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Get the second box on.

Move a couple of the outside frames from the first box up to the middle of the second box and replace them with undrawn foundation.

Stop feeding if you still are doing so.

 

Hi Trevor. Another new beekeeper here. When adding a second brood box is it better to add below the first or above. Also should I move some of the frames and split them between the two boxes to encourage them? Many thanks.

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depends on if they are drawn out nor not. if they are you can place straight on top and bees will go up. bees don't like going down so adding on top is better.

if undrawn then it pays to lift some frames up as trev mentioned.

 

i had a good example of that to show the new staff the other day. for some silly reason, (probably mondayitis) the boss had put boxes of undrawn frames on.

the ones with drawn frames the bees where up. with the ones that had a few drawn out frames the bees where up on the drawn out frames only and the boxes of undrawn there wasn't a bee to be seen.

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so I will move 4 frames up and put in the middle of the new brood box.

i would be inclined to just move up two as trev said.

if you bring up 4 you run the risk of the hive not going sideways and not drawing out the other frames. bees like to go up rather than sideways. so they will naturally come up, they just need a little helping hand.

after they have drawn out some of the frames you can push the drawn ones out to the side and bring up the undrawn ones (that you originally put in the bottom box) up into the center.

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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.

 

Could someone better explain the last sentence? I realize it was posted in January but does it apply with the current season?

I just received a nuc a few days ago now sitting in a FD box. Once most new frames are drawn out I was planning to put on a second FD brood box and once second box is drawn, was planning to put in an excluder with a honey super ontop.

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Could someone better explain the last sentence? I realize it was posted in January but does it apply with the current season?

I just received a nuc a few days ago now sitting in a FD box. Once most new frames are drawn out I was planning to put on a second FD brood box and once second box is drawn, was planning to put in an excluder with a honey super ontop.

Yes, you are correct. Seasonal thing. You are on time for build up now.

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Could someone better explain the last sentence? I realize it was posted in January but does it apply with the current season?

timing.

January, half of the season gone is a bit hard to get two brood boxes going and honey crop. once the get both brood boxes filled out the season will be over.

but as your starting November, your a lot earlier and have time for them to fill up both.

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Actually for a hobbiest the whole of the edible harvest honey season has gone unless you want to pay for tutin testing.

Hey @yesbut we don't have to worry about it here (below 42 degrees South), but my reading of the regs suggests that boxes can go on until the end of December.

 

"9 Option two: Holding harvest records that demonstrate low risk harvest date

(1) Option two is for the person to request and hold a written statement from the beekeeper supplying honey that confirms that the beekeeper holds records that demonstrate that the honey has been taken from honey supers placed onto hives after 1 July and before 31 December of any year. "

(2) keeps records 4 years blah blah"

 

Or do they mean something else ?

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Hey @yesbut we don't have to worry about it here (below 42 degrees South), but my reading of the regs suggests that boxes can go on until the end of December.

 

Boxes OFF by end of December. Which is why I said that by January the hobbyists edible honey harvest was over, assuming a first timer didn't have the wherewithall to meet any other criteria. I believe in keeping things simple wherever appropriate.

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@Qkrwogud right now in our region we are puttng our four frame nucs into single brood boxes. They will be made up of the four frames from the nuc and four empty frames and two frame feeder. They will go out on honey sites over the next 2-3 weeks as singles with an excluder and 2 three quarter honey boxes. Depending on the season they may get another one or two honey boxes added later.

We will pull some honey off around Christmas and again early February they then get a second brood box with no excluder for the bees to draw and fill.

This works in our area it wont in others.

 

Its a great way to get a good honey crop and a second drawn brood box with enough stores to over winter.

You have to know your area and your flows.

.

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@frazzledfozzle Thanks for your detailed response, I've just got so many questions rattling around in my head!

In my mind, I thought it made sense to put on a second brood box on first just to have a stronger foundation of a hive that is roaring with life before I worry about honey. But I would definitely love to get some this year!

 

If I'm understanding you correctly, you put the two 3/4 honey boxes with the excluder right after the nuc has been moved to the single brood box. Then February or later the second brood box gets added?

 

I understand it's situational to your environment, I just have no local keepers so I have no idea about the area or my flows haha

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If it was me I would wait until the broodbox is drawn and the bees fill the box before putting my honey super on.

I would only put on one super to start with and see how it goes.

 

If you are going to be using foundation or plastic frames that need to be drawn you could also put on the honey super with no excluder which will encourage the bees to move up and start drawing and filling those frames. Of course by not using an excluder your queen will also move up and lay but if you feel reasonably confident with bees its a simple matter of shaking the bees out of the honey box back into the brood box before putting on your excluder.

The brood in the honey super will emerge and the bees will backfill with honey.

Its more fiddly that way and you need to either scollop your excluder or chock up one corner a little to allow any emerged drones to escape but it will get the box drawn quicker.

 

We take off our honey and put the second brood box on in February/march because we get a late honeydew flow.

 

I dont know what your flows are like so its probably best to be cautious at first.

You may find you have more than enough honey by january and can put your brood box on earlier than we do.

.

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I'm told when you add another box it's a good idea to give it maybe 2 drawn frames to encourage bees to come up.

Does it matter what the frames contain, is there a preference? Like I could take 2 of my middle frames which is mostly capped brood, or do I take frames with minimal capped brood?

Is it fine to move a few frames with all the bees still on them?

 

 

We take off our honey and put the second brood box on in February/march because we get a late honeydew flow.

 

I dont know what your flows are like so its probably best to be cautious at first.

You may find you have more than enough honey by january and can put your brood box on earlier than we do.

.

When you say take off your honey, do you mean replace the entire box/es with a brood box and leave the honey box/es out?

What do you mean I need to be cautious, of what?

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Dosnt matter what the frames contain but if moving brood frames up you need to be sure there are enough bees to cover them so if it was me and I was just learning I would play safe and bring up honey frames or frames with minimal brood.

 

By take off the honey I mean harvest it if it's ready then replace with your second brood box for the bees to work on that. While you learn beekeeping and your local flows be cautious. start with one honeybox and see how the bees go with it, how quickly they fill and cap it. If you have enough honey by January take it and extract it and replace the honey supers with your brood box so the bees can get a good start at drawing and filling it.

Leave your honey supers off or you can let the bees clean out the residue honey by drilling a hole in your hive mat and putting them on top. The bees will come up and take the residue honey back down into the brood boxes.

Dont use an excluder when you put your second brood box on.

.

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Well I guess what I'm asking is, why store them elsewhere and not just leave it on the hive?

After clearing out the remaining bits of honey they might do something with the frames, they might not, what's the downside?

To my very inexperienced eyes, it just seems like more work to store elsewhere and adequately cover/protect them from moths or other insects.

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There are a couple of reasons. Warm air rises having a chimney of empty boxes above the brood for winter makes the hive harder to heat. Also the bees will want to move up, so you will get brood in your honey boxes. If you use an excluder to stop the queen moving up, I am given to understand that the queen can end up getting chilled as the rest of the bees move up without her - less risk of this I think if your queens lay all through winter.

Then there is the hasssle of having to unstack all the empty boxes off the brood to inspect / check the bees.

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