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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im thinking of experimenting around with some of my hives using 3 deeps for brood. I got the extra hive bodies. I got one yard that I have went to 3 deep brood boxes on 2 of the hives just to see what they do. I can see some advantages with the extra brood area but also some disadvantages has anyone tried this and what was your findings.
 

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I'm doing something similar with my honey production hives. Since the flow always seems to end at the end of June and then there is pretty much nothing going on until next spring I decided to use three deeps. Initially they use the third deep for some brood rearing but generally back fill it with honey along with filling a 4th deep. I harvest the 4th deep and leave the third deep for the bees. My biggest problem is starvation so I'm trying to mitigate the issue with the third deep of honey. Hopefully it works out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One of the reason Im wanting to do this is to get away from having to feed. I know syrup is cheaper than honey but when you go putting your time and gas into feeding its not much cheaper than honey. Im hoping to find the hives build up bigger and have less swarming.
 

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have you ever done the bee math in regards to the brood nest required for a queen of a given (usually denoted as X for the math folks in the audience) egg laying capacity? If you have 'a' queen capable of filling those three boxes with brood then you need to sell or give her to me.

more surplus left in a hive will not (as a general rule) equate to a larger hive of bees come next spring time although certainly excessiive resources in a hive will equate to a larger hive than one with none (which typically means the hive starved sometime in the early spring).
 

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Lets do a little math then..............I love it!

Please note these are just approximates only, your bees will vary and this is not counting burr comb or holes in the foundation.
I was using Kelley's wax foundation for counting purposes.

first of all there are approx. 77 cells across a standard Lang frame
then approx. 46 cells high on a deep Lang frame

total of 3,542 cells on one side
total of 7,084 cells total for a Lang deep frame

Now lets look at the queen....
If she can lay 1500 eggs per day it will take 4.7 days to completely fill a deep frame
if she can lay 2000 eggs per day it will take 3.5 days to completely fill a deep frame

so for the ease of math and to be able to picture it in your head a little easier average the days out and you come up with 4.1 days, so lets just say 4 days to fill a deep frame with eggs, that makes her laying 1,771 eggs per day (pretty good work out). If she lays non stop 24/7 that gives her 49 seconds per egg (very doable number).

Now every four days there is a deep frame completely filled with eggs and it takes 21 days for the brood to hatch out. So 21/4 is 5.25.
She can only fill out 5.25 frames before the first laid eggs are new hatching brood.

Now we all know that the deep frames are not (well for the most part, yes I have seen some deep frames almost a complete brood pattern) completely solid with brood, there is honey and bee bread surrounding the brood.

I would think for the most part if you have six to seven deep frames of a good laying pattern of brood in all stages you have a super good queen.

I know I will get blasted by others so let it rip.
 

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Well now lets look at the flip side of the post........

Three deep boxes with brood in all of them.

Lets just say she will lay six frames of eggs in the deep, the other two being honey and pollen.
That is 18 frames before the first laid eggs hatch as brood, that would be around 127,512 cells or 6,072 eggs per day.
Well that works out to be an egg laid every 14 seconds on a 24/7 schedule, I really doubt it.

What do you all think???
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree with your numbers but have maybe been over thinking on the unlimited brood chamber idea. Im thinking the hives may do better in 3 instead of 2. I know 2 is better than 1 and 3 may be better than 2 but some where you will endup going the opposite direction ie 3 is better than 4. Im trying to think outside the box sometimes we forget to try new ideas and we do things just because lang, huber, dadant, root or some of the other noted keeps of days gone by discovered that there ideas work. However when they began experimenting with there discoveries the were unproven at the time. Its been several years since a big discovery has came out of beekeeping and I know there is some to be found but we have become complacent in what works so use it.
 

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Just my experience. When I tried 3 deeps in our winter, I wound up with an empty bottom box. She (they) just moved up towards the stored honey and syrup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
rast said:
Just my experience. When I tried 3 deeps in our winter, I wound up with an empty bottom box. She (they) just moved up towards the stored honey and syrup.
Did they ever move back down into the lower box during the spring or summer
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i dont reverse boxes in the wild bees naturally work down. Although I know it is a common practice to put the empty deep on top. I havce found they will work down into the bottom as summer progresses along. I was wondering if they will work all the way down into the 3rd deep
 

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They will gather at the bottom of the honey stores. If there is enough honey, they will move down. If not, they won't. Reversing does nothing but upset their system and cause them more work.
 

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Most of my hives are still trying to build up to 3 medium brood chambers, LOL. I wish I had hives that could fill 3 deeps... but I'd probably just split them if I did have 'em.
 

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Iddee said:
They will gather at the bottom of the honey stores. If there is enough honey, they will move down. If not, they won't. Reversing does nothing but upset their system and cause them more work.
I guess it depends when you reverse. If the bottom box is completely empty of bees in early spring and the middle box and top box contains brood and bees I will certaintly move the bottom box to the top. I have seen no adverse affects from this.
 

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I use deep supers/ brood chambers exclusively--rotating in spring, and using queen excluder for the deeps I intend for honey harvesting. I rotate 2 times, and then after the main nectar flow, allow the bees to start to back fill the upper chamber for the winter, I will let the bees have everything from July on as there is seldom a really strong flow in the fall, and the honey as stated before at least to me is of a inferior grade to that collected in the spring and early summer.
Barry
 

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Hi, yes, my NUCS are doing great, they are in a two deep brood chamber, the bees are buzzing and I'm going to put on a honey super this weekend, the girls are very busy. I'm working with new foundation, so the have to work really hard to draw comb as well as all that other stuff.. Not holding my breath for honey this year! Hopefully, I'll have drawn comb on the foundation for next year though!!
 

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"Did they ever move back down into the lower box during the spring or summer"

I pull the boxes, makes it too easy for moths and SHB to get established.
 

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I have always made it a practice to reduce all my bees to 2 deeps/ brood chambers for wintering. with top chamber being a full honey super. Of course there will be be very modest amounts of honey stored in the lower brood chambers as bes will always store honey/ pollen towards the top and corners of brood frames. but the point is that I leave a full deep super/ brood chamber of honey for the winter.I have lost colonies in the harsh winters of upstate NY, 2 colonies to be exact one was starvation, I know that, and changed management styles to ensoure would not happen again--second colony--had plenty of honey, no bees not even inside the cells nothing. so am at a loss to know what happened. Colony dwindle seems to be surging again like CCD or something similiar.
Barry
 
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