View Full Version : when to add a second brood chamber
I have two new hives each about 3 weeks old. The queens are laying nice patterns of brood and have filled about 3 frames with brood and some honey. In addition the bees have used an additional 2-3 frames for honey and pollen storage. They have drawn out another two with comb.There are still about two frames in each hive that have no activity. My question is, When should I add a second brood chamber, and when I do, should I put a full 10 frames in it?
04-28-2002, 09:34 PM
I am in my first season also,But it is my understanding that after 7+ frames are filled it is time to add a new box of ten frames. And when the second box is also at 7+ frames you add a super,I am adding my second box tomorrow my self.
04-29-2002, 03:13 PM
Pull one frame up into the second brood chamber. Take one frame of foundation from the bottom box and add it between two brood combs. This way the bees will be baited up and they will draw out the foundation quickly giving the queen a place to lay again. Only add one frame of foundation between brood combs at a time. Repeat as necessary to avoid the chiminey effect and being honey bound/ congestion. Then the big buzz to the bushes.
Do you plan on running unlimited broodnest colonies?
04-29-2002, 05:05 PM
What do you mean by unlimited broodnest colonies?
This is my fourth week. I added second box today, bottom box had eight drawn frames, six of which had capped brood. One frame had honey and pollen exclusively (it was on the edge). The others had a good brood pattern (honey on the top, pollen beneath the honey, and capped cells on bottom two thirds of frame). Should I move one of those to the top and replace with foundation?
Thanks for your help.
[This message has been edited by pancho (edited May 01, 2002).]
04-29-2002, 08:46 PM
Unlimited broodnest management is often done with three deep brood chambers. It is an old style of management designed for honey production. Rarely used for pollenation as the colonies get way too tall to move. It is for permanant sites not for those that move about so much. No queen excluders are used (there are times but rare). The principle behind this management is to NOT LIMIT the queen brooding room. You encourage her to lay as much as possible thus the three brood chambers. In two chamber when often the second box will fill with much nectar and honey thus limiting the queens laying and queen excluders lock her into those two boxes and the queen can't live up to her potential. In essence you manipulate the three brood chambers by reversing of moving frames to give the queen room. It is not uncommon to see hive six to nine deep. Also feeding is rare as the beekeeper never touches the bees honey in the brood chambers. If they are low just add some from the supers to make up. There is some more details but that is the basics. This management is in few books but the info can be found. If you have more questions just ask. You can check back in posts about a year ago and read what I wrote then in more detail.
Yes move one frame of "brood" to the top box in the center. And put the frame of foundation in the bottom box in the center. When the foundation is draw in the bottom box take another from the bottom on the side and put in the center till all are drawn.
Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately it doesn't matter that much anymore at the moment. One of my hives died last night. The temps here have been cold and rainy for a week and below freezing at night. When we get a day without rain it's cloudy and windy and cold. The raw weather kept me from going into the hives because I didn't want to chill the brood or introduce any moisture with the rain. I was feeding them , but they rejected the second miller feeder I put in after removing the first one to remove dead bees from the feeding area. Some bees had drowned in the syrup. They used up all the stores they had and didn't use the second Miller feeder. Today was the first day I wanted to take a chance and open the hives. My first hive is still hanging on but weak. They have refused the miller feeder from the start so I put a jar feeder over the hole in the cover board with hopes they will follow the dripping syrup up and use the feeder jar. Unfortunately there is no warm weather predicted here for at least several more days and more rain. This is getting frustrating. I certainly won't be adding a second brood chamber until the weather cooperates. Any advice on how to handle this situation?
05-02-2002, 05:56 AM
Sorry for the loss. I don't use miller feeders for this very reason. I use two types of feeders. Jar feeders and division board feeders. Use jar feeder or pail (not a boardman) when its cold and the bees can't move as it puts the feed directly on them, this is not so with miller feeders as they still must break cluster. I wouldn't use a division board feeder yet either. So in cold weather use only pail or jar feeders over the cluster. Just don't let the jar go empty on your hive. Get it even in the rain and refill. Then just leave them alone until it warms up. Take the combs from the hive that died and use in the other when it warms up.