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Has anyone rotated frames in the brood box in order for the queen to lay on more frames, faster? I have read this before, but never tried it. Does it work, or do you just let the bees do it naturally?
 
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Yes, beekeepers rotate frames quite often. In the early spring when nectar starts to come in beekeepers will start to move the “honey frames” outward and place empty frames in the center of the brood nest. This gives the queen more room to lay eggs. When packages are started on un-drawn foundation, after the bees are working the 3rd or 4th frame, many will place another un-drawn frame into the center. Some will also “pull” a frame up into the next box when adding supers or expanding the brood nest into a 2nd or 3rd box.

I think it helps, but it can hurt if you don’t do it right by adding too many frames too fast. When you do it you are forcing the bees to expand the nest. If you don’t have the population to take care of the nest they could split choosing one side or the other. You don’t want to open the hive after a day or so and find a lot of dead brood left unattended.

Never rotate too many frames! One at a time is the general rule. Let the bees move onto the frame and make it part of the brood nest before you try and rotate another one. I’ve seen it take a few hours, or a day, any longer and maybe you shouldn’t have moved the frame. If the weather is cold, you may want to wait, remember you are splitting the nest. If in doubt wait, the bees will take care of themselves…just may take a day or too longer.

So answer these questions before you rotate within the nest:
1. Does the queen need room to lay eggs?
2. Are there enough bees to cover all the frames within the nest PLUS the one you are adding?


Billy Bob
 
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