Space for laying vs feeding, double BB?

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House Bee
Sep 3, 2009
Reaction score
North Derbyshire
Hive Type
Number of Hives
4 hives, 1 nuc
I have been reading the ongoing discussions about the need to feed for winter stores and leaving room for the queen to lay and had been erring on the side of holding off feeding.

Having just recombined my queenless hive with my nuc my bees were very low on stores in the BBox but had some uncapped honey in the super ( 2-3 part filled and capped frames) so I rearranged the Brood frames (4 frames brood and the rest drawn comb and little store and pollen) in with queen below QE and rest some pollen and a little stores above super and crownboard to encourage bees to clean them and move it down anything they wanted.

Three days after doing this I checked top BB I hoping to remove it and found one frame full of larva (obviously just been laid when I sorted through and I hadnt/couldnt see the eggs) This meant I had to find room in Bottom BB for this frame so I could remove top BB.

I went thru bottom BB for a frame I could swap and found that in just 3 day my queen had laid up 5 frames (both sides! so 9 now with brood) so ended up having to move the stores up and leaving top bb on so that they can move this to more convenient location.

I know now that if I'd fed them they would have possibly have filled the BB frames and stopped the queen laying and I'd have missed out on a lot of winter bees!

As she has now filled nearly all the frames should I give the other BB to lay in? It would only have 3-4 frames of drawn comb - rest would be undrawn foundation. I was planning to overwinter in single BB and move to double next year - partly as I dont have sufficient drawn comb and also as I was not expecting queen to be quite so enthusiastic at this time of year.

I am going to treat for varroa (apiguard) after the weekend, and put limited amount of syrup in rapid feeder to compensate for taking super off and after treatment put super back on above Crown board so that they can move down into BB for winter and start winter feeding then.

Does that make sense?

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