Spring Reversal of the Hive

One of the things a beekeeper can do to attempt to prevent swarming of the hive is to rotate the top brood box with the bottom one in early spring. It allows the queen to have a set of empty frames above her and encourages them to use the frames for storage/brood raising.

Today I reversed the hive bodies on the blue and purple hive partially to help control swarming, and partially to further stimulate the hive to produce brood so I can split them and make increase in April.

When I removed the top brood box and set it down on the ground, I was looking at the top of the bottom box, which had 5 frames of bees, two of which had brood in them.

This queen is going very strong! She traveled down into the lower box and was using it to raise brood. The bees had build a lot of comb on the top bars between the two boxes, and when I separated them, it broke open a lot of the comb.

As I scraped the extra comb off the top bars, I noticed one of the larva had two varroa mites attached to it. You can see it in the picture below, which was enlarged quite a bit. To help gauge size, the metal object in the bottom of the picture is the top corner of my hive tool.

I wonder if because of the mild winter we had, there will be twice as many mites to deal with this year?

I decided to remove the mouse guard today. I thought about it for a while and ultimately decided not to replace it with an entrance reducer, as there were lots of bees backing up at the entrance.

I also decided to give them a gallon of 1:1 syrup in a hive top feeder. They probably don't need it as the weather will be warm enough for fly days the for at least the next week, but I already had the syrup made up and didn't have any other use for it currently.

If they don't need it, they won't use it and I'll pull it back off.

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