We have posted about this before, but If you have polystyrene beehives like we do, then now is the time to remove the Queen excluders and place a full super under the brood chamber. This process of "flipping" works extremely well for both the bees and the beekeeper and is essential for poly hives.
This is because the extra insulation offered by polystyrene beehives means that the Queen can begin to start laying eggs far earlier than she would in a wooden hive. In addition, the Queen is much more likely to start laying at the top of the hive where it is much warmer and away from the cold draughts by the entrance which means in a normal configuration she would start laying eggs in the super. Finding and moving the Queen back down below the Queen excluder can be really difficult early in the spring when the temperatures are low.
In the flipped configuration, the beekeeper can leave the colony undisturbed through the cold days of spring knowing that the Queen will almost certainly be laying eggs in the brood chamber which is now at the top of the hive. On a suitably warm day, the beekeeper can lift off the brood box, clean out the floor and reassemble the hive back to it's normal configuration with the Queen excluder in place on top of the brood chamber and under the super.
This process means the beekeeper has no pressure to open the hive and disturb the colony early in the year when there can be a risk of chilling the brood and so works for both the bees and the beekeeper. It's now an essential process that we do every year with all our polystyrene beehives.