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Discussion Starter #1
First off, I'm happy to report that after the demoralizing loss of my first hive last year, my second and current hive has survived the winter!

I inverted the boxes on march 19th and things seem to be going fine, the only thing is that during the inspection today, I saw that the queen is laying brood in the top box. Since the whole idea of inverting the boxes was to get the queen to the bottom, I get the sense that I botched something.

Timing was kinda tricky, because this year, it kinda went from winter to spring overnight, and I could have missed the window of time when I should have inverted.

To get to the point, what to do now? Reinvert? The queen appears to be laying in the top of the top, so I could reinvert and be right back here in a week or two. Or could it have to do with the corkhole in the upper? Bees seem to prefer that entrance to the lower, but I hesitate to close it lest I screw up the ventilation.

Or does any of this matter? Should I just let them do it their way? Thats how I'm leaning...
 

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You say the queen is in the top of the top box, laying eggs... what's in the bottom of the top box? And what's in the bottom box? If there is brood, eggs, honey and pollen in both boxes, it's time to start supering. If there's only brood in the top box, and the bottom box is empty, time to reverse.

Just remember to consider the status of the entire hive, not just where the queen is. That will tell you what's going on, and what you need to do. It will also give you an indication of the quality/condition of your queen.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Timing was kinda tricky, because this year, it kinda went from winter to spring overnight, and I could have missed the window of time when I should have inverted.

A good rule of thumb is to reverse your boxes when you get your first good nectar flow. For many people, this is when the dandelions really start popping.

If you reverse too soon, often you will find the queen has moved back up to the top box. As soon as you start seeing a good nectar flow, like all the dandelions start blooming, you may want to reverse your boxes again.
 

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Don't do the reverse until the top box is 1/2 full or more of nectar/honey.
Don't reverse just because of the time of year, but because of the conditions in the hive and the nectar flows instead. When the top box is lots of honey, the brood is in top and some in below, reverse and add a super. The brood on top will need nectar stored above. Honey below is considered to be 'honey in the brood nest' and bees don't like honey in the brood nest. They'll expand brood down while moving nectar up or eating thru the nectar raising brood, and will start drawing out the super which is right above the brood in order to store honey above the brood. That's how I am doing it anyways.
 

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"Or could it have to do with the corkhole in the upper? Bees seem to prefer that entrance to the lower, but I hesitate to close it lest I screw up the ventilation."

"In social insects, water balance is also affected by the interactions between nestmates and by the architecture of the nest. For honeybees, humidity is particularly important for the brood because it affects the hatching success of eggs and because, unlike ants, honeybees cannot relocate their brood to parts of the nest with more favourable humidity." > http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T3F-4TCR1X3-1&_user=10&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F2008&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1280671490&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=61cd82c10c2aec7afe73eab8885ca665 That is from an abstract. Ob. Article here >> http://www.up.ac.za/dspace/bitstream/2263/8453/1/Ellis_Hygropreference(2008).pdf
http://www.up.ac.za/dspace/bitstream/2263/8453/1/Ellis_Hygropreference(2008).pdf
I wouldn't worry too much about "screwing up ventilation' at this time of year. It is mostly during cold winter months when moisture may condense on the inner surfaces of hives and be harmfull to the bees. At this time of year, in most parts of our country, we are opening up our main or bottom entrances to the hives somewhat larger to accomadate the increased traffic. This should take care of any air flow issues. You may want to cork/plug an upper entrance to preserve the warmth and humidity during some cool days/nights in April. Most hives are the equivalent of only two deeps or less now.

During the hot/warm days summer is when adequate ventilation again becomes an issue.

"Honeybees are highly efficient at regulating the biophysical parameters of their hive according to colony needs. Thermoregulation has been the most extensively studied aspect of nest homeostasis. In contrast, little is known about how humidity is regulated in beehives, if at all." > SpringerLink,..2006.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all for the replies. I think I'll open up the bottom entrance and cork the top hole, then give it two weeks before I peek again. IF the queen is still in the top then, I'll reverse again.
 
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