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Should I add 2nd brood box? West Australia north of Albany, Australia


One of my hives is going gangbusters and have filled the brood box and much of the flow hive.
Its early in the season and really starting to warm up.
I’m in West Australia north of Albany

Is it a good idea to add a 2nd brood?
Would I remove it closer to winter, in May
I want to make sure I have healthy hive.
I only have a full depth with pre made frames and foundation.

How is the best way to introduce the 2nd brood box?


Adding a 2nd Brood Box, Kansas City, USA

If it’s warm then put it on top of the first brood box. The bees will draw foundation faster in the warmth over the bottom box.
I would have put the second brood on before the super


Yeah I hear ya onrbikes, generally the go is to use one bb but however I’m with you and have some wsp boxes to add if needed.
@Dawn_SD seems to recommend adding beneath the bb and now @Dee says above the bb. Typical beeks… :wink:


My understanding of beekeeping in Australia is that most people use just one brood box. However, having used double brood boxes, I would not go back to a single one now, especially with an 8-frame Langstroth which has 20% less brood space than the usual 10-frame hives.

As @Skeggley says, I like to add the second brood box below the existing one, but that is not a standard method in Langstroth hives (it is in Warre hives). In my hands, it seems less disruptive for the brood pattern, and the bees drew the comb straighter and faster when I added extra brood boxes below. However, as @Dee says, it may depend on your climate. The disadvantage of adding below is that you have to take the hive apart to do it, rather than just sticking a new box on top.

As far as removing the second box in winter, I don’t do that, and I don’t know anyone who does. Once the bees get used to 2 brood boxes, they fill them with winter stores and put the brood where they want it. There is really no need to remove the second box in winter - it will be full of stuff they need.


I have the 10 frame hives.
May just keep one BB.

Am reading so much material with nobody to ask questions am just trying to get this right.

Theres a lot more to making honey than everyone believes.
Good fun though


I don’t think you would be wrong to have a second brood box, even with 10-frame boxes. Lots of people here in Southern California do that with 10 frames and your climate is not that different from ours - a little hotter in summer, and cooler in winter but not by much. It does make more work for inspections, but it also gives more of a margin of stores for your bees in the cooler months, reducing the need for winter feeding.


Its up to you, typically in Australia most of the continent is single brood box. But in the southern cooler areas like Victoria, Tasmania and parts of SA they use double brood. Considering you are running 8 frames and if Albany is cooler than say Perth then it won’t do any harm either way. Just put it on top, bees will go up or down.
I’m a strong believer in the single brood method and will never go back to double brood, I found it difficult to manage and didn’t see a difference in bees numbers. My honey extraction was down with double brood boxes compared to the other single brood hives in my yard. I now have 20 hives and so don’t fancy pulling apart 2 boxes and 20 frames inspecting the colony every few weeks, 1 box and 10 frames suits just fine.


When you say “with nobody to ask questions”, I feel a little bit hurt, I’m sure a few others on the forum who are only too willing to help could feel the same way. I have the opinion that this is what this forum was set up for, for people to ask questions. Then hopefully you’ll get the answers you need, based on what part of the world you keep bees in.

You may not always get the answers you want, however you should get the answers you need.


I only mean a real human to ask and actually see whats going on.
The answers I get here are always good but sometimes seeing is believing

After reading the replies will stick to the single BB.
It sounds the way to go.

Many thanks


Hi onrbikes

I’m based in Perth. I would be more than willing to share what I have learned in the 4 months (a newbie indeed) that I have been beekeeping! Not too sure how to PM you my mobile

I’m on a traditional 3 box beehive now - 1 brood box, 1 rotation box & the super. This is what I was taught at WA Apiarist Society Responsible BeeKeeping course back in August

The rotation box, as I understand it, is to provide more space for the queen to lay and this may also prevent swarming. I would suggest this to you as a single BB may frustrate the queen due to the lack of space



Whats a rotation box?


In that class I attended, they explained that once the frame is full of
capped brood (in BB), it is moved to the rotation box (middle box). And
new frames is put into BB for the queen to lay. All these is mainly done
during the rush of spring when it’s full of activity

Once the capped brood has hatched (in the rotation box), the workers will
clean and fill it up with honey. When there are more frames coming up from
BB, these honey frames will be moved up to the super (3rd & top box).

As for your case, I would suggest 2 BB to enable enough numbers to fill up
the FH sufficiently quick. My FH is still unassembled! LOL

If you get a chance, join WAAS and checkout their website




Hi Aaron, use the ‘message’ button at the top right hand corner when you click on the users icon in the thread.


Thanks Rod!! Appreciate the tip!!


Thanks A

Got your message and will join up.


I live in central Alabama (Southeast USA). Our winters are relatively mild but we do have brief periods of below freezing temps and an occasional snow fall.

I’m new to this and no one else in my local bee keeping association has a flow hive.

Right now I only have one deep brood box and the flow super. When winter comes, if I leave the flow frames full of honey for the bees, won’t they go up there to cluster leaving the queen behind in the brood box. And if I remove the excluder, how do I get her back down into the brood box in the spring?

I’m thinking I need to add another standard deep super for them to have for additional brood and honey storage before putting the flow super on top and use that as surplus to rob.

If I do that, do I then need to take the flow super off in the winter so the bees won’t have too much hive to protect from beetles. Is cleaning and storing much trouble?

Thanks in advance for your advice!!!


That doesn’t matter. A Flow hive is managed exactly the same way as a traditional 8-frame Langstroth, just the honey extraction is different. If your locals use double deeps for brood, you should too. Only put the Flow super on top when the second brood box is at least 80% full.

Don’t leave the Flow super on over winter. You are right, the cluster may well leave the queen behind to die. If you remove the excluder, she may start laying in the Flow super the following spring, making a real mess for you to clean up. At the end of the season, harvest all honey from the Flow super, then remove the super. If the honey isn’t capped, freeze it to preserve it, and use it (defrosted) to feed the bees in the Fall. Even if all goes well with the Flow super on the hive, the bees tend to propolize the cells over winter, which makes it very difficult to open them when you next harvest.

When you do that last harvest, let the bees clean up the plastic. You can rinse out the collection channel if you like, but otherwise no vigorous cleaning is needed. Tightly wrap and then freeze each frame for 48 hours (kills SHB and wax moth eggs/larvae). Store over winter in a cool dark place (shed, garage, basement etc).


Hi Dawn,
I had not thought considered freezing the flow frames as I thought the plastic might crack. Have you frozen yours successfully? Also, can SHB and Wax Moth survive if stored in a shed over winter? In in Victoria Australia.
Thanks for the time and experience you bring to this forum.


@Behappy, I have not needed to freeze my Flow frames as yet, but Cedar (inventor of the Flow frames) says that it is perfectly OK to freeze them. The plastic is safe at normal freezer temperatures and up to 70C on the heat side of the range.

Yes, unless you get several days of freezing weather. Undiscovered for a few months, the wax moths can wreak havoc! :flushed: That is why I would wrap the frames in plastic, then freeze for 48 hours, then store in the shed after that. The plastic wrapping stops new wax moth and SHB from finding the frames.


You can always treat with Certan