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Discussion Starter #1
In another recent thread, it is suggested that reversing is of little value. Hard work and disrupts the brood nest and bees will waste energy rearranging it as they do what they do.

Am running with two deep ten frame broods.

So I understand the idea is to not add any honey supers and push the bees down so they expand the brood nest to the bottom brood super.

1. Would you recommend moving some side frames from top brood to bottom to encourage bees to bottom?

2. Presume a honey arch will eventually be formed at top of second brood. Would you recommend checkerboarding to get them moving up and prevent swarming?

Any other frame manipulation you would recommend??
 

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It all depends as I am sure you are learning. I don't reverse as a rule, but if I have a colony with a booming upper and an empty bottom box, it is exactly the thing to do. Putting one of those empty frames on each side of the brood nest and moving a center brood frame up and replacing it with an empty comb will put the bees in a whole new frame of mind and IF the weather and bloom allow, the bees will rapidly expand. Unless you have really cold weather, I find the bees can still cover and heat the brood nest. What I see is without SBB's which in my opinion deter rapid buildup.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply - Think you intended "moving a center brood frame DOWN" ????

Plan to not use queen excluders this year. Think the honey arch at the top of the second brood will generally keep her in the two broods. However, do you ever checker board the honey arch to relieve potential swarming?

I leave my insulation and black paper on until mid May because a late cold spell can be a disaster. However, because of the resulting warmth, my hives will have large populations by then.
 

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I meant moving a frame of brood up in the middle and that frame of comb down. Honey production is about population and I want to get my populations up to take advantage of our short season. I don't use queen excluders and don't try to limit the broodnest. It is a pain but I have seen one of my queens lay up into the 4th deep! When I extract I just move the brood down and can often just switch the outer frames of the upper brood box which are full of honey with the brood frames.

My bees stay wrapped until it is warm out. My wraps are three deeps high.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You're moving a frame of brood to middle of third deep???? I'd like to mostly try to contain my brood to two bottom deeps.

Do you manage so that bottom deep is mostly full of pollen and brood?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
NO! No brood to third box I am talking first to second! I don't want queen up there, I just don't try to stop her.
Sorry for the confusion. I'm coming from the premise that the bottom deep contains little to no brood. Will be some empty comb/pollen and honey towards sides. Bees have been mostly clustering/starting brooding in my second top brood. Trying to push them down without reversing supers and not causing them to swarm.
 

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Understand what you want. It is what we all want. Trouble is, the bees largely do what they want! Often the cluster bridges from the top box down into the bottom box and that makes any manipulation hard and I only then move outside frames if advantageous. I just try to keep an open brood frame nest to the cluster. Like you said before, cold is a problem and getting into the bottom box early is not often warranted unless it is a very warm day for out climate.
 

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If all of the brood is in the upper deep, and the bottom deep has no brood, I don't see how there would be any disruption to the colony if you reverse. They will simply begin to expand the existing brood nest upward into the next box.

If the brood spans both boxes then reversing would create set backs. That's when frame manipulation would help to break up the overhead honey dome. To prevent swarming I think it's much more effective to encourage the bees to expand upward rather than down.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Exactly, there's more to it then automatically reverse.

On the honey dome, it is beneficial to keep the queen out of the honey supers. So if one keeps the sides of the two deep brood nest open and bees are working the honey supers and no backfilling and no queen cells, why would one checkerboard the dome, other than sides of brood nest. Queen will have ample laying area.
 

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If all those things are happening, you have a perfect set up.

What concerns me with the honey dome is controlling swarming. Sometimes in this situation the bees will keep the brood nest in the upper box under the dome, and rather than expand the brood nest downward they will start to use the bottom box for honey storage rather than the supers. Then you end up with a restricted brood nest and swarm prep is next.

There is no easy fix. It's a lot of work to keep the brood nest open in the spring. Reversing is the quickest method, maybe not the best.
 
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