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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whenever I've had old hives not overwinter and I've gotten new package bees, I've always just put the package bees in one of the old hive bodies with the drawn out frames. But I'm wondering if anyone puts package bees in two deep bodies right away? The frames are already drawn out, so I can't really go by the "whenever XXX amount of frames are drawn add another body/super." Thankfully the old hives do not have diseases or wax moths. If you do only use one deep body (that has already drawn out frames) with new package bees, when do you add the second hive body that also has already drawn out frames?

Any advice is much appreciated.
 

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A three pound package of bees will only cover 5 frames of comb. If you give two hive bodies they will not be able to patrol the comb to keep pests out, and what heat is produced by the bees is lost into such a large area. This leads to slow buildup when compared to bees that are in a smaller hive.

When to add the second body is a judgement call, and this may vary with beekeepers. A deep frame of brood will hold enough bees, when they hatch, to cover two deep frames of comb. So, when I see 5 deep frames of sealed brood in a hive body that has all of it's comb well covered in adult bees I add a second box. Sometimes waiting that long means I am a little late during the swarm period, but that is what beekeeping is, making mistakes and learning from them.
 

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I think another problem with putting the two brood chambers on is that you could get a "vertical queen" situation where the colony wants to expand upward and doesn't expand outward. It could potentially increase swarming if that happens because they will think the have run out of room, when they clearly have not. They can be weird sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A three pound package of bees will only cover 5 frames of comb. If you give two hive bodies they will not be able to patrol the comb to keep pests out, and what heat is produced by the bees is lost into such a large area. This leads to slow buildup when compared to bees that are in a smaller hive.

When to add the second body is a judgement call, and this may vary with beekeepers. A deep frame of brood will hold enough bees, when they hatch, to cover two deep frames of comb. So, when I see 5 deep frames of sealed brood in a hive body that has all of it's comb well covered in adult bees I add a second box. Sometimes waiting that long means I am a little late during the swarm period, but that is what beekeeping is, making mistakes and learning from them.
Thanks this makes a lot of sense!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think another problem with putting the two brood chambers on is that you could get a "vertical queen" situation where the colony wants to expand upward and doesn't expand outward. It could potentially increase swarming if that happens because they will think the have run out of room, when they clearly have not. They can be weird sometimes.
I didn't think of that either, thanks much!
 
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