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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    87

    Default Added 2nd deep on light hive, did I make a mistake?

    After wintering my hive with a single deep, I started feeding them a few weeks ago as the hive was getting pretty light on honey. The queen has been pretty active making brood though, and when I checked them today, there was A LOT of activity at the front of the hive. May have been orientation flight but it scared me a bit as I thought they might be showing pre swarm behavior. Upon opening the hive, it seemed much more full of bees than the last time I checked. Probably 8 - 8.5 frames full of bees and LOTS of brood. There was probably only 3 or so full frames of capped honey though. I was a bit unsure if I should put a second deep on given the small amount of honey but, since we are getting into swarm season, wanted to make sure that that I was covering my bases. I ended up putting on the second deep. I moved the middle brood frame up to the 2nd deep and replaced it with an empty one underneath. I saw that the queen was on the one that I moved up so I did it carefully. Now im a bit nervous that I put the second deep on too soon as, even though the 1st deep had 8 frames drawn out and a full load of bees, they were light on honey. Did I do the right thing or the wrong thing in this case? If it was too early, what should I do now? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    322

    Default Re: Added 2nd deep on light hive, did I make a mistake?

    I was taught to move a outside frame of brood upstairs and to leave the brood nest intact, that sucks the nurse and house bees up also. Maybe you should change it around, cause with the center frame bare, it's splitting the brood nest in half, which you don't want if you have a cold snap.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    434

    Default Re: Added 2nd deep on light hive, did I make a mistake?

    I think you are good unless you are still getting freezing weather. I probably wouldn't be feeding with 3 out of 8 frames full of honey this time of year. I agree with rwlaw, I wouldn't have moved the middle brood frame up. I'd have taken one from the edge if I didn't have any with drawn comb. But you don't have a big problem on your hands if that's what you are worried about.

    Good luck
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 2 nd Year / 4 TF - 10T {OAV}

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Added 2nd deep on light hive, did I make a mistake?

    I'm not an expert, but it makes sense to keep the brood nest together. later in the summer when its warm out, it's probably not that big of a deal, but early on, it can be trouble when the temperatures can drop. from what I hear, the bees will remain over the brood to keep it warm at all costs...including freezing to death themselves.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Added 2nd deep on light hive, did I make a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by KPeacock View Post
    I'm not an expert, but it makes sense to keep the brood nest together. later in the summer when its warm out, it's probably not that big of a deal, but early on, it can be trouble when the temperatures can drop. from what I hear, the bees will remain over the brood to keep it warm at all costs...including freezing to death themselves.
    Huh, interesting. When I got started last year, my local beekeeping group advised me that this was the best way to draw the hive upwards when adding a 2nd deep. In any case, it appears that the lowest its going to get in the next 10 days is 40 degrees, with the highs being in the mid 70s. Id guess that we are only going up from there in central Texas. Could be 90 in the next couple of weeks...Well, hopefully they will be able to stay warm enough at 40 degrees!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Added 2nd deep on light hive, did I make a mistake?

    I may not have been very clear in what i was attempting to communicate. I think it is wise to bring up frames of brood to encourage the bees to move up, but i think it is a bad idea to take frames from the center of the brood nest. You'd be much better off bringing up frames of brood from the outside of the brood nest. This is second hand information, as i have only used brood from the outside of the nest for this purpose. I have not tried moving a frame from the middle of the brood.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: Added 2nd deep on light hive, did I make a mistake?

    The only think I'd have done different is to move 2 frames up, and put two empties in bottom box at positions 3 and 7, or 2 and 9, depending on what was what. Moving two frames up gives them filled comb side by side to more easily let them move up. I think you did good. Moving the frame is called a bait frame, to bait the bees up.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Added 2nd deep on light hive, did I make a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by KPeacock View Post
    I may not have been very clear in what i was attempting to communicate. I think it is wise to bring up frames of brood to encourage the bees to move up, but i think it is a bad idea to take frames from the center of the brood nest. You'd be much better off bringing up frames of brood from the outside of the brood nest. This is second hand information, as i have only used brood from the outside of the nest for this purpose. I have not tried moving a frame from the middle of the brood.
    Thanks. That does make sense to me. Do you think it would be advisable to swap that frame out for another from the side tomorrow, or would I just be disturbing the bees more than I should?

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