I know all of the bee books refer to how the bees (and queen) like to
work UP and that we should rotate brood chambers to give the bees
more room above. But, in an unmanaged hive (e.g. a feral colony) I
doubt the colony works its way to the top over winter and never works
back down. Isn't the NATURAL annual movement of a colony UP during
the winter as they consume their stores and then DOWN during spring
and summer as they fill the comb above with honey? My limited
observations have been that bees WILL work down (especially with a
slatted rack?). I left one of my 3 brood chambered hives alone last
season (instead of rotating boxes) and they utilized the lower boxes
without hesitation.

Have you ever had a 10 frame colony that you decided needed more
room? ....so you place a second box on TOP and it takes forever for the
bees to move into it. Next year I'm going to experiment by placing some
of those boxes on the BOTTOM and see if they prefer working down.


John Bachman
Wausau, WI