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Author Topic: Adding brood space as opposed to honey supers  (Read 630 times)

Offline tjc1

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Adding brood space as opposed to honey supers
« on: July 28, 2014, 11:10:46 PM »
Here in the northeast, I'm wondering about adding brood space to an established hive - how do you know if it's necessary? I have a second year hive that did well in the spring but didn't swarm and is really booming. It now has two 10-frame deeps and two supers on (one of which I just extracted). How would I know if they needed more brood space? Is it likely with our season up here that a hive would ever need more brood space than 2 deeps?

Offline Steel Tiger

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Re: Adding brood space as opposed to honey supers
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 11:30:16 PM »
 Both of my hives have two deeps and three mediums. I suspect that one of the hives is using both deeps and a medium for brood. I believe Michael Palmer uses two deeps and a medium for brood as well. My own personal choice is, I try to keep a box ahead of the hives.

Offline Vance G

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Re: Adding brood space as opposed to honey supers
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 01:40:26 AM »
If you do the math of how many cells are in ten frame box, call it 76,000, a queen would have to lay 10600 eggs a day to use one brood box.  I think two is fine for brood and winter fodder. 

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Adding brood space as opposed to honey supers
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 10:33:52 PM »
Most of my brood nest manipulations would start in mid May and be over by mid June unless there were mitigating circumstances, like finding swarm cells... but then I'd probably split them.
Michael Bush
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Offline tjc1

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Re: Adding brood space as opposed to honey supers
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 11:45:35 PM »
Most of my brood nest manipulations would start in mid May and be over by mid June unless there were mitigating circumstances, like finding swarm cells... but then I'd probably split them.



Is that because population is peaking by mid June, so they won't likely need more brood space after that point?

Offline OldMech

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Re: Adding brood space as opposed to honey supers
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 11:56:11 PM »

   I have usually found that if a queen starts invading the supers, that the bees are backfilling the brood nest below her with pollen and nectar.  I had a hive with two deeps and four supers on it this year.. I ended up extracting two deeps and a medium because the queen was in the top three mediums with no brood below her..   Worked out fine for me, and apparently her.
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline MsCarol

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Re: Adding brood space as opposed to honey supers
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2014, 02:18:57 PM »

    I ended up extracting two deeps and a medium because the queen was in the top three mediums with no brood below her..   Worked out fine for me, and apparently her.

This only verifies the wisdom of my choice to use all medium boxes. I have both 8 and 10 frame but all mediums except for one deep that is not yet in use.

I can re-arrange frames without difficulties. Although I am still confused over just how much space they need for their own use before additional boxes can be considered "honey supers".

Some sources say the equivalent of 2 deeps, others say equal to 2 deeps and a medium, and there are those that are adamant that hives must be 3 full size deeps or more before any harvest.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Adding brood space as opposed to honey supers
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2014, 12:28:56 PM »
>Is that because population is peaking by mid June, so they won't likely need more brood space after that point?

Sort of.  The population is peaking by mid June because of the shift in the focus of the hive from spring build-up and possibly swarming, to putting away the crop for winter.  That change of focus is the root cause.
Michael Bush
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Offline Packrat3wires

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Re: Adding brood space as opposed to honey supers
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2014, 10:48:21 PM »
2 deep hive bodies should work.   Anything after that I would look at doing a split
"evil prevails when good men fail to act"   Edmund Burke