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Author Topic: The Flow is on....and one brood box or two?  (Read 1036 times)
the-ecohouse.com
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« on: December 29, 2011, 05:24:22 AM »

Hi Guys

just spend yesterday and today taking more honey, i cant believe how fast the girls are drawing out these new frames and capping them off.
I have even had to drop 3 new nucs due to the amount of bees in some of the boxes, they are still drawing swarm cells this time of the year... amazing.

Now here's the question... I run two 10fr double deeps a queen excluder, then two Manleys on top.

Recently though i have gone back to two different combinations

one 10 fr deep a queen exlcuder another 10fr deep and then two Manelys boxes. 
(i like this as i can pull capped brood deep frames up from the brood box and keep it open.

One 10 fr deep queen excluder and then two Manleys.
(I like this because they rip into honey production strait away)


What does everyone else do? and Why?



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prestonpaul
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 09:10:27 PM »

I am interested in this as well, as a first year I am confused about the use of Queen excluders, my biggest worry is swarming and how to go about keeping room in the brood nest for the queen to lay, from what I understand, it is common practice in Aus to run a single brood box, then a queen excluder, then honey supers. However going on where my hives are at right now that seems like a recipie for swarming as my bottom boxes are full of capped brood and the boxes above have a couple of frames of brood as well as frames of honey so unless I spend every inspection shuffling frames around I don't see how to keep room in a single deep brood nest for the queen to lay. At the moment I am not using queen excluders, and apart from making sure there is room in the brood box and supers, and pulling any undrawn our unused frames in to the middle, I am letting the bees work out what is best for them. I am running all 8 frame deep boxes so it is no problem to shuffle frames around when it comes to harvest time so i can get the frames of honey and leave brood behind but I'm wondering if I should be doing anything differently now?
Cheers.
Paul.
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Lone
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 10:33:42 AM »

Hello,

I don't really know what it is like here in the "desert", where bees have to live on rocks and dirt, to have too many bees or too much honey, but I do know there is more than one way to skin a cat (or a bee).  My bees have never swarmed which is more the terrible conditions than good management, I fear.

Why don't you blokes go for a little extra brood room and then some nice honey super/s on top, depending on how often you are able to extract.  Most I've seen round here limit it to one deep brood super and one deep honey super for convenience (directly related to those aforementioned terrible conditions, I suppose).  Our hive stands need to be high here because of the ants and cane toads, so extra height becomes harder to manage.

Do you see much difference in numbers of bees or honey supply in your 3 combos, Eco?  This might help others make decisions if you can record your findings about each hive.  Are you saying in your 2nd combo you make extra brood space by taking capped brood above the excluder so you can put an empty frame below? (careful it is capped..I've read here that is ok but eggs or young larvae and you risk a second queen being brought out)

Paul, is every one of the 8 frames in the brood super completely full of brood?  The bees can move honey around if they need more space there.  Remember bees are hatching all the time and freeing up cells again.  Have you thought of doing splits which will take some brood away and increase your amount of colonies too if you want to?  I use an excluder so I am only assuming you are more at risk of a top laying queen too, which I've had a couple of times even with an excluder.  If that doesn't happen, you'll just need to sort out the honey from the brood frames.  The risk is disturbing or squishing the queen seeing as you manipulate the frames where she might be more often.  I don't know if you've gone through a Melbourne Winter with them either, but beekeepers do try to put the brood together to keep them warmer, with full honey frames on the sides.  If you have brood in the honey box you might be putting empty stickies next to them more often.  I am trying not to extoll the virtues of an excluder, but I am personally more comfortable using them.  If you are still worried about lack of brood room, the other option is to go vertical with another super.

The other question is, too much brood, do the resources go more to the brood than honey making?  Maybe someone has an answer to this.

Lone
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2011, 07:02:35 PM »

Thanks for your reply Lone.
The two hives in question, hive one has brood on all 8 frames and hive 2 has 7 frames of brood and one of polen. They are on the first real flow I've had since getting them at the moment, hive one had a second super placed on it a couple of days ago as the first was nearly full. I've yet to go through a winter yet, but my plan such as it is, is to condense them down to one box with frames of honey on the outside as you say, but I would be interested in hearing what others in a similar climate do.
I guess my real question is how does one decide to run a single or double brood box?
I am thinking that since the bees are so prolific at the moment, I should be running a double and next visit I will probably slip a queen excluder between the first and second honey supers and see how they go with that. But am definately open to suggestions. I am not sure that I want to do any splits at the moment, I have 4 hives now, and I think that is probably enough for the time being.

Sorry for hijacking your thread Eco, but I think in a roundabout way, we are both asking the same thing grin
Cheers.
Paul.
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the-ecohouse.com
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2012, 04:01:09 AM »

Hey Lone

I'm finding the ones with two brood have to be constantly split to avoid swarming. the ones with one deep brood seem to be going better, there is a shed load of bees in both...neither like the queen excludes, and do everything to avoid moving above them...apart from the italians..go figure.

yep in the second combo i have to make space by pulling the frames up to avoid congestion (only capped brood).


no worries Paul. your not hijacking it plus were all here to learn
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