Best Time to Go Double Brood

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markb2603

House Bee
Joined
Apr 23, 2022
Messages
107
Reaction score
43
Location
Donegal, Ireland
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
4
I’ve a hive on single brood at the moment. Just at the end of its first brood cycle after a brood break due to requeening. As of last week, 9 of the 11 frames were at various stages of BIAS with 2 of stores. I also have 2 empty wet supers on which are in the process of being refilled (I can see some capping happening already) and 1 empty super. I’d like to move my 3 hives to double brood. 1 will happen via a newspaper combine and another I’ll do next year as it started out as a nuc this year. With the hive in question, is now a good time to double up given the main flow is on? Or given it’s the solstice today and the brood nest might start to trend slowly down, have I missed the boat?
 
Sounds like they are ready for more brood space. I run DB all year round. Have just taken some full store frames out of my brood boxes. I rarely have to feed
 
requeening
Virtually unlikely to swarm this season with the strong pheromone of a new queen, but DBB now will give you the option to over-winter on that set-up and save on feed.

Put into the top BB a few frames of open brood, to persuade the nurse bees & queen up.

Fill the flanks of both boxes with foundation or drawn comb, but put one or two into the brood nest, and see what they've done with it after a week. Sometimes it's filled with nectar, so move it to the end of the nest and put in another empty.

You have the option at the end of summer to keep them on DBB or reduce to one box, with the proviso that boxes going into winter should be rammed with bees.
 
I'm in exactly the same position.....in fact I posted an almost identical question the other day.....in the end as people here advised I added a second BB to two prolific hives.....I'm going to monitor them and see how it develops.
 
I’ve a hive on single brood at the moment. Just at the end of its first brood cycle after a brood break due to requeening. As of last week, 9 of the 11 frames were at various stages of BIAS with 2 of stores. I also have 2 empty wet supers on which are in the process of being refilled (I can see some capping happening already) and 1 empty super. I’d like to move my 3 hives to double brood. 1 will happen via a newspaper combine and another I’ll do next year as it started out as a nuc this year. With the hive in question, is now a good time to double up given the main flow is on? Or given it’s the solstice today and the brood nest might start to trend slowly down, have I missed the boat?
 
I’ve a hive on single brood at the moment. Just at the end of its first brood cycle after a brood break due to requeening. As of last week, 9 of the 11 frames were at various stages of BIAS with 2 of stores. I also have 2 empty wet supers on which are in the process of being refilled (I can see some capping happening already) and 1 empty super. I’d like to move my 3 hives to double brood. 1 will happen via a newspaper combine and another I’ll do next year as it started out as a nuc this year. With the hive in question, is now a good time to double up given the main flow is on? Or given it’s the solstice today and the brood nest might start to trend slowly down, have I missed the boat?
I would go with double brood. The weather is set well for clover and brambles here and in Donegal but if you are close to heather I cannot comment.
 
go with double brood. The weather is set well for clover and brambles here
There are several factors to consider when choosing which way to jump, but in the end, it won't make a lot of difference so long as the queen has some space to lay and bees plenty in which to store the main flow.

If they fill much of the second top BB with honey, extract and store the combs. If you want them to fill supers only, give them instead and hold off on the second BB.

The one factor which won't affect yield is brood production this week or next, because by the time new bees come on stream the flow will be over, so don't choose DBB in the hope that more brood = more honey. I recall a chart that showed that only bees born by mid-May will be the right age to work the main flow.

You might also consider that less brood might relieve younger bees of the work of feeding and capping and so on, and older bees of collecting pollen, in which case they might turn to shifting nectar and making wax.
 
Thanks for the replies. I’ve double brooded them there this afternoon and I’ll leave them be for a couple of weeks now before checking in again. My ideal plan is to get my 3 hives and 2 nucs down to 3 strong hives going into winter and to start off next year on the front foot. Time for a fresh post on what to do with my next hive.
 

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