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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hive in two deeps and two shallow supers. I don't use shallow equipment so I'd like to get the hive down to two deeps before the honey flow so I can get fresh medium equipment on the hive, plus a lot of the stores in the super are sugar syrup that I've fed them. I don't want to take all their stores at this time of year so I was thinking about just starting by taking the top super off that only has honey/syrup in it, then just gravity harvest the frames and put the box near the hive for them to clean up. I only have the one hive.
 

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It would be helpful if you put your location in your profile as the answers to your questions may depend on your local conditions. I agree that you need to be concerned about taking their stores away so one way to accomplish your goal would be to put your new medium super under the 2 shallows or between the 2 shallows. Some might suggest a queen excluder above your deeps. They will still have access to the sugar water and eventually you can rotate them out once the medium is drawn and a flow is on. They might move the sugar water to the medium once it is drawn, but if not, you can eventually extract them. Lots of people leave wet frames out for them to clean up but be aware that this can cause robbing, especially if a flow is not on. A more prudent option is to put the wet frames back on the hive for them to clean up. Usually only takes them a couple days. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm in central Indiana. We've had lots of rain but I anticipate a flow sometime in the next few weeks. It's our only hive and the only nearby beehive. I'm not sure how far a colony will rob from. I'll put the super on between them and maybe in a few weeks If they've built it up I'll take down the top super. There's no issue with feeding it back to them is there? It's their own honey. Like I said it's probably got lots of sugar water so not really tasty.
 

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If there is no brood in the shallows then shake all the bees off and insert an empty medium right above the deeps with the shallows on top. They'll get up there to the food and you can pull them when the flow starts. If there is brood then make sure the queen is not up there with them, you've got to be positive she is in the bottom boxes, then put on a queen excluder. In 21 days you can remove the shallows and put on the medium super. Remember to always open a top entrance when a QE is on. If the shallows are capped then save them. You can slip one one above the brood chamber to get you through the summer dearth without the bees having to fall back on honey, or save it for winter for a little extra insurance.
 
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