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Two brood boxes in warm climate


#1

I am a newbie. I live in central Texas where we sometimes have 30+ straight days of 100+ degrees F weather in a row. A cold winter for us is more than 10 days of freezing temperatures.

After doing much research I have surmized that the consensus is that in a climate like mine, I should only have 1 brood box.

However, I have talked with 2 Beekeepers in my area that use 2 deep brood boxes because they say it gives the bees more space, and that reduces their desire to swarm. They also say the hive has less problems managing themselves during the dry parts of the summer because they have more stores.

I also assume a larger hive means less likely hood of robbig and a better ability to repel pests.

Can I get ya’lls opinion on this?


#2

I think you are right. The only thing that will prevent swarming is active swarm management, and that is not 100% effective - bees naturally want to swarm. :slight_smile:

I don’t think it would hurt to use 2 brood boxes. The worst that could happen in your region is that one box will not be used for brood, just for honey. However, I think that is unlikely. You also have to remember that most of your locals will be using 10 frame deeps, not 8 frame. So it wouldn’t hurt to start with a bit more space, once your bees have mostly filled the first box.

Dawn


#3

I agree here.
Bees will swarm if they do not have enough space. A common reason for lack of space is overfeeding but that is neither here nor there…just thought I’d throw it in.
There comes a time though, no matter how much space for brood and honey stores you give a colony it will make swarm preparations. It is the bees’ way of reproducing the colony.


#4

Hi Lorne, I’m happy with using only one brood box. Even with an 8 frame super, I’d still use one brood box.

I find it much easier to manage one brood box. You’ll get a good worker population with one brood box, especially if you keep all the frames in good nick. When I say good nick, I mean all the frames have at least 90-95% worker comb.

I find with 2 brood boxes, sometimes the bees like the queen laying in the top one, leaving the bottom one vulnerable to SHB damage.

Other times they will have her laying in the bottom box, filling the top box with honey. That’s good in one way, however the down side is: while removing those frames of honey you are constantly aware that the queen could be on one of those frames.

The bees will certainly build a huge colony with 2 brood boxes. However if they swarm, & you don’t catch it, you’ve lost a LOT of bees.

I would rather have say, 4 hives all containing one brood box than 2 hives containing 2 brood boxes each.


#5

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#6

If you don’t use a queen excluder…That’s fine if you like lots of lifting heavy boxes during all your inspections.
If you don’t use an excluder…we all know what happens. The queen lays her brood all the way up the centre of the boxes. So you are splitting the brood twice if the colony is a big one, during inspection.
Managing a colony…means managing it. It means making it easier on the bees and easier on the beekeeper. The honey can be removed without disturbing the main brood nest if you use an excluder. There is less chance of damaging the queen during inspections too.


#7

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