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I overwintered 2 hives out of 5. These are Minnesota Hygenics. I did an inspection of the top deeps (lots of bees) and discovered about 50 lbs of honey and sugar syrup (capped) still left in each hive. I saw the Queen in one of those top deeps also. I have not seen any brood or eggs.
Should I remove this to make room for brood?
Should I reverse the deeps? There really is no room in those top deeps for brood rearing. I fed them well in the fall.

[ March 12, 2006, 08:35 AM: Message edited by: newbee 101 ]
 

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In CT at this time of the year I would wait. You have lots of time. We still have some cold weather to deal with. I would not be swapping boxes yet.
 

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If there are boxes with empty space on the bottom, and I wanted to split them, I would remove any queen excluders and add pollen patties and let the bees do the rest.
 

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I don’t know how many frames the bees are covering nor how much brood is currently being raised.
However, if you want to split them this spring (April) and let them raise their own queen, I would do the following:
1- Add some frames of empty or mostly empty comb to each side of the cluster. Don't break up the current brood nest, but make it easier for them to expand it. Take the comb from one of the dead outs.
2- Place an empty box on top to use to feed the colony light syrup and pollen or pollen substitute. You can simply place the pollen substitute on to some paper.
3- Pump them with light syrup and pollen substitute. They will turn the syrup and pollen substitute into brood and this will allow you to split earlier.

Today is the 13th of March, first complete brood cycle from today would be April 3rd, then the second complete brood cycle would be on April 24th. I like to know that I have at least 2 complete brood cycles that I have feed with syrup and pollen substitute before I do any splits. For you in the Danbury area, splitting about the 24th or so in April, would put your queens mating flights around the time of the on set of swarm season. So there will be a viable drone population for mating.

The above timing can be adjusted based on overall colony population, brood, and drone rearing that you see.

The other option is to sit back and wait for mother nature to ramp up the colony and split them more toward the end of May.
 
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