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Bees from an Owl box - adding another brood box


I had two owl boxes invaded by bees. We got one down today and successfully got the bees into my original brood box along with most of their comb.

I have another owl box also taken over by bees. There are too many to add to the same brood box, and of course that would introduce another queen. So I know I need another brood box.

My question is this: Can I simply get another brood box to stack on the existing brood box? Or do I need a whole new Flow Hive set-up?

I’m new and working my way through the videos - just didn’t expect to have to take down those owl boxes so soon…but the bees had their own plan!

Thank you!

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Nice work on saving those bees!

If you add the second cut out colony to the same hive, no matter one or two boxes, there will be a fight and many bees and at least one queen will die… You need a whole new hive set up, Flow or otherwise!

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Oh goodness, okay! The guy who helped me with the rescue simply said, “get another 2 or 3 brood boxes, we stack them”…and in my mind I was thinking well, that is too many queens for one future super.

I was trying to avoid spending another $900! :slight_smile:

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You don’t have to buy a whole flow hive for the second one - just get them into a box with an entrance and a top first. You could buy a flow super (not the hive) or run this one as a comb honey producer or just resource hive or a back up colony in case one doesn’t make it through winter.

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Hi Kara and welcome! I also think it’s better to have two separate colonies since they’re already established as such. And, they’ll have enough work to do to settle into their new homes so best not to have to fight over it as well :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Regular Langstroth equipment that is compatible with Flow is available throughout the US, and as Alok says, you do not need to buy it from Aus. If you want to only have a Flow super system of harvesting, you can even buy the frames alone and modify a plain Lang deep with some basic wood shop tools and skills. Where do the local beeks buy their gear from near you?

Thank you Eva! I have not yet joined a Beek group and will be doing so soon. I’m trying to learn quickly as we didn’t expect to have not just one but two bee rescues on our property so quickly!

I will probably just spring for a new set up completely so I have the best chance for success and not frustrate myself too much. There is so much to learn but I love this world already. I’m into gardening and have given the bees 54 trees in our orchard and 100 native plants to forage.

Thank you for writing me back!

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If I remember correctly from driving in CA, Fallbrook is somewhere south of Riverside. Not too far from @Dawn_SD.

You might want to exercise some caution with feral colonies in your area as there could be some Africanized genetics mixed in there. Any sign of aggression should be taken seriously and the hive requeened while it is small.

Hello and welcome to the Flow forum @kdowdall ! :blush:

You already had some great answers on this, and I agree with putting them into separate hives. I also agree that you don’t need 2 Flow hives, the second one could be a traditional Langstroth. I usually order from https://www.mannlakeltd.com, so I haven’t used any local beekeeping supply stores. I am sure that Google could find some for you though, if you don’t want to wait for the shipping. Mann Lake are usually pretty fast - less than a week for most things.

Here is a local place (I haven’t tried them) if you need something in a hurry:

A little over an hour’s drive.

This is the local one:

There is a North County sub-group which had separate meetings pre-pandemic. For the last year, the meetings have all been online. They still happen though, so I encourage you to join and learn!

I agree with the caution about Africanized bees. Around 70% of feral colonies in our area are Africanized to some extent. Not nice when the hive gets big! :dizzy_face:

Just ask if we can help with anything :wink:

Hello @chau06 and @Dawn_SD,

Thank you for your continued advice and sharing. I think we had good luck in this first colony. The rescue company we used (30 years experience) remarked they were nice, gentle bees. I check on them this morning (early when it was cold) and they were calm and hanging around about three frames that we had applied their comb to.

That said, I think we decided to leave the other owl box (40 feet high) alone for now and it’s quite far from our Flow Hive (we have six acres). I need to get comfortable with one hive before I start adding more, especially if there is a risk of the aggressive bees.

Fallbrook is in North San Diego County…quite lovely here and much for bees to forage on.

I’ll look into the SD Bee group. Thank you!