Hello everyone. When do you need to add a second brood box to the flow hive?
Same time as you would add a second brood box to any other Langstroth hive.
Your question is very broad, so I am not quite sure what you are asking. If beekeepers in your climate zone run their hives on 2 brood boxes, you should too with a Flow hive.
The standard beekeeping advice is to add any box (brood, super or Flow super) when the existing box is full of completely drawn comb, and 80% of that comb is filled with brood, honey or pollen, with every frame well-covered in bees. There isn’t a specific month to do it, if that is what you are asking.
In a traditional hive, you would add any extra brood boxes before you start adding honey supers for extracting. Exactly the same applies to the Flow hive. No reason to do anything differently.
Hope that answers your question.
Well, not exactly. In a lot of the pictures, people seem to have their honey super on top of a single brood box. If this is so, why don’t they have a second brood box on and then the super on top of that. Sorry, picking up my first 5 frame nuc this coming Saturday, just a little confused.
That was I why I referred to your “climate zone”. Not every climate requires 2 brood boxes for overwintering bees, because the nectar flow never really stops. If you are in a tropical or subtropical climate, you can manage perfectly well with one brood box. This applies to much of Australia (except for the south of the continent). I would imagine that many of the photos you have seen are from there.
The important thing is to ask local beekeepers in your climate zone about how many brood boxes they use in a standard Langstroth hive. Your profile doesn’t say where in the world you are located, but unless you are tropical or subtropical, I would bet that most locals use two brood boxes.
Thanks dawn, I will need two for my climate as we have winter weather down in the 20’s.
That being said, can I go ahead and start with 1 brood box then add my honey super and then later this summer, take off the honey super and add another brood box.
No I wouldn’t
You get your bees up to strength in two boxes with their own stores in there then you put on your super which will give you your honey to take. Don’t steal the honey the bees need, just their surplus.
Thanks Dee and Dawn, that answers my questions. I will purchase another brood box and add it on when the first one is 80 percent full and then when the second one is 80 percent, I will add the flow frame honey super on.
Just want to make sure I understand you can add a second brood box and then the super? Now one queen for the whole entire operation? Also, would I be better off adding another empty brood box, or get another Nuc for that brood box, without a queen just workers.
Yes. That is exactly what you should do, but only add the second brood box when your first is bursting with bees. I don’t want to type it all again today, but look half way down this answer that I wrote earlier today:
Yes, but only when the first box is 80% full, bursting with bees etc…
You will find it hard to get another nuc without a queen. People will look at you funny. Just use an extra deep box of empty (or wax foundation) frames.
Thank You, one last thing would I use the queen excluder if I have two brood boxes?
Yes, on top of the top brood box, below the Flow super.
OK, cool, I just got one first brood box, and put the bees into it. I ordered another brood box. Now question, do I put the bottom on the second brood box? This box will sit on top the first brood box. Also do I put a cover on top of the first brood box, or is it open air between the two boxes, and only put the queen excluder and cover with a circular hole on top of the second box?
Might I suggest that you buy a good book on Beekeeping, and read all of it very thoroughly? The basics of any Langstroth hive also apply to a Flow hive. The book will cover all sorts of questions like this. It explains in detail how to structure a hive, and will teach you the correct words to use, so that we can understand what question you are asking. I suggest this one, which has just been revised:
I really don’t understand what you are saying here. Sorry. Instead, let me tell you what you should be doing. What you need to do is put the first box of bees on top of the Screened Bottom Board. You won’t need the second box until the first one is completely full. Instead, you put the Inner Cover (with the hole in it) on top of the box of bees, and then put the roof (outer cover) on top of that. I would cover the hole to prevent a mess of wax comb in the roof.
When your first box is completely full, you can add the second box. I would suggest it would be easiest for you to add it on top of the first box. Once you have more experience, you might try something different, but for now, that is the simplest thing to do. You don’t need the queen excluder or the Flow super at this point. Just put the Inner Cover (with the hole) on top of the second (upper) box of frames, and then put the roof on top.
Hopefully I answered that above - you put the inner cover on top of the upper box. The upper box sits directly on top of the lower first box of bees.
You only put the queen excluder on when you add the Flow super with the plastic frames. You only add the Flow super when the lower 2 boxes are totally bursting with bees. When that happens, you take off the inner cover, put the queen excluder on top of the lower two boxes, then put Flow super directly on top of the queen excluder. The inner cover goes on top of the Flow super, and then the roof on top of that. Phew! Here is an article with a diagram which shows something close to my description of a hive with 2 brood boxes, a queen excluder and a honey super: