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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,081

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Send any, so called, "dumb" questions to me via PM. I am much more compassionate and easy to get along w/ one on one. Otherwise, people who Post on open Forums take their chances.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    637

    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?
    100 +/-
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    350, going up, seeking quality, not quantity.
    I've got a friend who goes to much for quantity and his quality suffers. He needs the numbers though because he needs to fill his pollination contracts and it seems like a viscous cycle because the qualitity for over wintering is lacking, then the following spring he goes on a splitting spree again. I'm so sick of doing pollination and though I've been in the same boat as my friend, I remember the days of keeping bees for the purpose of making honey where quality hives are important. I'm going back to my roots on that one, and keeping it simple.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    I wonder about the reversing boxes thing.

    I keep top bars now, and am building lang gear to expand this spring. But I cannot count the number of times lang people have told me or others that top bar hives won't work well or winter well because the bees like to "move up". But that's only in the winter.

    The way I understand it, the bees are on an annual up and down movement by nature. They move up on the combs as they get into the stores and try to conserve energy in the winter. In the spring and summer, they want to move down. The queen lays and moves down, and the bees fill in behind her.

    So why reverse boxes if she wants to move down anyway?

    Adam

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    512

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    700.

    Generally only time I reverse boxes is with nucs that were made up in the spring, usually just before or when honey supers are being put on. I run story & half hives (deep + medium, usually with the deep on top). Nucs are made up in a deep and then a medium put on top when ready. My feeders are in the deep box, and need to have the deep on top for the rest of the year to make feeding easy. Used to switch deep & medium when pulling honey or in the fall, but it's much easier in late spring/early summer. Regular hives (not nucs) never get switched.
    Gregg Stewart

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Quote Originally Posted by cteddo View Post
    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.
    Lots of commercial keepers do not




    BEE HAPPY Jim 134

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,909

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    We run 700 honey producing hives

    I dont reverse, The bees are best alone in the top during our springs, and I allow them to expand into the second underneath. I will then take the strength in the bottom box as a full split or half split.
    Timing is everything to take a good split before they start making perversions to swarm

    After I split I will again place the empty brood box underneath. No so called reversal
    They will always back fill the second and then go up with honey, not down. If the top is filled with honey and brood, they will hit the supers sooner leaving the bottom for teh queen
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,173

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    We Reverse everything each spring, scrape bottom boards, center brood down stairs, scrape all top bars, clean out any left over mite treatments, shake out any duds.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,375

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Yep, me too Keith. Reversing the brood chamber in the spring gets me into the hive. Any crystallized honey remaining from winter goes on the bottom board where the bees clean it out. I can better evaluate the cluster size and count the frames of brood...without actually handling frames. It gets the combs in the bottom of the colony...where sometimes they get chewed and pollen packed...up above the active broodnest where they can be restored and used by the bees. It allows me to grow powerful colonies that don't swarm as readily and with large clusters, go on to take advantage of whatever flows materialize.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    I have 30+/- colonies that are in need of new comb/boxes. I was expecting to make new boxes & Pierco/Rite Cell frames to be ready in spring. My plan was to reverse boxes, put new deeps with extra wax coated frames & feed till the upper deep is drawn out. these colonies need both boxes swapped out as they are kinda of old. How do you introduce new equipment, & what could be expected for normalizing colonies w/honey production in mind? I hope to attempt raising some queens this year, I want to have a supply of new comb & volumn of bees. THX.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rome NY USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Hey guys i'm not following why you don't reverse, I was told to put brood nest on the bottom and empty comb on top or at least move empty comb in the middle of the box. I only have 17 hives and been doing it for 6 years. sorry if it sounds dumb just trying to learn the best way. Hoping to double this year if we survive the winter.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,909

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    ya thats right but you be sure your reversing the boxes so that the bees can work the brood nest into it.
    If the hive is big, and there is no flow to be seen, and you arnt going to take the strength down, then sending the extra space up top is worth all the work.
    But lets say, your working big hives and you are in the midst of a heavey flow, reversing will mearly plug the top box. So what should you do? Either take down the strength or start supering! The big hives will always plug the top box if there is a flow happening regardless if you want them to send brood up. Adding more space during a flow to a big hive will get filled quicker than the queen will lay into it

    So its all a matter of what your trying to achieve
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    >Hey guys i'm not following why you don't reverse

    1) I don't want to disrupt and split the brood nest.
    2) I don't want to lift 600 boxes just to set the bees back by making them rearrange their hive.
    3) I see nothing to gain by this cost of my labor and the bees' labor.

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

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rome NY USA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    Hey Michael Bush i'm not following do you revese or not? if not why run two deep brood nest?
    Thanks for input.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,909

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    One box doesnt quite give enough space for the queen during her spring time brood rearing
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Default Re: Rotating boxes, How often?

    >Hey Michael Bush i'm not following do you revese or not?

    Not.

    > if not why run two deep brood nest?

    I don't anymore, but Ian answered that if you want to run deeps. Also, two deeps gives more stores in the spring for the buildup in Northern locations. I run more like three to five eight frame mediums for winter.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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