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Two brood boxes? Sydney, Australia


#1

So I just went to get all my new supplies and was speaking with a experienced bee keeper in the store. He suggested that I add a additional brood box to the flow hive (so 2 boxes for brood)

Anyone have any thoughts on if this? Would it be better for the flow hive, or is it unnecessary?


#2

You can probably do Double brood where you are but check with your local Bee Club for accurate local information. Double Brood will increase the stores brought in during a nectar flow


#3

A lot of it is location. I’m in the north and, for the last 4 years, am converting to 3 eight frame deep boxes for the brood nest. Each winter, as I check the bees for food supply and numbers, the 3 deep systems never need supplemental feeding and come Springtime are way ahead of the 2 deep systems.

This is early February 2015


#4

I find in my climate (sub-tropical) that one brood box is sufficient. As long as all your brood frames are in good nic, you’ll get all the bees you want out of one brood box.


#5

One brood box here in the UK too.
I have 14x12s which are about the same size as the biggest Lang box as far as brood cells go.
Two brood boxes or box and a super are common in Standard National format.
I used to run brood and a half before I moved to the bigger box and I just hate splitting the brood boxes and having to look in both every week during the swarming season.
That’s how you miss swarm cells which the bees are really good at hiding.


#6

Hi Adam,

I think the best advice is to start with whatever your local beekeepers do. If they run 2 brood boxes, you probably should too. Your profile doesn’t show where in the world you are, but if you want extra brood boxes to match the ones you already have in the Flow hive, here is the right supplier in the US:

Please ask more questions if anything isn’t clear.

Dawn


#7

[quote=“Dee, post:5, topic:4413”]
My brood box is absolutely packed with bees, so they’ve done really well over winter.

When the sun is out there’s a huge amount of activity, and although I suspect there’s little nectar being brought in, there is a lot of pollen.

The frames are packed with honey and pollen - the only problem is the space left for the queen to lay ie very little.

So to give the queen space to lay, I took out 1 frame and replaced it with new foundation, which they are now drawing out.
But I am thinking about a second brood box. As this would be for brood, would it be best to put the 2nd brood box above the original ? Its about 10 degrees C overnight, and during the day when the sun is out, its hitting 15/16 degrees.

And do the boxes simply sit on top of each other, or is there any merit in putting a board (with an access hole) between the two brood boxes ie to reduce the opportunity for bees to build comb between the two boxes

Any suggestions, gratefully received


#8

Hi @adrian, it would be really, really helpful if you could fill in the “Location” part of your profile, then we can adjust our advice to your climate… :blush: I know you gave overnight temperatures, which helps, but location is everything. I am guessing UK somewhere, based on the titles of some of your old posts, but this is just a guess and could be wildly wrong.

Standard advice is to do just that. The reason is that it is simplest for the beekeeper. However, when I need to expand brood space, I like to add new boxes underneath the old one if I can, for several reasons.

  1. Bees in nature tend to prefer building downwards. Think about a hollow tree trunk - they always start at the top and move down.
  2. The queen seems to use new space underneath the existing brood space much faster than if you put it above. Many people have observed that queens are reluctant to cross a band of honey, and there is often an arc of honey above the brood nest on each frame. I think this is why she moves down more readily than moving up.
  3. In colder climates, adding empty space below the brood nest reduces the heating effort required from the bees. As warm air rises, and the brood is kept at about 34C, adding a box below will cause less thermal stress on cool spring days.

It is up to you, both “supering” and “nadiring” will work in time.

Not that I am aware of. If bees want to build extra comb, they will. Not much you can do to dissuade them, except make sure that they have sufficient space, but not too much. Keep the “bee space” correct and clean up creativity if you have to. :wink:


#9

Although I hate 2 boxes which is why I am on a 14x12. With an 8 frame Lang and a prolific bee you will need more space. If it’s warm and there is lots of nectar coming in then the bees will draw the frames more quickly if you put the box above. If it’s still coolish then the extra space is better below. On the upside, having two boxes lets you check for queen cells weekly without looking into either box.


#10

If you have two brood boxes is ther any problem with switching the box positions? Earlier in the year I put a WSP box beneath a fd box as I understood adding brood space was a good idea however now I’m thinking having the wsp’s above the fd would be better.
Btw The two colonys that I did this to were the only ones to give me a honey crop this year.


#11

Some people do this annually as an attempt to prevent swarming, including the author of Beekeeping for Dummies. :blush: So you should be fine. The only consideration is that you are rearranging the bees’ home layout, and they may spend quite a bit of energy rearranging food stores and brood space, rather than foraging and storing nectar efficiently. Not a problem unless you care about the possible setback.


#12

Thank you for your advice - I put the second brood box under the first and so far, so good.

For reasons of timing rather than cost, I bought a non-Flow Hive box, which is OK and will do the job, but interestingly it is very much second quality to the quality of the original Flow Hive box.