Serving Eastern Ontario

Do we need to Reverse our brood boxes in spring?


 Reversing brood chambers basically means switching the position of the brood boxes so the brood nest is the lowest in the hive. 

Is it really necessary? Yes, there are times when you have to disrupt the nest, but there many times when you don't have to.

For Example:

  • Bees in a hollow tree build brood comb downward.
  • Warre beekeepers, put their new brood boxes under the colony, and the bees fill them up.

The misunderstanding comes because all winter long we watch the bees move upward toward the warmest part of the hive, so we start thinking bees always move upward. But they don't.

. In the spring and summer as the nest is expanding and the weather warms, the bees will move down.

You can reverse the hive bodies as long as the entire brood nest is in one box. The problem is that most times the nest always straddles more than one box.

When I ran doubles I always reversed them, having killed queens, totally upset my colonies and starved part of the colony doing it.

The following year I didn't reverse any of my doubles. Those colonies did well and eventually moved down as the weather warmed up. 





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