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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Salt Lake City Utah, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Should I add another brood box?

    I currently have two ten frame brood boxes with a first year hive started from a package in late april. I added the second box maybe three weeks ago? I decided to experiment with half foundationless and half plastic foundation. I am totally sold on foundationless! The foundationless frames were 75% drawn out within a week and the plastic was around 10-25% filled. But anyway, my question now is, I am still feeding and the comb is almost completley drawn out in both boxes. Should I add another brood box? I dont think the hive is super full/overcrowded with bees and there are still two or three frames where the queen can lay eggs, and I think the rest is filled with syrup. I just feel like I should give them more space to bulid comb because, well, I feel like I need to DO something! I dont have any supers because most of what I read said I would expect to harvest no honey the first year.

    Also, how do you tell when there is a flow going on?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Clarendon County, SC, USA
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Should I add another brood box?

    They're not going to build the plastic if you give them the option of foundationless. I loved my foundationless too until the first one collapsed on me during an inspection, then the second, then one fell out the frame on the ground with my queen, then some blew out in the extractor, etc, etc. I switched to ritecell and don't care if they draw it out 5 times as slow, there's a reason people use foundation of various materials. The rule of thumb for more room I've always seen if if they've filled up 80% or so give them more room. If there's a flow they'll quit sucking the syrup down, they might use a little but not lots like now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    781

    Default Re: Should I add another brood box?

    Pretty good questions there. Lets see if I can help answer any of them. lol.. I'm going to go in reverse here.. "How do you tell when there is a flow going on?" - The way I can tell is the activity on the landing board of the hives. When the bees fly in and out so fast and the air is full of bees contantly on their way in or out, you have a GOOD flow going on. When they set put and don't fly much, you have a dearth. Another way to tell is how quickly they pull comb. In a good flow the bees will pull frames of comb out very quickly, where in a dearth you will get lucky at times to have them even look at a new frame.

    Now for the first question. "To add another box, or not to?" That is highly dependant upon what your goals are at this point. Since you want to do something, this is an option to get your honey supers pulled and ready for next year's flow in spring. Storing those or allowing the bees to keep them on the hive for the remainder of the year is the question you have to figure out. If your bees are pulling wax, it is easier to get them to keep doing so now rather then wait and them not want to do so later.
    Thomas Bartram - Since 2013, 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Should I add another brood box?

    Quote Originally Posted by tommygun438 View Post
    But anyway, my question now is, I am still feeding and the comb is almost completley drawn out in both boxes. Should I add another brood box? I dont think the hive is super full/overcrowded with bees and there are still two or three frames where the queen can lay eggs, and I think the rest is filled with syrup.
    Also, how do you tell when there is a flow going on?
    Not sure how your fall flow is. Some years we have a super strong fall flow. Some years not so much. If your upper brood box is completely drawn and 75% filled, and the hive is vigorous, I would be inclined to add a super. We use almost all mediums for supers, keeping a few shallows on hand, just for these occasions.

    Shane

    BTW, I am sold on foundationless frames as well

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