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Author Topic: Can one queen use two brood boxes?  (Read 388 times)

Offline Charles Wright

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Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« on: October 06, 2020, 05:00:42 pm »
Someone gave me something to think about. There are about 90, 000 cells in a deep brood box. At top capacity the queen is laying up to 2,000 eggs per day. Multiply that by 21 days that's only 42,000 cells. That's almost 50,000 cells left for honey pollen nectar and so on.  So what would you need a second brood box for?

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2020, 07:08:29 pm »

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Offline iddee

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Re: Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2020, 07:09:04 pm »
How many frames of honey, pollen, nectar does it take to feed a frame  of brood?

8 3/8" X 16 3/4" (21.59 cm X 42.55 cm) Wired Foundation.
The first "generation" of bees from a typical hive (artificially enlarged bees) usually builds about 5.1 mm cells for worker brood.

I think you need to do math a bit differently. A deep will contain closer to 3200 cells per side, or 6400 per frame.
10 frames, 64,000 cells.
42,000 X 150% = 63,000.

I don't think a hive can raise brood and feed adults, much less store excess, with 2/3 of the hive filled with brood
I would use more then just a single deep.
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Offline AR Beekeeper

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Re: Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2020, 02:39:18 pm »
A single 10 frame deep is sufficient for the laying ability of a queen during the time brood is being raised, but all the comb needs to be properly drawn out in worker cells. The side frames will be used for pollen and some honey, and the remaining 8 frames will be used for brood.

Depending on the nectar flows each colony will need 4 to 6 medium supers to store nectar and give living space for adult bees.  The comb will need to be comb from a previous nectar flow because the supers will need to be added very early in the season, usually before the bees will draw out foundation.  Early nectar will be used as it is brought in, but when the flow improves the surplus will go into the first super above the queen excluder.  The bees will move this nectar down to the brood area if it is needed, then it is replaced as the flow increases again.

Single chamber brood nest colonies must be checked regularly for swarming, they often show evidence of swarming sooner than double brood chamber colonies will.  Also, if the queen slows her egg laying the colony often will have frames that become pollen bound.

A single brood chamber colony can overwinter with the food stored in the single box, but it should be packed full with little empty space in October in my location.  It must be checked early in the next spring and the beekeeper must be ready to feed.  I find that leaving a full medium in addition to packing the deep full simplifies the early spring management.

The following spring the queen will be using both the medium and the deep boxes for brood, but when the queen excluder is placed over the deep to confine the queen below the brood above draws the adults from the lower box up.  Once they are working above there is no hesitation in working in the surplus supers.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2020, 04:33:00 pm »
.  Nailed it. 
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Offline JurassicApiary

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Re: Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2020, 11:11:18 pm »
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2020, 06:28:07 am »
We use single 8 frame deep brood boxes, if the pollen is really going then the bees will store pollen above the excluder.
As a migratory BK we try and keep bees on a honey flow all the time, the main word is try, but this allows us not too have large stores.
Also double brood makes shifting a lot harder if there is a super on as well.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2020, 02:54:50 pm »
Dzierzon, who I have the utmost faith in, says you can easily prove in the peak of the buildup the queen can lay 3,000 eggs a day.  Some of the brood nest is always pollen and some of it is nectar because the nurse bees need this to feed the brood.  So if two or three frame's worth is full of pollen and nectar that leaves seven or eight frames for brood.  The queen almost never lays up by the entrance on the bottom box.  So that's about another frame's worth.  She almost never lays in the outside frames either and they often go unused.

I give them all eight frame mediums and the queen is often laying in four boxes.
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Offline TheHoneyPump

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Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2020, 03:54:17 pm »
I agree with MB description of comb use.
My observations and experience:
- a lazy, poor, old, sick, or cripple queen is content in one deep box.
- any mediocre to half decent queen will easily expand into and use up two deep boxes.
- a good queen, healthy and vigorous, will absolutely demand 3 deep boxes. Or multiple/many splits. 
Bottom line is.  If you give her two boxes and she is not readily using and filling both - pinch her off.  If you constrain her to one box and she is any good at all, you will not have her long as she will leave (swarm) looking for a bigger house.

This is during height of early summer.  Later on as they slow and contract with the season they can be compressed back down into one box.

Imho
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2020, 06:17:30 pm »
I am intrigued with your explanations of queen capacity requirements.
If you are moving bees then is the honey supers removed and you shift the double brood or are they shifted as triples?
Some groups of bees have been to almonds, cherries and now Salvation Jane, so moving bees is part of our business. These bees shift as single deep brood and a super at 2 hives per pallet.
I am open to suggestions as to how to run more brood capacity.

We do rate queen/bees that use the outside frames to lay in, often they use the inside surface of the outside frame.
I appreciate that pollen stored above the excluder is lost when we take the honey, some hives may get the bonus of some pollen when they get the super of stickies with pollen.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2020, 06:06:58 pm »
No comment!
So are double brood boxes the realm of stationary BK's?

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2020, 08:17:53 pm »
Imho. 
If you are moving around a lot chasing pollination, you will be doing plenty of splits to manage overall hive size to match the model- ie singles.  Many smaller colonies make easier handling. Hives typically managed in 1 to 2 deep boxes high. 
If you are after large foraging forces to pull in massive amounts of honey in short period, you will not be splitting anywhere as much and focused on building large populations- ie doubles.  Fewer colonies, but massive ones. Hives are typically 5 to 8 deep boxes high.  Honey production hives are moved (migrate) as the flora changes over the season but much less so than pollination. Different purposes, different models, different population and equipment management.
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Can one queen use two brood boxes?
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2020, 05:44:02 am »
HP
When you want to shift to another honey flow and you are 5 high, how do you deal with that?
How long do you spend in one spot collecting honey?
I am interested in how you run double brood as most of Oz run single brood boxes as we have followed suit, knowing no different.
Our honey flows only last 4-6 weeks and if you are lucky sometimes another one will follow and you don't have to move.
At present we have bees on Pattersons curse/Salvation jane, next week they will shift 60 miles to blackberries for 4 weeks and then back to near home for River Redgum until the end of January.