This year I am considering the following hive set-up:
1 deep brood chamber
1 6 5/8 "medium" brood chamber
followed by shallow honey supers.
Possibly with the use of a queen excluder on a test hive just to see what happens.
Any comments will be appreciated.
I would keep a close eye on the hive. It may over-crowd and swarm. Also, I believe you may be greatly limiting the bee population needed to bring in sufficient honey and pollen. I had a very small "nuc/starter hive" that appears to have succesfully overwintered in just a medium super only. It appears to be very strong for such a little thing and I believe it will be a real "boomer" in the next two months or so. I plan to give them as much room as they need whether it be two or three brood chambers (three is not uncommon to many beekeepers). The only drawback to 3 BC is that the hive tends to get a little difficult to manage at times. During my second year of beekeeping (I'm now in my fifth year), I brought all my hives through the winter with 3 BC.
I'm planning on going up to 2 deep brood boxes this year. This was a topic on beekeeping 101 under "adding second brood box" last posted Feb. 1st. I think it may help you.
Hi Gary, I have been working hives now for almost five years and in the New England area two deep brood chambers seem to work the best. Here are some reasons, the bees will have enough room for food stores for longer winters and they will have enough room as part of swarm management. If you are considering an equipment change try using three medium supers in place of each deep, that seems to work better than mixing depths.