I live in central Alabama, USA Something I learned that I should have understood earlier…2 things…1. The queen will not cross a honey cap. 2. Bees in a bottom brood chamber will not go UP to stored honey in a 2nd brood box.
We are fast approaching an early spring after a wet mild winter. Running 65 days and 50 nights on average. We are dropping to low 30’s tonight but after that we will be rising and rain again…
I opted to attempt to run 2 double deeps last year and now understand why the bees never stored in my Flow. The 2nd brood box was filled with honey and they did not need to expand. I watched all summer as the cleaned and waxed the Flow and took comfort at least they were prepping it for this Spring.
Inspection last week revealed the 2nd brood box is still filled with honey I cannot harvest for consumption (treated). Predominantly empty drawn frames in bottom brood chamber with 1 frame of brood and larvae.
My goal is I to manipulate to get maximum bees and honey.
1 Reverse boxes and have bees remove the honey as the queen ramps. This removes the honey cap and also keeps them well fed as they expand?
- Remove the 2nd box maybe adding a frame or two of honey to the outer edge of the bottom brood box. But this creates the higher risk of early swarm prep?
I was going to use the Snelgrove this year because I did somewhat last year and only had 1 swarm that I know of and my hives are in my back yard for quick view. Year before I had at least 5 swarms from 2 hives. I want them to have ample room …but after inspection I am uncertain which steps to take.