Solid Brood up top / Nothing in the bottom....yet

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Derek, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Derek

    Derek New Member

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    During a inspection today as they moved up to the winter stores, she has hammered down laying up there. There is either capped brood or eggs in every cell. But the 2 outside frames which have feed/honey. Nothing going on in the medium below them. Looks like they are storing a little of the 1:1 I am feeding them in the center lower medium, but not much. What is the best plan of action to prepair for swarming when she moves down. Reverse? I figure she will be moving down soon. There is no room up top to lay. What to do....
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    reverse the boxes and clean the bottom board. kind of old school and perhaps overly simple?
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Ditto what Tec said.
     
  4. Derek

    Derek New Member

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    That’s what I was thinking. But thought that had to be way to simple. Nothing is ever that simple. :D
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    More bees are killed by over care than under care.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    sometimes a queen will move down on her (their) own and then you need do nothing perhaps beside to clean the bottom board. it is most especially critical when the cluster has moved far up from the bottom board that you need to think about cleaning it off. also some times you knock a hive back to it bottom board and discover that the bottom board is already clean enough for a navy white clove inspection. it has been suggest (written) that this may be one indicator of hygenic behavior by a hive of bees.
     
  7. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    queens left to thier own devices, tend to go up insearch of brood space. With that as a basis, if upper chamber is solid brood patterns, while nopthing in lower, reversing the brood chambers allows the queen to merely follow what she would normally do go up.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    A queen will go up or down, depending on the honey flow. The brood nest will be below the honey stores. If there is a flow, they will move her down and store the nectar above the brood. You will never find capped honey stores below the bottom of the brood nest.
    Therefore, when the flow is on, she will ALWAYS go down. If there's no flow, she will not go down and leave the stores above, with a gap between.
     
  9. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Huh?

    In nature, the bees are laying brood in the upper half of the brood chamber in spring. Then they back fill and the queen lays lower and lower. So going into winter, the cluster should be in the bottom half, and the honey is above them. Bees left to their own devices have been doing this for eons.

    Contrary to some advice, this idea of swapping brood chambers may not be as helpful as many sugggest. But hey, we have been down this road before with many other items of advice such as "breeding bees for no propolis production" and a host of other things that we now question and some things were downright wrong for bees.

    If you want early honey, leave them where they are. The bees will move down naturally, while filling space above, which should be in your supers. Reversing now, means they will fill the full hive above them, with honey that could be going into the supers.

    The bees will expand the brood chamber only as they can keep brood warm at night, and actually cover. It's not as if they will expand the brood chamber for the mere fact that you put empty comb above them. If they need more room and the cluster can handle it, they will move down just as much as they move up.

    I could see if the bottom box was full of honey. Some will suggest getting the brood on the bottom, and placing the honey above, by reversing. But even that is not the best solution. Having a second full box of honey above, and nothing empty below the cluster, is just limiting the brood production.

    What you have however is a empty box. They are where they are, due to naturally tendencies and traits. They will move back below by themselves. And when you put supers above, they will fill them, while still having open comb below for expansion. Which actually is a good thing.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    bjorn writes:
    What you have however is a empty box. They are where they are, due to naturally tendencies and traits. They will move back below by themselves. And when you put supers above, they will fill them, while still having open comb below for expansion. Which actually is a good thing.

    tecumseh:
    a good thing... maybe yes and maybe no.

    sometimes they will and sometimes they will not move downward. the worst case for a southern beekeeper is to think the bottom box is filled with brood and bees and then to slap on another box on top of the stack when the bottom box is almost absolutely empty. here when the hive/queen does not move back down on their own this invariable leads to a fairly quick demise from wax moth (or in this new era the small hive beetle).

    for me I think the girls like to brood upward and I wish for all the hive space to be occupied and busy. for myself it is much more important to clean off the bottom board and make certain the space is occupied rather than empty. I ain't in the business of raising shb or wax moth.