Adding a 2nd brood box

I’m toying with the idea of adding another full depth brood box.

Now it is too late, so I assume next spring is ideal. Is there a preferred method on how to do it? Remove honey super? Place new box above existing brood box, or below, put frames with brood in the new box?

Hiya mate, I added the 2nd brood boxes, some beneath the existing brood and some above. I ended up placing them all above as these were built out faster however others have had different experiences.
All added boxes had wax foundation, no supers in operation and only the outside frames in the existing bb were removed as per my usual practice springtime.
The top brood box is mainly honey here which would normally be harvested and is as heavy as a full super :hot_face: which is why I’ve gone for a smaller size WSP.
There was no real dearth here this year so the second box really had no merit but last year it was invaluable, I haven’t needed to feed the bees since adding the 2nd brood box but it has likely lessened the seasonal harvest which hasn’t been a problem this year, more of a blessing. :blush:

When I had hives in the Hawkesbury and Mudgee area in NSW double brood hives was the ‘standard’ because of the really cold Winter climates there. and hives were split and built up the second brood box was always fitted above the brood box with either a box of stickies or some frames of foundation added to the stickies.
Up here on the Sunshine Coast in Qld it is all about single brood hives. I’m glad my hives are single brood hives. It makes inspections so much easier and shorter. :wink:
I’m interest in your thoughts about why a double brood hive might be a good thing for you.

To bee or not to bee… that is the question. Actually, it’s to nadir or super…

In principal, nadir makes sense - bees draw down. But practically and from my observation from others, super seems to get more consistent results.

@Dawn_SD seems to have had success with nadir. But it could be she’s on the other hemisphere… :rofl:

@Zzz, you have a few hives don’t you? Why not do both and report back :wink:

I was stuck with this question early in my keeping. I ended up splitting instead.

Thanks for all the replies. I haven’t made up my mind up yet, was going to go double brood box this year then I had a change of plan.

That’s your swarm prevention management I assume @skeggley? Giving more space, and those outside frames will be mostly honey?

If I go ahead this spring, I’m hoping that will prevent swarming for this year with all the extra space, but I still need a plan for the following years. Where I am it is difficult to sell nucs so I really need cunning plan to prevent swarms… and three is the limit of hives I’ll keep.

Primarily, not having to feed in dearth or winters, and more options with swarm management Pete. I’m a backyard beekeeper, welfare of the bees is in a way more important for me than the honey harvest.

At the moment just the two Fred. But yes I probably could do one above and one below.

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Part of my swarm management and hive maintenance, yes all honey and pollen. Adding boxes alone will not stop a colony from swarming. Brood management at the right time is my strategy.
Like you I’ve only been keeping bees for around 4 years so am definitely no expert nor claim to be although I have sucked up a fair bit in this time through various sources including my observations.:wink:
The first couple of years I was dead keen to do an inspection and braved summer inspections trying to ensure colony health, trying to do the expected fortnightly inspections, trying to be the best beekeeper I could be and despite this, the bees still survived. Mostly. :blush: Now I’m a bit more laid back. Spring and autumn I’ll get into the brood box regularly, I like it, it’s fun, and if I see anything amiss in between I’ll act accordingly but generally leave them alone. Not having the pests other places have affords my careful neglect which I’m going to exploit while I can. :sunglasses: