Example of capped honey in frames previously used for brood


This season I used an approach for one hive of capturing a swarm in an Ideal super and then re-introducing the super to the hive at a later point in time, where the remaining brood hatched and the frame was back-filled with honey.

Below shows the difference in appearance between a frame that has been used exclusively in supers for honey storage, and one that has been brooded in and then moved into the supers.

What did you do in your apiary today?
Colour of the capped brood

Hello RBK,

Thanks for the pictures, I take it that the top one has only been used as a super? Using ideals as brood is part of my longer term plan. To the best of my knowledge I still have a good back, but busting post 55 is not part of the plan. Top looking frames by the way.




Correct, top one has only been in the super.

Personally (just my observation/thoughts) I am not totally convinced they are well suited as brood frames. My primary concern is that, proportionally, the bees use too much space for the honey arc / pollen around the brood reducing the laying space.

Specifically this space… which then also appears to impact how wide on the frame the queen will lay.

In this example you can see that there is little brood out to the edges (this frame was from the brood box under an excluder in a 2 x ideal configuration). I am sure someone could find an image to contradict this (please do!) because I have also seen Ideal frames filled far more thoroughly than this.

Comparatively, this is a deeper frame (not trying to plug this frame depth specifically, the same can be seen on a full depth Langstroth… I just didn’t have any pictures on hand!). Proportionally, you get more brood for only a slightly larger arc around the top of the frame.

You could definitely give multiple Ideal boxes for brood a go. I am told Tasmania use Ideal exclusively for both brood and supers… so it must work! :smiley:. If you want to go shallower in brood because of weight, you could also try the WSP (William Samuel Pender) depth frames which are essentially 3/4 Langstroth depth and in between full depth and Ideal.

I have a hive in a single Ideal at the moment (merging this weekend). As it stands… the colony is bearding a little bit due to the heat and the rate at which they built out the available space :slight_smile: