Two deeps

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by old-dog, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. old-dog

    old-dog New Member

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    Just want to know if I use two deeps as brood chamber and winter stores for the bees do I still need to leave a super of honey or will the two deeps hold them for the winter here NC thanx
     
  2. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I will let the Southerners answer this one, but I will comment that, here in the frigid North, I wintered one hive with 2 deeps + a shallow, and another hive with 1 deep + a shallow. Both survived. For me, it was a matter of leaving what they had filled, and removing the excess space. If I had had an extra super of honey, I would have left it on, because sometimes they can only move "up" and not "over."
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    One deep and one super will hold enough for the winter. The catch is having enough for them stored. They can't eat empty frames. The easiest way is to weigh your empty hive, then it should weigh 50 to 60 lbs. more going into winter.
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    It's better to have to much than not enough, i hate feeding in the fall. Jack
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a story and a half is the classic configuration to maintain bee in the winter time in the southern US of A.

    it requires about 22 kg of feed to get a hive to the rapid brooding of early spring. after that feed requirements are somewhat to highly associated with the level of brooding. you can of course overwinter in much smaller units (nucs) which requires less feed.

    to strongly reinforce what iddee said above... for most beginners some method of weigh measurement is a large plus. most times 'old hands' just do the heft test but a beginner needs some gauge of when heft is sufficient or not sufficient. if you can do this measurement early enough you can bring a hive up to weight prior to the onset of winter and likely have a nice measure of new bees in the box also via a bit of feeding.
     
  6. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    I like to add an empty super on top with two 4 or 5-lb sacks of sugar laying across the frames with a couple of squares cut out of the tops of them so the bees have access to the sugar should they run out of food before the first spring blooms, and the sugar can absorb excess moisture in the hive to help keep them nice and dry through the winter, because wet bees are dead bees.
     
  7. BuzzMe

    BuzzMe New Member

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    Thank you SgtMaj for this tip.
     
  8. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    I used to have bees in Upstate NY abot 20 miles south of Canadian border. I ALWAYS wintered with 2 deep brood chambers, I always let the bees keep the fall honey flows. I have to reasons for doing that.
    1.) The fall flows tend to be lessor flows then the spring and early flows.
    2.) The honey generated from fall flows tend to be of lessor quality then the earlier flows. The Colonies tend to be at or slightly under peak strength and in population decline in preparation for wintering. I have yet to have to feed bees for spring build-up, execpt pollen substitute. Now that I am in Florida, I still believe that is the way to go. Heavy but has it's own rewards in knowing the bees will have enough all natural stores for overwintering and as the eat they will be creating the brood space for the upcomming breeding season.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    beyond the economic consideration (ie X lbs of honey time so much $/lb) there are additional downsides of leaving too much honey on a hive.

    If you leave way too much honey and attend your bees irregularly such hives are quite likely to swarm early and often.

    of course leaving too little has a more drastic outcome.
     
  10. rast

    rast New Member

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    barry42001, what is your first " honey making" flow from up there in Jax.? Mine of course is citrus. Prior to that the build up is red maple, swamp willow and some titi.
     
  11. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Tec, and Rast,
    Tec, firstly I am not at all inattentive to my colonies, if anything I tend to be in the bees too often --looking to exactly avoid swarming, and avoiding congestion, seeing if need to move around frames to provide open frames for the queen, will use full nectar/ honey frames to draw bees into supers with foundation. I would far rather lose a few dollars in honey then have to send 3x that amount following spring for new bees, in case no one noticed 3lb packages are getting pricey. Rast, as to what exactly the " cash " crop is I don't really know, execpt to say has to be of course tree honey some citrus, some tulipeo, and quite the mix of whatever else is in bloom at same time.
     
  12. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    To be truthful, I am being intentionally "unattentive" to one of my hives. They are a feral colony and I thought I'd let them manage their own affairs as much as possible. It's kind of a mess, because there are still cut-out frames in there that I haven't rotated out. Haven't, because they are always packed with brood.

    Last year I moved them to my yard at the end of May--- 5 cut-out frames of brood. They completely filled 2 deeps and a shallow with brood and honey by July. They did not swarm. They survived winter. They have 2 supers on already this year. They are the gentlest bees I have ever been around.