Adding brood boxes

A place for bee-ginners to ask questions and receive answers from experienced beekeepers.
Post Reply
User avatar
BDT123
Forum Regular
Posts: 193
Joined: December 3rd, 2016, 6:47 pm
Location: Drayton Valley, AB

Adding brood boxes

Unread post by BDT123 » June 10th, 2018, 9:44 pm

Adding brood boxes seems like it should be easy, but if the bees are back-filling the empty spaces with nectar, should an extra brood box be added pre-emptively? Packages are filling empty comb with nectar, leaving queen less room to lay. Only 4 full frames of brood, but they have put nectar everywhere.
Advice, please.
Best regards,
Brian

User avatar
BadBeeKeeper
Site Admin
Posts: 112
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 2:01 pm
Location: Penobsot County, Maine

Re: Adding brood boxes

Unread post by BadBeeKeeper » June 11th, 2018, 2:41 am

Yeah, I started two nucs on the 9th of may, added a second box a week later...one swarmed last weekend and the other was about to this weekend. I had to split all but one hive, now I have more than I wanted. I need honey to sell, not extra hives. My plan was for a gradual expansion...

I don't think I've ever seen them go from normal to swarm in such a short period except for one Spring where it rained almost constantly- first sunny day and they were hitting the trees.

I wish I could keep better notes, I'm probably mis-remembering.

User avatar
Countryboy
Forum Regular
Posts: 530
Joined: November 8th, 2010, 9:37 pm
Location: Central Ohio
Contact:

Re: Adding brood boxes

Unread post by Countryboy » June 11th, 2018, 1:32 pm

Adding brood boxes seems like it should be easy, but if the bees are back-filling the empty spaces with nectar, should an extra brood box be added pre-emptively?
You don't need more brood boxes if bees are bringing in nectar. You need supers. Lots of supers. (One brood box is all you really need.)

If you have boxes of stored comb and a nectar flow, why on earth are those boxes not on hives? Why weren't those boxes put on before the flow started?

The bees aren't going to store any honey in boxes that are stored in your garage.
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

User avatar
BDT123
Forum Regular
Posts: 193
Joined: December 3rd, 2016, 6:47 pm
Location: Drayton Valley, AB

Re: Adding brood boxes

Unread post by BDT123 » June 11th, 2018, 9:34 pm

CB, this is the hive that was just re-queened on June 1st. When I checked two days ago the bees had back-filled most of the drawn comb with nectar. We've had 2 days of torrential rain since my checks and howling a gale all day today.
I will get in the hive on Wednesday and assess whether to add another brood box.
My concern is whether this package of now aging bees can defend more turf. Not getting any honey off this one, this year.
I may add a frame of capped brood from my boomer to bolster the workforce.
The back-filling was probably done prior to adding the queen, they had nothing else to do.
Should I add a brood box with drawn comb and move some of the nectar filled frames up?
Still looking for advice. Add a brood frame and a honey super? I have lots of drawn comb.
Brian

User avatar
BDT123
Forum Regular
Posts: 193
Joined: December 3rd, 2016, 6:47 pm
Location: Drayton Valley, AB

Re: Adding brood boxes

Unread post by BDT123 » June 11th, 2018, 9:36 pm

OK, CB, I re-read your response. Should I just add honey supers and skip the brood box?
Brian

User avatar
Countryboy
Forum Regular
Posts: 530
Joined: November 8th, 2010, 9:37 pm
Location: Central Ohio
Contact:

Re: Adding brood boxes

Unread post by Countryboy » June 12th, 2018, 10:37 am

CB, this is the hive that was just re-queened on June 1st.
So what? What does that have to do with the price of rice in China? One technique for maximizing honey production is to remove a queen when the nectar flow hits and let the bees raise a new queen. The bees aren't using incoming nectar to feed brood, and more bees can be forager bees.
When I checked two days ago the bees had back-filled most of the drawn comb with nectar.
That means the bees don't have enough storage space for nectar. You never want to see this. Normally it means you are really close to swarming, which means you are 3 weeks late giving the bees more comb.
My concern is whether this package of now aging bees can defend more turf. Not getting any honey off this one, this year.


Then reduce the entrance if you are worried about robbing.

You won't get any honey from them if you don't give them any room. (The only way you shouldn't expect honey from a package is if you are starting them on foundation.)

I've seen package hives produce 200 pounds of honey in a season if they have drawn comb.
I have lots of drawn comb.
The bees are trying to tell you they need comb. Drawn comb in storage isn't worth anything to you. Put it on the hives.
Should I just add honey supers and skip the brood box?
Give them comb. I don't care what you call the box. Just give them drawn comb if you have it.

Any box that has brood in it is a brood box. Any box that is added to the top of a hive is a super. (From the Latin word supra, meaning above. As opposed to nadir, meaning below.)
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

Post Reply