Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Should I consolidate brood downward?

    I'm inspecting tomorrow. My bees usually hang out high in the top boxes. Is it to early to start moving them down into the bottom box and getting frames in place for winter? Or am I hurrying things along too quickly?
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    A valid question deserves some kind of answer.

    My opinion: Not too early, but marginally too late. In our area the colony has been arranging the brood nest for winter since early August. They intend to winter in the box(s) they are in now. To rearrange their brood nest now would be a major disruption.

    Walt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Wow - seriously?!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    So....at this point, would you leave everything alone? What about arrangement of honey?
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,541

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Honestly, do you think that the bees have trouble locating their honey where they need it? Leave the brood/honey arrangement alone and feed if they need it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hampton CT
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Most general rule, reversing brood chambers is used to help controll swarming during times of broodnest expansion (Spring in most areas). This time of the year, let the bees set things up for winter. If the are light on stores, feed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,556

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Seymore: You didn't mention how many boxes your hive is in. If you can take a peak at your bottom box and it is essentially empty then pull it out, its not serving any purpose, if it has a small amount of brood along the top bars then wait a couple of weeks to do so. If there is lots of activity down there then do what Mike says.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,021

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Honestly, do you think that the bees have trouble locating their honey where they need it? Leave the brood/honey arrangement alone and feed if they need it.
    Michael, certainly you are smarter than a bee, aren't you?

    Isn't there a saying someone says about bees making better beekeepers than beekeepers bees? Or something like that? Oh, yeah, Michael Palmer.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Jim and Adam, thank you for a non-sarcastic answer with some direction.

    Mr. Palmer, honestly, if I knew the answer I wouldn't have asked. Honestly.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Florida, USA
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    It depends on your flow. I know many on this thread disagree but all the books will tell you bees can starve with honey below the cluster. May not be such an issue as far south as you are though. If i were you id knock it down to two boxes and put the heaviest box on top assuming your using deeps.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,021

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    So, the answer is "No, but you may need to feed." I know Michael and he understands you were asking an honest question because you wanted to know. His answer is valid, imo.
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 09-10-2012 at 07:22 AM. Reason: fixed a typo
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Thanks, Df, that's what I have read a lot too, and have had people tell me to do - move honey to the outside, brood to the inside and down - and remove an empty bottom box if there, as you suggest. Reason given is that bees move up. Hard to move up if they are already at the top. Here, they recommend giving a couple weeks of 2:1 (if necessary) in October and then rearrange. I just wondered why wait, if I was doing an inspection and it seems so Fall all of a sudden. I'll open them up and just see what they look like. Seems they always have that empty bottom box. I use 8fr meds. 3 boxes have seemed to work well for winter here, with leftovers. But they have been mild winters so far.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,021

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Do you have honey below the cluster? Since it seems like you tend towards doing what you asked about in the original post, may I suggest that you not move frames, but supers, if you do have an empty box on thge bottom. Take it out, putting everything back together the way it was w/out the bottom box on the bottom. Then put the bottom box, which is empty, on the top and feed, feed, feed. Maybe they will fill that box and you will have feed above brood, as is your goal.

    How many years have you been wintering 8 frame mediums 3 medium supers high in AR? What has worked for you in the past?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Mark, I have had 3 springs already but my 3rd winter is coming up - so only 2 winters using 8 frame mediums. Screened IB and BB. I mislead by comment above - "3 boxes have seemed to work well for winter here, with leftovers." I have used 4 boxes but they don't seem to use the bottom box and there has been plenty of honey leftover. BUT, the catch I suppose is "mild winter." Maybe I shouldn't test my theory just yet.

    No, no honey below the cluster. When I went in yesterday, the brood was pretty much where I would have thought it should be. Yes, shock, the bees knew what to do.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,021

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    I think you are experiencing what most beekeeper experience and that is that the bees are quite often up above the bottom of a hive and the bottom of the combs is empty. Then over winter the bees move up leaving more comb empty. You might want to close down the entrance some.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Are you thinking it is breezy? I do have the screened bottom board in addition to a slatted rack. It gets pretty dang toasty here in the summer. But even before I added the slatted rack, they were up high. Course, they build comb down to the slatted racks...
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,021

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    I don't know. Could be.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA, USA
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    My bees are still very much in the bottom box with a good bit of brood.
    8 frame.
    I do use slatted rack and wonder if some of you think the claims of better bottom box use may be right?
    We had a very slow August (even hotter and dryer than normal) but the past several weeks bees have been very busy, at least partly with stickweed and goldenrod. And partly I've been feeding 1:1 for 4 weeks (might have started Aug 1 but didn't).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,541

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymore View Post
    When I went in yesterday, the brood was pretty much where I would have thought it should be. Yes, shock, the bees knew what to do.
    [/FONT]
    Exactly! And why you should leave them alone. There's nothing wrong with haveing an extra brood box on the bottom...in fact I would say they're better off with empty combs below the cluster for winter. Safer there than in storage where moths and mice can get at the combs.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Michael, how does one weigh that advice against giving bees too much space? It can all be very confusing at times.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

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