I have 3 hives that were started last spring,and were wintered over in one brood box of drawn frames each.I want to set them up with double brood boxes(9 5/8) this summer.When would be the best time to do this?They would need to draw out 10 sheets of foundation.They seemed to have wintered over great and are now bringing in pollen for the last week,and I have been feeding sugar water,on and off pretty much all winter.First 2 to 1 and now 1to 1.I am going to do a brood check this weekend.Any insight would be appreciated.....JOHN
I would wait until the first box is full of bees. Just make sure they are not conjested. Then just put second box on the top. If you have any drawn foundation put these frames between new ones so you get the ration 5/5. It will give the bees grate advantage if you do not have drawn frames don't wory about you still will be amazed how fast they will draw them out. What I usually do, I put 2 - 3 frames with brood from the first box into the second and it will pull bees into the top box much faster. Once the foundation is drawn out I am keeping 9 frames. Keep truck how and where your queen is laying and rotate boxes.
Why are you trying to do northern-style beekeeping in the south? I tried unsucessfully to work bees in two brood boxes here in South Carolina, until I looked around and saw that most local beekeepers used singles, or one and a half story at most. During the summer, when there is little nectar, the queen needs to be restricted, or you will wind up in the fall with lots of bees and no feed for winter. They just eat up all the incoming nectar, plus stored honey, to make brood. If you keep the queen down to one box under an excluder, she cannot keep on laying thru the season of dearth.
The only reason I can think to make up doubles is to get extra brood in the spring, (use the spring flow to make bees, not honey), so that you can shake packages or make nucs. Then by June 1, all hives should be back to singles.
thanks for the replies Andrey and pollinator.The beekeeper that I got ny first hive from kept his brood to 1 1/2 boxes.But he practised no swarm control,and would just catch them out of the trees if he could,if not,oh well.I wasn't sure if the practice of 1 or 1 1/2 or 2 boxes for brood was most common around here.I thought two boxes would help with control of swarming,by giving them as much space as possible when needed.I do have a few neighbors near by,and was trying to keep them "out of the trees"But I do want to make some splits this spring,but it sounds like I can do that out of one brood box also.Thanks again for the answers guys...JOHN
This is more of a question for Pollnator, but it is open for discussion. I was planning to use 2 deep brood boxes for the first time this year. My understanding was that the hive would build up stronger the first season. Witch would mean you would have to leave more honey for the increase number of bees. The second season would start with a much stronger hive than the year before. The end result would be a larger return in honey production. I do not have the information at hand, but in "The Hive And The Honey Bee" I read that a hive with 30,000 bees will produce twice (<- not sure about the twice)as much honey as two hives with 15,000 bees each. Anyway if I'm wrong someone please let me know...and what I should or should not do this season.