One of my colonies is expanding well and needs some more space so I am going up to a brood and a half. Can anyone advise as to whether I would be better putting the new box below or above the existing brood box. I've researched and the jury is out as to which way round. Any advice from experience please?
Given that bees prefer to go up, I'd put it above the brood box. It's also easier to remove when wintering down and the cluster is in the main brood body where you want them for maximum warmth. If you are on Nationals you might find it more efficient to double brood and keep your super for honey production only. I have found in my beekeeping this far north that brood expands very rapidly in the spring leading to swarming unless bigger brood areas are given. Double brooding really helps in delaying the swarming impulse from over-crowding. This can help with the modern thinking on comb exchanging too. It also means when you winter down, you can select whichever brood box has the queen, make it up with equivalent frames of brood and stores from the other to drop back to one box for the winter.