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Adding a 2nd Brood Box, Kansas City, USA


#1

I have just bought a new Flow Hive with plans to put it out and add bees in April. I am in Kansas City where it is currently 5 degrees F. I will eventually have 2 deep brood boxes and the Honeyflow super.

The Honeyflow Fax section has the following recommendation:

“If you decide to use two brood boxes we recommend you first add the Flow™ super on a single brood box. Once the colony expands and the Flow™ super is totally packed with bees storing honey, then add a second brood box or honey super to give the colony more space if needed.”

Other sites discussing traditional Langstroth hives recommend adding honey supers only after all brood boxes are full. Which is the right order for adding additional brood boxes and honey supers? I would appreciate any opinions from experienced bee keepers.


#2

Welcome to the forum Brick.
Some reading for you.

http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/adding-2nd-brood-box-under-the-super/7923
http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/add-on-brood-boxes/2827
http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/should-i-add-2nd-brood-box/9253
http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/adding-a-2nd-brood-box/9635
http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/how-to-add-a-second-brood-box/6961
http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/going-up-adding-a-second-brood-box/6628
http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/how-do-i-determine-if-i-need-a-2nd-brood-box/5258
http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/one-or-two-brood-boxes/9026
http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/do-i-need-a-second-brood-box/5645/8

Enjoy.


#3

I profoundly disagree with the advice above. To me, it has the “robbing” mentality. Yes, we are here to manage and “husband” (agriculturally) our bees, but we are not here to abuse them. I am in southern California - quite a bit warmer than you, but even I wouldn’t add the Flow super until I had 2 brood boxes full. With my husband, we have well over 30 years of beekeeping experience.

I respect what Flow has done, but the advice to put the super on first and then add a brood box later sounds like a recipe for winter die-off to me in our climates. You might get away with it in the sub-tropics or tropics, but most of our bees are not in those zones. I am very surprised that they are recommending this, and I wonder whether it is a typographical or other communication error. Any ideas, @Faroe - this is worrying me… :astonished:


#4

I agree with Dawn
This is a recipe for disaster.
A colony has to grow before it gives you a surplus.


#5

I’m in Pennsylvania, usa. I have used the flow hive last summer and harvested honey from it.
My bees started a year before and had 2 brood boxes before I added the queen excluder and the flow hive. The bees were crowded in the 2 brood boxes that they built swarm cells and swarmed before they can work the flow hive. So I removed it and added it to another strong hive in top of 2 brood boxes, and I added a medium box above the flow hive that had some frames of honey. They filled out the flow hives successfully. I was able to extract honey twice, once early summer, and again by end of summer.


#6

Dawn,

Thank you for your response. I too was concerned with the Flow recommendations. You have convinced me to stick with my original intentions. I will get 2 brood boxes up and running strong and only then add the Honeyflow super.


#7

Very happy to hear it. Thank you for the feedback, it is always nice to know what people decide to do after asking a question. :blush:


#8

Okay, thanks for your feedback, I will pass it on and get back to you.
I think it is because you can leave the Flow Super on over winter as a winter store of food, but will double check. I always recommend contacting local beekeepers to see what they do in your area, and also to check on the forum.
https://www.honeyflow.com/faqs/how-many-brood-boxes-should-i-use/p/231#a1

First line of this faq - https://www.honeyflow.com/faqs/wintering-your-flow-hive/p/206#a1
"We cannot emphasise enough that it is best to consult your local beekeepers on this and other beekeeping questions."

https://www.honeyflow.com/faqs/do-i-need-to-leave-some-honey-in-the-hive-for-the-bees/p/51#a1


#9

I’m struggling to think of a situation where the suggested method would be the preferred. ie. I’d be very interested to hear from a ‘local beekeeper’ that recommends this method for adding supers.


#10

Hi everybody,

I’m fairly new at beekeeping and i have a question for the more experienced keepers among us. I have been told that Queens don’t walk on comb that is filled with honey. Is this true ?

the reason i ask is because when i added my 2nd brood box, i had to remove all the burr comb that they build between the lid and top of the bars. So the advice i was given is to swap 1 or 2 frames so the Queen has a path to get to the top bars as she doesn’t walk over home comb.

I know Michael Bush suggests leaving the burr comb that gets build between the bars (top/bottom) on his website “Leave the burr comb between boxes.” http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm

Thanks in Advance.

Ed


#11

A wise person once said, “never say never”. :blush:

A laying queen may have a preference for open comb, but she can be anywhere. Just because it is capped or honey-filled, it doesn’t mean she won’t be there. There are no absolutes in beekeeping, which is why you get so many opinions when you ask a question. :wink:


#12

Plenty of queens have got trapped over excluders and carried on laying.
I don’t remove burr comb save to tidy up where it’s in the way not because it is a bridge but the bees waste energy replacing it as soon as I put the top back on


#13

Thanks for your reply Dawn_SD,

The reason i ask is because i was told to take at lease 2 frames from the bottom box and move them up to give the queen a path to top box as she will not walk over capped honey.

Michael Bush says in his “Lazy Beekeeping” post to "Leave the burr comb that goes from the bottom of one frame to the top of the one below it. Yes it will break when you separate the boxes, but it makes a nice ladder for the queen to get from one box to the next. "

so when i read this, i figured this burr comb will most likely be filled with honey and since the queen will use this as a “ladder” to move up, she can walk on capped honey comb.

What do you do when you when you put a 2nd brood box on ? have you ever done it when the first box was full ?

Cheers,
Ed


#14

I put the second brood box underneath the existing one.

All the time. :wink:


#15

Hi Dawn, thank you for your answers to these questions above we are about to add another brood box to our flow once it arrives !! we have removed the super as our bee mentor that we purchased our nuc from advised us and swapped the bees over to the flow brood box from the nuc …kids just loved it all .our bee mentor said to let he bees breed up , so we will now be adding another brood box below this one :slight_smile: before topping off with super once both boxes are full .

We have also been feeding every second day :slight_smile: to encorage breeding

Kids , wife and I were amazed at the production after a day and a half :slight_smile:


#16

Hi Dawn,

just went out to feed bees today and took some pics as gopro video wont up load :frowning:

enjoy

oh adding new brood box tomorrow (arrived today from flow :slight_smile: )
will post up on site each weeks progress :slight_smile:
We are all very excited here :smile: :wink:


#17

Bottom photo looks great, lots of eggs and plenty of young bees.

Seem to be a mix of bees too… where was your queen from?


#18

Very nice pics. Looks like you have some beautiful comb and fresh eggs, as @RBK wrote. If you were trying to load video to the forum, it won’t work, I am afraid. Most people load their videos to YouTube, then post a link here, remembering to make the YouTube video public access (not private! :blush:).

Thanks for sharing, your excitement is very enjoyable. :smile:


#19

Hi Bass, I’m responding to your comment of 9 days ago.

Even with 2 brood boxes & an empty super on top, the bees can still swarm, given the right conditions. Remember that swarming is how bees reproduce. We all know how strong the urge to reproduce can be, even when conditions are not favorable.

Whether using one or two brood boxes, it’s recommended to do frequent brood checks during swarm season for queen cells. Alternatively, postpone the urge to swarm by preemptive swarm control measures.


#20

JeffH

You state that during swarm season to do frequent brood checks for queen cells. What do you do if you find a queen cell. Destroy it?