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Author Topic: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?  (Read 359 times)

Offline Captain776

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Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« on: April 19, 2017, 06:28:40 AM »
New to this, just working my first hive now.
When adding a second Brood Box, it appears everyone on these clips just adds a box on top of the one that is getting full.........that must work.
Seeing as how Bees prefer to work from the center out and the top down, do any of you put the second box on the bottom and the full box on top so they can continue their natural progression downwards?

Thanks,

Bruce
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline tjc1

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 09:26:59 AM »
The idea of new boxes on the bottom always struck me as being more 'natural' as you describe it, but my experience is that the bees seem to prefer moving up rather than down. It always seems that it's s job convincing them to go into a lower box, whereas the queen is happy to move up into the honey supers if you let her! Fortunately, it's also easier for the beekeeper to just put a new box on top rather than moving a lot of heavy full boxes (and disturbing the bees in the process) to get one on the bottom.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 11:07:53 AM »
It is easier to watch the progression when you place the box on the top.  In either case you will have to encourage them to accept the box no matter where it is if it is a new box without drawn comb.  When you are new you will always be lacking drawn comb.  so you have to provide the encouragement by pulling up or setting down a completed frame.  Way easier to pull up.  Bees use gravity to help them build so they build down normally.
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Offline cao

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 12:06:24 PM »
tjc1

I've heard somewhere that bees don't like empty space above the comb.  It makes sense to me.  In nature they attach the comb from the top and work down.  So when you add a box on top they naturally want to fill it.  Sometimes they need encouragement. 

Captain776

I would think it would be more natural adding the box to the bottom but the downside of lifting 5 boxes full of bees just to add an empty box is just too much.  I do sometimes add a box on the bottom when dealing with my 5 frame nucs.

Acebird

I agree.  I think the bees see the row of top bars as a barrier.  When you pull a frame from below it breaks that barrier.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 01:19:34 PM »
Yep, bees like to fill above space----It is what the principle of checkerboarding is based on:

http://www.beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=49041.msg431144#msg431144
John 3:16

Offline Acebird

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 01:30:31 PM »

Acebird

I agree.  I think the bees see the row of top bars as a barrier.  When you pull a frame from below it breaks that barrier.

They will see that same barrier if the box is on the bottom too.  Once it has drawn comb in it there won't be a barrier no matter where it is placed.
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Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 06:23:30 PM »
It is easier to watch the progression when you place the box on the top.  In either case you will have to encourage them to accept the box no matter where it is if it is a new box without drawn comb.  When you are new you will always be lacking drawn comb.  so you have to provide the encouragement by pulling up or setting down a completed frame.  Way easier to pull up.  Bees use gravity to help them build so they build down normally.

I am a pretty new beek but I have never had to put drawn comb to encourage them to go up. They have just seemed to have done it when things got full.

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2017, 08:14:46 PM »
I have run warre hives in the past. They practice under supering. I now run langs. I can tell you that bees will move either way but bees seem to move up better.  Some will argue that bees move down naturally and anything else will be overly stressful for bees. I don't know how to measure stress but I do know that bees have swarmed rather than move down and move down slower than up. It's less lifting to put on top. I'd also argue that bees have no choice in nature. They will also move laterally in the right cavity. That is another situation where they can do it but I think it offers another set of challenges, especially in colder climates.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2017, 09:05:08 PM »
They have just seemed to have done it when things got full.
Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.  When they don't they will be in the trees.  If you take just that little bit of time to encourage them to cross the barrier you have no worries.  Your choice.
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Offline Captain776

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2017, 09:05:33 PM »
When it is time, I will add it on top like it has been done for many years and it is a good point that you would have to lift everything else off to do inspection.
When I put a second Brood Box, I will be using new frames with full sheet of waxed and wired foundation.
I am planning on moving 2 frames of bees into the second Brood Box and put 2 waxed frames in the bottom Brood Box and see what happens..........maybe they all just move back to the bottom until the 2 new frames are drawn down and then they will be used to having the second box there and will easily move up and get going.......I hope.
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2017, 09:26:51 PM »
When it is time, I will add it on top like it has been done for many years and it is a good point that you would have to lift everything else off to do inspection.
When I put a second Brood Box, I will be using new frames with full sheet of waxed and wired foundation.
I am planning on moving 2 frames of bees into the second Brood Box and put 2 waxed frames in the bottom Brood Box and see what happens..........maybe they all just move back to the bottom until the 2 new frames are drawn down and then they will be used to having the second box there and will easily move up and get going.......I hope.
Most likely the two you move up will have brood and they won't leave it.  Soooooooooooooooo don't do it unless there is enough bees and then it is a no brainer.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 09:14:24 AM »
They have just seemed to have done it when things got full.
Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.  When they don't they will be in the trees.  If you take just that little bit of time to encourage them to cross the barrier you have no worries.  Your choice.

Thanks. I will for sure from now on not let them move to the trees. No point in chasing a swarm when you don't have to.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 10:17:15 AM »
Bees move to where there is room.  They only work down in nature, there is no other possibility in a tree, so saying they don't like to work down makes no sense.  If you add the box to the top you can easily see when it's full.  If you add the box to the bottom you can't check on it so easily, but they actually work better down when the weather is still chilly because they don't like to leave the cluster.  It takes heat to draw wax.  Once the weather is warmer it doesn't really matter except for the extra work to add them to the bottom.  When doing foundationless I add the 2nd box to the bottom because they don't like to leave the cluster and comb build up from the bottom doesn't turn out well.  After the 2nd box I add the rest to the top.  Bees want to store honey over the brood nest.  If the empty space is at the bottom, the bees store honey overhead and this pushes the queen down.  If you add empty space at the top they have somewhere to store the honey and they may not push the queen down.
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Offline GSF

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Re: Second Brood Box ----on top or bottom?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2017, 12:54:30 PM »
Bees move to where there is room my experience as well.
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