Due to bee keeping seeing a decent surge in popularity over the last couple of months, we have noticed a number of people reaching out about starting their very own bee keeping opperation.
Not only is bee keeping a great pass time but it can also help the local plants get pollinated as well as provide you with a great source of honey that some people actually sell for a profit!
One of the more common questions that we have seen people asking recently is about if they should go with a single or double broodbox for their bee keeping setup.
In most cases, a single brood box will be better for a beginner but the advantages of a double brood box often pushes it ahead, even for a beginner in some niche situations.
Due to this, we have decided to publish this article going over the advantages of a double brood box in comparison to a single brood box to try and help our readers better understand the better option for their needs.
The Advantages Of A Single Brood Box!
The majority of people new to bee keeping start with a single brood box due to it offering a number of solid advantages making it the obvious option so let’s take a look at some of the advantages that it offers…
One of the main advantages that a single brood box offers is that it is going to be cheaper than a double brood box.
This is due to the fact that you are only paying for one box rather than two and in most cases, the price difference can actually be quite significant depending on the specific setup that you go with.
That said, at certain times of the year, double brood box setups can have special offers on them decreasing their price tags substantially.
Easier To Manage!
Another advantage that a single brood box offers is that it is going to be easier to manage.
This is due to the fact that you only have one brood box to worry about so there are far fewer things that can go wrong helping you build up your core bee keeping skills with minimal problems.
If you are brand new to keeping bees then this single factor can push the single brood box setup to the front of your list. So many people get ahead of themselves and think that they are able to handle a double brood box without realizing how much work it actually requires.
Although personal preference will come into it, many people do agree that the single brood box has a better look to it.
Although the visual aspect really isn’t an important factor, there are hidden benefits in the more visually appealing single brood box setups. They are often much easier to navigate around in allowing for a greater range of motion when caring for your bees too.
A single brood box needs much less equipment than a double brood box not only making it easier to manage but also much smaller!
Space is often at a premium for people new to bee keeping, especially if you are trying to set up your brood box in your own garden or on a rented plot of land.
The Beehive Will Stay Warmer!
Following on from the smaller size advantage above, the small size of a single brood box setup allows your bees to stay warmer for longer during the winter months.
Although there are various hive covers that you are able to use as well as other heating systems, the fact that the hive is easier to naturally heat reduces the maintenance required by you in the colder months.
The Disadvantages of A Single Brood Box!
Although a single brood box offers advantages, it does have some disadvantages too that we will be taking a quick look at now…
Lower Egg Yields!
Due to the smaller size, your hive will have lower egg yields keeping your bee population low.
If you are looking to produce as much honey as possible then this lower egg yield disadvantage is often a deal breaker for many people.
Even people who have chosen to go with a single brood box due to all of the advantages listed above will commonly complain about the low bee population holding them back with a single brood box.
Lower Honey Yields!
As well as having a smaller population of bees, the fact that each bee has less room to move around in can lead to lower honey yields.
Although this disadvantage isn’t always the case, it is often enough of a reason for people to switch to a double brood box setup once their skills have increased.
On paper, a double brood box is definitely more expensive than a single brood box, even if you buy it when on offer but there is one often overlooked advantage of a double brood box.
It can actually work out considerably cheaper to just go with the double brood box setup from the start rather than buy a single brood box and then add the second box later.
Substantial Management Needed!
One of the biggest disadvantages that a double brood box offers is that it requires much more management than a single brood box.
If you are brand new to bee keeping then this extra work is likely to overwhelm you causing you to make more mistakes which can lead to your bees dying.
The Advantages Of A Double Brood Box!
Now we will be taking a more in-depth look at the advantages of a double brood box so you can get an idea of why they are becoming so popular!
Higher Egg Yields!
One of the main advantages that a double brood box offers is that it provides a much higher egg yield.
The increased space means that your Queen is able to lay more eggs leading to a larger population which can be used to produce more honey or even sold on!
Higher Honey Yields!
The additional brood box will increase your honey yields on a double brood box setup but it doesn’t actually double your honey yields in most cases, at least for a while.
This is partly due to your hive needing to grow to a size where it can utilize all of the second brood box but also due to your bees needing enough suitable plants in the surrounding areas!
Less Management Required!
Although a double brood box requires more initial management than a single brood box for the setup phase, the increased space actually leads to less management being required overall.
Although this is still far from being a passive bee keeping setup, in time, you can safely count on your bees taking care of themselves more than they would be able to in a single brood box setup.
Less Feeding Needed!
Carrying on from the less management point above, due to the higher bee population in a double brood box setup, you can choose to feed more food less frequently.
This results in less trips to your bee keeping setup and if you are renting land or keeping your setup away from your home, the time saved really can add up in a surprising amount of time,
The Disadvantages Of A Double Brood Box!
As with all things, there are also a number of disadvantages of keeping a double brood box…
The main disadvantage of a double brood box is the higher initial price tag that often puts many people off forcing them to go with a single brood box.
The issue is that many people actually incorrectly choose a single brood box and then realize that they actually need a double brood box and buying the second box individually rather than as a bundle can pump the over all costs even higher than just going with a double brood box from the start.
Usually Needs Prior Experience!
Due to the higher bee count, a double brood box is usually better if you have prior bee keeping experience or have plenty of time to dedicated to learning as much as you can as quickly as you can.
Too Large For Many Peoples Setup!
Another disadvantage of the double brood box is that it can actually be too large for some people’s bee keeping setups.
If your setup is on the smaller side or you just don’t think you could manage two brood boxes then it might be best to stick with a single brood box, especially if you are just starting out.
As you can see, there are both advantages and disadvantages of using a double brood box in your bee keeping setup.
It really comes down to what you need from your setup and how much time/money you are willing to invest in it.
Often Too Cold In Winter!
It is more difficult to keep a double brood box warm in winter. Not only is it harder for the bees to maintain a steady temperature themselves but many of the bee hive covers on the market are not large enough for a double brood box setup.
Is A Single Or Double Brood Box Best For You?
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of each, it’s time to decide which is best for you.
If you are just starting out in bee keeping then a single brood box is probably going to be the best option as it is less expensive and easier to manage.
However, if you have some experience under your belt or you are willing to put in the extra effort required to learn about a double brood box, then it could be the best option for you as the advantages often outweigh the disadvantages.
Only you can make the decision though so take your time, do your research and choose wisely!