Why work off two brood boxes

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New Bee
Mar 21, 2009
Reaction score
Hive Type
Number of Hives
Hi all, just wondering why some people use two brood boxes in steed of one? I think it is obvious that there will be more bees but how is this beneficial ? Is it the more bees the more potential honey?:confused:
I'm new so might be wrong , but 2 BB are used as there is not enough room for them in 1BB . This is depending on what type of BB you are using, as Nat i think they used Brood and a half.Thats BB and super.

But someone will be alone shortly and point out all the reasons.
As above and yes more bees more honey.
Some queens need more room that one brood box to lay in.
perhaps it's because folk like to keep using brood boxes that are too small?
It depends on which type of hive you use AND the type of bee - they should be compatible. The BS was designed to be stocked with mellifera type bees. Put these bees in a larger hive like a Langstroth and you will not get good results. If you use a super-prolific italian strain then you might have to use 3 BS brood boxes to give the queen enough space to lay in.
A good queen should lay a maximum of about 1,500 eggs a day during peak build-up - if you do some calculating you will find that the total amount of brood is only the equivalent to about 5 full depth Langstroth brood frames.
I run my bees on single brood boxes with an excluder throughout the season and use 3/4 depth supers that are exclusively for honey storage.
In Greece they usually use double brood chambers without excluders and collect a crop that is stored on a reducing broodnest at the end of the season.
Best regards
"Time is Honey"
Hi Neil

This is something that always gets beekeepers chatting - do you use a single BB, Brood and a half (BB + 1 super) or 2 BB, and the merits for and against.

I have used all three, but not because I had an 'Italian' bee - just because I wanted to try them out. A double BB can be handy if your queen is prolific and needs space to lay (a colony in it's 2nd/3rd yr onwards). It can therefore possibly slow down the urge to swarm.
If swarm cells are built, they are generally built along the bottom of the combs of the upper BB - so you can just tip the BB to 50 degrees, smoke and then expose and cells and manage accordingly.

Having a double BB can be handy if you are managing using 2 BB systems, or looking for increase - take one BB away with cell in, leave old one on site with Q.

That said, many commercial beekeepers only manage on single broodboxes - Maisemore who run over 1000 hives just use a national BB, and they do alright (but time, expense and weight is a factor here)

Read up on double brood systems - great fun for the hobbyist, Ron Brown mentions it in his book 'A seasonal Guide'.


If we are talking standard national brood then is this debate not the origin of the 14x12 or deep national concept - effectively splitting the difference in the above arguments but allowing you just the one box to inspect and / or manipulate? Then adding supers as standard.

Only disadvantage is where you are looking for a split to increase.
Only disadvantage is where you are looking for a split to increase.

Why,you can still split no problem at all.
I run 14x12 in both normal boxes and a dartington, to split just take a frame of bees and brood = food from each of three colonies, add a q/cell, move nuc box, feed and leave alone, my dartington is on 16 frames at present and 3 honey boxes full so splitting is no problem.
Guys, I agree, my poor wording, yes of course you can still split, I simply meant that you cant have the convienience of 'take a box away' to quickly establish a new colony having built up two nearly full boxes. which I have done in the past on std nat.
Last edited:
Really not clear where you are coming from on this one Rosti?

If you have double Lang it is as easy. If you work a single box starting nucs is as easy.

What point (if any) are you trying to make?

Read up on double brood systems - great fun for the hobbyist, Ron Brown mentions it in his book 'A seasonal Guide'.

Not just for hobbyists ... Double broods have been used by lots of commercial beekeepers. For example, Wadey used to run double brood Langstroths and double broods are also used by commerical beekeepers for various reasons.

It all depends on the bees you have and how you mange those 22 deep frames...
I also run double brood,the more prolific bee's need the laying space,the less prolific one's use them as supers...
What point (if any) are you trying to make?


3rd time lucky! With split locations having a brood chamber made up of 2 boxes has (in the past) allowed me to sort through and then make up the two boxes as I want them there and then (at the donor hive) and take one box away to another location. Simply saves some time and effort when you are having to manually transport gear 500m from a car. Now I'm on single 14x12's (rather than B&1/2 or Bx2 as I was before) I have more pre-lugging about to do.

Simply a point about logistics for remote sites, nothing more! The newly purchased tripedal transport device (B&Q wheel barrow to you and me has helped though)
A good queen needs 2 brood boxes. When I do not use excluder, I use often 3 brood boxes.
The lowest is often full of pollen. so, pollen will be not stored in supers.

WHY? Because a big colony gathers more honey= it has more foragers and forager power to hit onto field when it is flow time.

Actually nectar is on field and bees gather it. If there is no nectar enough, no hive, how big or small it is, does not get surpluss honey.

You must note that if you have not a good queen, it does not lay more even if you put 2 brood boxes. And in second yeild year ewen good layers have often missed they best laying ability.

Juts now I have in most hives 4 boxes and some has 5.
Willows started bloom on the last week of April.

Some hives are under one box uccupation but now it is final time to put week colonies together to get main yield in July.

I have written about a beekeeper who had 1+1 box every year. When I met him, he was 83 years old, but his hives were same size 25 years ago.

Last edited:
5 years ago acse: I splitted my best hive to move it to fireweed pastures.

I lift hiveparts alone onto carry and then I join them in destination.

And look carefully. I move the hive in the day light. I put a small nuc which gather bees which are flying.

If colonies are not big enough for main yeild, I join smaller hives.


Last edited: