One or two brood box? Melbourne Australia

I am after some advice from more experienced beekeepers.
I have been into bees for 2 years but started keeping bees in November 2023. I am in Melbourne Australia. Living in a suburban house in an area with heaps of flowers (I keep my hives in backyard)
I have 2 bee hives. Both 8 frames double brood box.
Everything is fine with the bees. So far so good. My question is considering Melbourne’s weather is it a good idea to go with a single brood box? The reason is that lifting the top brood box hurts my back, it is trickier to manage 2 brood boxes, and finding queen is a bit tricky. Overall I guess having everything in one box (10 frames) is more manageable. The beekeeper I bought my bees from insists on having them always in 2 brood boxes but all the videos I have watched on YouTube are talking about single brood box. So why shouldn’t I go with single box? Is it a must not to go with single box? Do I need to switch between single and double brood box in warmer and colder season? If single box is ok can I go with 8 frames? Or it must be 10?
Please advise
Thank you

Hello and welcome to the forum.

I can offer some advice, albeit, unprofessional - I am also just a hobbyist!

I have been using a single 10 frame brood boxes as well and have probably been watching some of the same videos that you have (university of Guelph).

As your climate is much warmer and offers more year-round nectar flows than ours, I think you can probably get by with a single 10 frame box or even a single 8 frame brood box.

You’ll have to be more proactive about swarm control but otherwise, I don’t see a lot of downside to single brood box management.

Perhaps, if you have extended dearths, you’ll have to manage the bees stores a little more carefully and consider the possibility you’d have to feed them during lean times.

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I also use single brood boxes, basically for the same reasons that you find single brood boxes easier to use.

One positive for using single brood boxes is capital outlay is much less, not to mention the extra time involved in making the boxes & frames.

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All mine are single 8F and appreciate not having an extra box to lift. Swarm management isn’t difficult. Another consideration is when Varroa reaches you, treatment costs will be higher for doubles in most cases.
Mike

Hi Sasha,
I think one will be fine with care over swarm management and checking food stores in late winter and into spring. If it’s wet at this time the bees can quickly run out of stores as they can’t get out enough to keep up with their rapidly growing colony. I would consider two boxes if you’re in the Dandenongs.

Hi Outback,
Thank you for your advice. Is 8 foam box enough or I should go with 10?
Thank you

All mine are 8 as I find 10 too heavy - in fact, I find 8 too heavy, but that’s just me. 10 will give you more stores but more weight. A full 10-frame super or 7-frame flow super would be well over 20kgs, but others might give you a better idea of the kgs.

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Disregard of the swarming management actions, Is there enough cell for Queen to lay eggs in a 8 frame box?

Plenty. Each frame has about 7,000 cells. If all frames are fully drawn, that would be 56,000 cells. A great queen can lay 3,000 eggs per day, but usually it is more like 1,000+. As an egg takes around 21 days to produce a worker, and an 8 frame brood box has about double the space that most queens could reasonably fill. Taking into account that bees like to have some honey and bee bread near the brood nest, and usually don’t let the queen lay up to the edge of the frames or next to the hive walls, you still have enough space with an 8 frame box. The workers will also regulate how much the queen can lay, up to a point, by eating any eggs that the hive can’t support. I run double deep brood boxes, but my climate has long nectar dearths. The bees use much of the extra space for honey and a little for bee bread.

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