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Author Topic: 2 Brood Boxes or 1 Brood Box for Honey Production????????  (Read 2513 times)

Offline Cossack

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     I have read several different theories on honey production. Some recommend 2 brood boxes to increase honey production. The idea is more workers will fill the supers faster.

     However, what I am discovering is the honey bees are using more honey and pollen to increase their numbers and not fill the supers. I have a huge work force and now that "the nectar flow is over" honey production has slowed considerably. The supers were only half full and some not used at all.

     This was a great year for pollen and nectar in Maryland. My goal was to increase my honey intake from last year. It appears that I will break even with last years production.

     Any other ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.......

I had a dream last night, I was eating a 10 pound marshmallow. I woke up this morning and the pillow was gone.....

Offline AllenF

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Re: 2 Brood Boxes or 1 Brood Box for Honey Production????????
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2011, 03:32:58 PM »
How old are your hives and do all the frames have drawn comb in the frames?   1 story going into a flow will force the most honey into your supers, but you may force swarms and you need to think about how you will make it into the winter.   2 story deeps are the most common for brood for a reason.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: 2 Brood Boxes or 1 Brood Box for Honey Production????????
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 04:16:45 PM »
< 2 story deeps are the most common for brood for a reason.

  :?
 Only been keeping seven seasons ---- but in my area I see very few beekeepers with a two deep configuration. Seems to be basically a region thing from area to area. Probably due to winter need and tmps etc. Ocassionally you see two deeps if they plan to split in the spring. I winter in a deep and 1-2 shallows.

Force swarms must be with excluders otherwords add supers.
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Offline RangerBrad

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Re: 2 Brood Boxes or 1 Brood Box for Honey Production????????
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2011, 06:40:38 PM »
I've ran 2 deeps the last couple of years and have found most of my honey remains in the deeps. Going to a deep and medium this year except for the hives I requeened with sunkist queens this summer as I've been told they need 2 deeps for brood production. Was informed by a local beek that if I'll run a deep and a med. instead of 2 deeps I'll make far more honey in my supers. Brad
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Offline hardwood

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Re: 2 Brood Boxes or 1 Brood Box for Honey Production????????
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 08:16:03 PM »
It depends on the strength of the colony and the strength of the flow. If you're not using excluders it doesn't matter.

Scott
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Offline sc-bee

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Re: 2 Brood Boxes or 1 Brood Box for Honey Production????????
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2011, 08:43:39 PM »
It depends on the strength of the colony and the strength of the flow. If you're not using excluders it doesn't matter.

Scott

My point exactly ;)
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Offline mikecva

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Re: 2 Brood Boxes or 1 Brood Box for Honey Production????????
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2011, 08:49:06 PM »
The honey production in parts of Virginia was poor this year due to the spring we had. My girls did very good in one yard and poor in another. I will be taking honey to the second yard so I can delay feeding artificially until late fall.  _mike
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Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: 2 Brood Boxes or 1 Brood Box for Honey Production????????
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2011, 09:54:29 PM »
Net honey production for the year depends on how much honey the bees make and how much they eat during the dearth.   And it's the number of bees during the flow that determines how much they make.

If you have one deep full of bees at the start of the flow and two deeps at the end of the flow, you won't do well because you had fewer bees making honey and lots of bees eating honey during the dearth.  But if you have two deeps at the beginning of the flow, they will generally reduce brood production during the flow and that frees up workers to forage.  You will make lots of honey.  Then by the time the dearth comes, you have a reduced population of bees eating honey because fewer bees were produced during the flow.

Bees that are well adapted to a particular climate will take care of the timing themselves.  But as a general rule, I would say that it's not just how many bees you have, but when you have the bees.  Build up early for a good harvest.
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Offline Cossack

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Re: 2 Brood Boxes or 1 Brood Box for Honey Production????????
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2011, 11:37:38 PM »
Thank You, ...... Sc-bee, RangerBrad, Allen F, hardwood, Mikecva, and FRAMEshift for your comments.

     The 2 brood boxes per hive wintered well with only one loss out of 12 hives. The brood boxes all were given a queen excluder in the Spring. When the nectar flow started I added a drawn super on each hive.  2 of the Hives filled the super and I added an additional super. The other 9 hives took 7 weeks to fill their drawn supers with honey. We had an amazing nectar flow and alot of pollen. I had 8 swarm calls and increased my Apiary to 19 hives total. I am just perplexed as to why they did not produce more honey.

     I even rotated the brood boxes in the spring to prevent swarming and fed with  pollen patties and honey-bee-healthy. However, still had a poor collection of supers on the hives. I am thinking about splitting them, adding a new queen and letting them winter out with 1 brood and one super.

Thanks Again.
I had a dream last night, I was eating a 10 pound marshmallow. I woke up this morning and the pillow was gone.....

Offline wayne

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Re: 2 Brood Boxes or 1 Brood Box for Honey Production????????
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2011, 01:09:09 AM »
  It also depends on how much forage there is to work. What fills a couple of supers on one hive will not show at all among a dozen.
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Offline RangerBrad

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Re: 2 Brood Boxes or 1 Brood Box for Honey Production????????
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2011, 11:50:58 AM »
Cossack, Did you find your upper hive body full of honey at the end of the flow as if they were working up filling everything with honey as they went leaving the supers for last? This is what I found. It appeared as if they had almost honey bound themselves( I do not spring feed so I know this was their production). When I did  my splits and removed deep frames of honey and replaced with empty frames of comb the brood production went through the roof. Unfortunatly the flow was over. I have since been warned of this by a local beek and also a commercial beek  with over 3000 hives. Brad
If the only dog you can here in the hunt is yours, your probaly missing the best part of the chase.