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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    30

    Question Reversing brood chambers. Should I?

    My 2 overwintered hives have changed their behavior a bit this spring... For starters there are no where near as many bees as last spring, but the queen is laying & working on that issue.

    They are living in the top deep brood chamber & using the small vent hole as an entrance and exit. The bottom entrance is clean & clear, the bottom chamber is clean & clear. Should I reverse the top & bottom to try and manipulate them into using the main entrance and working upwards?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,364

    Default

    How are the temps running there now? If you still have cold nights I would probably wait until you have a bigger population of bees to cover the brood.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    30

    Default temps

    We've been running 60 to 80 daily and 45 or so at night for the last week. It is a bit above normal for here right now


    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,764

    Default

    I just reversed mine last weekend.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio
    Posts
    350

    Default

    How many frames of brood are in the top? If there are five plus and there's enough bees to keep it covered and warm if the temps drop, I'd probably reverse them. If there's not a lot of bees and only two or three frames of brood, I'd leave them alone. Especially if theres empty frames in the top for the queen to lay in. If there's only two or three frames of brood and the rest are full of stores and pollen, I'd move a couple empty frames up for the queen to lay in.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,321

    Default

    For the northeast, I would say reverse on the Dandelion flow.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
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    4,074

    Default

    I wouldn't reverse until temps stay above 50 overnight, the risk of chilled brood is too high to warrent reversing until then.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    edmonds, WA, USA
    Posts
    348

    Default

    If they are all in the top box, I would reverse immediately. In a couple weeks or so, if the top brood box is 3/4 full of bees and brood I would reverse again and possible add a super or two if your flow is near. The longer you leave them in the top box, the greater the chances that they will start swarm preparations. If the cluster is decent size, and If they have a honey cap over the brood chamber, I would break it up a little with a couple empty combs, so the queen will continue to lay and move upwards. I reversed mine at 52degrees and 35 at night. As long as they are flying I would go for it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,074

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by allrawpaul View Post
    If they are all in the top box, I would reverse immediately. I reversed mine at 52degrees and 35 at night. As long as they are flying I would go for it.
    Strong hive maybe, but not with this statement:

    "For starters there are no where near as many bees as last spring, but the queen is laying & working on that issue."

    Your just asking to get the brood chilled by reversing, which will make them weaker, longer...
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    30

    Default Chilled brood

    There are approx 3 frames of bees and 2 frames have brood, is this too small of a cluster to risk chilled brood?

    John

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,074

    Default

    Yes, it is.... Should move them into a nuc box, as they are way too small for a big hive.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Default

    Personally I wouldn't reverse if you have to split the brood nest to do so.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#stopswitching

    If you're trying to prevent swarming, I'd open up the brood nest instead.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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