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I am very new to beekeeping having purchased my first nucleus a week or two before Christmas .

It was suggested that because of the poor weather that I transfer the nucleus to a full depth box and continue to feed the colony with sugar syrup which i have done without any issues (at the time the weather was very poor) . On inspection of the hive over the weekend I found the initial 5 empty frames had been almost totally drawn out with wax right to the outside frame and the population of drones and workers appeared to be very healthy and plentiful from my in experienced eye.

Researching the subject online it was recommended to place another brood box on top of the existing brood box to allow for the expansion of the colony when the comb was drawn to 80%.

My question is should I have placed this second brood box on and is this what you would recommend a novice to do , also once this second brood box is 80% full (unsure how long this will take) presuming this happens this year would I then need to put a 3/4 super with queen excluder or would I allow for the bees to completely fill the brood boxes first.

Thanks for your advice

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Welcome along @BuzzOBumble,

 

As a beginner it may be easier to manage a double brood box, however if you put an excluder on and add the super as 'honey super' your girls will fill it with honey for you and them. They are probably making stores already. You can always turn it into a double brood at a later date. Just check that there are no queen cells either on the frames or under them, look hard cos they're sneaky!!!

 

If your brood box contains a lot of honey only frames you could move one or two up into the super to encourage them up. Try not to take too much pollen. Then you can replace the frames with some foundation for the bees to draw for the queen to lay into. (I wouldn't do anymore than two).

 

Keep asking questions, someone will always answer as we've all been where you are. There's lots of great people on here from PNth.

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Im with @Bron, im a fan of single broods for honey.

 

I would put an excluder on and then a honey super.

When thats full I would remove it for extraction, then take the excluder off and put your second broodbox on for the bees to work into.

 

Theres plenty of time for the bees to do a box of honey for you and then draw and fill the top brood box for themselves.

 

If you put a brood box on now you wont get the hive strong enough to do any honey.

 

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I personally would not put an excluxer on.Iwould put abox of foundation on and if the flow is good,enough the bees will fill it up and,give the queen nothing to lay in.

 

I have to butt in here and say that with a single brood box the queen will most definitely lay in the 3/4 and why bother with the drama all of that involves.

 

Been there done that, got the Tshirt. :)

 

.

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Yes. I have seen the queen laying in 6 x 3/4 boxes. It is just a nightmare to sort out.

I agree. Go with the excluder. I run excluders on all my hives.

@Trevor Gillbanks now this is a good topic for debate and should be a new thread.

Most of my 3/4 hives are 6 high and don't have excluders except for special reasons, and have a tide of brood which is replaced by a tide of honey which forces queen down and the top 3 boxes end up solid honey and no brood. But takes time and we harvest when the honey is ready, can be in March or April.

Looking forward to discussion.

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Welcome @BuzzOBumble

As a relative newb myself. I like the double brood box and excluder below the 3/4. As said, easier for newbs to handle.

Once you get more experianced you can play around finding 'your way' of doing things.

As you see, many answers for one question. Learn your bees first, if they let you (tricky girls they are sometimes) and enjoy them.

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Because I have put the second brood box on last weekend and the colony is currently looking very healthy i do not really want to disrupt them again so soon (they are furiously building comb on second box already) I will leave the second full depth brood box on and let the girls populate the second box , probably i would guess forgoing the honey this year. I have moved up 2 outside drawn frames from the bottom brood box to the centre of second box (top box) .Trees around my area are in full bloom and I think we will have a reasonable run with the weather over the next few weeks with plenty of pollen and food around (Urban hive) . There is still around a litre of sugar syrup in the feeder that i will let the girls finish and will remove the feeder once its empty in the next few days. Hopefully taking this approach will mean a good healthy colony going into the winter .

 

Thanks for all the advice it is very helpful :)

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@Most of my 3/4 hives are 6 high and don&\#039;t have excluders except for special reasons, and have a tide of brood which is replaced by a tide of honey which forces queen down and the top 3 boxes end up solid honey and no brood\.

 

One of the things that particularly stuck in my mind from the bee day at Thames was the discussion on C4 sugars and CFUs (bacteria) in honey. I distinctly remember the woman stressing several times to not extract you brood boxes no matter how tempting due to the bacteria count in honey from cells that have had brood raised in them.

Now, I suspect that this was primarily aimed at the commercial outfits, but even so...

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@Trevor Gillbanks now this is a good topic for debate and should be a new thread.

Most of my 3/4 hives are 6 high and don't have excluders except for special reasons, and have a tide of brood which is replaced by a tide of honey which forces queen down and the top 3 boxes end up solid honey and no brood. But takes time and we harvest when the honey is ready, can be in March or April.

Looking forward to discussion.

what happens if the flow stops and the brood doesn't get pushed down?

 

i've had them where the brood does 2 frames per box right up the center. or filled out the center box only, or the top box only.

there is a lot of variables.

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what happens if the flow stops and the brood doesn't get pushed down?

 

i've had them where the brood does 2 frames per box right up the center. or filled out the center box only, or the top box only.

there is a lot of variables.

Easy, just rattle through the combs and choose those with no brood and capped. No frame with brood accepted even if found in the honey house, just returned for brood to clear.

Weather here is magnificent, enormous food going in (kanuka, rata, pohut, hebes, linden, brambles) -> multifloral. Bees numbers enormous, just luck rather than good management, I think. And our season goes on for a long time, including an autumn flow.

Today I went through 20 hives all with white wax, structured some with brood up to M3 or M4 (numbered from the bottom upwards), or rather moved down, then a honey block (@Stephen Black taught me about this a couple of years ago), then a couple of honey boxes and one on top if they are going mad (some 7 high).

Some have brood near the top and are converting as the brood hatches out, so am leaving them to sort it out.

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One of the things that particularly stuck in my mind from the bee day at Thames was the discussion on C4 sugars and CFUs (bacteria) in honey. I distinctly remember the woman stressing several times to not extract you brood boxes no matter how tempting due to the bacteria count in honey from cells that have had brood raised in them.

Now, I suspect that this was primarily aimed at the commercial outfits, but even so...

Its worth checking, my understanding is that extracting frames with brood in them causes major problems and is an absolute no-no. But once brood is cleared the cells are cleaned, and remember that honey is powerfully antiseptic - even non-mauka !

Also, when honey contains more than 19% water it will ferment.

And I have as yet not had any problems with my honey - or maybe it's so delicious that my clients just scoff it before any problems can occur !

Oops forgot pix of tall hives.

tall-hives-1514.jpg.39ffaf430ec183c9bbbc333586f70b22.jpg

tall-hives-1519.jpg.a6149f38ee23928bea665eb640fb9a57.jpg

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Weather here is magnificent, enormous food going in (kanuka, rata, pohut, hebes, linden, brambles) -> multifloral. Bees numbers enormous, just luck rather than good management, I think. And our season goes on for a long time, including an autumn flow.

Today I went through 20 hives all with white wax, structured some with brood up to M3 or M4 (numbered from the bottom upwards), or rather moved down, then a honey block (@Stephen Black taught me about this a couple of years ago), then a couple of honey boxes and one on top if they are going mad (some 7 high).

i suspect the dunedin swarm season is about to kick off again (did it ever stop?) as people run out of supers and hives run out of space...

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Easy, just........................

depends on your definition of easy is.

for me having to go through and sort every box is a major pain.......o wait, i was just doing that on my hive at home this afternoon....yeah it was still a pain in arse job to do !

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depends on your definition of easy is.

for me having to go through and sort every box is a major pain.......o wait, i was just doing that on my hive at home this afternoon....yeah it was still a pain in arse job to do !

But you see I have help from @tommy dave who is young, strong, patient and enthusiastic, and great sense of humour, and I am a sideliner. And you really enjoyed being a hobbyist as well as a commer...

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