Adding Second Brood Box - Keeping Moisture Out of Hives
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    338

    Default Adding Second Brood Box - Keeping Moisture Out of Hives

    Winter is fast approaching which means my bee season is upon me. We're at the end of the dearth and the girls are starting to bring back yellow pollen, although I can't figure out where it's from.

    However, my hives are currently all 8 frame single deeps. I took off the supers a month or so ago to harvest and left them as singles. However, many of them are exploding at the seams! Most have 7-8 frames of brood and every other cell in the hive is either nectar or pollen. I started feeding when I took the supers off and added a couple beepro patties to each hive, which they have already taken down and I just added new ones this last weekend.

    What I'd like to do is add a second deep so I can have more brood resources come January/Febuary for splits with new queens (this is historically when I start seeing large amounts of drones). Would it be too early to do this? My concern is stretching them out too thin to where they can't properly manage the hive and begin shrinking, instead of growing. Current temps are highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Winter will get down in the low 40s with highs in the 60s.

    My other concern, which comes up every year, is moisture. I'm coastal and we get a lot of rain and very high humidity levels. I've switched to the Mann Lake Wintering inner covers and plan on keeping dry sugar on top of the hives, insulating the top, and maybe adding a medium full of burlap or cotton insulation to help keep down the moisture in the hive. Anything else that's been tested and proven? Cover the tops with signboard?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    2,533

    Default Re: Adding Second Brood Box - Keeping Moisture Out of Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnmyke View Post
    What I'd like to do is add a second deep so I can have more brood resources come January/Febuary for splits with new queens (this is historically when I start seeing large amounts of drones). Would it be too early to do this? My concern is stretching them out too thin to where they can't properly manage the hive and begin shrinking, instead of growing. Current temps are highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Winter will get down in the low 40s with highs in the 60s.

    My other concern, which comes up every year, is moisture. I'm coastal and we get a lot of rain and very high humidity levels. I've switched to the Mann Lake Wintering inner covers and plan on keeping dry sugar on top of the hives, insulating the top, and maybe adding a medium full of burlap or cotton insulation to help keep down the moisture in the hive. Anything else that's been tested and proven? Cover the tops with signboard?
    All things considered, I think that I would nadir the hives with a box with drawn comb if you have it, but others who are more familiar with your location and who keep bees in a manner more similar to you than I do would likely give better advice. Id think that bees in your location with one eight frame deep that is that full of brood would need more room for winter stores.
    David Matlock

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Adding Second Brood Box - Keeping Moisture Out of Hives

    You'd think, but keep in mind that our flow is during the winter. Our "hard" times are actually through the summer where there is no food. Once it rains again everything exploded with life/flowers. They don't need a ton of food and I'll actually stop feeding them once the rain starts, or just before so they can cap it to keep moisture out.

    I went through the supplies and have a couple dozen drawn out frames. I might just clean up the burr comb and cut out some drone brood and try it on a couple of the stronger hives...considering how much brood they have, they soon won't fit in their single box!

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