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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Garland County, AR
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    1,076

    Default Want to open hive - frame arrangement?

    I peeked in the tops of my 2 hives last warm day a couple of weeks ago here in central Arkansas. Saw honey still up top. Didn't go in at all. Should be in 60s tomorrow so I would like to look inside and see what's doing. Have heard I should rearrange frames if I go in. Wondering what this means and what surprises I might need to be prepared for. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
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    830

    Default Re: Want to open hive - frame arrangement?

    I don't move frames in winter. I feel that the bees knew more about that in the fall than I did. They have been doing it a lot longer than I have. Make sure the hive has ventilation so it will stay dry in the hive. They can move to stores anytime the temps are in the mid forties. If they are wet or damp they will get stuck and starve in place. From what I am seeing your temps are in the high 60's they can do anything they want.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Garland County, AR
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    Default Re: Want to open hive - frame arrangement?

    I've got SBB top and bottom, hoping that will be good ventilation for them.

    When I do move frames, is it honey to the outermost? Do you always keep the brood warm and cozy in the middle? Makes sense, but I thought spring was somehow different from fall.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
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    830

    Default Re: Want to open hive - frame arrangement?

    The brood nest is always in the middle with combs of honey and pollen in the frames closest to the brood. Empty and undrawn frames to the outside. They will turn frames of honey into brood to expand the brood nest outward in spring. Let bees, be bees they don't need a lot of help from us.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
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    846

    Default Re: Want to open hive - frame arrangement?

    SCDW pretty well said it.The only time I would more frames around is if the cluster has worked its way to one side of the top box and has empty frames(or nearly empty)on both sides,then I would move illed frames over next to the cluster as they will not leave the brood and move to the other side for food. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Garland County, AR
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    Default Re: Want to open hive - frame arrangement?

    *So if I open the hive and they aren't at the top box, there is no need at all to go further down into the 2nd or 3rd box to see where the bees are or to rearrange frames or to do anything at this time?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,843

    Default Re: Want to open hive - frame arrangement?

    I would smoke them and very gently take off that top box and check the hive bodies for brood and brood pattern. If they have a couple frames of brood and plenty of honey, you need do nothing but smile and put it back together. Weather in the sixties allows you plenty of time for a thorough examination though and a chance to look at and enjoy your bees. You only get to look at and enjoy your bees when you have a good reason! A spring inspection is a good reason. You could even check to see if you have dead mites on the bottom board. After doing all that, all us ice bound northern folks here would love to hear what you found.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Want to open hive - frame arrangement?

    How many boxes is the hive height? If it is warm enough for the bees to be active I would remove the top box to see the cluster. I would not remove individual frames. Patience is the key. You want to see what is going on but after you see, then what steps can you take at this time anyways?
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
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    Default Re: Want to open hive - frame arrangement?

    VanceG, I don't envy your weather! It should be perfect here to get into the hive.

    Ccar, I've got 8 frame hives, bottom up on one is a deep and 2 mediums. On the other a deep and 3 mediums. I plan to lose the 2 deeps this spring, I hope.

    I guess spring has people itchy. I just felt the need to get into them due to all the things I'm hearing and reading from other folks. Seemed like I was supposed to do "something." I'm good with letting them be. I'm just trying to be doing what I'm supposed to be doing and when.

    So.... I guess the looming question is.... When DO I get into them when coming out of winter? I'm sure I'll learn about this at our next club meeting in two weeks.... But that seems like forever away!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Garland County, AR
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    1,076

    Default Re: Want to open hive - frame arrangement?

    Well, it's a balmy 70 degrees, so I went into my hives. Got stung twice almost immediately by my first hive - Not even sure why! So that made me a bit timid. I peeked in and saw lots of capped honey still, so I determined I didn't need to pull that super off, thinking there wouldn't be a cluster anyway, at 70 degrees?? Other hive had plenty of honey too. I'm calling them happy, at least so far. Lots of bees bringing in lots of pollen to a home with lots of honey. Good for now! Thanks all for the guidance!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

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