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Hi,

New to the forum, and one year in bee keeping. We are located in middle Tennesee, Cumberland County to be more specific.

Today we conducted our first full Spring inspection of our hive and I'm happy to say our bees made it through the winter and they appear to be doing ok. We found new brood, pollen, and a bit of capped honey left over from the winter (we did not harvest any honey last year because it was a new hive). At the moment we have one deep box and two mediums, all eight frame. We have been feeding sugar cake over the winter and now have switched to liquid sugar 1:1, with some Honey Bee Healthy.

When we opened the hive we found that they were building some comb on the inside of the cover. There was a deliberate space there so we could feed sugar cake, and those eight frames were full of capped brood, pollen and some honey. I assumed they were building up there because the top box was warmest and pretty full.

The second medium was somewhat similar, but not as full. The bottom deep had built comb, some bees, and some pollen, but was not being utilized much at this point.

1. Would it be a good idea to move the deep box to the top and the medium box that was most full to the bottom of the stack? I know they like to build up, so my though was to give them the room in the deep box by moving it up.

2. We have had four or five days of above 50 degree weather, but still low thirties some nights. We did see some Varoa Mites upon inspection, so I presume treatment is in order?

3. Lastly the propolis on the sides of the boxes and the box sides were somewhat dark, almost like mold, or water stained. Is that a concern or common after the winter? The inside of the hive was dry as far as I could tell

Thanks in advance for any advice,
Lou
 

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1. Reversing is fine but I like to checkerboard few empty drawn frames on the top box if you have them. If you don't have drawn frames then reversing is also fine. Just don't keep a honey band overhead either way. The top honey band is what starts the swarm.
2. If you "see" mites then they are plenty because 80%+ adult mites are on the underside of the bee which you can't see. You should do a proper mite count (super shake or alcohol wash) and then decide on the treatment.
3. Ignore the propolis color. Some mold is a normal part of the hive.
 

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pjigar,

Thank you for the reply. We're going to do a Spring Varro treatment, I'm considering HopGuardII.

One other question - what do you mean by a honey band?

Regards,
Lou
 

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Hone band = A solid slab of sealed honey over head the broodnest.

Basically honey band overhead makes the bees into thinking that they have enough store from last year so it is OK to do early spring swarm and they start the prep. This is very simplified view of my own understanding. Late John Wright has wrote and experimented a lot about the anatomy of swarm and swarm preparation. All on the bee source website.
 

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By the way, they are running out of room for brood so better to give them more room by either giving them new frames or reversing.
 
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