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Thread: Single or Double brood ?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default Single or Double brood ?

    Hi all,
    Firstly quick apology, more than likely the following query has been asked and answered many times already with many variations on the answer. And I guess that's my problem. So I have been researching whether to stay on single brood through summer and winter or move onto double.( also searched this forum) I have had and read plenty advise stating the virtues of singe brood management and plenty advise stating that double brood is the way to go, advise to go double has been from experienced bee farmers 40 years plus who explained the buckfast bees I have are prolific and need double brood . My "gut" instinct is to stay on single this year ( my first year beekeeping) as might be easier to manage and to just ensure supers are put on early if they fill up single brood box to quick I.E. in next week or so. My x 2 hives are in central FIFE , any clarification as to best option would be welcomed.

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    I'm down the road from you and try and keep all my colonies on single brood for ease of management. However, those that get to fill a double box collect more honey. Prolific bees in a single box are a recipe for swarming. Commercials are much better at maintaining large colonies - better than most amateurs and much better than beginning beekeepers. Don't underestimate the amount of lifting involved in managing double boxes ... and the additional time taken during inspections.

    14x12's perhaps, though that introduces another frame size and incompatibility is the pain that keeps on hurting for beekeepers.

    PS Meant to add ... many of my single boxes have at least 2 supers on now and I routinely successfully overwinter in single boxes. Actually, over the years I think I more successfully overwinter in singles.
    Last edited by fatshark; 05-07-2019 at 08:30 PM. Reason: PS

  3. #3
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    Hi, thanks for the reply, yep mind made up, single brood ( this year) due for inspection tomorrow, if 80% full, then ill add a super, cheers.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    The question I would ask you is how many frames of brood do you have in your brood box now? Colonies will be starting to slow down their brooding now as we are past the longest day so the brood nest us unlikely to increase much. Note that 1 frame of brood gives 3 frames of bees, so they may need a super now just to give the bees room. If you are hoping for some honey over the next few weeks, then a super is the way to go. Once the honey is off - then you can use a super for winter stores along with the brood box.
    Read this for winter preparation tips.
    I am in the southern tip of Scotland, over 300 miles south of you, so my weather is different to you so the bees will behave differently, however you should anticipate that Buckfast bees will need more than a National brood box in a full year.

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