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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    winston county alabama, usa
    Posts
    35

    Default new beekeeper/brood

    Hello everyone: I am new to the forum but I have read a lot of good info so far. Most of the post that I see are from the northern areas, wouldn't you know I am in the south, alabama actually. My question for right now is about the amount of brood boxes. I am not sure why someone uses 1 and some uses 2 or even more, and in what areas would merit how many one would use? Where I am located, the last part of July and all of August are really hot and dry. The winter is most severe in January and the first half of February. Most days are above freezing, though we will have 2 or 3 consecutive days at a time below freezing. Not sure what other elements would make the decision on using more than 1 brood box???

    Oh and please share my joy, this is my first year with honey and my first sale!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default

    Some people limit brood by use of a queen excluder. Others like myself run an open brood nest. In other words, the queen is free to lay as much as she wants. I find that the queen will lay up high early in the year, but she moves (or is pushed) down as the honey flow cranks up and the supers are filled with honey. Congrats on the harvest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    winston county alabama, usa
    Posts
    35

    Default new beekeeper/brood

    Thanks Ross. What do you find pro vs con of using or not using a queen excluder other than free range for the brood?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default

    I figure if the queen wants to lay more and make a bigger hive, why not let her. Isn't that what we want? I don't find brood in the supers a problem as I said above. I also think there is less likelyhood of the brood nest becoming crowded and forcing a swarm. On the other hand, you will end up with a few frames in your supers you will need to work around when you pull honey for extraction. If you have thousands of hives, that's probably too much trouble.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    It's easier to run an open brood if you use standard sizes. I run mediums, so if I get brood in an upper super I can always move it down.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

    Default

    Hey Ross,

    Would you please expand upon those comments about how you handle brood in the supers. How do you work around it?? I was overwhelmed with what I saw today. I had all these beautiful supers mostly full of honey. But, there were patches of capped and uncapped brood all over the place. I thought my queens were having CCD symptoms inside the hive, LOL!! How do you extract the honey?? Do you save the brood or destroy it when you extract?
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    It's easier to run an open brood if you use standard sizes. I run mediums, so if I get brood in an upper super I can always move it down.
    So do I. Unfortunately, I had 3 mediums full of brood and the other 2 supers were a mix of everything. There was no way to move anything down. These were perfect splits, well they still are. I'm just trying to figure out. I wish I could combine several frames of brood from both hives, enough to make 2 medium boxes, then combine to make up 1 complete hive.
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    Cyndi if there is just a little brood mixed in with your honey you can still harvest it without a problem. You won't be able to save the brood, but from what you are telling us there isn't a shortage.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    575

    Default In Tennessee

    In Tennessee there are a variety of responses to your question. Some run double deep hive bodies (2 hive bodies) for brood/food chamber for the bees. Others of us...run a one and a half story hive. That is to say, one deep and one shallow or medium. Others run 3 medium supers for brood/food for the bees. Regardless which equipment is used these areas are all FOR THE BEES. Then, we super up over that to get what is for the beekeeper. It is crucial to leave enough honey on for the bees to overwinter. We have a worse winter here in Tennessee than you do in south Alabama, so we want to make sure the bees have plenty of stores to get them through some long cold spells and freezing temperatures. For me that usually means a few frames of honey in the deep and a super full of honey above the deep brood chamber. Hope this is helpful info for you. The best answer would come from other experienced local beekeepers in your area. Ask around and see what they do.
    "My child, eat honey, for it is good." (Proverbs 24:13)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    winston county alabama, usa
    Posts
    35

    Default brood

    Thanks Fred Bee. Your information is very helpful. When you use 2 brood boxes, do you split your hives in the spring? and do you use queen excluders from your supers?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,032

    Default

    As Fred Bee said, and as you've noted, beekeeping is different in different parts of the country. That's why I always encourage new beekeepers to join a local club and get connected with nearby beekeepers. Clubs are good places to find mentors, and learn much of the "location specific" aspects of beekeeping. Looks like there's a couple of clubs not far from you:
    http://www.k4vb.com/REg%20bkpeg%20assoc%2012%2006.htm

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