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How to go down from three deeps to two and a medium super

713 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  RLBrooks
I currently have three deeps on one of my hives and I would like to take it back down to 2 deeps and medium supers but am not sure how best to do it without disturbing the pattern too much and/or prompting a swarm. I ended up with three after checker-boarding in prep for a split that wasn't successful earlier this month. (Queen was balled and I ended up recombining because I couldn't get a new queen in time). But I am only 5 feet tall and three deeps is really tough for me to manage solo.

I was in the hive today and I have brood in 2-4 frames across all three boxes. I have partially capped frames of honey in the top two and several frames with pollen in the bottom and middle. As a whole, the hive is strong and is doing well, making new comb throughout and showing no evidence of swarming. That said, I am not seeing a ton of honey being made just yet as in no surplus that I would consider taking.

What is the best way to get back down to a two deep hive so I can start putting medium supers on? Should I hold off for now and try again for another split in June when I can get a new queen? Should I go ahead and bite the bullet now, setting up the two boxes in an ideal order and freezing the excess frames for another time when I might need them for a new package or supplements in prep for winter in the event we have a dry fall?

Your thoughts are appreciated!
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Since you only have a total of 12 maximum number of brood frames, it seems to me that pulling out all the honey and pollen from the three boxes, then condensing the brood to 6 frames centered in two boxes and putting two frames of honey and pollen back on each of the outsides of each box would be the way to go. Keep the honey for surplus and store the pollen for later use. Since you are in a nectar flow, there should be plenty of honey and pollen production right now without those frames you took out.
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