# How many frames of brood can a good queen have?

• 02-15-2013, 11:41 AM
alblancher
How many frames of brood can a good queen have?
I am often told that one of the things to look for before doing things like splits or installing Queen excluders is to have two full brood boxes. I have always wondered what exactly that term means. In a meeting last night I was told that it is more appropriate to say "two full boxes of bees".

My question is that since bees come and go depending on time of day and weather, how many frames of brood are required to meet the "two full brood boxes" criteria? I know a worker needs 21 days from the time the egg is layed to when she leave the brood cell so maybe the question is also ask as "how many frames does a great, good or inferior Queen lay in 21 days"?

Thanks

Al
• 02-15-2013, 12:57 PM
beemandan
Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?
Figure it this way. A good queen can lay over 1500 eggs a day. That, if my memory serves me is a little over one side of a deep frame full. 21 days...she can possibly have 10 - 12 frames full of brood. Add to that the fact that on day 21 she still needs some empty comb to continue laying in while the brood in the first frame is emerging. Plus there has to be room for pollen and honey.
• 02-15-2013, 01:16 PM
alblancher
Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?
Thanks, that's the number I was missing. 1500 eggs a day which is about 1 side of a deep frame per day for a healthy, productive queen. If you consider that some frames will not be fully filled with brood you should see a pretty full lower box and maybe three or 4 brood frames in the upper box if the beek is moving brood frames down into the lower body.
• 02-15-2013, 02:31 PM
Vance G
Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?
A lot of big honey producers including two I know of in Canada only run one hive body under an extractor. When they pull the honey in the fall, they immediately put on feeders because the bees will starve there is so little honey stored in that hive body. I am not smart enough to manage that well and will slop along with two hive bodies I plan and as much more room on up as the bees choose. A cut down for comb honey production is another matter.
• 02-15-2013, 03:59 PM
jim lyon
Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?
Dan pretty much nailed it. The equivalent of 12 full frames is about max. Sure I have seen brood on 14 to 16 frames but they aren't all "stick to stick". We use a lot of excluded singles as well. You better have your feed tanks along when you pull honey off of them. We make sure they have a couple nice frames of honey and then keep feed on them. Bottom line, though, is that the double hives are more populous at the end of the summer. It's a trade off, what do you want , more honey in your drums or more bees in your hives. We run them both ways.
• 02-16-2013, 10:27 AM
olympic
Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?
There are 6,000+ cells per deep frame. The total area of brood is seldom more that the equivalent of 5 FULL frames.
• 02-16-2013, 10:46 AM
Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?
Quote:

Originally Posted by Vance G
A lot of big honey producers including two I know of in Canada only run one hive body under an extractor.

I'd like to see a photo of that setup! :lookout:

OK, I'm jest funnin here ... :D I have no doubt Vance meant excluder.
• 02-16-2013, 11:05 AM
beemandan
Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?
Quote:

Originally Posted by olympic
There are 6,000+ cells per deep frame. The total area of brood is seldom more that the equivalent of 5 FULL frames.

I stand corrected. My apologies.
• 02-16-2013, 05:53 PM