What a beautiful day to get outside and work with the bees.
When breaking down the hive, you will need to assess their food storage. If the hive has three frames of honey in the same box the bees are in, it should be enough food for two weeks. If you need to move a frame or two of honey where the bees are, you can do that. You don’t want to give the bees too many honey frames. The hive should have about 5-6 relatively empty frames for laying.
You will want to make sure your Queen is laying. Pull a frame or two out of the top box. The J-hook hive tool we have makes it super easy to pull out those frames. I saw honey, pollen, brood, and an emerging bee, which is a great sign! So, I don’t need to look further. Strong colonies can be reversed. A reversal will give the bees an opportunity to expand.
When doing a reversal, make sure you remember the box number.
1 top 3 bottom
2 middle 1 top
3 bottom 2 middle
Two deep reversal:
1 top 2 bottom
2 bottom 1 top
I will be checking the hives weekly, doing reversals, and adding pollen patties as needed as it will increase the hive population. I split when I have 8 frames of capped brood and bees. I’ve had a couple people asking about walk away splits. In Minnesota the drone population usually isn’t large enough and temperature can always become a factor. It is best to buy a mated queen. We have Queens available for sale.