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I’m picking up 2 nucs this weekend which will be my first hives ever. Reading reviews of these nucs it sounds like they will be quite full of bees. They are 5 frame nucs and I will be putting them in 8 frame deep boxes. Once they fill out the 8 frames or nearly so should I add a super to each hive, or add a 2nd brood box to each hive, or since there are two hives, should I add one super and a box to the other waiting to add the super once they are full in the second box? I thought it would be interesting to see how the two of them do with different configuration, but I also wondered since I am new if I should just keep them similar so I can see how the two different hives are reacting to similar environment since I don’t have a lot of experience yet. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
 

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Once they fill out the 8 frames or nearly so should I add a super to each hive, or add a 2nd brood box to each hive, or since there are two hives, should I add one super and a box to the other waiting to add the super once they are full in the second box?
I would recommend adding the second box when you have 6-7 frames drawn in a 8 frame box. If you wait until all 8 frames are drawn it is going to be to late and the bees may start thinking about swarming. The next box you want to add is the 2nd brood box. You leave the brood boxes on the bottom of the stack year round (typically) and then add supers on top as needed seasonally.

I thought it would be interesting to see how the two of them do with different configuration, but I also wondered since I am new if I should just keep them similar so I can see how the two different hives are reacting to similar environment since I don’t have a lot of experience yet. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
Adding a medium (vs deep) means the bees will probably draw it out and fill it sooner since it is smaller. If both hives are similar strength they will probably build up at about the same rate (by volume/area). I think the biggest exception to this would be if the weather is really cold, the hive with the medium may build up a bit quicker due to having less area to keep warm.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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I would keep them the same and would recommend to consider what configuration you want to winter in , then in incremental steps move that way.
If new to bees you likely do not have comb to add, so some feed until the second box is mostly built out could be an advantage. do not feed with a super on or your "honey" will really be the syrup you fed them. :)
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Also decide, how, when, if you plan to treat for Mites. This is the first hill for most new keepers to climb.

welcome to the forum

GG
 

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No ill feelings when I say KISS. The new toy feeling clouds good judgement at least for people like me! What is the local wisdom on hive configuration? Do people run two brood boxes? Even if they do, I would personally want a honey crop as that is the reason we do this for the most part. Consider this strategy. Feed the hives until that three frames around your nuc are all occupied. Then gently shake or brush the bees off a brood frame and move it up into your second box over a queen excluder. Doing this will get bees working thru the queen excluder. If your local flow conditions allow, the bees may draw that 'deep super' full of honey for you to extract. Then if the local consensus is use of double hive bodies, you can remove the excluder and feed the now second hive body full of bees and winter stores. If local conditions are such you can run just one hive body, follow the same procedure moving a bee less brood frame over an excluder into the middle rank of two medium supers. This will get the bees filling your supers.

Bees will often swarm before they move up into a new box full of foundation. That is the reason for moving the brood up. I often follow this method with nucs and use this to draw more comb. Good luck and enjoy your new bees. Hopefully you will discover that every time you open the box it is as exciting as a kids Christmas with new treasures awaiting. After keeping bees for most of my life, I still feel that way.

CAUTION Do not do detailed inspections and cleanings! No two hour photo shoots! Pull frames from the outside. As you carefully pull frames moving in, note the room left, the amount of food and pollen being stored, and as soon as you find eggs and larvae, you have learned all YOU NEED. Get out and don't chance rolling your queen and killing her unnecessarily pulling frames! There will be lots of time for lazy day inspections and picture taking after the bees are more familiar to you.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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This past Sunday I inspected the hives of a beekeeper that I had sold thee nucs to two weeks prior. She is running 8 frame deeps. Two of the hives had already drawn out 1-1/2 frames, so we added a second deep and move a brood frame up. Also flipped the half frames to put the undrawn side next to the brood. The other hive had not drawn any new comb but had three of the frames covered in capped brood. I told her the hive was about a week or two behind the other two but would be bursting with bees soon and to be ready with the other brood box. Nice to compare apples to apples. Different configurations could lead to different results. You need to see how the hives compare to each other as you learn to keep bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the replies.... I do think that apples to apples makes the most sense. I need to find if most people in Portland are running 1 or 2 brood boxes. I appreciate all the information. I will KISS and hope that the new toy feeling continues for a very long time. I'm really excited to see how this goes. Thanks for all being there for newbee questions.. LOL
 

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New toy has lasted close to sixty years for me now. Other than ruining carpets tracking beeswax in the house and ruining various pots and appliances it has went well. It caused no small children to go hungry so I call it a win.
 

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Once they fill out the 8 frames or nearly so should I add a super to each hive, or add a 2nd brood box to each hive, or since there are two hives, should I add one super and a box to the other waiting to add the super once they are full in the second box?
I would find out what the smallest reasonably reliable wintering configuration is for bees in your location that are not being fed syrup, and I would work toward that. For me, that is three eight frame medium boxes (which is equivalent to two eight frame deep boxes). Everything in those boxes belongs to the bees; what’s above them is available to harvest.
 
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