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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default How many frames of brood can a good queen have?

    I am often told that one of the things to look for before doing things like splits or installing Queen excluders is to have two full brood boxes. I have always wondered what exactly that term means. In a meeting last night I was told that it is more appropriate to say "two full boxes of bees".

    My question is that since bees come and go depending on time of day and weather, how many frames of brood are required to meet the "two full brood boxes" criteria? I know a worker needs 21 days from the time the egg is layed to when she leave the brood cell so maybe the question is also ask as "how many frames does a great, good or inferior Queen lay in 21 days"?

    Thanks

    Al

  2. #2

    Default Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?

    Figure it this way. A good queen can lay over 1500 eggs a day. That, if my memory serves me is a little over one side of a deep frame full. 21 days...she can possibly have 10 - 12 frames full of brood. Add to that the fact that on day 21 she still needs some empty comb to continue laying in while the brood in the first frame is emerging. Plus there has to be room for pollen and honey.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?

    Thanks, that's the number I was missing. 1500 eggs a day which is about 1 side of a deep frame per day for a healthy, productive queen. If you consider that some frames will not be fully filled with brood you should see a pretty full lower box and maybe three or 4 brood frames in the upper box if the beek is moving brood frames down into the lower body.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,259

    Default Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?

    A lot of big honey producers including two I know of in Canada only run one hive body under an extractor. When they pull the honey in the fall, they immediately put on feeders because the bees will starve there is so little honey stored in that hive body. I am not smart enough to manage that well and will slop along with two hive bodies I plan and as much more room on up as the bees choose. A cut down for comb honey production is another matter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,620

    Default Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?

    Dan pretty much nailed it. The equivalent of 12 full frames is about max. Sure I have seen brood on 14 to 16 frames but they aren't all "stick to stick". We use a lot of excluded singles as well. You better have your feed tanks along when you pull honey off of them. We make sure they have a couple nice frames of honey and then keep feed on them. Bottom line, though, is that the double hives are more populous at the end of the summer. It's a trade off, what do you want , more honey in your drums or more bees in your hives. We run them both ways.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Nicosia, Cyprus
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?

    There are 6,000+ cells per deep frame. The total area of brood is seldom more that the equivalent of 5 FULL frames.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,703

    Default Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    A lot of big honey producers including two I know of in Canada only run one hive body under an extractor.
    I'd like to see a photo of that setup!

    OK, I'm jest funnin here ... I have no doubt Vance meant excluder.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8

    Default Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?

    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    There are 6,000+ cells per deep frame. The total area of brood is seldom more that the equivalent of 5 FULL frames.
    I stand corrected. My apologies.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,268

    Default Re: How many frames of brood can a good queen have?

    There is another way. The Roland method. A deep on the bottom, then an excluder, then a deep above it. Raise 4 or 5 frames of mostly capped brood above the excluder after shaking off the bees, then replace them with the same number of drawn brood frames below the excluder. 10-14 days later take the emerged brood frames from the above-the-excluder deep and exchange them with 4-5 more capped frames in the deep below the excluder. It keeps the stack of boxes shorter for vertically challenged guys like me, and the bees won't tolerate nectar in the frames you moved down - it ends back in the supers. It is labor intensive, but it seems to stop them backfilling the brood nest.

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