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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week I dug into a hive and was thinking the queen was going down hill. Really just looked at the top super, pulled some cross comb and then opened the bottom super. There was just a few capped cells and no larvae. No stores either.

Well today pulled it all apart looking at frame by frame, and the ladies have abandoned the bottom super. The second one up had decent laying patterns, frames of capped brood, and some stores.

So I swapped the second and bottom supers. Think that is what I am supposed to do. Pollen is starting to be brought in and nectar as well. Maybe they will take off. They really shut down when the flow stopped.

Am I on the right road. Never had this happen in my less than a year experience. :scratch:

Thanks
 

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You need to see if a queen is present by either finding eggs or locating the queen.
If there isn't a population to fill both boxes, I would consolidate occupied frames into a single box to lessen the chance for SHBs to get a foothold. Everything I've read says that switching boxes is reserved for the springtime. Switching boxes at the end of summer could really screw up the bees as they get everything organized for winter.
The other thought is to steal a frame of stores from another hive and put it into the weak hive. Also, I would reduce the entrance to a few bee's width to keep them from being robbed.
 

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"Am I on the right road."
I would use a solid bottom board, as opposed to screened, and make sure that the entrance is relatively small and facing southeast. In my opinion, less manipulation is generally better. Eric's advice about small hive beetles is solid. Starting in September of 2013 and having seven Langstroths and three nucs now sounds like a good start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do I need to worry about small hive beetles if the combs are empty?

I mean clean polished looking and not a speck in any of them in the bottom super. These are combs I got when doing the cut out, so they are dark.

Not knowing what to do and having no experience makes it tough. Sitting in the bee yard and running into issues makes it tough, especially if you are not going to be back in the yard for a week.

Thanks again.
 

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"Do I need to worry about small hive beetles if the combs are empty?"
Yes. I don't like to have too much empty space for the number of bees in the hive. You will get a feel for it before too long. I would be surprised if having a second box on right now is a serious problem for you. Good morning and midday sunlight also helps keep down the beetles. In areas where the beetles are not so prevalent as our area, folks are generally not as concerned about putting extra empty boxes on.
 
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