2nd brood box this late in season? newbee

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honey 

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hi all,

well i've had my cast of what was about 5000 bees in a brood box in national hive for about a month now and they seem to be doing really well - just been noticing when re-filling their feed recently, there seems to be double the amount of bees in the feeder & at the hive entrance since i first got them. they have also been very good calm bees so far.

anyway, i've been advised to add a 2nd brood box & try and build the colony up as much as poss. before the winter. i've been told to put the current brood box on TOP of a fresh new brood box on the bottom of the hive, and then top the two of them with a super.

my only concern is that it might be a bit too much space to fill for a small colony, or do you think they'll have chance to build up between now & winter? i know it's not good to have too much empty space to heat over winter...

also, once i put the new brood box underneath the current one, will the bees tend to go downwards and fill the new one, as well as going up to the super - because i thought they work upwards? or did i get that wrong? :blush5:
 

Vortex 

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I take it you're on standard nationals?
You could put a second brood box ON TOP of the existing one but you'd be better putting on a super, less comb to draw and less space to heat through the winter.
In either case don't put a queen excluder on.
I wouldn't be feeding either. I picked up a cast swarm 5 weeks ago and so far they've only had 1 litre of 1:1 syrup and 6oz of honey. They've drawn 3 frames of brood foundation, and filled and capped 4 frames in the drawn super. They have plenty of both pollen and nectar going in at the moment, and given the weather we've been having here in the south I can't as yet see the need to feed them any further.
Given that it's now 14 days since the first batch of brood hatched, I'm just starting to see an increase in flyers, and when I inspected today I had another frame of brood in the super hatching.
 

oliver90owner 

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i know it's not good to have too much empty space to heat over winter...

I know it's not good to have any empty space to heat over winter...Full stop.

IF there is plenty of stores in the frames, stop feeding. Those bees, continually moving that food, and drying it down to sugar honey, is removing house bees from brooding duties.

And extra brood is what you want. By next month you should have enough bees to take down winter feed and store it, not this month.

Only feed if they need it.

Now, one month on, they will only, if you were lucky, be just getting to the emergence stage of new bees. ['About', to me, is a bit of a 'fluffy' term when 'more than' or 'less than' is so much more meaningful].

Up to now, or perhaps still, or perhaps until recently, your colony would have been dwindling.

If a standard National, I would hope to overwinter them on a brood and a half which would be up to the gunnels with stores, but only at the end of the season, as they need brooding space to rear the overwintering bees - those bees which you will need for a strong healthy spring build-up.

Regards, RAB
 

Midland Beek 

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Do not super.

Stick the new brood box of foundation on top of the existing one and feed. Doubt if they will venture much upstairs unless you feed.
 

Finman 

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hi all,

well i've had my cast of what was about 5000 bees in a brood box in national hive for about a month now and they seem to be doing really well - just been noticing when re-filling their feed recently, there seems to be double the amount of bees in the feeder & at the hive entrance since i first got them. they have also been very good calm bees so far.
5:


Actually you put now another box because you have filled the one with winter sugar? And you continue now feeding....

5000 bees occupye about 3 frames.

20 000 bees/ 2 kg ocupye a langstroth box.

How many frames are occupyed in your hive? What is your capped brood area, how many full frames?

********************

First, this is not time to feed winter food. I live in Finland and I give winter feeding in the first week of Semtember. Now you fill the hive with sugar and the queen has no space to lay.

Now, take off capped winter sugar frames. Restrict the room so that bees has occupied all frames.

At the end of August the colony there makes winter bee brood and the hive must have space to raise brood.
 

honey 

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ok thanks, still pretty confused :eek: i know everyone tends to have different opinions - at my local assoc. meeting the other day everyone was telling me to feed the bees like crazy to build them up & keep feeding til they stop taking it in autumn time. 2 guys completely disagreed & got quite heated about putting the new brood box underneath the current one etc etc... lol

yes they are in a sbn, i haven't even done an inspection yet as i was advised not to disturb them for a least a few weeks to let them settle in. but i'll be going in to the hive this week so will post back with what i find inside and see what you guys think...
 

Finman 

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ok thanks, still pretty confused :eek: i know everyone tends to have different opinions -...
I have had bees 47 years. One hive owners help is the best: feed or shake bees!!!

One difficulty is that the beginner is not able to tell what is really his colony's condition.

Most of beginners believe that drawed foundations is something goal which you must achieve.

When I make a nuc, I keep its room tight and enlarge the hive according the colony growth.
Mostly in summer I need to take away food frames that the queen has room to lay.
A nuc needs time top develope. Brood cycle is 3 weeks and from one full frame you get 3 frame of bees.

Feeding in summer only spoils the development of the colony.

.
 
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Finman 

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Another wrong advice to the beginner

is that let the hive or nuc be in peace 3 weeks. The hive "establish" itself

- If you do so, you do not learn anything.
- first you must learn the natural cycle or the bee colony, so you may predict next time what is going on.

When I make a mating nuc or so, I quite often look inside, what are they doing now. Just for curiosity. Very seldom the bees destroy the queen or something happens. Sometimes I squeeze the queen but I have them enough for accidents.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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honey,
you need to know what's going on in your hive.
How many frames of brood do you have?
How may frames of stores.
How many frames of foundation?

Then you can decide. Or more likely then you can ask and you'll get loads of different answers! A single brood box will last the winter. It would be good to need more space but not obligatory.
 

honey 

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hi everyone, i had my first look inside the hive yesterday it was fantastic! the bees were very docile which was good for a first-timer like me :)

anyway to update you - i found 4 frames in the middle of the brood box, plus the inner facing halves of 2 more frames used, so total of 5 frames used by bees. 3 frames were untouched by the bees + the 2 outer halves of previously mentioned, so total 4 frames untouched. i have 9 frames in total + dummy board.

i would say it was pretty much half & half used for brood & honey. there weren't many drone cells to see. no queen cells found & queenie seemed very active.

so what do you think i should do next? go ahead & put a 2nd brood box on or is there no point until they've almost filled all frames? is it something i should wait to do or will a 2nd brood box encourage them?

also the fact i have practically as much honey as brood - is this ok or should i stop feeding now?

thanks
 

Hebeegeebee 

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If you have 5 frames of brood plus stores and the outer frames are still foundation, you don't really need to do much. Doesn't seem like they need feeding at the moment. If the weather is kind they should be fine without feeding. Have you treated for Varroa or done a varroa drop count?

You don't need a second brood box.
 

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