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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently this is what this hive configuration looks like. I plan to split it later. I have not been in the bottom boxes since early last year so I don't know if they are using it. I know that the deep is being used for brood as it is full of brood, and the top is full of honey. I want o get into the bottom boxes and if there is no brood reverse the hive. When can I do that as far as time of year, temps, flow, swarm season etc? What other considerations should I have? This colony may swarm this year as it is huge. How far away and what orientation to the hive should my swarm traps be?
 

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Spring does not need to be in full bloom to swap boxes, I usually do mine in late march, before the bloom really gets going. when the day consistently reach into the 50s you should be good to go.
Duncan asked a good question Just why is the hive configured that way? From hive appearance it looks to have been around a while, but from your questions I would assume you to be a novice
in North Carolina I would not think you would need 2 deeps and 2 mediums to overwinter. were the honey suppers left on the previous winter and the bees got up into them over the winter and turned them into brood chamber. That were then put on the bottom to bet the bees to go up back into the deeps and then got forgotten? in any event you can use the two deeps as brood chambers. just swap them to the bottom and pull the empty mediums. If you plan on going medium all the way you will have to get the bees up into the mediums then pull the deeps.

I would not wait for a swarm and try to trap it. As there are no guarantees the bees will go to the trap. Right now I would set up another hive. I personally like to start with a nuc but you can use a full size hive, and I like to have it at least 2 miles away but that is not imperative either. the 2 miles keeps the foragers from all going home to the original hive. Order a queen, you should be able to get one next month, When she gets there do a split. or you can simply do the split making sure the new have has frames with eggs so they can build their own queen.

Place your swarm trap anywhere you like, as High off the ground as is manageable for you. Bees will either find it or they won't, my best swarm trap is a metal t post about 2 yards below my apiary it attracts my swarms as well as wild ones. Go figure.

Good luck in your endeavors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Why is it configured that way in the first place, was there a plan here?
This colony started out as my first colony and was a swarm that had swarmed into two honey supers with frames but no foundation. An old farmer getting out of bees gave it to me. So the comb was bridged badly. Since it was my first year as a beek I put a deep with foundation on top of the two supers trying to get them to move up. They moved up in mass and were in the two supers and populated the deep. It became a mammoth colony. I tried to split them with the help of a mentor by cutting the wacky comb out of the supers and placing it with rubber bands into deep frames. Part way through the process my mentor decided to stop and put the hive back together. He was concerned we were harming too much brood and we would try another day. That day never came. So that is the reason for the present configuration. I am a little ADD and hate it being backwards and have always wanted to get this hive to a proper configuration complete with frames I can remove. The one's with the wacky comb cannot be removed for inspection. BTW it was a very productive hive. I got about 7 gallons out of it this year. I hate to mess with that kind of production but I know it can't remain that way with an aging queen. Unless of course they have replaced her and I don't know about it. That is a distinct possibility.
 

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Got ya...So I understand you want to evacuate the bottom 2 boxes. If so just flip the bottom two boxes upside down the brood will hatch out but the comb will be unusable to the bees when its empty pull them.
 

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Got ya...So I understand you want to evacuate the bottom 2 boxes. If so just flip the bottom two boxes upside down the brood will hatch out but the comb will be unusable to the bees when its empty pull them.
what do you mean by 'flip the btm two boxes upside down' ?
 

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simple if its all crssed up and you need to get rid of it take the two boxes together turn them upside down and put them back. Queens will not lay, bees will not use upside down comb once its all htched out pull them ad harest the wax. typing on a irtual keypa bear with me.
 
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