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Author Topic: Couple of questions  (Read 938 times)
New Bee
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Posts: 3

Location: Central N. Carolina

« on: March 24, 2005, 09:58:26 PM »

This is my second season with bees.  We had a very productive harvest last year.  My questions are:
The "Dummies" book recommends reversing the brood chamber and second super early in the spring so bees can move up.  Does anyone do this and does it help?
Trees and flowers are beginning to bud here in NC.  Should I medicate my bees before putting on honey supers?  My bees are already bringing in pollen on really pretty days.  
Thanks and good luck to everyone in this new season.
Galactic Bee
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Posts: 6047

Location: Wolfforth Texas

« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2005, 10:16:29 PM »

Usually the queen and all the bees move upwards in the winter to stay near food. Then the queen is thought to start laying eggs at the top. In an ideal situation the bees will build a honey barrier starting at the top and that would act as a queen excluder. The queen won't cross the honey if there are brood cells below her.

Sometimes when the queen starts laying, there is this honey barrier, and because of that or for some other reason, she will lay at the bottoms of the top frames and at the top of the bottom frames, so that when you swap the boxes you split the brood, causing the bees to have to work harder tending to all the brood, and possibly won't be able to keep all of it sufficiantly warm.

I would think that if she started at a lower part of the upper frames because of the honey barrier, then she will only be able to go down. Just my thoughts here.

There are some who do as you discribed and others that don't, because they don't want to split the brood. As I am a newby at beekeeping I have not had to worry about it yet. So you might wait for the more experienced beeks suggestions.

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Field Bee
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Posts: 583

Location: canyon rim, ut

« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2005, 11:33:32 PM »

I reverse my boxes.  If the queen is laying in the bottom box, I don't reverse.  If she is in the top laying, I move the box to the bottom.  I find, a higher percentage of queens move up easily, but getting them to move down seems a function of the bees driving her down by storing honey, actually forcing her down.  THere has been alot of debate about it, but I am comforatable with it and believe it helps build large colonys,  and helps control swarming by expanding the brood nest.
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