Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hive that is in it's 2nd year. I wintered them in two supers and this spring, they have the top super almost completely filled with brood and frames of honey. The bottom box is almost entirely empty other than some pollen stores. Should I remove that box? Should I move it to the top for them and move the brood down? Should I just leave them alone and let them work it out on their own?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
I would swap the two brood boxes (supers are what you put on top of the brood boxes, to collect your harvestable honey), putting the empty on top, but that's just me. Some folks might tell you not to bother, but in the Spring I swap out the solid bottom boards for screened bottoms so it isn't any trouble- set the screened bottom next to the hive, take the top box off and set it on the screened bottom and the former bottom box becomes the top.

That is, if they need to be swapped (they don't always need it).

This year might be a little different because I've started running triple [deep] brood boxes so I don't know exactly what I'm going to find when I open them up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would swap the two brood boxes (supers are what you put on top of the brood boxes, to collect your harvestable honey),
Yes, thanks for the correction... We were both talking about the same thing.

I suppose that's just how they ended up over the winter and they don't need the extra room yet until they build back up their numbers. I'll swap the brood boxes and see how it goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
Yes, thanks for the correction... We were both talking about the same thing.

I suppose that's just how they ended up over the winter and they don't need the extra room yet until they build back up their numbers. I'll swap the brood boxes and see how it goes.
LOL, that was mainly for the benefit of any 'newbees' who might read it, so that they do not become confused.
 
  • Like
Reactions: superdough

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,139 Posts
I have seen colonies with screened bottom boards that never used the lower box! Assuming you are not silly enough to have one of those, I would leave the colony up top where it is warmer away from the cold ground and drafts. The bees will expand downward naturally. Reversing the boxes can chill brood unless your location is well past freezing nights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
I have seen colonies with screened bottom boards that never used the lower box! Assuming you are not silly enough to have one of those, I would leave the colony up top where it is warmer away from the cold ground and drafts. The bees will expand downward naturally. Reversing the boxes can chill brood unless your location is well past freezing nights.
OP didn't mention screened bottoms, I did. I thought I remembered you being able to read better than that?

I've had bees that don't move down on their own. If they don't, I rotate 'em.

My screened bottoms go in after last frost date, never had an issue with chilled brood. Mite check boards usually stay in so I can keep an eye on them.

Why o you even have two deeps for a brood chamber if the bees only need one?

Crazy Roland
Who says they only need one?
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,451 Posts
I am with Vance,
the bees will move the brood closer to the entrance "When" they feel it is warm enough.
You force it, you risk chilling the brood.
Also the bees keep the pollen stores in the lower, by swapping they will likely add more pollen to the lower during the summer and now you have more than needed.
The upper is the warmer of the 2 and hence they brood up there in spring.

do as you wish, there are many "ways" to go as you will find here.

GG
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,451 Posts
Haha, yes, in my initial response I did mention that some folks would tell him not to bother.

I do what works for me, YMMV.
Bad Keeper
I swapped 30 years ago, I tend not to now, I did it because My dad told me to, after watching the bees and paying attention, I no longer feel the need.
Yes some times they will not go down , but generally it is due to other reasons, sometime they avoid going thru an excluder as well.

the "swap" is a big hammer, I see smaller nails today and tend to use the frame manipulation if I feel the need.

I guess today I am a brood nest Integrity proponent.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
709 Posts
I have seen colonies with screened bottom boards that never used the lower box! Assuming you are not silly enough to have one of those, I would leave the colony up top where it is warmer away from the cold ground and drafts. The bees will expand downward naturally. Reversing the boxes can chill brood unless your location is well past freezing nights.
I used to have screened bottom boards. In my experience, bees were always moving up to get away from the screen. I switched to solid bottom boards and have never looked back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,466 Posts
Badbadbeekeeper - I say one deep and then an excluder is plenty. Gave up on the other methods before WWII

Crazy Roland
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
Badbadbeekeeper - I say one deep and then an excluder is plenty. Gave up on the other methods before WWII

Crazy Roland
If you're still doing it, hats off to you. I went with triples last year, and have discovered that even being 'only' just over 60 a full deep of honey suddenly seems to be a lot heavier than it was a couple of years ago...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
258 Posts
full deep of honey suddenly seems to be a lot heavier than it was a couple of years ago...
Yup. I think I'll get rid of mediums altogether, but seriously thinking 8-frame hives are in my future for everything other than nucs. Picked up a full box a few days ago and it surprised me what a few years has done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,466 Posts
Badbad... to each his own, but have you ever tested how much winter feed left in your brood boxes gets up in the supers?

Crazy Roland.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,480 Posts
Yup. I think I'll get rid of mediums altogether, but seriously thinking 8-frame hives are in my future for everything other than nucs. Picked up a full box a few days ago and it surprised me what a few years has done.
Eight frames are a little more work than 10’s, but definitely lighter!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
Badbad... to each his own, but have you ever tested how much winter feed left in your brood boxes gets up in the supers?

Crazy Roland.
Eh, you mean, as in sugar water/syrup? No, I haven't fed in years. Maybe, 2014, or 2013 was the last time?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,480 Posts
Eh, you mean, as in sugar water/syrup? No, I haven't fed in years. Maybe, 2014, or 2013 was the last time?
I also do not feed syrup unless there are definite conditions that it is needed, BUT, I have found that leaving the Fall honey on the hives for overwintering, I end up with leftover crystallized frames of honey; (I also wrap and insulate the hives.) I should say quite a few supers worth. Some hives ate more, most hives ate less. You in Maine, me in western Catskills mountains NY. Yesterday is the first day I saw the bees bringing in natural pollen. And they started storing a little nectar last week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
I also do not feed syrup unless there are definite conditions that it is needed, BUT, I have found that leaving the Fall honey on the hives for overwintering, I end up with leftover crystallized frames of honey; (I also wrap and insulate the hives.) I should say quite a few supers worth. Some hives ate more, most hives ate less. You in Maine, me in western Catskills mountains NY. Yesterday is the first day I saw the bees bringing in natural pollen. And they started storing a little nectar last week.
Mine have been bringing in pollen for more than a week. Saturday it should be warm enough for me to dig into them. From my cursory examination a few weeks ago, I think I can probably pull a few hundred pounds of honey to go with what I pulled in late Fall after the goldenrod was done and is still sitting on the floor (about 1,000lbs or so). Now I just have to figure out how to warm it all up enough to extract it...I hate to say it, but I think I'm going to have to build a honey house and put one of my spare wood stoves in, it's getting to be too much to do in the kitchen now and I don't want to heat the whole darn house up. Was looking at a new (bigger) extractor too but I'm a tightwad and don't want to spend the money yet.

I have long been of the opinion that honey was better for the bees than syrup, and pollen subs, but didn't have any concrete evidence to go on. However, I was just reading about some studies recently that seem to confirm my 'gut feelings'. The studies indicate that bees have shorter lifespans when fed either of those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,922 Posts
Every major study I have seen showed that bees fed on syrup made from table sugar have a longer lifespan than those fed honey or syrups made from other sugars. I have not seen studies done on pollen supplement feeding so I can't comment on that product. Pollen supplement allows bees to raise brood which naturally reduces the lifespan of the adults so I would not put much faith in studies which doesn't take that into consideration.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top