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Honey only in second brood box

Hi all, total newbie here. About 5 weeks ago, I placed a second brood box on top of the first. After about two weeks, I found they were doing nothing with the second box so I did some reading and sprayed a bit of sugar water on the frames of the second box (note - I bought the second box locally and it has plastic foundation frames). Two weeks later they were building comb and storing a bunch of honey in the second box but no brood. Last weekend I inspected the first brood box and it looks pretty good. There are larva present but in truth I’m terrible at seeing the eggs. Still only honey stores in the second box. Is this normal? I’m having trouble finding any info on this.

I’ve still been feeding the bees sugar water, although not as consistently. I live in Northern California.

Honey in the second brood box is a good thing. When there is nothing in bloom, they will eat their way up there, then, when the blooms return, they will brood their way back down and back-fill it with honey again and we will all be a year older.


Great! I was hoping that would be the answer. Thank you so much!

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…but the first brood box is business as usual right; brood, pollen, honey?

Yes, I took a look last week and all looks good. I’m not very good yet at seeing eggs but there were plenty of larva and all the comb is built out on every frame. I saw no evidence of queen or swarm cells.

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Do you have winter i.e. days in the 50’s nights in the 30’s…and how long?

Yes we do. There is a a lot of coastal influence here - I would say 3-4 months probably it gets into the 30’s at night. That is a guess.

Ok, don’t forget to take care of the mites well in advance of winter. You want the bees that are responsible for raising the winter bees to be as mite-free as possible. If those bees are sick with viruses they can’t raise the optimal crop of winter bees.

For me in New Jersey, I’ll deal with the mites in mid-July.

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Great tip! I was planning on doing a sugar test in August but maybe I will plan for earlier. The package of bees I purchased was from a local colony that had not needed treatment for mite in several years so I am hoping I do not need to treat but will test for it and see of course. Not something I’m looking forward to.

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As Red said … Keep good tabs on the mites. They’ll take out a huge active colony in couple weeks. I check my SBB slider board once a week … I clean it careful then do a 24 hour mite count.

Mine were none existent or very low January thru May. (Cold months I only check once at end of the month)… As of mid June counts are UP a lot … I getting counts (24 hr) in the board of neat 12 to 14 mite. Not good. I’m going to recheck today 6/17 do a quick recheck sugar roll for better accurency !!

I lost 3 hives last autumn not watch mine enough. I was just learning mite checks n control so an expensive LEARN Lesson. But that’s life.

Cheers n Happy Father’s Day,


Enjoy your bees.

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I hopped on here to ask the same thing!

My bottom brood box (started with a deep nuc) is doing very well – queen is laying down there like crazy. Added a medium brood box on top 3 weeks ago and the girls have already capped about three frames of honey in that one.

My question is…will the queen move up to the higher boxes or will she always lay in the bottom? AND since I can’t move frames between the medium and deep boxes how can I encourage her to move up? (I’m regretting mixing deep and medium boxes, but I eventually would like to have all mediums and my nuc supplier only sold deeps).

She’ll move up eventually.

Mary !

As Red just said, " She’ll MOVE UP !" I’ve got 8 hives (5,8,n 10 frame) n they all move up stairs. They all have their own timetable but all queens sooner or later move UP !

I’m curious … Is this your first season ? Just about all Nirthern Hemisphere folks run double deeps or triple mediums so the hive will have enough honey to survive the coming winter. Are you planning a second medium next for your basic hive or do you know yet ?

I personally run double deeps for each colony… Some are wanting lighter weight so run triple mediums. Above these basic deeps or mediums will be harvest time honey not below if you are planning your bees to winter over.

Can you snap a pix or two n post your set up. We all enjoy seeing other beekeepers apiaries.
Here’s one of mine.

If you have more thots n questions please send them in here. We’ll try to help n answer.


Hi Gerald!

I just posted an intro - long overdue! This is my first year beekeeping. I am planning to do a deep, plus 2 medium brood boxes. 2 deeps are recommended by my fellow beekeepers here is SW Ohio.