I have two hives, one of which is queenless. I am combining the queenless one with the other hive that does have a queen. should the queenright box go on top or underneath the queenless one, or does it matter?
I usually move the quenchless hive so it ends up on top. I do not want to mess with a queenright colony. Disrupt the queens laying and that sort of thing. At this time of year I want the queen below so she will work her way up while laying. So that will reverse and she will get pushed back to the bottom.
so, let's say I already put the queenright box on top inch: should I go back and reverse them now or will they do OK, do you suppose? the bottom board of the queenless box was screwed on (inherited that way, don't ask me....) and rather than figure out how to get it apart, I just went with the simple solution.
I put the queenless colony on the bottom because when the bees chew through the paper the queen-right bees will travel down through the queenless colony to get out the entrance. Not the other way around.
Either way, I wouldn't change anything you did so soon after uniting.
I don't know if anything really matters much. The bees will sort it out. Maybe you should move the lightest one. Do what makes a difference to the person doing the combining. The bees don't care. Though I do like Michael Palmer's logic.
I agree with Mark, Leave it be. Causes more problems to mess with small details than it solves. The only time I have reversed boxes is if they have the upper one completely full and have undrawn frames or empty comb in the bottom. I do not always do it then. it is cooler this time of year. the bees know where they want things. They will eventually push the queen down into that lowest box and when they do she has lots of room to work. Reading Walt's description of events during spring build up that space may be more important than I know. According to Walt when the queen does get pushed down the hive is making something of a change in direction. One from that of swarming to that of foraging. The balance of workers to nurses to drones begins to make a shift. It is well known that after the swarm period bees have a white wax period that indicates the beginning of the honey flow. those bees that make that wax have to come from somewhere. I at least suspect that manipulations that keep the bottom box packed full may have an impact on this wax development shift in the population of the hive. Maybe a good effect maybe a bad effect. It is also possible it makes no difference at all. By default I think it best to let the bees handle those things I do not understand.
Now that may be more info than you are looking for. So the simple version is. if the bees want to be in the top. let the bees be in the top.
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