Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 36
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Modesto, california. USA
    Posts
    74

    Default Rotating boxes, How often?

    Very curious as to how many times a year commercial keepers plan to rotate their boxes. I know spring for sure as I helped a keeper rotate last year. Lots of work.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,273

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    I'm just a poor sideliner with between 100 and 200 hives usually. I don't rotate the boxes. As you say, it is a lot of work.

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

    "Some beekeepers, trusting the ways of bees less than I do, at this point routinely 'switch hive bodies,' that is, switch the positions of the two stories of each hive, thinking that this will induce the queen to increase her egg laying and distribute it more widely through the hive. I doubt, however, that any such result is accomplished, and in any case I have long since found that such planning is best left to the bees." --Richard Taylor, The Joys of Beekeeping
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    I usually reverse the boxes in the spring once it is warm enough and the bees are strong enough. This gives me the opportunity to clean the bottom boards of winter debris too. after reversing, a lot of the brood and bees are on the bottom and allows the bees to expand upwards.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,079

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    I will reverse brood boxes and/or add deep supers only once, in the Spring when I am preparing for splitting a month later. I believe I did avoid swarming and that it did provide lots of frames of brood for making splits. But I would never argue w/ Richard Taylor.

    My Philosophy is that one should gather advice from those who have come before, take it in and then do what seems best for yourself and your bees.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,606

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Never.

    Crazy Roland, Entomological Engineer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Once, in the spring during spring brood examinations.............Durn, Roland, you are now an Entomological Engineer. I have been away from the forum too long. Did not even get to go to your graduation. TED

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Modesto, california. USA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Thank to all who respndeed to my question. I am curious how many colonies do you guys have?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,218

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Actually we don't rotate at all, we leave them right side up all year long.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,273

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    >I am curious how many colonies do you guys have?

    I have 250 bottoms and 200 tops and well over 500 boxes (not counting nucs and long hives etc.). I sometimes run out of tops and bottoms and use makeshift tops. That's not counting nucs, which I usually have several hundred of. So I usually say I have 200 hives, but I'm sure that number is lower at the moment.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,079

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by cteddo View Post
    Thank to all who respndeed to my question. I am curious how many colonies do you guys have?
    500+/-

    And you?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,079

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Actually we don't rotate at all, we leave them right side up all year long.
    One rotates a globe. It remains right side up. Reversing Supers may be the more correct term. Or Reversing Brood Box Positions, perhaps.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,241

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    ..... 'thinking that this will induce the queen to increase her egg laying" --Richard Taylor, The Joys of Beekeeping
    Well, I don't believe that reversing brood chambers increases the queen's egg laying, so I agree with Taylor. But, I believe that reversing brood chambers is a good management tool in swarm control. I reverse once on the Dandelion flow, this about 2 weeks after adding two medium extracting supers. This helps me maintain my colonies' strength for my early flows...no splitting in spring to eliminate swarming.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,079

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    ...no splitting in spring to eliminate swarming.
    I'll have to try that out. Maybe I'll have better success producing honey next year.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,218

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    One rotates a globe. It remains right side up. Reversing Supers may be the more correct term. Or Reversing Brood Box Positions, perhaps.
    I was probably being a bit too cute there, a legitimate question was asked though I might argue that the axis could be horizontal as well. Back to the question at hand though. I am always reluctant to discuss the whole hive number thing but fwiw we operate a 4,000 +/- migratory operation. Dosent make me right on stuff it only means I run a few more hives than most. Rotation (or reversal) isnt part of what we normally do. I think reversing is a good tool in the spring once the weather has begun to warm up for those who winter in cold climates as it gives you a chance to clean off the bottom board and I pretty much agree with MP in that I am not convinced bigger hives normally result but it sure seems that it should help control the swarming urge. In addition it allows the bottom box to get cleaned up and properly maintained. I would NOT do any reversing too close to the winter season though as the disruption to the brood nest could hurt their ability to winter. I also would not reverse a small hive particularly if they are directly under the lid as the disruption might make them vulnerable to robbing and might hurt their ability to stay warm in cooler climates (a small hive in a double this time of year should have the bottom box taken away from them entirely).
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,606

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    350, going up, seeking quality, not quantity. Still recovering financially from CCD.

    Ted - Got my Eng. degree in the bottom of a cereal box. That's normal, Eh?

    Crazy Roland, Entomological Engineer.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,079

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    (a small hive in a double this time of year should have the bottom box taken away from them entirely).
    Amen. And the entrance reduced down to almost nothing.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Somewhere around 2000 but have three employees counting me working as a crew. Roland my engineering degree will be from a cracker jacks box. TED

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Selby, SD, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    when we use to winter 1 1/2 stories in texas we would reverse in early february. without reversing, there was always more brood in the medium than in the deep and that doesn't work well when making splits. in mid april after splits were made we would reverse back so the medium was back on top of the deep. sure was hard work and rough on the back. dont run 1 1/2 stories anymore a because the medium is an inconvenience for making splits and also can't get as many on a semi load. run all singles now in the winter. 10,800 +/-hives
    Greg Stahlman; Stahlman Apiaries Inc.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,241

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    In addition it allows the bottom box to get cleaned up and properly maintained.
    And I would add, it helps deal with crystallized honey in the top box. We often have combs of honey left over in the spring that sit in the hive and take up space. Reversing that box to the bottom board stimulates the bees to dig it out and open up the comb.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Modesto, california. USA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Mark I have 250 ish. So much to learn, still a very new beekeeper. I am known to ask THE dumbest questions. I find if I dont ask, mistakes are more commonly made. Thanks for all the ideas, some will work for me and some perhaps wont. And Jim I was a little worried I might have to get bees with wings that pivot for inverted flight. wwhhooooooeeewww

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads