Greetings . . .
Installed first package 4/12/03.
Added 2nd brood chamber 5/12.
1) WHEN (what conditions) should I add a 3rd chamber?
2) WHERE, on top of #2, or between #1 & #2? (Adding supers of FOUNDATION require that they be place "above brood nest and UNDER other supers of DRAWN comb. Right?)
I would add the third when about 80% of the previous box is filled. I would just put it on top since laying queens tend to work up anyways. Since this spring has been wetter/colder and nights still can be chilly, I would not seperate the brood since there is not a real reason to do it.
If they start on the third box and ignore the outer frames from #1 and 2, move those fromes a slot or two towards the middle. Can do it now or later as long as the foundation is not being chewed.
I will sometimes bottom super for honey but for this they will expand in the direction they want to as long as room is available.
The norm is to add empty brood chambers above the existing brood nest. The norm is to add honey supers above that either adding them on the very top or adding them under the supers already being worked. One is less labor (adding them on top) the other seems to bait the bees to start on new supers sooner (adding them under the other supers).
From my exprience, bees will fill supers when they need the room regardless of all of my manipulations.
Also, from my observation in both hives and observation hives is that the queen will move up or down depending on where there is room to expand the brood nest. I have not seen that she won't move down, but the general theory is that she perfers to move up.
There was a question as to the third box being a hive body (referred to a chamber) and whether the box is a super with foundation. The statement in #2 (adding supers....) is correct if thinking of supers with foundation. But it is not relevent to answering #1 which has to do with adding a third chamber which I'm assuming is for brood. #1 could be answered differently depending on time of year, where brood is currently, bottom entrance/top entrance, pollen/honey bound frames or other factors. As with most questions it is important to know the end desired results.
Greetings . . .
BjornBee - Sorry about the confusion. I'm adding a new deep hive body to be used a 3rd brood chamber. This super contains undrawn foundation.
Michael Bush - As always, you got it right!
Gentlemen(?), thank you both for your answers.