Adding a second broodbox

Hi Everyone, we are new and the Beek we bought our nuc from kind of confused me. He said in DFW area (North Texas), you absolutely have to have 2 brood boxes full and healthy before you add the super. My husband and I are prepared to add a second box, but I’m a little nervous and somewhat confused. If we add the second box now, will that mean we won’t likely have time this season for the super to be filled and harvested? And what would happen if we didn’t add the second brood box and went ahead and just added the super now? Thanks for taking the likely dumb questions :confused: I felt super confident in things until that bee keeper was so confident in 2 brood boxes.

Welcome to the forum and to a never ending journey of learning, Erin.

I know beekeepers in my area that say the same. Choosing between single or double brood boxes is a personal choice. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. I chose single 8 frame to limit the lifting and ease of queen location. There’s more than enough space for the queen to lay even at peak season. There are good explanations on YT from University of Guelph and Devan Rawn. Both in cold climate areas.

The part about having the brood box full of bees is most important. They need plenty of bees to protect the new space you add with a super. If there aren’t enough bees, small hive beetle can become a problem.

Most of all, have fun. Enjoy your bees.



Hello and welcome to the Flow forum! :blush:

Sounds like you have found a very good beekeeper there! In your position, I would cultivate him as a mentor, and even offer to compensate him for his time.

I am in San Diego, CA and most people here also run double deeps for brood. The reason is that we have long nectar dearths, not just over winter, but in the late spring and summer too. One brood box would not hold enough food stores for the colony. If you didn’t add the brood box, and added the super instead, you may be putting your hive at risk of starving. Good beekeepers always make sure that their bees have enough food stores, before they start thinking of taking anything for themselves. It is very common not to get a harvest if in the first year, if you are in an area that needs double deep brood.

Of course you could behave like a commercial beekeeper, and stick to single brood, then resign yourself to feeding the bees constantly over winter and during nectar dearths. The only problem with that is that artificial feed is not as healthy for bees as their natural stores would be. Your choice really.

I totally agree with @aussiemike that you need to make sure that each box had mostly fully drawn comb on every frame, and is 80% full of brood or food, and 80% covered with bees before you add another box. Otherwise the hive will be difficult for them to heat and ventilate, and can easily be overrun by pests.


Gosh, such a loaded response. I’ll reiterate, do some research to determine what works for you. There’s an excellent FB Group on single brood management. I asked if there were members in CA and TX and the response was a resounding yes.

I’m always weary of absolutes. It’s my nature to question everything. If you understand the why, you’ll better do the how.

Single brood management doesn’t mean you take all the honey and feed syrup, though there are beekeepers that do that with both singles and doubles. I always leave enough for the bees. Sure, there might not be enough room in the brood box. That’s why many single brood Flow keepers use an ideal above the excluder for the bees.

Harvesting honey is a blessed byproduct of beekeeping for me, not the end game. I study the ways of treatment free “natural” beekeeping as taught by Dr Leo Sharashkin as well as the scientific ways of the University of Florida in their Master Beeper Program. Then I mix and match to keep bees my way for my bees.

Knowledge is power, so be open to learn alternative ways. I don’t dismiss the success of a beekeeper who’s done it the same way for 50years. I’m just saying there are other successful ways that might work for you better.

Again, enjoy your bees and have fun learning and maybe some day, teaching about them.