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When to Reverse – lessons learned (maybe)

For the past several posts, I have been sweating about the fact that I could not reverse my bee hives in my Richmond, Virginia area. To begin with, I was worried because it seemed that March was when it should be done for my area (based on my internet forum browsing – I do my beekeeping in Varina, Virginia, just outside of Richmond, Virginia, in a Zone 7 area) and my bees had not gotten to that state in March (both the Geronimo Bee Hive and the Albo Bee Hive are in the bottom deep.) Secondly, I wanted to clean up the bottom Deep’s, because of all of the burr comb that I thought was all in between the frames.

Well, to the second point, it appears that my main problem was that I did a terrible job of keeping the propolis off of the frames last Summer. The gals would gunk up the area where the frames touch and I kept letting it build up. Each time I inspected the hive, I would remove the frames and then push them back together (without removing the propolis.) As it so happens, the frames were slowly getting further and  further apart, as the propolis kept building up. Over the past two weeks, I have removed the majority of this propolis and effectively dealt with that mess. I also learned a valuable lesson about ongoing maintenance as you inspect your hives! Clean off that propolis! It’s  fairly easy to do anyway, taking just a swipe of the hive tool.

But, the first point is still a problem. Only now I have read where other folks are talking about reversing now or even in mid-March. Many of these folks are in my area or zone. So, now I am wondering if my bees are doing everything right. Only a week will tell, but if this turns out to be the case, I will find the queens up in the upper Deeps laying (well, I might find a new queen in the Albo  hive, who is not  laying yet.) If this turns out to be true, I may still reverse yet (although probably not until two weeks from now  or so.) One poster indicated that he reverses when the main dandilion bloom comes on. I am close to that, as more and more are showing up. I am not cutting my lawn because of that (although my wife believes it is a convenient excuse…)

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