switching hive bodies

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by 11Nick, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. 11Nick

    11Nick New Member

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    I've read about switching hive bodies at different times of year. When I read it, I didn't file it away. I think it related to location of queen/time of year/working towards being honey bound??? Can you please better explain what triggers you to switch two deep hive bodies? Is it something that you always do at specific times of year, or is it only done under certain circumstances.
    Many thanks
    Nick
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I only do it when the lower box has no honey or brood in it.Usually as the spring flow starts.
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    nick,
    reversing is normally done in the spring for various reasons, as iddee said the bottom box is usually empty, and as a part of 'swarm prevention'. reversing hive bodies does not prevent them from swarming. i do very little reversing, the bees move up, the bees move down, they know what to do. some keeps reverse hive bodies and some unknowingly disrupt or separate the broodnest, and reverse several times in the spring, thinking this will prevent swarming, or as i call it, unnecessarily rearranging their furniture. the bees need to keep the brood warm and in a northern climate, days may be warm enough but we still have some chilly nights. the heat and food stores are in the top box. i let the bees decide when to move down, and they do. occasionally i will reverse when they are a little slow at doing so, or there is some other issue. also, my hives are typically divided after they have moved down, this is good swarm prevention.

    you have to ask yourself, what is the purpose i wish to accomplish by reversing my hives, as with any management technique.
     
  4. 11Nick

    11Nick New Member

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    Thanks for the further explanation!
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    there should be a thread I wrote back in the spring time concerning reversing.

    although written with the spring time in mind here this process may be essential 2 or 3 times a year. with the wax moth and the more recent arrival of the small hive beetle at certain times of the year you cannot afford to let the bottom box become empty*. empty here also mean unguarded so the end results of this should be self evident. as I suggest in the thread it also does not allow you to misinform yourself and think that the bottom box is solid with brood and feed when it is in actuality feather light. <and I would guess based on how my own mind works the higher you have a hive stacked the more you are likely to deceive yourself.

    so to your question: I reverse in the springtime when a hive fails to move downward leaving the bottom box empty and in the late summer (usually after honey harvest since I don't like to move boxes again and again) pretty much when ever I see the bottom box unattended.

    *it appears the worst case is not absolutely empty but no brood and no feed but just a bit of pollen stored here and there. the small hive beetles seem to flourish like nothing you have ever seen if they have some pollen to feed upon.
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    nick,
    tecs thread is here and excellent information:

    early spring time management

    tec's statement from this thread:
    "*my long term primary theme in beekeeping is that PURPOSE does drive a lot of decision in regards to beekeeping. different purpose often time yields a very different decision"

    a very good sound statement, (and as i said earlier about purpose) purpose is an essential thought process to decision making in beekeeping.