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Fall Brood


I have 4 Warre hives that all did well this year. they have all filled at least 3 boxes and 2 of them are into the 4th box. It’s now September in Pennsylvania (I saw that you were just here btw. hope you guys enjoyed your visit)

Anyway, fortunately the top boxes are drawn out straight enough where we were able to lift them straight out. However, when we did they were about half honey, and half brood/nectar. When I started this I thought that by now the brood would be in the lower boxes and the top would be almost exclusively honey. I did not inspect the middle boxes because I assumed they would look identical, and they have a bit of cross comb going on too.

So what’s my next move? wait a few weeks and recheck? The fall nectar flow here is winding down. If I go back in a few weeks and find the top box is ready to harvest (minimal nectar or brood), do you think they’ll have enough in the bottom 2 boxes to get through the winter? I assume I will need to feed them after a harvest.

thanks in advance




Are these first year colonies? Quite often, they’ll build down into the 3rd or 4th box, only to retreat back up into the top couple boxes. This could be what you’re seeing. If there’s brood in the top box(es), leave them. Check the bottom ones if you can, even if you can’t pull the combs out. Just take the top couple off, then take the bottom 2 off individually and heft them and look in from the bottom. If they are very light and you don’t see anything in the combs, you should be able to pull them off and save them for next spring to expedite their expansion.