Most everyone here seems to use double brood chambers exclusively. In my locality, upper state SC, I never see anyone using double brood chambers, and I know a lot of beekeepers. I did a search and read on another thread that many of the southern beekeepers only use single brood chambers and double broods are more the practice up north. The reasons some of the local experts give me are ease of mobility and handling, and having tried doubles but seeing little difference in honey production. I am thinking about trying a double brood on one of my hives next year for increased honey production to see what happens. Intersestingly no one uses medium supers here and you cannot even find them in the local beekeeping stores here. Is this just a regional idiosencrisy or is there a deeper reason?
>I am thinking about trying a double brood on one of my hives next year for increased honey production to see what happens.
Up here in the north, two deeps is the norm and three are often used. I use three when I have a booming hive that get's honey bound in the brood area, but usually I run two if I use an excluder. Often I just run a hive with no excluder and let the bees do what they will. Unfortunately, lifing full deep boxes of honey is getting to me, especially when they are stacked up high overhead. I used to use mostly deeps with a few shallows for comb honey, but I am trying to standardize on mediums. Partly because I'm using a lot of PermaComb. It will take me a while to convert though, because I can't just waste the equipment I have.
>Intersestingly no one uses medium supers here and you cannot even find them in the local beekeeping stores here. Is this just a regional idiosencrisy or is there a deeper reason?
They used to call Medium supers "Illinois" supers. Seems they got popular in the midwest. Of course the logic was that supers get much heavier than brood boxes and it's easier to mange if they are smaller, but shallows were a little smaller than they wanted to handle. Now a lot of people are using mediums for everything because they are a nice comprimise. What do they use for supers there in the CSA? Deeps? Shallows?
I guess part of what I like about using all the same size boxes is you can let the bees decide how big to make the brood chamber without finding brood in a different size frame and you can take extracted drawn combs and use them for putting in honey bound brood nests and starting new hives.
People here use 1 deep for brood and shallows for honey supers. I personally use a deep and a shallow with 10 frames and then a queen excluder and then 9 frame honey supers on top. The bees then have an option to use the first shallow super for brood or storage as needs seems fit, most often for honey storage, as most queens seem to stay in the brood chamber. In the winter this first shallow super becomes my food storage super. I started using a queen excluder after I had a queen who laid eggs haphazardly in three honey supers during a flow while there was space in the brood chamber.
Don't you end up with brood in the shallow and no way to easily put it in the brood chamber? I guess it works. If you want to run a hive with no excluder you can buy 7/11 foundation from Walter T. Kellya and the queen doesn't like to lay in it. If you leave it on over winter, though, the bees will rebuild it into drone comb.