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Author Topic: unlimited brood nest questions  (Read 785 times)
House Bee
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Posts: 114

Location: Los Angeles California

« on: March 30, 2009, 03:22:38 PM »

I am a student of the unlimited brood nest method and have been using it for the past two years or so.  This year things are a bit different in my hives and I have a few, hopefully not too stupid questions.  I am using 2 deeps as brood and mediums for honey supers, no excluder. (I know this would all be better if I was using only mediums but I am not). In the past there has always been 2 or three frames in the second deep of honey in the 1,2 or 9, 10 spots that I have been able to pull and replace with empty frames.  This year in all of my hives, not the case, I have wall-to-wall brood in both the first and second deep.  One hive had a small cluster of drone just barely starting in the honey super, so the queen might be moving up there.

My question is what is move best move here, add a third deep and pyramid up with a few frames of brood from the second deeps or hope the queen moves up into the mediums? I don’t have any deep frames of honey or comb left so it would have to be foundation and the brood. 

Any suggestions are appreciated.


Within that little Hive
Such Hints of Honey lay
As made Reality a Dream
And Dreams, Reality-
E.D. 1884

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Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2009, 08:34:25 PM »

You can either add another deep and pyramid up, or put an empty box above the two boxes of brood and see if they expand up, or do a split.

Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
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Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.

« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2009, 08:44:09 PM »

The idea of the unlimited brood chamber is to give the queen as much space for brood as she desires whether that be 1-2-or 3 deeps or 4-5 mediums.  Theoretically there is nothing wrong with having 2 deeps and a medium as brood boxes but it becomes problematic when manipulating the hive.
A part of your solution lies in the fact that the outside frames of every brood box are dedicated to stores, frames 1 & 10 and often 1,2, 9, & 10.  Pulling those frames and splitting the brood chamber by inserting 2 new frames, in the 3 & 8 or 4 & 6 locations, will help keep the queen down and also keeps the brood chamber open reducing the likelyhood of swarming by forcing the bees to continuously drawing comb in the brood chambers.
Another method to do as you've already implied and that is to use an additional brood box of the same depth as what you are using so the brood chamber can be collapsed post harvest buy removing the storage combs in the lower brood boxes and dropping the brood frames from the upper most brood box down.  
As winter approached the brood chamber is reduced in size and is backfilled with honey to the point that would be considered honey bound in the summer.  Winter time is when being honey bound is a desired condition.

Hope that helps in some way.

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Two Bees
Field Bee
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Location: Central NC

« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2009, 08:57:31 PM »

I had a similar situation with one of my hives consisting of two deeps and a medium.  When I peeked into the medium on Friday, I had brood, honey, pollen, and a bunch of nurse bees.  I thought they had just moved up from the lower deep during the winter.  When I separated the two deeps, I found the same situation.....wall to wall.

So, I did performed a simulated swarm split and removed four frames heavy with brood and honey and placed them in a brand new deep hive body.  I found the queen on another frame and moved her over to the new split.   I put an entrance reducer in the bottom and a jar of 1:1 syrup on top and they are doing fine!

Funny thing though........I thought the bees in the donor hive would be restless since their queen was gone but that's not the case.  Observations yesterday and today indicate that they are flying a lot and bringing in pollen and nectar!


"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
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