Quantcast

when to move to brood and a half?

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

RayN 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Location
SW London
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
Are there any rules of thumb regrding if or when to move from a single brood to a brood and a half or a double brood?

I've currently got a colony on a single national that has eight frames of densely packed, capped brood ( plus two uncapped frames and a dummy board. I coudln't see if there were eggs on the uncapped frames). They've got one super.

I'm a bit concerned that they'll run out of space. Do I need to extend the brod space or is my inexperience showing?
 

Rosti 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
1,750
Reaction score
0
Location
North Yorks, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
I would think about the long term and winter survival. As opposed to focussing on expansion beyond a std nat brood box I would seriously consider how to get to two strong viable colonies to give you better protection against winter losses and come spring 2011 the ability to donate frames etc between hives depending on what 'challenges' the girls provide you with next year. If you do want to expand brood size consider a switch to 14x12, much easier to manipulate and inspect than a double stack of frames (IMO).

If you do decide on a second hive as your target perhaps set that up on 14x12 and start your brood expansion project that way. R
 

whizzwheels 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
106
Reaction score
0
Location
Cheshire
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
5
I expanded my hive to a brood and a half in August last year, (i purchased the nuc in June last year). The main reason for going to a brood and a half was to give them space to build up enough stores to get them through winter.
This spring I had a nice strong hive which gave me my first crop of honey (16lbs before the end of may) and I have now spilt the hive to give me two strong hives.
I put the orginal hive in a 14*12 brood box when I did the anit swarm to split the hive, so hopefully these two hive will now build up nice and strong.

Andrew
 

RayN 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Location
SW London
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
Rosti, WW, thanks for the replies. I find the suggestion to move to 14x12 interesting. I've heard this from a variety of sources.

My main intention isn't to make increase as such but to prevent the colony form running out of space and perhaps swarming because of it. I don't particularly want to have a brood-and-a-half as it is awkward to manipulate as I have found at my local teaching apiary.
I suppose my question is: how do I recognise that a colony needs more space before it starts to create queen cells?
 

rae 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
826
Reaction score
0
Location
Berkshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
14x12 is good, but they can still over run this. Our ridiculously prolific queen has laid up 9 frames of 14x12 which are now capped and she has nothing to do. I'm watching carefully for swarm cells, none yet, she was AS-ed only 6 weeks ago. This particular queen started the spring on a standard brood, we put a 14x12 on top, she laid that up, we split off the 14x12 as part of the AS, and now she's full again.... If we gave her double 14x12, she'd probably fill both of them!
 

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
RayN, you post mentions 8 frames of brood, and 2 open brood, thats 10, why no give them an 11th frame as there is plenty of room for 11 frames in a national.

I would go double brood asap, take 3 frames of capped brood and one uncapped up top in the centre too to get the bees working both boxes. Fill the rest of the boxes out with new frames to keep them busy.

Stick with one size, there are pro's and con's for all sizes - 12x14 have cons too, dont let others tell you they are 'the perfect' fit for all bees.

Jez

:)
 

Hebeegeebee 

Drone Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
1,980
Reaction score
20
Location
S.E. Norfolk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
12 on a good day, often more..
RayN,

First of all how full is the super? If quite full then a second one underneath the first one will give some space for stores.
I would personally not go for brood and 1/2 but go for double brood and to get a brrod chamber there soon. Whether you want to go to 14 x 12, that's your decision. I have one 14 x 12 and I am undecided about it.

I have a colony with this years queen with 10 (8.5" Nat) frames of brood and two of stores. Another brood chamber is going on today.
 
Last edited:

RayN 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Location
SW London
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
JezD, HBGB, and everyone else,
Thanks for the advice, very useful. However due to incompetent beekeeping and hesitation on my part, they swarmed.
I caught the swarm and hived them as per the book, now it's just a waiting game and hope they don't abscond.
Next time I'll be more vigilant and decisive.
 

Dewin Dwl 

New Bee
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
59
Reaction score
0
Location
Ynys Mon / Anglesey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
5
I'm also intrigued by getting from a national BB to Brood and a half. My BB is nicely full of brood, frames showing usual form of brood overarched by pollen and honey. How do I go from this to a half above? Would the bees take the honey & pollen from the brood frames and stow it elsewhere to provide the queen access to the half(super) above? Does the half need drawn comb or will foundation be drawn and used?

What I don't want is adding a half to find it used as a honey store alone.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,631
Reaction score
35
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
What I don't want is adding a half to find it used as a honey store alone.

The bees will likely do as they please. If they don't need it for brood, what exactly is wrong with storing honey in it? You could either harvest it or leave it for them over winter? I always tried to leave a a super over a standard brood box for the winter. A 14 x 12 is about the same and that is usually more than enough for the bees for winter stores.

Regards, RAB
 

ENZO 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
139
Reaction score
0
Location
Jersey C.I.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
16
A lot of people knock the brood and a half system and promote the 14x12 but I like it and have no problem with it using my style of beekeeping, I have 5 14x12's and the rest on mainly brood and a half with a couple of double broods and a couple of single broods.

I rear my own queens and find using two boxes the way to go for me, my mating nucs takes super frames.

as far as manipulation, well the super frames are a dodle to handle and only take a few seconds, if there are queen cells in the hive, nearly every time you will find them at the bottom of the frames in the super half, so if you are in a hurry you can just tilt the top box and look for cells without stripping the whole hive down.

The standard brood frames are still a easy to handle and to be honest It takes me the same time to go through a brood and a half/ double brood as it does going through a 14x12.

Next point is that the way I change my brood waxes is I use a brood chamber as a super, frames fitted with foundation above the queen excluder, that way the frames are all drawn perfect and even, I extract them and then use them in the brood chamber, and find every cell occupied due to the comb being drawn well, hence I always have spare brood comb to spare, This is not really possible with 14x12 as I cannot seem to find an extractor big enough, every one must notice that when only a frame or two of foundation is put in the brood chamber, the bees never really draw it out well.

Also, not all queens are prolific enough to fill a 14x12 so with the smaller boxes you can adjust.

If only only have a few hives, whats the problem with two boxes to go through, What's the rush?

saying all this I do like the 14x12 but I find the two box system easier for my style of beekeeping.

I always believe to try a system before commiting,
after all, each to their own

Enzo
 

sahtlinurk 

House Bee
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
334
Reaction score
0
Location
uk, Abingdon
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
12
i also run brood and a half and find it pretty good. when inspecting i change all the honey frames in the brood super to empty frames from super above or replace them with fresh foundation. so if they need more space to lay or build or are picky to store honey upper supers they have room to do what ever they want to do. but i only have 9 hives and local mongrels.

cheers,
Lauri
 

seymour 

New Bee
Joined
May 28, 2010
Messages
28
Reaction score
0
Location
Normandy,France
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
2
Dont want to appear dim, but what is a 14 x 12 ? Presumably it is 14 inches by 12 inches, is that bigger than my Langstroth Jumbos ?
 

Mike a 

Drone Bee
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
1,789
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
Between 17-20
National frame




14 x 12 Frame

 

Rosti 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
1,750
Reaction score
0
Location
North Yorks, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
Great analysis Enzo and some good points I had not considered before with regard to drawing out comb. Thanks. R
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,655
Reaction score
3
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
Well I have to say I am constantly feeding frames of foundation into my brood boxes and they get drawn out perfectly well.

I am trying to calculate how many this year alone, some umm... 200 odd?

PH
 

melon 

House Bee
Joined
May 1, 2010
Messages
132
Reaction score
1
Location
worcestershire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
7
I have had a worry with extremely big hive of bees. With a brood box virtually full of brood, I gave them a super full of foundation under the qx. I also don't like brood and a half, but thought it was unavoidable. After 1 week, they had drawn it and filled it full. I put another super of foundation under this super, trapping the most recently filled super between 2 qx. By the next week, this super was also drawn and full. The previous super had 5 frames of eggs in it. I have moved this to above the brood box and hope they'll be happy. Just worried about the weight of brood and 6 supers. They haven't capped much yet though.
In the 2nd super from the top, found 3 queen cells developing. Is the queens substance not enough to go about the whole hive.
 

ENZO 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
139
Reaction score
0
Location
Jersey C.I.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
16
Hello Melon, I think you will have to be careful in distancing the eggs/brood as this is how I encourage some of my hives to raise queen cells, the trick is to put foundation above the brood not in between it, separating the brood can be risky in respect to unwanted queen cells.

Big hive though, are you are not minded in making up a Nuc? seems the perfect colony for this without loosing to much of the crop

Enzo
 

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
14x12 is good, but they can still over run this. Our ridiculously prolific queen has laid up 9 frames of 14x12 which are now capped and she has nothing to do. .... If we gave her double 14x12, she'd probably fill both of them!
I have my first (national) hive on a standard BB, and they're an industrious bunch. I was thinking about going to 14 x 12 as the queen seems to have no problem filling the BB, but is this to some extent self- regulating? is she likely to fill the space then ease off whatever the space is? I'm in the unusual position of not wanting the colony to be as big as poss, as they are newly installed in a back garden with neighbours, and when they're working flat out it's already a bit like something from Hitchcock. Isit possible to regulate the size like this, or am I overestimating my influence on the bees' thinking? Also, I had wondered about splitting the colony this year (demaree with extra box above the supers?) but have been advised better to overwinter one strong colony than 2 small. Thoughts please? then I can count the fors and againsts!
 

Latest posts

Top