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Do I need a Second Brood Box? EPPING, NSW, Australia


Im in Southern CT. and a new beekeper. Based on what I learned from a few locals and bee club class is most use 2 brood boxes.

Quick question. Do the bees usually have enough winter stores in the 2 brood boxes, or do I need to add a honey super just for the bees, then my flow on top of that once their super is filled? Thanks in advance.


I live in Seattle and this is my first year of bee keeping. My Uncle had bees around his nursery for many years so I was able to watch him around his hives when I was younger. He had double deeps for his brood. I have worked in Seattle for many years and see that more and more backyards hives are just made up of medium supers. Some are just three mediums high but I am seeing more and more that are four mediums high. I would ask these Beeks why they went with all mediums but most are not home at the times that I see the hives in their yards. The people I have talked to have said they like to have just one size so they can mix and match easier. The other explintion is the weight and they are able to lift and move a medium easier when going into the hive to check it.

So my plan is to use the deep box that came with my flow hives (I have two) as my bottom brood box because the nucs that I bought at the beginning of April fit in those boxes. But instead of doing another deep on top of that I am going to go with two mediums before I put the flow hive on top…which may not happen until next year. I decided to do this because I won’t really have to move the bottom box but will need to move the top box and I am concerned about the weight. Two mediums will be easier to handle. If I need to eventually move the heavy flow hive I’ll get a helper for that day.

So I am asking to hear from the more experienced Beeks if my decision to go with the two mediums on top of a deep for my brood instead of just two deeps is messed up.

So far everything has been working out well. I’ve learned a ton from this forum. My bees are loving the early warm weather we have been getting, both queens are busy and all of my neighbors are supportive of my two hives. Thanks for any advice that you can provide about the two mediums on top of the deep instead of just two deeps for my brood. I really value the information I have read on this forum.



Please follow local club n mentors advice. All forum comments agree. Flow-Hive agree too. It just that Flow doesn’t require an extra where Cedar live.

I’ve only had my 3 Nuc’s for 2 1/2 weeks and had to add another 10 frame super here SE of Seattle in the foothills. My colonies stuff the lower brood box so rapidly 80 to 90% last Monday already with great nectar n pollen flow. Each region is different but when 80% of your frames are stuff. Get with it and give the “girls” more room (another box). Like Dawn added … Beethinking builds Flow-hive so there additional WRC 8 frame hive match n fit your setup perfect !! :ok_hand:

Good luck n enjoy your :honeybee:’s.


Sounds perfect to me.


Hard to answer that question, but if you did that, it wouldn’t be wrong. You could even put it below the queen excluder if you never intended to harvest it. The “problem” with the Flow hive design in relation to your question, is that it is an 8-Frame Langstroth. Most of your local beekeepers will be using 10-Frame Langs, with 25% more storage space than you have over winter. Filling a medium for the bees before you take any extra would overcome that problem quite nicely. Some beekeepers on the east coast with colder winters actually use THREE 8-Frame Langs for their brood! (Don’t they, @Red_Hot_Chilipepper? :wink: ) You could even consider that.


Noob here.
I see you don’t wrap your hives. No additional insulation needed?


SW CT or SE?
Which club have you chosen?


SW. How about you?? Member of CBA. Attended a few of the classes in new haven.


Thanks Dawn_SD,
I have enough equipment to go either way. From what I have learned from the forum and by asking around its always good to have extra parts and pieces avaliable. I’ll be adding the first medium on top of the deep tomorrow since it is alost full. It will be a Mother’s Day present for my queens. LOL


Apparently not, they lived lol. Black roofing paper wouldn’t be a bad thing though.


Everything is sooo much easier with 3 boxes. I can just take the honey supers off and not wonder if the bees will have enough for winter or not.

Triples are so much farther ahead of singles/doubles coming out of winter.

Queen excluders haven’t been necessary.

From a management standpoint you’ll want to keep a check on the 3rd deep and if it becomes honey bound, harvest 3 or 4 frames so the bees have room.
You’ll find the bottom box will be mostly pollen, middle box will be brood with honey on the outside, top box will be brood in the bottom half of the middle frames and honey elsewhere.


Thank you…


Dear Valli,
Got a nuc quite late, 22/6/16 in 3 weeks brood box was almost full. I added a super flow hive 3 weeks down the line nothing happened in super. Seen lots of queen cells in brood box I decided to remove the supper and added a fresh new brood box with rite cell black frames. They are filling up this with brood, honey and polen. My question is in 2 weeks time it will be full again and wil put the super with queen excluder. What should I do if they do use the flow super again? should i mix plastic flow frames with standart wax foundation ones to give then a hint?


i meant if they do not use the flow super again?


Put the flow frames on - the flow is good presently - especially if you have lime/linden/tilia - my girls 1/3 filled the Flows 3 times and ate the stores again since April - each time we had a bad weather spell they ate it - now it is more than 3/4 full and being capped - I have so many lime trees by me the girls are just going mad for it, I think all the earlier rain this year has given us a bumper crop of flowers.

I don’t use the queen excluder with the Flow frames they seem fine but that is a personal choice.
the double brood Flow was so successful for me this year I think I will run all my home apiary hives on them


Many thanks!


Hi all.I have 2 hives each with a flowhive on top of 2 brood boxes. I am in suburban Sydney where the honey flow is good at the moment.I started in October with 2 small hives and queens supplied by a fellow member of my bee club.I started with 1 box and the bees multiplied so quickly that I added a second box very soon. In late November I put a flowhive on both hives. The bees did not take well to the flowhives and after 4weeks I painted some molten wax onto the flowhives and put them back.The bees are now working in the flowhives, but no capped honey.My dilemna is that the bees keep filling the second box on both hives with honey. I have harvested about 17 frames of honey already, which is not my objective. I have just taken two frames of brood from the bottom box and interleaved them into the middle of each second box. I am trying to get the queen to lay in the second box so that the bees will put more honey into the flowhives, Am I doing the right thing? Incidently, I have been advised that I should replace the plastic QE with a metal QE to get more bees into the flowhives?


Hi Gordon,
I think you are experiencing what many beekeepers experience in this climate with two brood boxes. Currently there is not a lot of nectar flow and the bees will naturally gravitate to filling their own comb first before depositing the excess nectar into the flow super. You will either have to hope that there will be a large enough nectar flow or leave the honey capped in the second brood so the bees will move their excess nectar up into the Flow super.
Else, remove the second brood box and shift it to above the Flow super to act as a second super. In this scenario the Flow super becomes the second box.
I am not sure why some clubs in our climate insist on two brood boxes, we don’t need it and in most cases the queen won’t move up or down.

The steel excluders are certainly more superior and less harsh on the bees wings, so this is good advice.


G’day Gordon, I also think that one brood box is sufficient. Just make sure that each frame in the single brood box is used to it’s capacity for raising worker bees.

If you do decide to remove the second brood boxes, you might need to do a kind of split from each hive to make one new hive. Remove 2or3 frames of brood & bees from each hive & evenly mix them in a new box so they can make a new queen. Checkerboard new frames with foundation in the old brood boxes. If you remove a whole super without removing some bees & brood, the colony could feel claustrophobic & decide to swarm. This is what I do when I remove a super. I think I learned that lesson the hard way.

Don’t be too concerned about the plastic QX, the bees will soon wear the sharp edges off.


Thanks guys. I think I will stick with the plastic QE’s. I will probably move the second box above the flowhive on 1 hive as an experiment.