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This is my first Winter and neither of my hives have moved up into the upper deeps. Both have 7 to 8 frames of capped honey up there.

I fed the bees nearly all Winter and am worried that all of this feed prevented them from eating some of the honey up top (and thus opening up some cells for the queen to begin laying in.)

I stopped feeding two weeks ago (when I noticed they had so much honey stores), but am wondering if I should be feeding to make the queen start to lay with greater frequency.

Advise would be appreciated.

(Note: I need them to move up so that I can clean out the bottom deeps. For reasons that are related to being a newbie, I inadvertantly allowed them to comb up the bottom deeps so badly that they need to be seriously cleaned so that inspections are not the nightmare they were last Summer)
 

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Besides space, the brood chamber needs to be kept in the 90s. If it is too cold she will not waste her time laying yet. The other component of brood production is protein. You could feed a protein supplement to encourage brood production.
 

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You can remove a couple frames in the center of the top box and replace them with drawn empty ones. Don't feed anymore. You can extract out the frames from the top box and save that syrup/honey to feed back to them later. If you have some empty frames in the bottom box that you can get out swap them with frames in the top(center). Make sure it is warm enough when you do this.
 

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Don't start feeding again. They should already be producing brood. We're already seeing some nectar flowing here. You are probably two or three weeks behind us. If you start feeding again, you're likely to have a honey bound hive in a couple of weeks...honey bound means that most of the cells in the hive are filled with honey and there's nowhere for the queen to lay eggs.
This fall, if you feed, feed only until the top deep is filled....then stop. Leave them alone for the winter. By spring the cluster will have moved into the top box and you'll have plenty of empty cells for brood rearing.
Good Luck.
 

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I agree with the prior post, you need to make room for them to move up. I’d vote for the extract honey from the upper frames of honey and then put those same frames back in the center of the top box. Bees will move up there to clean up the leftover honey and prepare them for brood rearing. Extracting won’t be easy if the honey has crystallized and you had ten frames up there but do what you can. Scratch off the cappings with a fork and leave the frame inverted in a cookie sheet in a sunny window. Keep away from the bees though!:D
Seems you have left them way too much winter stores. Next year either don’t feed them or harvest more honey. Given your location it seems their winter feed requirements were much less than you gave them. These things vary based on weather and colony size
 

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You have 7 or 8 frames of honey in the top super? Just move the empty frames from the sides to the middle. Also take your two empty frames from the bottom super (one on each side of the bottom super) and exchange them for the honey filled ones at the top. You will then have five empty frames in the center top giving the queen plenty of room. JMTCW
 

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I don't think I would move either if someone kept bringing me food. ;)
I like the way you think :D
I'll stick to the harvest the honey for yourself plan. All that honey in the hive when spring has rolled around again, it'll only get to looking worse and the bees obviously don't need it. Was this your first hive and you didn't get any honey !! :no:
 
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