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One or two brood boxes..? Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


#1

Hi guys, looking for some advice again please… I’m from Melbourne Australia and about to go on a two month honeymoon… my first brood box is almost full and I’m just about to add the flow frames before I go and hoping they will be full by the time I’m back…

Just wanted to see if anyone has advice on my climate, if I’ll need a second brood box before I put my flow frames on…? Or if I leave my flow frames full and just take off the queen excluder over winter, will that be enough honey for them to survive…?

Or if I add the flow frames and then later decide that I might need to add a second brood box… is that possible when the flow frames are already on…?


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

Put your super on and find a local beek to check on your hive while you’re gone. 2months is a long time to leave them unchecked coming into spring and summer…even in Melbourne’s weather :wink:


#3

Oh…and don’t let your queen anywhere near your flowframes…


#4

Paul,

First … Congrats ! :tada:… I’m from up North near Seattle … Not sure about the two month during this active season without someone bee sitting ! Does your area run double deep boxes there. Being gone that long I’d add just a deep …and have someone you trust check-in … Never hurts to have an extra super of honey … Then they can add the QE n Flow-hive if your honey super gets stuff. Otherwise you’d have to have someone try to try n harvest your first honey harvest n you’d miss out on this first ! That’s just my take on one thot !

Now enjoy the time, your honeymoon n let the bees be bees…

That’s just my take n 2 cents worth,
Gerald


#5

Thanks heaps everyone. I think I’ve made my decision… but still open for suggestions…

I’m going to add my flow super this week, as I figure it’s best not to add new brood frames without suerpvision, just incase they bugger them Up and I won’t be there to fix them… hopefully they won’t swarm in that time I’m away… and when I get back… if I need to… I’ll add another brood box then… or just hope I won’t need to add one this season, just so I can add it next season to prevent them from swarming…

Hoping everyone can give me some advice, if that’s not the best thing to do… ?


#6

I’m with Gerald. Add a deep and if someone could check in on them that’d be great.
Now forget about the bees and I wish you and the lady a very relaxing honeymoon!


#7

I have once added a brood box and gone away for 6 weeks, but… :blush:

I added the box underneath the almost full box, and each frame in the second box had foundation of some sort (no foundationless frames). Nothing bad happened except for some bridge comb on the hive walls - it didn’t create much disturbance to clear that up. I would never choose to do that, and I would never recommend it, but if you think your bees may run out of space or swarm, adding a brood box underneath the existing one is a good option.


#8

G’day Paul, congratulations on the upcoming honeymoon.

I did a bit of thinking. A strategy you could adopt would be to open the brood up in the bottom box. Remove 4 frames & replace them with frames with fresh foundation in a checkerboard fashion. Put those 4 frames in the center of a second brood box flanked by 2 frames with fresh foundation on either side. Then put your QX on followed by the flow super. I think a strategy, something like that should keep the bees busy & not swarm for the next 2 months. You probably could keep the 4 frames of brood together in the bottom box as well.


#9

I’m in the very early stages of setting up a flow hive at a school (still in research phase). We’re in the western suburbs of Melbourne. I was wondering how many brood boxes people have here? Do additional brood boxes easily fit on to the Flow Hive 2?

Thanks for your help!


How many brood boxes do I need?
#10

The outside and inside dimension of all the flow hives match to a Langstroth box, a flow hive 6 matches an 8 frame langstroth and flow hive7 is a langstroth 10.
I will leave it to those closer to you to advise about the best brood box set up in your area and particular climate but generally if you winter temps drop below 5c at night that justifies a second brood box if the colony is strong, if it is a new(1st year hive) then possibly the hive does not have the numbers to keep a 2 brood box colony warm enough.
Welcome to the forum.
Regards


#11

Thanks for your help, Peter. As the students are putting bits and pieces together I’ll get them to make a second one and we’ll see whether we use it or not.


#12

There is much you can do with two hives rather than one, for example if one hive is weakened in bees you can transfer frames of brood from the strong hive. You can also do re-queening of a hive if the queen has failed for some reason, and of course you can compare the production of honey. Re-queening sounds daunting but there is a well trodden path to do it with confidence.
Cheers.


#13

You can also crush and strain comb from the second hive or cut honey comb if the budget doesn’t stretch to a second flow super at start up.