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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week I added the second brood box to both of my new hives. They both had about 8-9 frames drawn out. I didn't move any frames from the bottom to the top as I have read. My question is when I'm looking this week should I move 2 frames of brood or honey to the top. If brood should be capped or not?

Thanks
Greg
 

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I got talked into moving brood to the top. It did encourage them up and they continued to lay brood on both levels, but I think it set them back. They're happier if the brood stays in a continuous set of frames, just as they laid them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I got talked into moving brood to the top. It did encourage them up and they continued to lay brood on both levels, but I think it set them back. They're happier if the brood stays in a continuous set of frames, just as they laid them out.
Myself as a new beek its sometimes hard to know what advise to follow. I'm beginning to wonder if putting on the second brood box was a bit premature.

Greg
 

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Like you, a new beek. I'd say, if available, to move some honey frames up and leave the brood down in the lower box and at this time of the year...keep the brood togather. Without a QE she may move up and lay some in an upper box just above the brood area but from observing my 3...she tends to stay down for the most part.
 

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Doesn't sound like it is premature. If they need to draw comb I'd feed them though. We initially put 2-gallon feeders on and let them take all they wanted, but I think the better advice may be on and off feeding, and knowing if there is a nectar flow on. If they want comb and have food, they'll draw. And then the queen, if healthy, will find cells appropriate for brood and start laying. But only the bees know what motivates them.

There's no hard Do This set of rules. You do what they NEED, so you have to keep track of their condition and take the best guess as to which advice applies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had been feeding till last week. Seemed they had a lot of stores and not much room for new brood. I thought was in taking away the feed they might use up some of the stores and the queen would have more room. They really were not eating that much, may be about a quart pre hive. Lots of pollen coming in but not sure about nectar.

Greg
 

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No room for brood stopped me from continuous high-volume feeding too. The girls would drain 3 quarts of 1:1 overnight, and the frames were full of syrup.

But we'd combined that hive with a really frisky new queen's nuc. Last week's inspection showed three lovely frames of capped brood where they'd had nectar/syrup stored before. They need a lot of area to let the nectar evaporate down, but will consolidate that after it gets to the honey stage. But yes, they can get honey bound and that's why you just have to watch and see what they need.
 

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Phoebee has it right with one exception:
IMO the colony housed in a deep never "needs" additional space. The space of a deep is the volume they consider ideal. Just right. We want them to have more space for our purposes, but they naturally resist. And we push them. Sometimes with poor results.

The bees often treat the top of their functional comb as the top of their cavity. This is true in the wild nest where they start at the top and build downward. When we add a growth box at the top, we are fighting their natural instincts. Bees are adaptable and most will adjust to our pushing in the wrong direction, but they are often slow about doing it.

Why not add the second box below? With a bottom entry, they can't ignore the extra space there - all traffic has to pass through it. If you choose to move a frame of brood down to get them started, no harm done. Close the upper brood nest by adding the replacement frame at the outside. Help them do it their way.

Walt
 

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I'm into my third season, so take it for what its worth. My first 2 seasons I would put the second brood box on top and when they were ready they move up. Both seasons I have brood in both boxes and the first super I put on. Every hive. This year I checkered boarded the second deep and made sure the frame with the queen on it was in the middle of the bottom box with 2 empty frames on both sides of her. So far on hives with the second supper on and the others with only one super, she has yet laid in the honey supers. I havent noticed that it set them back comparatively to my other years. I think if i did this to a hive that was too weak it would set them back. Also if you use a queen excluder then you won't have the problems with brood in the supers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have been inspecting the hive every 8-10 days. Well after I quit feeding 5 days ago and saw they were honey bound plus the start of a supersedure cell with nothing in it, I got nervous. So I took a look and was very pleased, stopping the feed was the correct thing to do. I had about 6 frames of all stages of brood, a couple with capped honey and 1 blank frame and the other about 1/3 drawn. 14 days ago I put in my first foundation less frame and it was looking good. To my surprise the foundation less frame I put in 5 days ago was doing well too. In fact the queens in both hives were on the new comb looking.


This picture is the 5 day frame and you can see how well they have done. Since I have deeps I wanted more support of the comb so I ran 20# mono filament fishing line across the frame 4 times. You can see it at the bottom, they have worked it right into the comb.




Same frame with the queen.




Same hive with a foundation less frame put in 14 days ago.



Hive 2 with a 5 day frame and queen, in upper left corner. You can see that both hives are almost equal in the amount of work done on these 5 day foundation less frames.



Hive #2 With the 14 day frame.




I'm really happy with the way everything is going so far. I wish I wouldn't have been talked out of doing foundation less from the beginning. I saw some other things with foundation I didn't like too. The heat caused some of the foundation to warp and the comb is not near as nice as the foundation less frames. I don't see myself using much foundation in the future. Found out taking pictures with the vale on is a pain. My old camera has a small screen and its hard to see what you taking a picture of.

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Greg
 

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I'm really happy with the way everything is going so far. I wish I wouldn't have been talked out of doing foundation less from the beginning. I saw some other things with foundation I didn't like too. The heat caused some of the foundation to warp and the comb is not near as nice as the foundation less frames.
I figured this out too.. I decided to use a little foundation to start my package going in the right direction, then switching to foundationless frames. The frames with foundation got warped, the comb is only really useable on one side, they are only a couple that are nice. Every foundationless frame so far has been beautiful and a lot straighter than the full foundation frames. A little bit of drone come here and there, but I haven't had any burr comb either. I have a few more sheets of foundation that I will probably use as starter strips.
 

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They will often make a lot of drone cells in the foundationless comb they build. It's beautiful until its all filled with drone brood. Wiring frames for wax foundation gives them a straight guide. It's time consuming but I think worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They will often make a lot of drone cells in the foundationless comb they build. It's beautiful until its all filled with drone brood. Wiring frames for wax foundation gives them a straight guide. It's time consuming but I think worth it.

So far just a handful of drone cells, but thats OK we need drones too. This is only a hobby for me and all I need is enough honey for the family.

Greg
 

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I am a re-new beek and after thinking about it, considering my age (65) and ability to lift, I chose to go with one full height brood super and add 2 Illinois Supers on for more brood raising and then more Illinois supers on top of that for honey collection (should I be that lucky this year!)

Art
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
When I bought my equipment I bought deeps for brood and medium for the supers. I wish I would have gotten all medium. Any new hives I out out from now on will be mediums.

Greg
 

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Great pictures Greg! I tried starter strips with several swarms this year and the comb was great--straight as an arrow and a beautiful light color. I'll be using starter strips or foundation less frames from now on more than full foundation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Great pictures Greg! I tried starter strips with several swarms this year and the comb was great--straight as an arrow and a beautiful light color. I'll be using starter strips or foundation less frames from now on more than full foundation.

The frames were slotted so I cut strips of foundation for the top so it protrudes about a 1/2", I also cut a small strip for the bottom that protruded about a 1/4" I'm sure the bottom strip was not needed but I figured it wouldn't hurt.

Greg
 
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