When, if, and how to spring rotate deep boxes
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  1. #1

    Default When, if, and how to spring rotate deep boxes

    I live in North East Ohio, I checked my hive for the first time this year today. The bees seemed to be in the top and bottom deep hive boxes. There was brown brood (I believe it was drone brood) in the bottom box, and there was yellow brood (I believe it was worker brood) in the top box. The weather the next 2 weeks looks to be in the 40's and 50's during the day, and in the 30's at night. My questions are:

    Do I still need to switch the boxes since there was brood in both?

    If so, am I late in doing this? On time in doing this? Or too early in doing this?


    I appreciate any advice, thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
    Posts
    678

    Default

    Nights in the 30's seems too early to me. Chilled brood is bad. Weight till brood will not be at risk.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,491

    Default Re: When, if, and how to spring rotate deep boxes

    Are you saying that the cappings are brown or yellow, or the larvae? I assume you mean cappings. If the larvae is anything than sparkling white, you have a problem. You should be able to distinguish drones by the larger cells and the capping looks like the top of a bullet, not flat like worker brood.
    Since there is brood in both boxes, there is no reason for reversing the boxes. You have well trained bees. J

  5. #4

    Default Re: When, if, and how to spring rotate deep boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderstorm6274 View Post
    There was brown brood (I believe it was drone brood) in the bottom box, and there was yellow brood (I believe it was worker brood) in the top box.
    I would strongly suggest that you find an experience mentor.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  6. #5

    Default Re: When, if, and how to spring rotate deep boxes

    Yes, the cappings are brown. Thank you all very very much for the advice

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    1,166

    Default Re: When, if, and how to spring rotate deep boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderstorm6274 View Post
    I live in North East Ohio, I checked my hive for the first time this year today. The bees seemed to be in the top and bottom deep hive boxes. There was brown brood (I believe it was drone brood) in the bottom box, and there was yellow brood (I believe it was worker brood) in the top box. The weather the next 2 weeks looks to be in the 40's and 50's during the day, and in the 30's at night. My questions are:

    Do I still need to switch the boxes since there was brood in both?

    If so, am I late in doing this? On time in doing this? Or too early in doing this?


    I appreciate any advice, thanks
    Hi Thunder, We had a hard frost here last night, I would if I were you just leave them as is, Chilled brood is a bad thing. Have a reason to do something , like the swap you suggest
    ,
    My first question would be Why??, Because some one suggested it is not a good reason, unless they were there to see inside your hive. so think of the brood nest as a basket ball , today centered, and round. When you reverse you have 2 1/2 ball shaped, units of brood, one like a bowl, up at the top of the hive and one like an upside down bowl at the bottom. The bottom one is the one likely to get chilled as you moved brood down and close to the door.
    So if they are using both boxes, they are already in both boxes, IMO most folks swap to get the bottom (empty) box on top . think "keep the nest intact , offer space above". not "swap", each has different meaning. Swap is what they do , offering space above is what they want to do
    BTW, I do not box swap, I am a proponent of brood nest integrity. Just understand what it is you are trying to accomplish, and if there is potential for harm.
    IMO this early in OHio, with bees already in both boxes, you have very little to gain and lots of risk for brood chill, so it would be illogical to swap.

    GG

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,866

    Default Re: When, if, and how to spring rotate deep boxes

    I am really slow to reverse boxes. Heat rises and bees by nature like to expand down into an empty space. Then wintering brood nests are often straddling the two boxes and one never benefits from splitting the brood nest!

    Now if the colony is starting to establish a rim of new honey across the top of the middle of the brood and pushing down the brood nest, you need to do something and reversing boxes is an answer. Before that cap of honey is established I am more apt to put on a queen excluder and a drawn super on top of it. This helps prevents the bees from believing they have finished their brood nest. Every colony is different. That is why there is no excuse for being in your hives and bee keeping.

  9. #8

    Default Re: When, if, and how to spring rotate deep boxes

    Thank you, I greatly greatly appciate it, that makes sense.

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