I am brand new to beekeeping and have all brand new equipment. I have a question that may seem silly. I have a deep brood box that also contains a frame feeder which takes up 2 frames. I was told by the person I bought the bees from, to add a second brood box when the first was 80 percent filled with drawn comb. My question is, when I add the second brood box. Do I move the frame feeder up from the first bottom box to the top box and then replace the space where the frame feeder used to be with two new frames? If i do that, then technically with adding two new frames to the bottom, I will be less that 80 percent full.
Welcome @briank to the forum. Your question is not silly, its a good one. The inside feeder is really only needed when your bees aren’t able to forage on their own in a period of time called a Darth AND they don’t have adequate stores of honey/pollen inside the hive. Typically a new hive installation (Nuc) of a few frames is the right time to feed, in early spring and late fall going into winter. The feeder you mention is for wet feed (sugar and water mixture ratio varies depending on time of year) to optimize nutrition in the hive. In your example, if your bees have built out the other frames in the first brood box almost full then you should pull the inside feeder out and replace with two new frames and let them work on that-- once you see them filled with mostly comb then you should add your second box. If the second box is your honey super, then you want to place your queen excluder in between the two boxes to prevent the queen from laying in the Flow Hive honey super. If you are adding an additional brood box so you would have 2 brood boxes then you don’t add the queen excluder in between-- that is only for preventing the queen from entering the box where you want to collect honey. Make sense?
Thank you Tim for your advice. Its very much appreciated. I installed my bees about 6 weeks ago into my equipment and have been feeding them 1-1 sugar water to assist in the drawing of comb. The dandelions are in bloom and the outside temps are about 65 to 70 degrees consistently. So just to clarify, you are recommending that I stop feeding with the sugar water and allow the bees to build out the rest of my first brood box and when I add the second box naturally without the use of sugar water? Thanks again for the advice sir.
With your temps were they are and with the dandelions out I think you are in a safe position to pull the feeder out. Wait a week after putting in the new frames which I would position one in the same spot as the feeder side, and the other on the opposite side so you essentially are moving all the existing frames to be bookended by the new frames and then check to see how their comb build out is going. I would expect within 2 weeks they will have made at least 1/2 of both full of comb and then you can plunk on top your honey super (are you going for 2 brood boxes then the super, or just one brood box and then the super?).
I am going to do two brood boxes and then hopefully add the honey super when the second brood box is 80 percent full. Sorry for the confusion. However, I was told to not expect to get any honey from the honey super the first year. Would you agree and just stop at the second brood box, or would you try and installl the honey super after the second brood box is full?
I did a few of mine (I live in Ontario Canada where we have lots of cold/snow) as double brood boxes and some as single deeps over the winter. I didn’t see any meaningful difference in how they overwintered. Always look to see what other beekeepers in your region do as a best practice for overwintering. You may find you don’t need two deeps since you can use the Flow Hive honey super to pull honey off when they are getting full and the bees will quickly reload the honey super. If it were me I’d put that second brood box to use by expanding your colony once the other two frames are built out by pulling a frame of fresh eggs with nurse bees and one frame with honey/pollen resources and start a new walkaway split colony with your feeder in place and keep expanding the frames until that box is full too. Then you will have two hives. You know what’s better than 2 hives? 10 hahahaha believe me this hobby is addictive, you are going to be expanding faster than you may think. Love to see pictures of your setup once you can share. Here is mine.
Tim has given you good advice but I will add that in my opinion it is better to add a second box when at least 80% of the cells in a box are in use and not adding another box when the bees have only drawn out the frames. A frame drawn out but empty means they have space to be used.
If the bees are foraging well then remove the feeder, it has served the purpose, replace it with new frames so that the colony can use them.
Thanks for all the great advice. As you can see I am just starting out, but my hopes are to have multiple colonies as I continue on. I also have a number of pear, peach, and apple trees which I hope will really start producing with the help of the bees.
Good location and I’m sure the bees will do great.
An amazing thing about bees is that you can have two hives of the same strength side by side and one will out produce the other Brian.
Put the super on when 80% of the frames in the brood boxes are being used for pollen, nectar and brood. Prep the Flow Frames, add the QX and put the super on. The bees will work on sealing the gaps in the frames and then you will see honey being stored in the super.
The bees will do it at their speed and depending on the amount of available nectar you’re off and running. Accept that some don’t extract in their first year, but also accept a bonus that you might be extracting in a matter of a month or two.
Just one tip, paint the metal roof white, unpainted gal will oxidize in a few months and will soak up the heat being in open sunshine. Looking good, enjoy the journey and don’t be nervous about asking questions.
Thank you Peter. When I bought my equipment, I did find it odd that the top was galvanized while everything was painted white. I really appreciate all the advice that you and Tim are providing. It’s really nice to have people who are more than willing to help a guy out.
Glad to pass on tips and advice and same for Tim as well I’m sure. There is some great people on the forum that enjoy passing on info to beginners, bee keeping is very very addictive and at 72 years young and having had bees for 47 years I’m still learning. Always interesting and trying something to fine tune my bee keeping.
Unpainted galvanized covers are rather more common than not in newly sold equipment. Zinс coated metal is a bit tricky thing to paint with long lasting result. Contaminants have to be removed. Surface has to be abraded to remove gloss to provide a suitable key. In the same time the zinc layer should not be damaged, suitable paint to be used… From supplier’s point of view it may mean extra cost that they have to pass on buyer and in the same time it is not necessary that everyone is going to like it or going to see it as an essential thing to pay extra.