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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Coming out of my first winter with both hives still going and my fingers crossed in Virginia.

I'm running 2 deep brood boxes on each hive and want to rotate the top to the bottom so I can remove old frames from the bottom box that are left over from the nucs from last year. I have been feeding sugar blocks for the past month as stores were lite going into winter. Both hives have lots of bees just below the inner cover all over the sugar when I check them on a warm day.

I have not pulled frames because of them being at the top, and did not get a good feeling for weight in the fall as both hives were lite on stores so a bit blind as to what is happening inside..and where or if the cluster is still on the frames.

We have several days coming up that are going to be above 55, suggestions, what would you recommend??
 

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First of all, congratulations on coming through the winter with all your hives.

This weekend I will put on top feeders and start feeding them sugar syrup. March is the month where they will starve because when the pollen starts coming in from the Maple bloom they will really start brooding up and will consume a lot of stores. The weather for the rest of the winter will be conducive to feeding 1:1 sugar syrup.

I would wait until mid to late March to reverse the hive bodies. By then you should have enough bees to cover all the comb. If you know the frames you want to take out and they are empty I would move those to the outside now so they will likely still be empty when you decide to replace them with new later.

As for me I stopped reversing a couple of years ago. I'm not sure it gave any advantages.
 

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Consider setting the top box off onto the cover. If the frames you want to replace are free of brood just remove them. If the old frames are full of brood, you can shift them to one side of the box and as the brood emerges remove them. I would only reverse the boxes if It did not result in the brood nest being separated. It is nice to have the cluster in the bottom box after weather is warm.
 

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In regards to reversing, Many years ago someone on here posted this

Don’t do it before the maples
bloom. If i seen brood in the
bottom box at all

I loved the simplicity of the statement and how true it has been in my area. I use it in my Spring Management presentations all the time
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies,
Hokie Bee Daddy, I do have top feeders I could place on them... just concerned about additional moisture. Right now I am feeding dry sugar and sugar bricks, made up with apple cider vinager, water and a touch of HBH. I also have some protein patties but have not started using them yet. Should I start with the pattties? It sounds like this will stimulate brood production... which I am not sure I want to happen right now.
Winevine, I like that approach. I do feel as I learn more on being a beekeeper, I need to understand what the bee's are looking for or see, that make them adjust, start increasing brood coming out of winter etc. and do what I can to provide what they need

Birdman, I am considering starting a couple nucs from these hives since they seem to be doing so well, from what I can find that will need to wait til April timeframe?
 

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Hokie Bee Daddy, I do have top feeders I could place on them... just concerned about additional moisture. Right now I am feeding dry sugar and sugar bricks, made up with apple cider vinager, water and a touch of HBH. I also have some protein patties but have not started using them yet. Should I start with the pattties? It sounds like this will stimulate brood production... which I am not sure I want to happen right now.
Mandkfarmer, I'm not saying my method is the absolute best because there are any number of ways to kick start bees in the spring. This is just what I do. My main flow here is usually mid-April and it takes 45 days for a honeybee to become a forager from the time the egg is laid. Back that up then and you want the queen to be laying full strength around the first of March. This is why I will start feeding light syrup this weekend and I actually put pollen patties in in late January. It certainly isn't too late to put the pollen patties in though. I've never had trouble with moisture in the hive starting this time of year but I have top ventilation and put several layers of newspaper on the top bars to absorb the moisture at night and evaporate it during the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Hokie Bee Daddy, just taking it all in. It is very interesting to read about all the different methods folks use.
 
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