading your WISE thoughts on this topic! One more 1/2 day of school...I can do this standing on my head! Did I mention that tomorrow starts Spring Break??:yahoo:
 

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I had a long post here 'somewhere' that I at least hoped was fairly descriptive of the season 'first manipulation'. can't seem to locate this thread right now...

as some clue to your question... the idea is to move the brood nest down to the bottom of the stack and place anything empty above. depending on the shape of the brood nest sometimes this means removing empties from one box and stuffing any brood frames into one box that is then moved downward. I myself do not worry about the size of the box and often times a medium or even a shallow will end up on the bottom of the stack. in deciding which goes on where I most often set the box with the largest quantity of brood on the very bottom of the stack.
 

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I'm a little slow here.

Say I wintered in 2 deeps and 2 shallows on top. In spring, I find the lowers deep empty, and some brood in the lowest shallow.
If I now reverse the deeps, I split the brood nest. Not good.
If I move the bottom deep up to between the two shallows, I have an odd-looking arrangement, and a huge gap between brood and any honey in the top shallow.
If I leave it alone, will the bees eventually fill the two shallows with honey and push the brood area down into the deeps? Or will they store honey below (which may not matter to them, but makes my life as a thief more difficult.)

What is the best choice? (Assume no SHB issues).
 

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If you leave as is, they will move the brood down. If you put the deep between the two supers, the bees won't care.
 

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they also don't mind you removing any empty boxes entirely. for myself these often are used in new hives I make up.

as to them moving down I would say maybe yes and maybe no. the hive likely is as light as it will get at this time of year... not so long down the road reversing will become heavier if not harder. the real problem is that if the hive does not move back down and fairly quickly you can invite wax worm and shb problems early (here this typically begin with debris accumlation on the floor of the hive) and the structure of the stack just gets a bit woobly.... nothing on the bottom and all that weight upwards just results in a fairly unstable stack. here one of these left to itself would likely topple on the first large wind event.
 

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Thanks, iddee & tec! I'm tempted to rearrange the hive, but this 70-degree weather in mid-March is so unusual, I keep anticipating another freeze or three.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I got everything done yesterday - quite a job I must say. I ended up reversing all my hives because all my bees (maybe with the exception of a couple )were in the top super and top hive body. So on some I have an odd looking arrangement. I have one hive that has one deep and 2 supers with a honey super on top of that. That queen made such a huge brood nest in the top THREE supers that I ended up with 3 supers on bottom and the deep on top. I really don't like that and it may not be very smart, but that is how I fixed it because those 3 supers were FULL of bees!

I found 3 hives that I should requeen because of a shotgun laying pattern on one, and the other two just were not as big as they should have been (compared to my other hives) I contacted a guy who I can get queens from and he said his queens won't be ready till mid May. So now I don't know what to do - I would like to requeen before that??? I bet they will swarm if I don't.
 

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I'm in Southern NJ and I spotted drones flying already.
I would assume in Arkansas there are plenty of drones. You could just make some queens from your booming hives and in 30 or so days you have local laying queens from a proven hive!
 

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invite wax worm and shb problems early (here this typically begin with debris accumlation on the floor of the hive) QUOTE]

So is that the strange looking stuff I've found all over the bottom of both hives!? YIKES! I did not know this at all. =( Could you elaborate on this further for me?
 

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If you have a solid board under a screen bottom, it creates an area the bees can't get to, but all the debris falling through the screen collects there and feeds the SHB and wax moth larva. A perfect breeding ground for both. Never leave the solid board under the screen when moths and SHB are around.
 

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I have gone all deeps now for my boxes for the reason that everything can be put in everything else, just for ease of doing things just like this, now granted my back may need to be rebuilt after the boxes get lifted full of honey:lol:
 

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Iddee - as of right now I just have a solid bottom board on both hives. However, we now have two screened bottom boards that I'd like to put on the "old hives" and put the solid bottom boards on the "new" hives we're establishing. I was planning on coating the "shb count" board (the grid) with mineral oil/cooking oil. That's correct right? My Dad and I keep our hives on tables. Does this defeat the purpose of of opening up a screened bottom board? Setting hives on table a bad idea?
 

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On solid bottoms, the bees can clean it.

On screen bottoms, the screen should be open for the debris to fall safely away. The moths and SHB should have NO place to hide and be safe.
 

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bwwertz writes;
So is that the strange looking stuff I've found all over the bottom of both hives!?

tecumseh:
likely at this time of year you are seeing the results of the hives uncapping stores which then falls to the floor. if the brood nest is closes to this trash and the hive has any hygienic tendencies and a good population then they will clean this up fairly quickly themselves. problems arise when the brood nest and bees are some distance from this trash or when their population is low. it requires very little time for this pile of trash to turn into a breeding ground for shb and wax worm. for a lot of hives just moving the brood nest down would (given time) remedy the problem of the trash... but I clean this off anyway (and if I see any evidence of shb burn this trash in my smoker rather than dumping this on the ground). screened bottom boards represent a whole set of other possible problems... which is at least one reason I have avoided employing these in my own hives.
 

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If you leave as is, they will move the brood down. If you put the deep between the two supers, the bees won't care.
sorry to chime in on this thread a little late, but might help someone else out in the future....

i agree with idee, they will move down and the bees don't care about where the supers are 'sandwiched', and idee your early spring manipulation is here, includes reversing, excellent BTW:
http://www.beekeepingforums.com/thr...e-Manipulation-in-2-parts?highlight=reversing

i don't reverse, unless i see signs of swarm prep, the bees know what to do.
 

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tecumseh, what problems do you worry about with screened bottom boards? As expected (and "predicted" by ya'll) - the strong hive doesn't have much debris at the bottom. My weak hive was covered.
 

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I don't use screen bottom boards... I am just a bit too old school for that. at one time in a customer's 5 frame nuc boxes I did notice that the screen itself could act as a shield between the guard bees and the shb with a large number of shb lurking just below the screen. at the time I used this to my advantage by first closing up the nuc and after filling a #3 wash tub and then I 'bumped' the shb into the water.

as something of a warning as to riverbee's post.... I suspect that once most beekeepers (no matter what their level of experience) notice a hive is preparing to swarm almost any attempt to halt or reverse this natural tendency is going to meet with very limited success. I myself generally remove the old queen in the form of a small nuc and allow the existing hive to rear a new queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I got everything done yesterday - quite a job I must say. I ended up reversing all my hives because all my bees (maybe with the exception of a couple )were in the top super and top hive body. So on some I have an odd looking arrangement. I have one hive that has one deep and 2 supers with a honey super on top of that. That queen made such a huge brood nest in the top THREE supers that I ended up with 3 supers on bottom and the deep on top. I really don't like that and it may not be very smart, but that is how I fixed it because those 3 supers were FULL of bees!

I found 3 hives that I should requeen because of a shotgun laying pattern on one, and the other two just were not as big as they should have been (compared to my other hives) I contacted a guy who I can get queens from and he said his queens won't be ready till mid May. So now I don't know what to do - I would like to requeen before that??? I bet they will swarm if I don't.
 
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