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Long Lane Honey Bee Farms

Adding the next hive box

When To Add More Boxes To The Hive?

Adding the next box to your hive requires careful planning. Once you install your package of bees or nuc, your bees will begin to consume nectar from flowers or consume sugar water if you feed them. They will begin to produce wax from their wax glands and add it to your frames of foundation, drawing the foundation out to become drawn comb. Bees need to consume 8-11 pounds of nectar to produce just 1 pound of wax.

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When you first install your package or nuc, you will only want to use one deep hive body. Do not use more than one box.  If you use more, this can slow down the bee’s progress in drawing out comb and give extra, unprotected room for pests to hide in corners, like wax moth or small hive beetles. But the big question is how long should you wait until you add the second box. This applies whether you are using deep hive bodies for the brood area or medium sized boxes. Add your next box once the bees have drawn out 5-7 combs in their first box. How long this will takes depends upon the weather conditions and your individual bees. Inspect every two weeks to monitor your hive’s progress. 

After you have placed your second hive body on, wait until it has 5-7 drawn comb with bees on the comb and then add your super. When adding your super, it is a good idea NOT to put a queen excluder on under undrawn foundation. So first, place your super of new, undrawn frames on the hive and wait until the bees and started working a couple of frames and have drawn out one or two frames. Then, add your queen excluder under your honey super.

However, check each super frame to ensure the queen has not made her way into the super. If she has simply pick her up by her wings and release her between two frames in the deep hive body below then add your queen excluder, placing the super above the queen excluder.  If you do not want to handle your queen, try gently bumping the super frame she is on, shaking her into the deep hive body. But, I bet you will not see her up in the honey super if you catch the super with only one or two drawn comb.

Continue to add supers using this same idea, but be sure to wait until 5-7 frames are drawn out then add another super. I am frequently asked if the second honey super should be placed on top of the existing super or below it. Either way works. However, I prefer to place additional supers on top of existing supers. The filled super above the two deep brood nest area acts as a queen excluder. The queen seldom crosses the honey barrier of a full super. So by adding addition supers above a full one, I do not have to use a queen excluder. I have so much more informative beekeeping advice in my ONLINE BEEKEEPING COURSE.


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Phone: 217-427-2678. Check out our contact us page for our seasonal hours. 


 Please call us at 217-427-2678 to order or inquire about your packages of bees, beekeeping supplies or queens.


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 Mailing Address: Long Lane Honey Bee Farms


 14556 N. 1020 E. Rd

Fairmount, IL 61841 


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