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I do realize that the queen tends to move in an upward direction, therefore the need for reversing supers in the Spring. I've had to do that on a couple of different hives. My question is this: What happens if you don't reverse the supers when the queen is in the top one, assuming you use a queen excluder? For example, if you had a tall single super and there was no way to reverse, what would happen inside the hive regarding egg-laying, honey and pollen storage, etc?
 

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The only real danger I see in NOT reversing is that the queen may be more likely to get honey bound and may end up in the middle of the hive and be harder to find. All in all, the bees will usually push the queen back down by filling and capping the cells in the top box and clearing out the honey below her. The bees determine the location and size of the brood nest by enclosing it in capped honey.

Truthfully, I reverse the boxes in the spring after winter, usually. If I find the bottom box is empty and the top one has the queen and the brood in it. But sometimes the queen is still in the bottom box and I don't do anything. Other than that I can't say I do it, nor do I see a lot of purpose in it. I realize many are very religious on this matter and I'm bound to step on someones toes.

The quickest way to resolve a honey bound condition is put some drawn comb in the middle of the brood nest and take some honey off the sides. A slower way is uncap some of the honey that is in the way of the nest expanding and the bees will often move it. Sometimes they don't because they are thinking it's time to shrink the nest.

From what I've seen when a queen is removed from a hive, the bees quckily fill the brood chamber with honey, which, they remove when the new queen starts to lay. This illustrates that they determine the size by what they clear out for her so she can lay in it, and what they fill so she won't lay in it.

You will see the honey around the brood nest close in as fall approaches also.
 

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We used to reverse our boxes but as the colony count increased, it became a huge amount of work. We also like to leave them wrapped as long as possible. We found that the queen will move down with no problem. We start splitting around the middle of April and don't finish until mid-May. By the time we get to the last ones, the bees should be starting to cover the bottem bars in the first box. We just take the top box and use it to start another colony. Both boxes get a second story immediately. We check for eggs a few days later. Whichever unit lacks eggs gets a queen.
 

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I have found that usually in a strong hive, the queen moves up or down just fine, so very seldom will I switch boxes anymore. If I find the queen seems to stay in the top box then I would switch them, but that isn't often the case. Or in the spring, if she hasn't moved down to fill the lower box yet then I would switch them. This spring when I inspected, most of them had brood in two boxes already.
 
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