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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two hives in North East Ohio. Temps are 60s during the day, 40s at night. There is some colder weather towards the end of the week with temps in the high 40s during the day, 30s at night. The first hive is noticeably weaker. I checked frames, found some capped brood and a lot of eggs in a dense pattern in the top brood box. The top of the frames in the bottom brood box also had some brood/eggs but only in the center. Also some drone brood was disturbed taking the boxes off so I scraped this off and dented a few queen cups I noticed on the bottom of the top brood box frames. I removed 2 outside frames with old comb (for baiting swarm traps) from this hive and replaced with undrawn foundation, shifting them more to the center. I kept the boxes in the same order and placed the candy board and quilt box back on top.

The second hive has shown much more activity outside the entrance so I was expecting more bees. Most of the candy board was gone. Lots more bees in the top box. I notice capped brood and eggs, though not as densely as the first hive. Examined the first 4 frames of the top box until I am seeing regular capped brood and eggs. Left the remaining frames in place. Set the top box aside and got into the bottom box. This box has a lot of empty frames, with some full honey frames on the outside. There are bees present on the frames but I do not see any eggs or capped brood. Mostly empty or pollen stores (they have been packing sugar in some of the cells from the candy board as well). Since all the eggs and brood are in the top box I decided to swap box positions. Before stacking the hive back up I took 3 empty/ honey frames from the bottom brood box for more swarm traps.

Did I do alright? I just read another post of someone from my same area asking about swapping boxes and the consensus was don't do it. Now I am worried I might have screwed up! Will the bees swapped to the top box find their way back to the brood by 3 nights from now when the temps drop into the 30s? Should I swap the boxes back? The hive was really humming after I switched some things around. I don't want to agitate them more if I don't need to. Any comments or advice is welcome. Hopefully I did not screw things up after both hives made it out of winter ok.

Thanks!
 

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I would be more concerned that you placed empty frames in the middle of the brood nest. This is going to force the bees to split into 2 clusters when it gets cold, which is not what you want. I would put the frames on the outside of the frames of drawn brood.

As long as there are still stores above the bees I think you will be ok flipping boxes. If there are no stores left, I would start feeding.
 

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I am not a fan of swapping boxes, but they will find the brood. I wouldn't swap them back at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would be more concerned that you placed empty frames in the middle of the brood nest. This is going to force the bees to split into 2 clusters when it gets cold, which is not what you want. I would put the frames on the outside of the frames of drawn brood.

As long as there are still stores above the bees I think you will be ok flipping boxes. If there are no stores left, I would start feeding.
I wasn't exactly clear on that. What I did was place the empty frames towards the middle of the bottom brood box, which did not have any eggs or brood but mostly just stores of pollen and some honey on the outside. I then swapped this box to the top of the stack. So now the bottom brood box has capped brood and eggs and no empty frames, and the top box has pollen, honey, and the two empty frames towards the middle. Hopefully this is less of an issue. I could always get back in there and move the empty frames toward the outside if it will help. Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Since all the eggs/brood are now in the bottom box and most of the nurse bees likely made the swap with the bees, I'd let it roll as is for now.
 

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Yes, you did fine. I know spring has started early, but I am one of the ones who has been suggesting to "northern people" not to jump the gun because it will get cold again. Keeping the brood together is the main point. Now your queen has a good place to start laying right above her. If this doesn't happen, move a frame of open brood up to the middle when the nights are warmer. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, you did fine. I know spring has started early, but I am one of the ones who has been suggesting to "northern people" not to jump the gun because it will get cold again. Keeping the brood together is the main point. Now your queen has a good place to start laying right above her. If this doesn't happen, move a frame of open brood up to the middle when the nights are warmer. J
Thanks for the feedback. Hope it all turns out OK!
 

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I wasn't exactly clear on that. What I did was place the empty frames towards the middle of the bottom brood box, which did not have any eggs or brood but mostly just stores of pollen and some honey on the outside. I then swapped this box to the top of the stack. So now the bottom brood box has capped brood and eggs and no empty frames, and the top box has pollen, honey, and the two empty frames towards the middle. Hopefully this is less of an issue. I could always get back in there and move the empty frames toward the outside if it will help. Thanks for the feedback.
ah, sounds like you are good again
 
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