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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    lake hopatcong nj
    Posts
    339

    Default anythiing wrong with adding 2nd hive body prematurely?

    I am going away next week for 1 week. I don't want to disturb the hive too often. I won't be able to check on them again so I added my 2nd hive body. The bottom hive body consists of the 5 working frames that came with the nuc. Of the other 5 frames, one is completely drawn out and another has just started to get drawn out. Is there any detriment to adding the second 10 frame hive body now? Since I will not be opening the hive for 2 weeks, I replaced the original frame feeder with a hive top feeder. (I just don't care for the frame feeder and the hive top feeder holds enough sugar water for 2 weeks) I probably should have asked this before I went and added the hive body did I screw up?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Erda ut
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: anythiing wrong with adding 2nd hive body prematurely?

    IMHO I think that the worst that could happen is you will demoralize the bees which will set them back a bit. Its hard to say becuase depends if your in the middle of a necture flow or not. If you are, and its a heavy one, then they will probly fill everything out no problem. More often than not the rule of thumb to go by is when a box is 70 to 80 percent full put another box on.(granted there are expections) Your not that far away from it, So you sould be fine......I think

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,818

    Default Re: anythiing wrong with adding 2nd hive body prematurely?

    What's done is done, it won't hurt them a bit to have another box on them right now even though they're not close to needing it. The hive still basically is only about 6 frames strong, they won't be strong enough to build into another box by the time you get to work them next time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    905

    Default Re: anythiing wrong with adding 2nd hive body prematurely?

    The main issue with inside volume-to-bee population ratio is the cluster's ability to keep it warm enough for brood at night. They shiver their flying muscles without flapping their wings trying to achieve ~91 to 92 degrees F in the core of the cluster. If you are in the heat of the summer, you're probably fine. If you can feel a serious chill at night, take it off. Cold conditions require tight living quarters without much excess volume.

    Volume control is at the core of the beekeeper's skill set. Holes with wine corks, "hive dummies" - false honeycomb frames (wooden boxes the size of a frame), box sizes, and addition/subtraction of bees from one colony to another are ways we keep on top of the game. Whether a nectar flow is on or is expected plays into your decision to err on the side of larger or smaller. A medium box or a shallow comb honey box may be a good "medium ground" guess.

    With only 5 frames of bees in August, you wouldn't expect expansion like with 7 frames of bees in mid-spring. Another factor depends on how long until you expect to return to your hive? also, do you know you have a strong, late nectar flow like goldenrod? If so, and if it is still warm at night, expect some combs to get drawn and the queen to raise brood.

    I hope this helps, good luck.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-04-2013 at 03:58 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,918

    Default Re: anythiing wrong with adding 2nd hive body prematurely?

    Back in the 1980's when I started beekeeping, that's just how I did it. They all did fine and I think that the worst thing that happened was they moved up before they finished the bottom box.
    Bruce

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    lake hopatcong nj
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: anythiing wrong with adding 2nd hive body prematurely?

    Someone told me to take 2 of the established frames and put them in the top hive body. Do you agree with this?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,818

    Default Re: anythiing wrong with adding 2nd hive body prematurely?

    Yes, once the first box is 80% or more drawn out you can do that, but doing it with only 5-6 frames occupied in the first box is way too soon to spread out the broodnest.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    793

    Default Re: anythiing wrong with adding 2nd hive body prematurely?

    Don't do it...that would be breaking up, and spreading out your brood nest. Way too soon for that, and that will put even more stress on them! What is done is done...was the addition of the box pre-mature? Yes. If small hive beetles aren't a major issue for you, they should be fine. Leave it as is, and enjoy your vacation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    lake hopatcong nj
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: anythiing wrong with adding 2nd hive body prematurely?

    Thank you all for the info.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    905

    Default Re: anythiing wrong with adding 2nd hive body prematurely?

    One more thing you could check is that if the workers are backfilling the brood cells with honey, they are already thinking about swarming (= leave the box on and move a brood frame or two up, replacing it/them with an empty frame(s)).

    A week vacation is not enough time to raise a queen and hence swarm, so you could split them if they have started queen cells when you get back.

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