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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lees summit, missouri, USA
    Posts
    55

    Default when to add another deep to the hive

    I have 1 hive with a 10 frame deep. When the hive was last inspected about 5 days ago there were still 4 completely empty frames. I am feeding the bees due to the dearth and have noticed this week that there are lots of bees up in the deep with the feeding board. The bees are very busy building burr comb and sealing up the edges with propolis.

    Is there a rule of thumb for adding another 10 frame deep? I'm wondering if the bees want to expand up rather than out.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Newark, Ohio
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: when to add another deep to the hive

    i add another deep when they hit 7-8 frames full

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,960

    Default Re: when to add another deep to the hive

    The rule around here is to add a 2nd deep when the bees are using 80% of the box they have. When did you start with this colony? It seems slow - summer is almost over here and if I had a colony in need of a 2nd deep now I'd have to think long and hard about my options.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: when to add another deep to the hive

    When all supers they have is 70 to 80 percent full of brood and food you can add another.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,442

    Default Re: when to add another deep to the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by jrshay View Post

    Is there a rule of thumb for adding another 10 frame deep? I'm wondering if the bees want to expand up rather than out.

    Thanks.
    Typically the bees prefer to expand upward and it's common for them to ignore the outside frames in a box. If you had drawn comb in the second box I would say go for it, but if it's foundation it may be difficult. I would first try to move the empty frames into the center of the brood nest and see if you can encourage them to draw them out. Move just one or two at a time and slide them between capped frames of brood.
    To everything there is a season....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,024

    Default Re: when to add another deep to the hive

    What would be the harm in adding another box? He is not going to harvest any honey from this hive. Something tells me there is a reason they don't fill the outside frames. I don't know what that is but why force them to do so? If I were in this situation at this time of year I would take the two outside frames and put them in the center of the box on top and let them go up if they want to.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,442

    Default Re: when to add another deep to the hive

    You're free to do whatever you feel is best.
    To everything there is a season....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rowan County NC
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: when to add another deep to the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Something tells me there is a reason they don't fill the outside frames. I don't know what that is but why force them to do so?
    So you and the bees can better utilize the space offered to them.

    I have never had trouble with bees not filling out the outside frames. If you are patient enough, they will fill them. Most people try to encourage it to be done faster by moving them into the center. I do it, if I think they are too slow to suit me.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,024

    Default Re: when to add another deep to the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldprospector View Post
    So you and the bees can better utilize the space offered to them.
    I would think the OP has the extra equipment anyway. It is either going to be stored off a hive or on a hive. My choice would be on the hive. On the second box (top) I would move frames to the center to completely fill the box but I wouldn't worry about the bottom box.
    I don't suppose it is a big deal in MS but in the cooler north the queen doesn't like to raise brood in the bottom of the comb. Giving her that top box lets her go to town. Obviously there has to be enough bees to cover the brood. You wouldn't want to start off a package in two boxes.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    988

    Default Re: when to add another deep to the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by jrshay View Post
    I have 1 hive with a 10 frame deep. When the hive was last inspected about 5 days ago there were still 4 completely empty frames. I am feeding the bees due to the dearth and have noticed this week that there are lots of bees up in the deep with the feeding board.

    Is there a rule of thumb for adding another 10 frame deep?
    Like others have said, when they get 8 of 10 drawn and filled it is time to add a second box. Our bees do not like to fill the outer frames in a 10 frame deep as well.

    Just an educated guess, but, if your bees have only drawn out six frames by now, they will not draw out another deep before your winter. In our area, our bees generally do not pull new wax after July. Hopefully, you have a better summer and fall flow. Sometime in the fall, our bees start filling the broodnest with honey.

    Shane

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