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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If the following is indeed correct..... why do beekeepers choose to use more than 1 brood box?

1500 eggs X 21 days to emergence = 31,500 cells full of brood for a good queen laying full out every day.

31,500 divided by 6,500 usable cells per frame = 4.85 maximum possible full frames of brood per normal single queen hive


Is it to combat backfilling of the brood nest?
If a average queen will only have up to 5 frames of brood at any given time, that leaves 5 additional frames in the brood box to hold pollen and nectar for the brood.

I know some start the year with 2 boxes then knock them down to 1 box just before the flow.
For those who use this technique, what do your comparisons look like doing this to just running one brood box straight through the year?
 

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1500-2000 eggs per day is an average. It is likely a daily average for the queens lifetime or for a year. Meaning that during peak season a good queen will be laying much more then that and in the off season, much less. I have seen queens who had no problems keeping every available cell in two deeps filled with brood, and I have seen some who could keep two deeps and a medium full of brood.
 

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>31,500 divided by 6,500 usable cells per frame = 4.85 maximum possible full frames of brood per normal single queen hive

And yet I've seen 14 deep frames or so of brood in a booming hive, so obviously someone is wrong on their estimation of what a queen can lay in a day by about a factor of 3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
>
And yet I've seen 14 deep frames or so of brood in a booming hive, so obviously someone is wrong on their estimation of what a queen can lay in a day by about a factor of 3.
I pulled this calc from Allen Dicks diary Friday march 24-25, 2000. sorry for missing the reference.
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/2000/diary031500.htm

He does reference to several sources for his use of 1500 cells.
He said that he has often seen more frames with brood present but the frames are not full. Feel free to read the post.
 

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A queen can't re-lay a cell as soon as the bee emerges. The workers have to clean out the old cocoons and re-prep the cells to lay. There is a 3-4 day laps between emergence and the queen laying in the cells.

Perhaps farther north where daylight is shorter, queens lay less eggs.
 

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While there may be 6500 cells on a frame, after some honey and pollen storage there's probably 3000 or less available for brood. Also, I wonder if some of the big "boomer" hives you sometimes see are due to a new and old queen both laying at the same time until the old one gives out.
 

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I'm foundationless so my frames won't be layed wall to wall like you'll see on pierco. It's not real uncommon for me to see brood on 20 frames at the peak of the spring buildup.
 

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I just let the bees decide if they want to use more than one brood box. At this point my priority is more bees. If I can split my 3 hives by early June, I will be interested in honey.
 

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Usually there will be a lot of pollen stored near the entrance, but if you used an excluder to restrict the queen to a small brood area I recon that a lot of pollen would end up in your supers - if you could keep the hive from swarming.

The answer to your question is probably going boil down to two things - it's easier to use a bigger setup than a small one because of swarming or wintering issues or something, and it ends up being more profitable one way or another. Just my guess.
 

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For those who use this technique, what do your comparisons look like doing this to just running one brood box straight through the year?
It looks like swarms in May, no way around it. One box of brood will not be enough room during peak Spring expansion. They will swarm.
 

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How many pounds of stores does it take to winter in your climate, with your breed of bees? Are your flows affected by a late summer dearth? Are you prepared or not, to early spring feed? 50 lbs. net of stores seems to be a bit more than enough to get my carni type bees in double deep 10 frames through to spring flow with no additional feed. I dont know if I could do it on much smaller hive space without compromising brooding space for production of the "wintering" bees. How much mite load the colony has going into winter could affect the amount of stores needed.

I found it interesting to read Ian's posts on his procedure to get his bees to the correct hive weight for indoor wintering in a single deep.
 

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Just because the queen is restricted to one deep, does not mean the brood is. With proper manipulation of frames, it is quite easy to reduce swarming to inconsequential levels, keep open cells in front of the queen, develop large population levels, and still only have 10 frames to inspect.

Crazy Roland
 
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