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How do I determine if I need a 2nd brood box? Central Texas, USA


#1

I have noticed a lot of people have 2 brood boxes. How do I know if I need a 2nd brood box?

And… if I add a second brood box, how does that impact my honey?


Adding a 2nd Brood Box, Kansas City, USA
#2

Where are you located Lorne? And is this a cold winter climate or warm/temperate? You should contact local beekeepers in your area and query what they do. Typcially the cooler climates have double brood boxes for over-wintering though I am not 100% sure why. I can only express my opinion from a temperate location in Australia. Single brood is the norm here amongst commercial beekeepers, they are easier to manage and impact the bees the least, they brood chamber is kept very populated which helps to repel pests. Some hobbyist beekeepers operate double and triple brood boxes but it does make the process of inspection a little back breaking and time consuming. Finding the queen is a difficult enough task so imagine trying to find her on twice as many frames. A single brood does require extra maintenance in spring to ensure the queen has enough space to lay, this involves some frame manipulation but as a beekeeper it is necessary to inspect regardless so re-shuffling frames is not difficult. Any honey only frames are moved up to the super.


#3

You need to meet up with groups in your are of Texas. They can help best as they will know your local climate but I’m guessing fairly temprate


#4

Central Texas. Our lowest lows are in the 20s F. Our summers are very humid. We can have 30 straight days over 100F on a bad summer, peaking out at 110F. Average July/August Temperature is probably 95F. Average February temperature is maybe 50F.

The bees won’t move the honey up to the super? Interesting. How can you tell when the queen has run out of cells for laying eggs?


#5

I am working on that. Next meeting is in a few weeks.


#6

No, unfortunately despite how often you ask them to. :anguished: Don’t see any reason why single brood wouldn’t work fine where you are.


#7

But I bet they run on doubles in central Texas… :smile:


#8

Rod - everything is big in Texas :boot:


#9

True! You must have visited! I’m thinking I need at least 8 brood boxes and some bee sized guns so the little ones can protect the hive from intruders.


#10

Are you heading over to CA - more bee boxes have been stolen


#11

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#12

They often don’t.
The idea with managing a single brood box system is to either have a bee that fits the space or use a bigger brood box. In the UK Carniiolans, Italians and Buckfasts (a cross between the two) need quite a bit of room. The native AMM is happy in just the one box where she ideally stores arcs of honey and pollen above the brood and honey in the supers.


#13

And you Texans don’t dial 911 either


#14

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#15

I do know in my area I need to have 2 brood boxes, well that’s at least what everybody says around here.

My question is, how much should be build out or what tells me when to add the 2nd box.

Let me describe what is happening thus far.

Saturday, March 12 I installed my NUC. It had 5 frames with foundation on it. Only 3 of the frames were built out well. The other 2 frames had less than 20% on one side.

When installing into my box I wanted to go foundation less. So the remaining 3 frames to make up my 8 frame box were the flow hive foundation less frames that came with the package/boxs.

I did a have inspection 5 days later and noticed all of the foundation frames were built out

13 days (Friday March 25th) later the foundation less frames were 80% built out with new wax cone, and some honey in them.

So when would be a good time to consider adding the 2nd brood box?


Need some advice about my flow hive frames
#16

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#17

Since I have no personal experience, I’d love to try and answer your question and then see if I get it correct via corroboration from experienced beeks.

I was under the impression that as long as there is still plenty of pollen available (i.e. its not about to become winter), you should add the super as soon as the 1st brood box is overflowing with filled comb. You would start seeing bees building comb on the top bars of the frame and other less desirable locations. In addition to that, all of your frames would be mostly filled out (90% ish) and have honey/pollen/eggs/brood in the cells.

Am I right? Did I pass the test?


#18

don’t understand at all what your saying here can your explain


#19

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#20

This? my question was when do I add the second brood box. How full should the first box be, before adding the second empty box for them to start working in?