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My wife and I started the wonderful hobby of beekeeping last year and I now facing our first spring. Temps in our area are now hitting the 50's. The forcast for Sat. and Sun. is 60-65 and we were thinking of doing our first inspection. The bees seem to be in great shape. From observing their flights and, mostly, from listening to the hive, their numbers seem strong. We overwintered them with two deeps and a medium (medium on top). The hive was wrapped in tar paper and we left the hivetop feeder on and filled it with shredded newspaper. The feeder with the paper seems like it was a great idea since it provided insulation, trapped condensation and held it away from the bees, and it made spring feeding easy. We started feeding 1:1 syrup earlier this week and they have been pigging out. They were starting to get active as the temps have climbed, but the addition of the syrup seems to have kicked their activity level into overdrive.

Questions:

How do we reverse? We'd like to leave the medium on top and hope they keep using the deeps for brood but I understand they will do what they want. Maybe the medium will have to go to the bottom, I don't know.

How do we split? When? The hive seems strong and we'd like to split it when we can. We don't like the weight of the deeps and would like to start using more mediums (great idea, Michael). It would be great if we could take one of the deeps off the current hive and use it for the new one. This would leave the old hive with an established deep and medium and we'll add the extra mediums when they're needed. The new hive would start with a deep and build from there. How do we know when to split?

Is 1:1 the right syrup to be using right now?

Thanks in advance for the help. This site is great.

Paul
 

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>How do we reverse? We'd like to leave the medium on top and hope they keep using the deeps for brood but I understand they will do what they want.

Now you're wishing you had all mediums like me.


>Maybe the medium will have to go to the bottom, I don't know.

It's your choice. The bees usually will work their way back down on their own. I would NOT split a brood nest up in order to reverse but if the bottom box is empty I might put it on top.

What I'm saying is you don't have to reverse at all, but IF you do I would make sure you don't split up the brood nest.

>How do we split?

Do you want a split?

>When?

Two weeks before the main flow would be best in order to maximize your harvest and still get a split. Here that would be about the last week of May. I don't know in your climate and with your platnts. I would put almost all the open brood and the queen and most of the stores in the split and leave all the capped brood, one frame with eggs (to raise a new queen) in the old location.

>We don't like the weight of the deeps and would like to start using more mediums (great idea, Michael).

I didn't invent the idea, I just keep reminding people that they CAN.


>Is 1:1 the right syrup to be using right now?

Yes.
 
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