Brood Box | Facts & How To Use

The success of your hives depends on the quality of your brood box. There is no queen producing eggs without a brood box. In the absence of a queen and her eggs, there is no need for workers to remain. They won’t, in fact. Bees will soon leave a hive without a queen in pursuit of a new colony with a queen in place.

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What Is a Brood Box?

Brood Box
A Brood Box

The queen bee and her eggs are kept in a single-layer brood box. With a thin screen, it’s often situated at the bottom of the stack, away from the honey supers. Brood boxes are used by beekeepers depending on the type of honey bees they keep, the size of the colony, and even the season.

The queen and all of her eggs are kept in a brood box, which is a single-level container. Most often, the brood box sits further down in the stack, separated from the supers by a mesh screen. Workers and queens can see each other, but there is no direct interaction between them.


What Is the Size of a Brood Box?

Deep hive bodies are typically 19 7/8″ long, 16 1/8″ wide, and 9 5/8″ high. You need to choose a brood box (hive body) that is compatible with the rest of your hive infrastructure.

Depending on your requirements, you can choose from ordinary, half, or double-sized brood boxes.

Smaller brood boxes are preferred by certain beekeepers, whereas larger ones are preferred by others. As far as brood box size, it’s entirely up to you.


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What Does a Beehive Consist of:

  • The hive’s perch (to keep the hive off the ground)
  • This is the base of the board (to collect debris)
  • Reducer for the entrance (for protection)
  • Rack with slatted rails (for ventilation)
  • A brooding crate ( to house the queen)
  • Brood supers, at least one (to house the brood)
  • Honey super excluder (to prevent the queen from crawling in)
  • Honey, thank you very much (a place for bees to make honey)


What Are Supers?

The worker bees need a location to store honey, and supers fulfill this function for them. This is where a lot of first-time beekeepers get confused about what they need to do. They come to the conclusion that more honey means more beekeepers.

Although this is accurate in a purely technical sense, it may not be in your best interest to install all of your supers at the beginning of the game. Supers, which are short for “superstructure,” are the boxes used to store surplus honey and are placed on top of the brood chamber (also known as the brood box).

To put it another way, the super is any additional boxes that are stacked on top of the “year-round” structure of the hive, which is the portion of the colony that is exposed to the elements year-round. Because bees prefer to store honey in a honeycomb at the highest possible elevation, honey supers are typically attached to the top of the beehive.

Beekeepers will have easy access to the honey in this manner, and they won’t have to remove any other elements of the beehive to do so.


Read also: How Long Do Bees Live?


What Is the Size of a Super?

Traditionally, supers are either medium-sized boxes (with a height of 6 5/8 inches) or shallow-sized boxes (with a height of 5 3/4 inches). The supers that are used in Langstroth beehives are normally 9 5/8 inches broad and 18 34 inches long.

Although commercial supers for top bar hives can be constructed in a range of sizes, the most common dimensions are approximately 18 inches in length and 10 and one-half inches wide. Additionally, the depth of the super will differ from one hive to the next depending on where it is being used. In most cases, Langstroth beehives make use of supers that have a depth of either 6 or 8 12 inches.


What Are the Differences Between a Brood Box and a Super?

Especially if you aren’t a beekeeper, it’s easy to get the supers and the brood box mixed up in your head. In spite of the fact that both of these things serve a function, there are important distinctions between them that every beekeeper ought to be aware of.

S/N Brood Boxes Supers
1. Queen bees need somewhere to live while they are laying eggs, so they lay their eggs in brood boxes. Honey is often kept in a hive called a super.
2. A beekeeper will store their queen bee and their brood in something called a “brood box,” which is a type of container. A beekeeper will position a “super” on top of a brood box in order to increase the amount of honey that can be harvested from the hive.


What Are the Things to Consider When Adding a Brood Box?

Adding a small brood box to the bottom of your hive can help you expand your colony if it becomes too large for its current home. The bees will be able to store honey and raise new brood with the addition of the little brood box.

You may help keep your bees happy and healthy by adding a tiny brood box. In many types of beehives, brood chambers are an essential component. They are necessary for the development as well as the production of eggs.

When adding a brood box, there are a few factors that you need to keep in mind, including the following:


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  • The Condition of the Hive

The actual conditions that exist within the hive are yet another factor to take into consideration. The honey bee prefers to spend as much time as it can in a nice and warm environment.

Therefore, if you offer them an excessive amount of room, they will have to do more effort in order to keep the appropriate temperature and CO2 volume. Honey production is going to decrease as a direct result of this action.

Additionally, it will slow down the expansion of the hive. Because of this, it is recommended that one begin beekeeping with a single brood box and merely two or three supers stacked on top of it. As the colony expands, you will have the opportunity to add additional supers.

If you are able to determine the exact amount of space that your colonies require at various times during the season, you will have a much easier time regulating their productivity.

An excessively high rate of brood production might lead to the addition of a second brood box, which would ultimately lead to an even greater number of bees.

  • The Condition of the Climate

When it comes to beekeeping, climate plays a significant role, particularly when it comes to the addition of a brood box. The bees will remain inside the hive during colder weather, which will result in a reduction in the amount of honey they produce.

On the other hand, warmer weather will encourage the bees to become more active and productive. You’ll need to take a varied strategy to brood boxes, depending on the environment where you live. If you reside in an area that experiences a cooler environment, you should keep a close eye on the brood box during the springtime.

Due to the fact that she has to repopulate the colony, the queen will be laying the most eggs during this time. You will also be required to remove it in the late summer or early spring when activity levels are expected to decline again.

  • Your Harvest Periods

If you don’t have the time to harvest the honey as soon as the supers are full, the bees will start storing honey in the brood box instead.

Therefore, the quantity of brood boxes required is contingent upon the harvesting schedule you choose to follow. Honey should be gathered as soon as it is practicable, if at all possible. In that case, you might want to think about purchasing an additional brood box.

  • The Condition of the Queen

It is impossible to provide a satisfactory response to the subject of brood boxes without first seeing your queen. The ordinary queen bee has just enough strength to keep up with one brood box’s worth of responsibilities.

Therefore, even if the area that you provided with your supers is no longer sufficient for the colony’s needs, adding a second brood box might not be necessary. You are obligated to investigate the condition of the mother by examining the original brood box.

Do not add a second box if she is unable to keep up with the pace. It is highly likely that an older queen will have difficulty filling two brood boxes with her offspring. The more youthful queens will have an easier time keeping up.

This indicates that the number of brood boxes you utilize may change on a regular basis depending on the age of the queen bee in your colony.


Tip-Off: How Many Brood Boxes Should I Have?

To begin, most beginner beekeepers simply require a single brood box. If the bees start to run out of room, you can always add another hive or even half of one.

Using one or two brood boxes is generally considered to be the best practice across the globe. It’s possible that using three or more will do more harm than good to the bees. The best option is to divide a huge hive into two smaller ones.

All of the beehive’s most important activities take place in the brood box, as was previously stated. It’s the queen’s home and the place where she lays her eggs. Every beekeeper knows that at some point, they will have to decide whether or not to add a second brood box to their hive. You’ve already learned that the solution isn’t clear-cut by reading this entire post up to this point.

It is governed by the number of eggs the queen lays in a 23-day cycle that determines the size of the brood box It takes 21 days for an egg to develop into a worker bee. The cell must be fixed before it can be utilized again once the new worker bee emerges.

Thank you for reading!

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