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Reversing the Brood Chambers

Reversing the brood chambers is a classic spring move. Over the winter, bees move up from the bottom box into the top box as they consume the honey above them. Reversing the brood boxes is a way to reset the hive so they can start out a new season in the bottom box. BUT, this strategy needs to be used with caution!

In a nutshell, DO reverse your brood boxes if there is only brood in the top box and the bottom box is empty except for maybe some leftover honey.

DO NOT reverse your brood boxes if you have brood in both the top and bottom boxes. If this is the case, you can either:

  1. Leave them as they are.

  2. Shuffle frames and put all of the frames with brood into the bottom box. If you do this, leave some drawn but empty frames above the brood nest for the queen to move up into (don't put a bunch of honey frames right above the brood).

One more thing to consider: Does your hive have enough bees and brood to fill two boxes? If your hive is small or weak coming out of winter, it is better to ditch the second box altogether until they regain enough strength to require the extra strength (see this post on condensing a weak hive).


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