When to add another brood box

Well seeing I am asking this question proves I am a beginner.

I checked on of my hives today as we have had a reasonable winter this year up in the southwest slopes nsw.
Now the hive has had 2x10 frame deeps all winter and when I checked today they have both the boxes full , they had also started to build comb on the top of frames in top box, so I made an executive decision and added another deep.
As the canola has started to flower around here and this same hive swarmed in late August last year and I am trying not to let this happen again.

So did I do the right thing or did I not :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Hi Len,

sorry for the delay to respond to your query but other commitments have seen my attentions focused elsewhere until now. With regards to adding another box yeah, sure, its certainly the time of the year that beekeepers need to be interpreting what their bees are telling them and where they are drawing comb on the top of existing frames understand that the the hive is telling us. That said the addition of another box on top of an existing hive wont prevent a hive from swarming as if they as a super colony have decided that the season is looking very prosperous and that they are able to manage the risk then adding another box wont prevent your bees from swarming.

Now an inspection of the hive and manipulation of frames to create more space will certainly help you manage your bees and the best in-depth guide I can provide you on this can be found at:


No this is a hell of a read but it does also provide plenty of great images of what your typically expect to see and also a few greater charts explaining how the sudden availability and influx of good quality pollen is the driving force behind the momentum of your colony.

So, the best thing you have done is to understand that your bees are telling you that there is a honey flow on where you are and that they need room, you now need to take the next step and inspect the hive to see how the colony is travelling now that we are headed towards Spring and that can occur any day with a temp of 16C or higher without too many issues.

Trust that this provides you with some guidance,



Hi Eric
That certainly is full of information, thanks for that.
One thing I did do was the extra box I put on I put between the brood box and the top box(in the centre) and it contained a few frames of drawn comb, so will keep an eye on it, have not done a full inspection as yet but will be next warm day we have without bloody wind.



This approach of adding the super is commonly called ‘under supering’ or ‘bottom supering’.

I use this approach as the top box is likely close to full and it saves reshuffling supers to remove to extract.

Like all things beekeeping though, you will find arguments both ways :smiley:

Good PDF on the subject here
Effects of Top Versus Bottom Supering on Honey Yield