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I do it all of the time by alternating foundation only frames between brood frames. It actually helps to get the new comb drawn nice and straight, using the brood comb for guides.
 

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If you have no foundation frames ready you can also use just the frame itself between two frames that is already drawn out. They will fill it in with nice straight comb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is the good part of having bees that are booming - running out of hardware! Time to get into the shop and start making some!
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>Is there a way to provide space in the brood nest without using drawn combs? I'm out of drawn combs.

Empty frames are much more effective than drawn comb at preventing swarming. They employ a lot of nurse bees immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great!

How open should I make the brood nest? It is currently in two deeps and very full - 6-7 frames of brood in each deep - loads of brood. Plan is to add another deep and bring a few frames from below up. Do I leave the bottom deep along and break up the second box into the third? Will they build comb in the second box if I add a third or will they chimney up?

This is my resource hive and soon will be used to make new queens, once the weather becomes more consistently warm.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>How open should I make the brood nest?

I make a gap and wait a few minutes to see if the bees fill it with festooning bees. If so, I put an empty frame in. If that happened really quickly, I make another gap and see if it fills quickly with festooning bees, if so I put another in. After a while you get so you can look at the density of bees and judge pretty well how much you can open it. What you want to avoid swarming at one end and chilled brood at the other end. You're looking for "just right".
 

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I am way behind in the hardware department. I have boxes of wooden frames waiting to be built after splitting and opening everything up a few weeks back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Would I only open up the top brood box? What to do with the frames I remove? Put them in a new super or just remove them entirely?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
In order to add the empty frames, I'll have to remove some. They have brood in 7 frames in the top box. What do I do with the frames I remove? There are TONS and TONS of bees in this hive. When I inspect during the day at around noon, there are bees covering ~9 the frames all the way across a ten frame deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The end frames on either side are honey and pollen stores. Seems like I should leave those so they can feed the babies.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>In order to add the empty frames, I'll have to remove some. They have brood in 7 frames in the top box. What do I do with the frames I remove?

Many manipulations are juggling acts. You have to end up with the same number of frames when it's all said and done, or an extra box full of frames...
 

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In order to add the empty frames, I'll have to remove some. They have brood in 7 frames in the top box. What do I do with the frames I remove? There are TONS and TONS of bees in this hive. When I inspect during the day at around noon, there are bees covering ~9 the frames all the way across a ten frame deep.
Move them to a NUC and start a new hive!
 
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