This is my first post here as I just registered. Today I opened my hive for the first time this year. My 2nd box seems to weigh between 60-70 lbs. I only inspected my brood box... (maybe there is brood in 2nd one too?) Should I add a third box based on the weight of the 2nd box?
I am a 2nd year beekeeper with no mentor, so learning alot on my own. I appreciate any feedback!
I can only comment on what I myself would do in that situation in your location. My understanding is that your major nectar flow will begin in 5-6 weeks or so, and that you are currently in a bit of a heat wave.
I would swap the top and bottom boxes, and add the third box on top. This puts honey under the brood which is backwards for the bees. This will keep them busy moving honey up and as brood emerges, expand the brood nest downwards. This will help reduce swarming tendencies by keeping them all busy and removing the upper crown of honey currently existing. By the time the major spring flows hit, you'll have maximum population and it may be time to then add another box, or soon after the flow starts anyway.
Everyone manages their hives differently as they see fit. The above is just what I would do myself.
I would follow Rays advise. Also unless your having hive beetle problems - I would make sure they have plenty of room. You should have berry's blooming shortly. Also I have always looked as supering this way - ever fill a box with honey while its sitting in the barn?
Dawnizzi, what are is the configuration of your hive...is it a deep with a medium, two deeps? As mentioned above 70-80% is good rule of thumb for time to add another box. The bees generally move up to top of hive in the winter...if both boxes are the same size I can usually swap boxes like Ray suggested. Let's bees make efficient use of all the hive space and buys you some time before adding another box on top (70-80% rule still applies though.) I'm about 3 hours south of you, I swapped boxes on most of my hives 2 weeks ago, started adding more supers this week and hived my first swarm today. So, it is good you're staying on top of it...they will start to build fast pretty soon. Good Luck.