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Where to place the brood box! San Francisco, USA


Hi all! I’ll be ordering one or two packages for this spring. I already have four medium supers filled with pollen and honey that are just waiting for bees, so I’ll just be adding 1 medium brood box + 2 medium honey supers to make two hives. Question is, since I can place the brood box anywhere I want, where should it go? I know it traditionally goes on the bottom, but is that the best option? Wouldn’t it be better on top where it’s warmer, or in the middle between the honey?
All opinions welcome! :slight_smile:


Hi Olivia,
Just one box at a time, once your package has filled that medium brood box to 80-90% then add a super on top. This way your bees are not having to work over time trying to keep the place warm.


I don’t remember, are they frozen? If not, the pollen may not be in great shape next season, courtesy of pollen mites…


Thanks Rodderick! But wouldn’t it make more sense in that case to add the super on the bottom? Since warm air rises, to put the 90% full brood box on the top?


Sorry, I should have said- they’re being “looked after” by my two currently booming, busy-as-summer hives, which currently have 3 honey supers each. I figured the best way to take care of those supers was to let the bees do it… :slight_smile:


If it is 90% full, it won’t be a big disruption wherever you put the extra box. If it is 60% or less, and you have to add a box for human reasons, I would definitely add it below.


Got it. thank you! My plan should be to put the package in an empty medium box, and when they’re 80% full, place below it a medium super that is already chock-full of pollen and honey. Is that right?


That is how the Warre’ system works and it seems to work quite well, I have always added supers on top but only ever have 1 super on the hive over winter. Your winters are much colder than mine, I like your thinking and its definitely worth exploring as long as you don’t mind lifting those heavy boxes up to slide a super underneath. Its a 2 or 3 person job each time.


I run a 3 deep unlimited brood nest; meaning I let the bees do what they would do in nature without confining them to one box over the other.
Based on that; the bees always place their honey over the brood nest just like this frame that they created. In the Spring, there may be as many as 5 additional boxes on top of the 3 brood nest boxes: Again, the queen is not prohibited from going to those boxes, but she doesn’t, the workers place honey in those boxes above so they can eat their way up to the top in the winter and then work their way back down during Spring/Summer.


Fascinating!! OK, I’ll stick by the tried-and-true method then. thank you both!