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Author Topic: New package, placement of 2nd brood box  (Read 813 times)
GSF
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« on: July 03, 2013, 08:17:09 PM »

Yall bare with me, I'm confusing myself. About 3 days ago I added the second brood box to my 3+ week old package. I had been feeding them sugar water (as of today I stopped) so they pretty much filled the first one up.

I'm reading one day to put the new brood box on top because they build up. The next time I read someone says to place it on the bottom because they build down huh Does it really matter?
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njfl
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 10:27:53 PM »

You definitely want to put the new brood box on the top.  They will draw out the comb just fine.  Also, the queen will have a tendency to crawl up into the upper hive body.  When a majority of the brood is in the upper hive body, reverse the boxes.

And it is good you stopped feeding them.  Sounds like they're doing fine!
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 01:07:07 AM »

You didn't say if you're using foundation or not. I went foundationless. I put my second boxes on top of the brood and the bees drew out the comb and filled it with honey as fast as it was built.  I'm assuming that the queens didn't want to travel the empty space to get to the new comb (5 inches or so). Last Saturday I added a box under each brood nest with hopes that the queens will travel down and lay eggs as the comb is being drawn out. I'll check to see if it's working out in 9 more days.
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2013, 01:48:32 AM »

Yall bare with me, I'm confusing myself. About 3 days ago I added the second brood box to my 3+ week old package. I had been feeding them sugar water (as of today I stopped) so they pretty much filled the first one up.

The next time I read someone says to place it on the bottom because they build down huh Does it really matter?

To fill combs in the middle of summer. A bad habit.

Beginners hardly can estimate when to add second box, then puting the box under is a good habit.


I wonder how 3 weeks old package needs so much room because new bees have not started to emerge.

It is better to let bees forage its own food and they will have more cells to lay.

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GSF
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2013, 05:52:13 AM »

Steel Tiger; They are foundation.

Finski; Lack of experience may have put me between a rock and a hard place. There was little room left in the first super. Quite a bit of brood and honey(sugar water). More honey sugar water than brood.

I got to thinking about the placement of the box after I posted this. Don't know if it adds up, but when the bees start building new comb on a foundationless frame obviously they would start from the top. latch on, and build down. Don't know if that adds up or not. At least the foragers know it's there. The entrance is at the bottom and they have to climb through it to get to the top.
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 06:43:29 AM »

You will be better to wait until the first box is full of bees. not syrup, before adding the second box. Lay off the feed. If you add a second box and it's full of honey and not enough bees to cover, hive beetles will seal your doom. Finski is right, in three weeks your bee numbers have been steadilly declining. Be careful.
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GSF
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 07:53:04 AM »

Here's my logic (correct me if it's wrong) I'm thinking they won't lay anymore until they have more frames to build on. The queen release was about 23 days ago. It seemed to me there was a lot of brood/capped brood cells. In my line of thinking the population is fixing to start increasing pretty good.

Do you suggest I remove the new brood box? (placed about 4 days ago)

How often should one inspect a hive and it not be harassment?
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sterling
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2013, 03:57:59 PM »

You definitely want to put the new brood box on the top.  They will draw out the comb just fine.  Also, the queen will have a tendency to crawl up into the upper hive body.  When a majority of the brood is in the upper hive body, reverse the boxes.

And it is good you stopped feeding them.  Sounds like they're doing fine!

If you think the bees had rather brood up then down then why would you go against their nature and reverse the boxes after they have built what they want.? Bees normally store pollen in the lower box in late summer and that is because that is where they want it.
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njfl
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2013, 02:39:24 PM »

Sterling, switching the boxes is following their nature, especially if you want to enhance brood rearing.  It's not that they choose the second box because they'd rather be there, but that the queen will have a tendency to lay, then continue laying while moving into the upper box.

Some believe this also reduces their instinct to swarm.  In my experience this does help somewhat, but not enough to make it a "rule".

No one has mentioned a queen excluder. On the hives that I do not have a queen excluder, I am more vigilant about switching boxes to make sure the queen doesn't move up into the honey supers.
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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2013, 02:59:04 PM »

Quote
Sterling, switching the boxes is following their nature, especially if you want to enhance brood rearing.

i have never opened a wall to see that the bees have switched the position of the comb.  neither have i opened one and found that the bees have built comb upward.

yes, you probably jumped the gun on adding another box but you don't say what size boxes you are using.  if they are mediums, you are ok with what you did.  if they are deeps, check what buzzbee posted. he pretty much covered it.

bees build comb down and move back up into the top of the  boxes as winter comes.  they fill the combs from top down with food, that's why you put honey supers on top.  also, the queen will not often cross honey, so if the box you have on has lots of honey/syrup stored and you put a new box over it, she probably will not move up to lay.  you can fix that by pulling a couple of the frames up into the new box and replacing them with empty frames.  that gives her a way to go up.
it is my preference to put new boxes under.
it's a little harder to watch what's going on in the new box when you put it under, but most of the time you can check it by pulling some frames from the top box and looking down into the bottom with a flashlight.  most of what you need to know, you will see that way.

feeding:  the only way to know if you need to feed is to get in there and look.  the idea that they won't take it if they don't need it is bunk.  they will take it and they will fill up the brood nest.  then they'll swarm on you for sure.  if you look and you see that they are filling up with syrup STOP FEEDING.  same when there is a flow on.  you have to check and get room in there before it becomes a crisis.
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2013, 03:02:33 PM »

More honey sugar water than brood.

If you have frames with mere food, take them away.
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2013, 03:22:54 PM »

>>Sterling, switching the boxes is following their nature, especially if you want to enhance brood rearing.  It's not that they choose the second box because they'd rather be there, but that the queen will have a tendency to lay, then continue laying while moving into the upper box.
Of course you can put boxes where ever you want switch them whenever you want use queen excluders ect. But it is a stretch to say that is following their nature.

following their nature:
If you are going to follow their nature then put the box on the bottom and leave them to follow their nature and build as they want.
I have cut out a couple hives in trees and the way it looked by the age of the comb they started their comb at the top and built down. There was no evidence that they ever had a queen excluder or swapped any comb from top to bottom.
One of those trees BTW had a ten foot hollow and the tree split. It was easy to see the age of the comb as you looked from top to bottom. Old comb was at the top naturally.
The other tree was cut down and a fairly new established hive all comb was at the top naturally.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2013, 03:49:01 PM »

Finnski nailed it.  Take  a couple of the trash sugar water frames out and replace them with foundation for the second cohort of brood.  You only have about 5 frames of bees.  The first bee layed are just now hatching.  The hive numbers will continue to drop for about a week.

If you have 20 frames, and only a small number of bees, the hive beetles are going to eat your lunch.  If you don't have SHB, robbing bees are going to find the undefendable sugar frames and eat your lunch.

You can save the sugar water frames to feed back once the hive build up.
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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2013, 03:57:59 PM »

Finnski nailed it.  Take  a couple of the trash sugar water frames out

And sugar is not so expencive. Wash the sugar off from combs off and give space to lay. You loose couplre of dollars but you win tens. Extractor would make the job easily.
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GSF
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2013, 08:53:55 PM »

It's not that I'm trying to stand my ground I'm trying to paint a better picture. I do understand about the sugar water being cheap and agree. I looked once again at the pictures I took about a week ago. Out of 8 frames only one had almost nothing on it at all except a little sugar water up top. One was pretty much sugar water, one was pretty much sugar water with just a few brood looking cells. The rest was a mixture. Two or three were 70 to 80% covered with brood - honey/pollen around the outside of brood. The others were 50, 60, maybe 70% brood with sugar water/pollen surrounding the brood.

When looking at some of the you tube video's my bee count doesn't even compare, understandably it being a 4 week old package. I do have a great concern about my girls being able to hold their ground with that few number. Hive beetles are present now. It didn't rain much after lunch. I was out there a few minutes before it started sprinkling good. I killed a half dozen hive beetles trying to get in the hive. I have a mote to keep ants out and found a half dozen beetles in there as well.

I'm beginning to think the mote isn't such a good idea because I find a half dozen dead bees in it every day. I don't know if they drowned or it was just their time.

So here's my concerns; If I leave the hive with two supers then the hive beetles/robbers/whatever will take my hive out. If I reduce it back to one frame then I'm scared they'll swarm. My next off day will be next Friday. I plan to drive up to Trussville and get me one of those beetle traps (IPK Beetle Trap from green beehives)

Tell me with this description which path would you take. I want to make this work, I enjoy the heck out of watching them bring in but loads of pollen. Drawing from my 4 weeks of bee keeping experience  lau It seems to me that adding another super was my only choice. Thanks everyone for your replies so far. gary
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kathyp
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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2013, 11:12:26 PM »

you are adding a brood box, right?  not a honey super.

and what size boxes did you use for brood?
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« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2013, 02:05:42 AM »

. Out of 8 frames only
1- one had almost nothing
2-. One was pretty much sugar water,
 3 -one was pretty much sugar water with just a few brood looking cells.
4-8 Two or three were 70 to 80% covered with brood - honey/pollen around the outside of brood. The others were 50, 60, maybe 70% brood with sugar water/pollen surrounding the brood.

That is very sharp picture what you hive has

It is quite full.
It tells that bees cannot store nerctar or pollen in frames .
But after a week, propably, new bees start to emerge and things will change.

Take those 2 and 3 frames off and put them somewhere to wait for enlargening of new bees.
Give them two foundations that they have some free space there.

Hive is stucked and they may swarm at this situation. The best would bee extract the surgar from combs but it would only make the extractor dirty.
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njfl
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« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2013, 01:48:35 PM »

Of course bees build from the top down in nature. They neither have frames nor foundation.  If we really wanted to follow their nature we wouldn't be using Langstroth hives at all.  My purpose in using Langstroths is to get the most honey production.

In my experience switching the hive bodies helps with brood rearing, which means more honeybees.
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Finski
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« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2013, 11:18:04 PM »

my 3+ week old package.

This does not need much philosophy. The colony is very young and nothing happens in the hive before new bees emerge.
Beekeepers MUST fit the space according the colony size. Otherwise build up will be very slow.

5 frames bees , but perhaps soon one box.

The worst you can do is to feed sugar to the colony. It is summer now, and let the colony do the job.
You cannot accelerate colony growt with feeding.

You do not need new combs more than bees need.

Bee colony takes its time to develope.

Next cycle is that the colony makes one box full of brood. You can spoil it with feeding the combs full of sugar. And where to they put then the brood?

Give second box under the brood box. Bees occupy it then they are ready. Again, don't feed, don't encourage. Just follow the natural course and learn.

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