Adding a box and moving brood up
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Durham, NC
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    Default Adding a box and moving brood up

    I picked up my first ever 2 nucs last saturday 4/4/2020. They where both packed with bees, full frames of honey and pollen. The brood was way more than I expected. They were loaded. Each hive has taken down over a gallon of 1 to 1. I should mention at this point that they are in 8 frame hives. I'm planning my first hive inspection this Saturday or Sunday. I've already made up a deep box for each. If I decided to add the boxes. Should I add a large frame of brood to the top box, or a small one. Also, I have the hive entrances wide open at this point. Should I reconsider that if I add boxes?
    Thank you for your help.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
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    Default Re: Adding a box and moving brood up

    Assuming your nucs are 5 frames and quite full of bees, like covering most or all of 3 frames, you are ready to move to a bigger box. Put them into your 8 frame box and on 1 side move the outside nuc frame to the outside and put an undrawn frame in the next to outside slot. Do the same on the other but put 2 frames inside the drawn one. Doing this, you will leave the middle 3 frames alone and not break up the broodnest.

    Be careful with the feeding, especially in a nuc. If they already have the frames drawn out you may make them honey/nectar bound an they will swarm.

  4. #3
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    Aug 2019
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    Durham, NC
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    Default Re: Adding a box and moving brood up

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
    Assuming your nucs are 5 frames and quite full of bees, like covering most or all of 3 frames, you are ready to move to a bigger box. Put them into your 8 frame box and on 1 side move the outside nuc frame to the outside and put an undrawn frame in the next to outside slot. Do the same on the other but put 2 frames inside the drawn one. Doing this, you will leave the middle 3 frames alone and not break up the broodnest.

    Be careful with the feeding, especially in a nuc. If they already have the frames drawn out you may make them honey/nectar bound an they will swarm.
    Thank you. They were each installed in 8 frame hives on the day I brought them home as you suggested, with miller top feeders. They where so full of bees and brood I believe they may need boxes added even after a week.

  5. #4
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    Jan 2015
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    Williamsport, PA
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    559

    Default Re: Adding a box and moving brood up

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleJoe View Post
    Thank you. They were each installed in 8 frame hives on the day I brought them home as you suggested, with miller top feeders. They where so full of bees and brood I believe they may need boxes added even after a week.
    Sorry I missed that. I would ease up on the feeding now in that case. I'm not sure if your area runs 1 or 2 brood boxes. If 1, now would be the time to put on a queen excluder and add a super if your nectar flow hasn't arrived yet or is currently in progress. You should probably check with someone local.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    1,166

    Default Re: Adding a box and moving brood up

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
    Sorry I missed that. I would ease up on the feeding now in that case. I'm not sure if your area runs 1 or 2 brood boxes. If 1, now would be the time to put on a queen excluder and add a super if your nectar flow hasn't arrived yet or is currently in progress. You should probably check with someone local.
    Hi Little Joe, Depends on if you have comb, or foundation to add.
    As well I concur on the stop feeding "over a gallon" is at least 1 frame filled, unless they built comb, because you added 3 foundations up front.

    If I had comb, I would take from the side the fullest frame and put it up top on the edge , spot 1 or 8, add the empty comb to slot 7 slide 7 to 8, IE add some space to the side of the brood next. If 7 has no brood could even do 2 frames moved up to the top and 2 empties on the side. Place bees over bees , and empty over empty. If you have only foundation, set the new box on top straight away, leave the nest intact. Give them 8 or so days and open it up.
    If/When they start building out a couple frames , do the same as above. If you open it and the whole box seems to be working and building leave it alone. If they are really packed they may just move up en mass. Keep in mind a frame of brood hatches into 2 frames of bees , so 3 frames of brood hatch and you are ready to super, be careful, they came with brood and may grow fast. Once they "start" on the top brood box, you should add a super, Ideally the first super is comb. You "could" feed while they build out with foundation, 1-2 more gallons. do stop feeding if/when you add a super.

    GG

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Durham, NC
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    29

    Default Re: Adding a box and moving brood up

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Hi Little Joe, Depends on if you have comb, or foundation to add.
    As well I concur on the stop feeding "over a gallon" is at least 1 frame filled, unless they built comb, because you added 3 foundations up front.

    If I had comb, I would take from the side the fullest frame and put it up top on the edge , spot 1 or 8, add the empty comb to slot 7 slide 7 to 8, IE add some space to the side of the brood next. If 7 has no brood could even do 2 frames moved up to the top and 2 empties on the side. Place bees over bees , and empty over empty. If you have only foundation, set the new box on top straight away, leave the nest intact. Give them 8 or so days and open it up.
    If/When they start building out a couple frames , do the same as above. If you open it and the whole box seems to be working and building leave it alone. If they are really packed they may just move up en mass. Keep in mind a frame of brood hatches into 2 frames of bees , so 3 frames of brood hatch and you are ready to super, be careful, they came with brood and may grow fast. Once they "start" on the top brood box, you should add a super, Ideally the first super is comb. You "could" feed while they build out with foundation, 1-2 more gallons. do stop feeding if/when you add a super.

    GG
    Thanks GG. I'll be adding foundationless frames. I think I'll just add the boxes as you suggested and let them bee for awhile.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
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    1,309

    Default Re: Adding a box and moving brood up

    Joe,

    When you do your inspection you may find that your queens are not laying yet. Sometimes it takes a queen a couple days to get adjusted to the new environment.

    I wouldn't be too quick to add a box. Make sure at least 6 frames are REALLY covered with bees before adding a box. Bees do better in a little crowded quarters; also when there is no extra space, hive beetles have a harder time getting to be a problem.

    Phil

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    1,166

    Default Re: Adding a box and moving brood up

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleJoe View Post
    Thanks GG. I'll be adding foundationless frames. I think I'll just add the boxes as you suggested and let them bee for awhile.
    Little Joe,

    When this cold snap is over and you go into the hives again,,, One thing I have seen with starter strips or foundationless is the bees start to build from the bottom up in the center for a bit causing some wonky comb. If next when you check the hive is using all frames below, You could take frame 1 and 10 from the bottom and put them in 5 and 6 of the top moving foundationless down, to 1 and 10. With a frame or 2 to walk up they would do better building out the FL frames. once you have some comb they will tend to do better.
    Good luck
    GG

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    SE Michigan USDA 6a (Macomb Co.)
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    101

    Default Re: Adding a box and moving brood up

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Little Joe,

    When this cold snap is over and you go into the hives again,,, One thing I have seen with starter strips or foundationless is the bees start to build from the bottom up in the center for a bit causing some wonky comb. If next when you check the hive is using all frames below, You could take frame 1 and 10 from the bottom and put them in 5 and 6 of the top moving foundationless down, to 1 and 10. With a frame or 2 to walk up they would do better building out the FL frames. once you have some comb they will tend to do better.
    Good luck
    GG
    Similar to this, I've found that if I put with-foundation-or-drawn-comb frames every-other-one, it helps the bees from trying to build wonky 45 cross comb all the way across the whole box, it sort of creates guidelines for them to follow. Once the new foundation-less combs are established, you can pull the with-foundation ones if you like, freeze them, and save for next time you need them for the same purpose to get foundation-less ones started. Once you have a good stock of drawn combs, I always prefer them to plastic. Also, I try to always use the same honey-super combs for honey, and it keeps them from getting too dark. It's always beautiful to see the nice pretty light wax filled with honey
    USDA 6a, 8 frame equipment

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    2,732

    Default Re: Adding a box and moving brood up

    Capped brood; BOOM! Uncapped; not so much

    You will be into your bees way too often to start if you are typical. Gives you multiple chances to rearrange. If you can hold off from rearranging for a bit I would. If you had multiple frames of capped, plan on making space.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Durham, NC
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    29

    Default Re: Adding a box and moving brood up

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Capped brood; BOOM! Uncapped; not so much

    You will be into your bees way too often to start if you are typical. Gives you multiple chances to rearrange. If you can hold off from rearranging for a bit I would. If you had multiple frames of capped, plan on making space.
    Thank you all. All great information.
    Saltybee, I have at least 3 full frames of capped brood in both of my hives with more on the 2 outside honey frames. They have the new frames in the bottom boxes at least half built out. They are about to explode. I added boxes on each this past Sunday. I did add two frames with foundation in each box, but I put them on the outsides of the boxes. I'll leave them alone and inspect again this Friday. I'll move the frames with foundation to the middle at that point. I feel blessed to have gotten such good nucs. They are carni's, I have no idea if this makes a difference.

    Thanks again,
    Joe

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    2,732

    Default Re: Adding a box and moving brood up

    BOOM it is. I always add two frames side by side when I move frames up into a new box. The foundation frames are a judgement call to add it in the brood nest or on the edge of the brood depending on how it looks. Never two foundations side by side.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

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