Double Deep Question

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by kemptville, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. kemptville

    kemptville New Member

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    In May I installed a 4-frame nuc in a single deep, then a month later I added a second deep on top. At the time I added the second deep, I was medicating this hive for Nosema S. Currently the bees have filled the second deep but have noticed the bottom deep now lacks stores of any kind and holds very few if any brood of any stage. Should I be concerned about the lack of stores in the bottom deep? The queen has been laying in the second deep and I've seen her on every inspection I've made since the install. Just curious as to what's going on in the first deep. When I observed this last week, our area was under a level 2 drought.
     
  2. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Possibly, if you reverse the boxes, you'll encourage storing honey up above. If here is an arch of honey at the top of the frames with brood, the queen should stay below and continue laying in what would then become the bottom box.
     

  3. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    If there was a lot of nectar to be had, the bees would be pushing the queen back down into the bottom deep so they could use the top one for storing nectar again....in effect, reversing the boxes by themselves. You 'could' reverse the boxes yourself, but if there's no nectar out there in a severe drought, the bees won't be bringing in nectar no matter where you arrange their storage space.
     
  4. kemptville

    kemptville New Member

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    Thank you both for the tips!

    Am I right to assume that nectar dries up if there is no precipitation for an extended period of time or do flowers still produce nectar during droughts? Dumb question eh?
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Marc--it's a good question
    It depends on the plants---here in Israel we don't have any rain from around May till September--but some of our best honey producing plants flower in mid summer---not having had a drop of rain for three months or more. But they have a root system that can go three meters or more (about 10 ft +) deep, to tap what moisture the ground holds. Their nectar supply depends on the quantity of winter rains. Other plants (particularly commercial plants) just won't produce any nectar if not watered. They can flower, but without nectar. Then there are those plants whose flowers dry up and fall off if not watered. So there's not just one simple answer to your question.
     
  6. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    elfmesch is spot-on correct. Nectar produced (or not) during drought is dependent on the type of plants. Here in Indiana we are having the driest summer in 80 years, and many beeks are reporting bumper crops of honey. Other beeks are having to feed their bees.

    It was mentioned in another thread that some plants produce more blooms & nectar during drought - it's a survival of the species thing - trying desperately to reproduce.
     
  7. kemptville

    kemptville New Member

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    Thanks for the information.

    I'll inspect the hive in question again this week and determine if I should reverse the deeps.

    Cheers
     
  8. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Just keep in mind that reversing deeps is not something all beekeepers do, especially in the latter half of the year. Like screen boards vs. bottom boards, folks disagree on the benefits. Just saying that so you know that either way, your decision on reversing the boxes will likely neither 'save' nor 'doom' the hive. :smile:
     
  9. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    My bees did the same thing this year. I put a 5 frame nuc in a 10 frame deep in mid may. By early June they had that deep drawn and filled with lots of brood so I added a second deep. they moved up to draw that comb and as soon as there was enough drawn to lay in the queen filled that deep as well. and stayed there for a while. Eventually the bees filed that upper deep with honey and pushed the queen back down into the lower deep. I was like you, a bit lost and confused as to just what was going on and before I figured it out I thought the queen was getting honey bound. I actually added a third deep between the first two and spread the new empty frames out between the lower and middle deep. As it turned out the nest was not as bound as I first thought. That was almost two weeks ago so I will be checking back this weekend to see how those new frames are faring. I have some expectation of finding them filling anything above the first deep with honey again. They are also filling a med super that is above the three deeps.
     
  10. kemptville

    kemptville New Member

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    Interesting Daniel - keep me posted will ya.
     
  11. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Sure thing, Overall what it seems to me is the queen will go as high as she can when she lays and the bees have to make her move back down. the lower space appear abandoned for a while when this happens. My bees put quite a bit of pollen in the lower deep in the queens absence. When I checked on it it just didn't look like enough space to much pollen andhoney and not enough comb for her to lay in. As I moved frames around a took a second look and found far more brood than I had during my first inspection. It then seems a bit more like a well built brood nest with pollenand honey close at hand etc. still a bit more crowded than I liked so I went ahead and placed the empty frames in. At worst they just fill a second deep with honey. I hineslty expect to find those frames being drawn. the second deep getting filled and the queen getting pushed right back down where she was when ti all started. If so I will let the bees do it their way. I already think the whole mess is more new guy jitters rather than a problem with the bees anyway.
     
  12. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Marc, So far the bees are drawing out the foundation in those lower deeps fairly well. Not as much as I might have expected after a week. They now have the top super 75% drawn and are filling it with honey so I may have them divided to much in their efforts. They are not really touching the empty frames. there is a bit of comb on them and they are putting it where I need it to be.
    I am thinking they will not put full effort toward all those lower frames until they have the upper box filled. I wi ll let the upper med super get fully drawn and filled and then wait a week to give them any more space. this hopefully will give them some time to concentrate on all the empty space below.

    The good news is that there was a lot of brood in the second deep along with eggs that are no more than 2 days old. very good patterns. I didn't go into the bottom deep.
     
  13. kemptville

    kemptville New Member

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    Thank you Daniel! Sounds like we are both doing fairly well with our issues. I just posted my 4th Inspection on my Blog at http://www.apiary43.com Have a look and let me know what you all think especially the population boom about to take place (bottom of post). Would appreciate your feedback. Cheers