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snelgrove board with a 2 brood box hive???

1927 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  newyork bee
hello beekeepers
I have a hive with 2 brood boxes and 1 super .The original brood box had 8 frames drawn 4-5 with brood (capped)and the others had honey and pollen. And the 2 outside frames were not drawn yet .So I added a second brood box .that one now has 6-7 frames being used .I then added a queen excluder and a honey supper .The bees have been in the hive since may4th and it is now june 19th .6 weeks (total).they seem to be doing well .I will look tomorrow and see if they are drawing the super yet(I hope).I plan on using a snelgrove board in a few weeks and I see instructions on using it with a single brood box hive but I don't see anything about how to use it if you have 2 brood boxes.Do I treat the 2 as one and bring them both above the SGB while putting a new brood box with a frame of brood and new frames plus the queen below the SGB???
thanks for your time Pat in SE NY
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In Snelgrove's original text 2 and even three box hives are considered so that is no problem. I set a 2 deep hive up this way on june 15. I have 3 med. supers between the bottom box and the division board, then the other box above.

It is recommended that you sort the frames leaving the bottom box with almost no open or capped brood. Almost all brood should go in top box over the board. You could use the method you suggest I guess but have not thought out the implications. I seem to remember something about not having the top box too strong lest they swarm out when the virgin flys to mate.

I have bookmarked some likely looking articles on the use of the Snelgrove board; also have his book, but this is my first shot at actually trying it out. So far the bees started cells on schedule. It was nice of them to place 4 cells on three different frames instead of all on one!
Is there a method to your madness or are you just doing this to be doing it? The Snelgrove board is usually used in swarm prevention, and is added when the keeper feels swarming is imminent. It sounds as though you have a young growing colony that is in no way busting at the seems. although swarming can happen whenever the bees feel they need to do so, or are able to. It is most generally done by established colonies with older queens. I think you are over managing your bees.
Tell me more about the hive, is it from a package this year? That is what your post sounds like as the first hive body was only partially drawn. What are your goals?

Although not imposable, first year packages rarely swarm. Many beekeepers use queen replacement as a method of swarm management for that reason.
You need to keep in mind giving the bees to much room to fast can allow small hive beetles to invade and destroy the hive as there is too much space for the number of bees to patrol.
I'll chip in with my $0.02. Do not be surprised if nothing has been done to the super above the queen excluder. They still have frames to work on down below, and won't likely cross the barrier to draw out additional comb. Excluders work well for some people, though under circumstances that usually do not involve a growing colony.

Been there, done that.
Snelgrove recommended the hive to be manipulated should be near to swarming. As mentioned the honey super above the excluder (especially if it is bare foundation) likely wont see much action after you move bees above a division board and give even more unworked comb space below the excluder. It will work to induce raising a queen up top if you are looking for more bees.
Below is a link to an excellent article on using the Snelgrove board and I was able to follow their directions with my two deep brood chambered hives:

When I started out I was plagued by swarming, three years straight where every hive I had swarmed. Anyway, last year I used the methods outlined in this article and had zero swarms, drew a bunch of supers out, and raised two of my best queens this year from them (actually unbelievable how good those queens are!) As has been said, Snelgrove originally invented this method as swarm control, but it can be used for so much more. You need to figure out what it is you want to accomplish though, ie raise a few queens, control swarming, etc before you just do it, to do it. Because as the article points out, if honey is your main goal for instance, a hive that is able to build up and never swarms will be in better shape than one Snelgroved. It sets them back some in otherwords.
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well I went in to see the girls today and they are doing well. No q cells the bottom brood was pretty filled all except for the 2 outer ones which I moved closer to center .The top brood was doing pretty well also6-7 filled and 3 unworked (which I moved in between filled frames. I removed the queen excluder and put a super on. I added a vent board then the inner cover and the top. removed the entrance reducer and covered half with screen for good air flow .There was a bit of condensation on the side of the boxes which will be helped by the open-air entrance and the vent on top (6 3/4 inch holes with screen ).This went in as a package on may 5 and I think they are doing pretty well. I wish I had a big fat box with drawn frames .It would speed the progress ...Just starting and have only wax foundation..2 of the girls told me I was standing in their flight path and got me on both hands ..First stings of the year..they seem to be very gentle bees .thanks for the replies Pat
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