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So it came to pass that the day was today and the box on top became the box on the bottom. The stores were evened out and generally we seem to be moving towards spring. As with any some look good, some look fine and some look well.....

Next move, throw down some MAQs and prep for spring split season in about a month. I can smell spring around the corner.
 

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you might want to hold off on MAQS, if it kills your queen the colonies won't be splittable in the spring.
 

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security eagle are you saying you did brood box swaps today? have you done that this early in the past? how successful has it been for your hives. I know that in a few weeks we will be swapping hive boxes and manipulating frames and doing early splits. we have not done it this early before though. I am over in lancaster county and was just curious on how successful manipulating hives this early has been for you. Thanks...
 

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SE, you are correct, spring manipulation time is upon us. I'm waiting for some clear skies and 60 degree days to do the same. A few of the early Maples are already beginning to break their buds so the next week or two may start it all. Manipulations before the flow can keep the bees out of the trees.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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And 250 miles north of you, I am planning on rotating boxes in two weeks, weather permitting.
 

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JWP, what are your maples, dandelions, and henbit doing? If we get some good weather this could be a great crop.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Daffodils are not up yet and they come when the maples do. I'll let you know about the dandelions and henbit once all the snow melts. Actually it melted already but I have not walked the yard looking at the weeds yet. Bees are hitting the pollen feeder hard on the flying days.
 

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i won't say I never reverse my brood boxes but it is the exception not the rule. Some of the time you will be splitting the brood nest or most of the time, the colony has ended up in the top box and are benefitting from the dead air space provided by the box on the bottom keeping them off the cold ground. Of course my bees are wintered in an insulated wrap and that wrap is usually reapplied after inspections and manipulations until I see 90's in the next week forecast and in my part of the north that is near July. Nights are still in the high thirties/low forties too which is the main reason reversing brood chambers are problematic.
 

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I don't always reverse and I try not to split the brood but my hives are 14" off the ground, black mats underneath and If I can get the brood on the bottom my spring goes much easier. Door Yellow Wood Road surface Mesh
This is today @ 1100, it's 60 degrees and lots of fresh pollen coming in. These two are second year queens and have been brooding all year. We have a 10 degree shift to warmer temps all this week. No nectar much available so watching stores is critical.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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My overwintering setup is two deeps and a super, a feeding shim, and a styrofoam hive feeder on top. I let the bees protect the supers since I have not had a whole lot of luck in years past keeping the wax moths away. I rotate to get the bees back out of the supers and into the deeps so the bottom deep will go on top of the medium. The brood nest is not disturbed and the bees will move up on their own. There is usually a lot of stored pollen in the otherwise empty bottom frames so this gets it back up where they can use it too. saw the bees bringing in a lot of pollen today. Most of it is light yellow but I saw one bee with it's corbiculae loaded with red pollen, henbit I presume.
 
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Hey JWP-- I've seen a few dandelions and some henbit in Henrico---just a few degrees warmer here. Red pollen could be from Maple.

Did a test yesterday and flipped a deep (lower) & medium (upper) nuc yesterday. The cluster was completely in the medium (now on the bottom). If this goes ok, I'll be flipping the rest of my nucs the next warm day and offer some syrup and sub to build out both boxes to ready them for sale in mid-March. Some people want medium and others deep---so I need to get both boxes rockin.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Yeah Ron, the work hive is in an industrial park in Manchester, right off of Maury and Commerce. Henbit is blooming in the yard there but it could be something else. Stupid question, is acer rubrum pollen actually red? Never bothered to find out for sure.
 

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Rad Maple pollen is a little on the gray side. I believe I saw a couple of the girls wearing some Tuesday. Just a very few maple limbs have open flowers. They probably will be gone after the frost this coming week end. It's still early but March looks to be busy.
 
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