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Thread: Full hive body

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Guyton, Georgia
    Posts
    12

    Default Full hive body

    This is my first hive and I was wanting to add another hive body to give them more room. I looked at the supers thru the screen bottom and could not see any of the super bottoms, and I'm worried about the bees swarming. We have been having warm weather, we had a few cold days but more warm to hot than cold. I was thing about putting the new hive body on the bottom and set the full body on top.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    Bees naturally move up so place the empty hive on top. As a suggestion I would pull a few frames of brood with the bees and place those in the top box and put empty frames in the bottom. This will naturally spread the bees out in both boxes plus give them room in the bottom to fill out in addition to moving up.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Jose CA
    Posts
    164

    Default

    > Bees naturally move up so place the empty hive on top.

    The Lang beekeeping books always tell us to put the empties on top, and the bees move up because it is the only space available.

    What's natural is that when bees colonize a cavity (wall, tree, etc) the comb starts at the top and the bees expand the colony down. The frames in a Lang slightly interfere with this natural method of expansion, but it does not prevent the bees moving down.

    I've tried empties on top, empties below, and when the bees need the space they draw comb where the space is available. Do what suits you because it doesn't bother the bees either way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,327

    Default

    true....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default

    Put the empty on top and if you move brood up in that box make sure you have the bees to keep the brood warm in both boxes or the brood will get chilled this time of the year. They also need some honey and pollen for feed up there, if it gets cold. Bees want leave the brood to go to honey when it is cold they starve on the comb And the brood will die for lack of heat.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Default

    I'm with JaiPea. They move to the space and in nature they always work their way down. There is no other way they CAN move in a tree than from the top to the bottom, so saying that they naturally move up makes no sense. They move up because that's where we add the boxes. And we add them there because it's the least work.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    Maybe, but put an empty on top and one on the bottom and see which they move to first. Ten to one says they fill the upper first.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Jose CA
    Posts
    164

    Default

    If you are in a climate with the risk of cold snaps ahead, it is prudent to provide space below. The heat generated by the cluster in the original box is lost when it rises into the upper box.

    If you add a box on top you have to follow the precautions that scdw43 spelled out and bareftcarl wrote that this is his first hive. Adding a box below is the lowest risk expansion strategy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    Like others have said. Add another.

    Also, don't be afraid to pop the top and pull a
    frame or two for inspection. There is so very
    much to learn by looking, and enjoying...

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