only using one box for brood

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by DLMKA, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    All my hives are new this year either from nucs (1), packages (1), and swarms (5). I was planning on running a single deep and two mediums for a brood chamber every hive that has a second or third box is using the upper boxes for storing honey and not for brood, is this normal? I'm assuming that they'll start winter clustered towards the bottom at work their way up through the honey stores and come spring they'll have lots of empty comb to use as a brood nest. I'm just going to keep adding supers until any nectar flow stops.
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    What you are seeing is normal. Just keep piling on the supers as they get about 8 to 9 frames filled.

    Not sure how much honey it takes to get your bees through the winter in your area, but after that amount you can harvest honey for yourself.
     

  3. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    Most of the folks around here that I've talked to leave 2 deeps and some leave an extra medium on just for good measure, some years they use that up too. I'd rather leave too much than not enough.
     
  4. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    i leave 2 deeps on here dlmka, and if a hive is exceptionally strong going into winter i might leave a med on as well. i keep russian hybrids so they are conservative on stores, most of the time 2 deeps is sufficient for them packed going into winter, too much is better than not enough, then you are not worrying so much about if and when they run out.
     
  5. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    the two colonies I paid for are Carniolians and the others are all mutt swarms which should be pretty thrifty. I'll leave them a deep and two mediums and if they haven't touched the 2nd medium I can extract it when the weather turns in the spring.
     
  6. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    There is two thoughts about brood chambers and the size of them, one advocates two brood chambers to assure the queen will never run out of brood rearing space, as during a nectar flow, the bees may initially use quite a bit of brood space to cure nectar into honey and then as it cures, re-arrainges it into the upper corners, and banding across the top. This ensures a relatively large winter cluster, in warmer climates, the thinking is that there exists no need for so large a winter cluster, as it represents alot of stores being consumed as feed for bees, and then for brood rearing in late winter, early spring, this is when those colonies not adequitely stocked with feed, or not being fed sugar syrup, will starve--survive the winter to starve when large brood rearing starts but before a nectar flow. I believe that is better to maintain large winter cluster, monitor the colony and if needed feed but then you will have adequite worker force to collect any nectar flow in the early spring, and rapidly build up for the larger flows.
    Barry
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    I'm assuming that they'll start winter clustered towards the bottom at work their way up through the honey stores and come spring they'll have lots of empty comb to use as a brood nest.

    tecumseh:
    with some fall flow a hive 'should' begin back filling the brood nest and slowly push the brood nest towards the bottom of the stack. this is 'desirable' in the fall but would almost certainly encourage swarming in the spring time.
     
  8. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    so what do you do to prevent swarming in the spring? Give them empty frames to work?
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Giving them plenty of room in the spring is one way to deter (did not say prevent) swarming or you can split them early to hopefully fool them into thinking they have swarmed (false swarm). Once they have made up their mind to swarm it is hard to change their minds. Keeping the brood nest opened up is a big thing.
     
  10. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    divide the colony in two, or create 2-4 nucs from it depending on the strength of the colony.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    my approach to swarming is a bit of a combination of G3 and riverbee's suggestion + sometimes I just knock off the excess workers for various purposes related to queen rearing. these three things are fairly basic approaches to swarming... 1) give them more space, 2) remove some population or 3) remove bees and brood and give what population is left some extra space to work on (#3 really being just a combination of #1 and #2).

    I myself don't loose much sleep over the possibilities of swarming.... matter of fact I suspect I feel a bit like a father who's son just knocked a home run when I see a hive swarm.
     
  12. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Go with what the locals know and check your bees for stores when you get a break in the weather.

    I've only been through one winter so far and it was an odd one here in South Jersey. It was warm and the bees were flying most days.

    I had 1 deep and 2 mediums as my brood chamber for all three hives.

    Two hives kept large populations and used all of their stores and every bit of candy and pollen patty. I fed them into early March.

    The third hive kept a very small population to the point where I figured they weren't going to make it. They used 1 medium of stores and no candy or pollen patty.
    I was going to pinch that queen come Spring for her poor performance come late winter in not building up like the other two hives. As it turned out she is my best queen and to date and produced the biggest, most productive hive this season. Needless to say I've made daughters from her!

    Now if I can only remember where she is...lol...I've moved her so many times to force the colonies to rear queen cells lol...ah yes...hive #14...gotta love Hive Tracks!