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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2001


    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? 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

  2. #2
    mamaturtle Guest


    My 10 frame hive needed a second box and I just stuck it on top. Not only did the bees NOT go up and use it, they swarmed and left me with a cranky base hive to boot!

    I will most definitely be sticking new boxes UNDER the top boxes this year.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Pineville, LA


    I put my 2nd box on top the bees moved in right away, in fact, they had drawn out 8 frames before the winter. About a month.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Overbrook, KS USA


    Hello, all,

    I'm with Beth on this one. I had the same darn thing happen last summer. Empty box on top, and half the hive in a cedar tree 20 feet away! That hive is a bunch of numbskulls anyway.

    In one of my reference books is commentary about rotating frames of brood between supers if the bees aren't working all the supers. I haven't tried this -- yet. Anyone have comments/experiences on that idea?


    PJ Adams

  5. #5
    mamaturtle Guest


    Rotating frames of brood between hives is an interesting idea. I'd like to hear from anyone who has tried this.

    BTW, glad to hear I'm not the only one with ditzy bees LOL.

    Beth in wet and cold Washington state

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    crown point, NY, USA


    Hi Beth and all,

    I'll let you guys in on a few tricks to get the bees into second brood chambers. Take two frames of brood and pull them up into the second hive body dead center. Bring the two frames of foundation down placing each one between frames of brood towards the center. Feed, feed. As the bees draw out combs from foundation keep adding foundation between brood combs one or two at a time. Repeat.



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