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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Just a quick question about re-organizing the brood chamber. Most of my hives have 2-4 frames of honey on the outer sides on the nest. This honey has been there a long time, a couple of seasons I think (judging by the color of the cappings... almost black!). The bees don't seem to ever use it. They stored it but never needed it I guess! It must certainly be crystalized by now (although I didn't check that... just assuming). Anyway, I want them to either use it ot lose it. So to encourage that, I want to put these honey frames smack dab in the middle if the nest. They probably won't like that because it interupts the brood and laying area so they should then move it, hopefully to the honey supers upstairs. Does this make any sense?

Thanks to all that reply.
 

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Give it a whirl....cannot hurt at the moment. Eventually mine moved to mine...
 

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Move things around and see what happens. It's June...plenty of time to be conservative in the fall.

Let us know how it goes. I'm curious.
 

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As long as they are strong and weather is not cool they can handle it. Honey may or may not crystalize with time. Some honey will NEVER crystalize. There is no particular reason to force them to move it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What is your night time temps?

Mike
Quite cool. Average 11-14 C (51-57 F). I don't plan on breaking up my weaker hives, just the strong ones. I really don't even have to do this. Its just that the honey is sitting there and never being used for a couple of years.
 

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I do not expect any more below 60 degree night time temps until mid-Sept. If you "spread" or rearrange the brood nest when it is cool ( like mid-50s or cooler ) they might not be able to keep all the brood warm enough. Some brood might get chilled and die. Not the end of the world but not good either.
If the colony is strong they can handle it.
 

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I do not expect any more below 60 degree night time temps until mid-Sept. If you "spread" or rearrange the brood nest when it is cool ( like mid-50s or cooler ) they might not be able to keep all the brood warm enough. Some brood might get chilled and die. Not the end of the world but not good either.
If the colony is strong they can handle it.
I'm really freaking out about this. A couple of days ago I rearranged some of my frames - I have two hives with two medium boxes on each and wanted the bees to draw out the outer frames. So I switched the outer frames on all four boxes with frames near the middle, which had lots of capped brood and larva. Now I am regretting it so much. Night time temperatures here are low 50's. Are my hives in trouble? Is the brood in trouble, and should I rearrange the frames again or is it too late? If I rearrange again, what is the lowest acceptable outside temperature to do this without chilling the brood?
 

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should I rearrange the frames again

I would leave them as they are. If there are enough bees in the colony they have everything covered. If not, the damage has already been done and rearranging them again would not really help anything. You will probably be OK. Next time you open it up look closely and see how they did, and learn from it. Hopefully it will be a good report.
 

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It is likely there for a reason. The one that comes to mind is temperature regulation, with your cool nighttime temps, even in your Summers, it would be a thermal sink and help the bees to keep temperatures warmer at night without having to work even harder to regulate the brood nest temps.

Mine do the same thing here in the desert Southwest, but I believe for a different reason. I believe mine keep that honey shield there to help them keep the brood cooler during our very hot daytime temps. It's been 40c or above, during the daytime, here recently, and it usually doesn't go below 24c at night.

Despite their desire to have the honey there, I often reduce the "honey wall" to a single frame and insert either, empty comb, starter strip, or foundationless frames in their places and the queen will often expand her brood nest into the new space. I think only one comb of honey is necessary for the "heat sink" effect. I move the extra honey frames up into the honey supers.
 
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