How to Know When to Add a Second Honey Super Or Brood Box?

Every beekeeper faces certain dilemmas sooner or later. Making the right decision about adding second honey super is one of them. Growing your hive is every beekeeper’s goal, and this is done by adding boxes at the right time.

So How Do You Know If You Should Add A Second Honey Super To Your Hive?

Second Honey Super should be added when the bees are almost completely stripped and filled up the frame in the existing box. How quickly this happens depends on the overall strength of the hive and the availability of pollen and nectar.

This can be very confusing for beginners as it seems very vague as to when to do this. This is exactly what I will discuss in this article.

What Is The Difference Between An Brood Box And A Honey Super?

When it comes to terminology, new beekeepers can have many questions, whether there is an actual difference between an Brood Box and a honey super is one of them. Let’s start answering this question by examining the makeup of a typical hive:

  1. At the very bottom we have the floor or entrance. This is basically a slab with raised edges on three sides. The fourth page is the input, which can be customized with input blocks.
  2. Next we have the Brood Box. This is the heart of the colony. It consists of a comb-like frame. This is where we find the queen and lay her eggs – hence the name Brood Box, because this is where the young are brooded. There are many different Brood Box sizes depending on the type of hive and the number and size of frames used.
  3. The next layer may contain an Queen excluder. This is a board placed between the Brood Box and the honey super. It has holes that only worker bees can pass through. They are too small for the queen to pass.. That’s how worker bees are raised in brood boxes, the top boxes only used to store honey.
  4. The next layer may contain a honey super. This is where bees store excess honey. Typically, super Brood Boxs are smaller or flatter than Brood Boxs. The reason for the smaller size is that once filled with honey, it is easier to pick up. Fill up with honey and the box can get heavy!
  5. There may be a lid on top.
  6. Finally, hive is roofed.

The truth is that any hive box can be called a super. It all depends on its purpose. The Brood Box can also be used as a honey super. The only problem is that when filled with honey, they can get very heavy, up to 60 pounds in some cases.

There are some hives with different shapes, but most hives follow the above structure.

When Is The Right Time To Add An Brood Box?

At the beginning of your beekeeping season, you only have one Brood Box.

In order to make an informed decision about when to add a second box, you need to regularly check the condition of the hives. They will be empty at first.

Bees begin pulling the comb cell by cell, starting in the middle and extending to the outer frame.

After that, they started building the brooding room and applying honey to the frame.

It is important to know what the drawn frame looks like. When the bees pull out the comb, they apply wax to the edges of the wooden frame.

When you have 5 or 6 painted frames in a 10-frame Brood Box, you want to add another Brood Box. You don’t have to wait until they all pull out all the frames, as this may lead to swarming.

How To Add A Second Brood Box?

Adding a second Brood Box, also known as a second deep hive, was easier than expected. There are a few things to consider:

Take the two empty frames from the new box and set them aside.

Remove two brooders from the first brooder and place them in the middle of the second brooder.

Place the two empty frames outside the first box.

Finally, place the second box on top of the first.

The reason we moved the frame with the brood to the second brood is to motivate the bees to move up. Adding a second completely empty box doesn’t immediately make the bees move up every time.

Note that it is not necessary to place the queen bee on the frame you put in the second box, but it is recommended that you make sure to move at least one frame with the brood.

When Is The Best Time To Add A Second Super Honey?

The Super Honey is a flatter box that is only used to collect honey.

My advice is to always add a second brooder before adding the honey top as this will create a stronger hive and give the queen more room to lay her eggs.

Check the condition of the frame in the second Brood Box again. When you take out between six and eight of them, put the honey on top to give the bees more room.

Eventually they will also start filling out the first super. At this point, you may need to add a second Super so they can continue harvesting and storing honey.

How To Add A Second Super Honey?

Adding a second super honey is not much different than adding a second Brood Box. In fact, it can be considered easier because you don’t actually have to follow any set rules.

  • You don’t have to worry about swapping frames between the first and second super.
  • First remove the first super (a bit of padding).
  • Put your second super on the Brood Box. That’s how the bees started working on it.
  • Then you can go ahead and put the first super on top of the second.

If your hive is particularly strong, you might consider adding a deeper honey super (same size as the Brood Box).

Whether the second honey super should be placed on top of or below the first is usually a matter of personal preference. So you can try it, putting it under the first honey super worked fine for me.

Thanks for reading the post and let me know if you have any questions.

Read more: How To Start Beekeeping? (A Complete Guide To Beekeeping)

Read more: Beekeeping And First Time Around So Many Bees

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