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Strange hive configuration (by the bees)

1227 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  rniles
OK, just inspected my hive. I run 8 frame mediums.

The top box is full of brood with lots of bees on it

The second box down is mostly empty with some nectar, no capped honey, some bees. Not bustling.

The bottom box has lots of bees, brood, pollen and is very busy. the question: it seems odd that the hive is split like that. Our temps are upper 40s at night and mid 50s to lower 60s during the day.

Thoughts? Should I do anything?

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How much brood is in the upper box, you might move a frame or so down to the middle box and bait them? Where's the queen laying now, is she in the bottom box? What's in the middle box? Honey stores, drawn comb, any sign of laying there at all? Top entrance? Unless you see something wrong, they seem to be organized the way they want...good warm weather coming this week...
"Our temps are upper 40s at night and mid 50s to lower 60s during the day."

Odds are, that is the reason why. As the bee numbers increase, so will their ability to keep brood/larvae warm. As the temps reach more stable upper limits, they will go to a more common brood nest configuration.

By any chance, are they on a screened bottom board? If so, may want to try putting something underneath to help keep temperatures higher at nite.

Keep us up to date.
Upper box full of brood. Packed. Midfle box they are putting nectar on draen comb ... no capped honey .. but putting nectar in the middle of the middle frames. No sign of laying in the middle box at all. I think the queen is in the bottom box. It does have a screened bottom board. .. but the insert is in.

Thank you for your responses!
Probably normal. At the end of winter, there was next to nothing in the boxes other than bees and the clustered at the top, having eaten most of the stores. They will start brood production where they are clustered, and so they started up in the top box. I'd guess all the brood up there is capped and or emerging, and there are some drones, right?

Once the weather warms up, they will move down, especially once there are large numbers of bees in the hive, this is normal behavior. Unusual to skip a box, but if it was full of early pollen, also common, they moved the queen down to empty comb to raise more bees, and will work back up to the middle box shortly, it they aren't already up there.

My bees this year started brood up in the honey supers I foolishly left on, but by last weekend all that was left up there was a scattering of capped emerging brood and capped drone cells. They were back down in the deep with lots of capped brood (now emerging, the cappings are on the sticky board under the screen) and they are using the mediums on either side. More or less pollen bound at the moment, but that will fix itself shortly as they aren't bringing in as much at the moment, just lots of nectar. They will start on pollen again in a few days as the brood emerges and the queen lays more eggs.

I will be checking to make sure they don't back fill and swarm -- I need to pull a frame of brood for my package anyway, so I'll tuck in an empty frame of drawn comb, should avert swarming behavior. No signs of queen cells last week either.

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just reverse the top and middle box if you're so worried about it
just reverse the top and middle box if you're so worried about it
Hi JRG13 ...I didn't know if I was supposed to be "so worried about it" which is why I was asking the forum for advice and what they thought. Thank you for the reversing advice ...I'm going to hold off for now and see what they've done at the next inspection.

Thanks everyone!
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