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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    278

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    I started with one new hive this past spring. I have two deep brood chambers with pollen, brood and as yet an undetermined amount of honey in the bottom deep.I have a golden rod flow still going on now.There is a third deep on top of the other two full of capped honey. Going into this winter, should i leave the third deep on top for winter stores...? I don't want to go down to the first deep yet while the flow is still going. I have no idea how much honey is in that bottom deep...I've been told to take the whole top deep for harvest, i been told just take three or four frames for myself and leave the rest.If i leave the whole top deep for winter stores, will the bees all the way down in the first brood chamber be able to get to the honey all the way at the top...? Is three deeps to much gong into winter...? The hive seems very strong, but i just don't know yet how much honey is in that botton box. Thanks for your advice/suggestions...
    Kevin M.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,985

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    kevin ask:
    if i leave the whole top deep for winter stores, will the bees all the way down in the first brood chamber be able to get to the honey all the way at the top...?

    tecumseh replies:
    unless there is some barrier which limits the movement of the cluster and queen I would say yes.

    kevin then ask:
    Is three deeps to much gong into winter...?

    tecumseh suggest:
    you need to find someone from your region to make a suggestion.....but I think your last question is really the question you need answered before taking action. which is...

    kevin sezs:
    The hive seems very strong, but i just don't know yet how much honey is in that botton box.

    tecumseh sezs:
    now if the bottom is plugged with stores??? then this would suggest removing a bit of stores should be an ok as a course of action. On the other hand (as is often the case here) the bottom box is well stocked with pollen then you might wish to remove a bit less surplus for your own purposes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,081

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    Kewvin,
    2 deeps is fine for your area if they are packed. The third deep is not needed but will not hurt to leave it on.

    I really hate changing frames and even boxes around as we approach cold weather. You can take the box off or wait till spring.

    The bees are probably filling in around the brood chamber with the goldenrod flow. What you need to confirm at this point is that there is a fall brood cycle that will give you young haelthy bees to make it through winter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,082

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    I have had hives winter well in one deep, that was packed with honey. 2 deeps is better, though, and 3 deeps may be just too much. If you have a strong back, you can take the top deep off and then heft or weigh the hive to see how much they have. Two deeps should be about 135 pounds full, which should put you through the winter in fine shape.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    278

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    thanks folks for the advice... [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Kevin M.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    278

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    Any more suggestions...? MB..? Don't worry no disclaimers needed...lol
    Kevin M.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,467

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    What kind of bees do you have? The Italians will burn through a lot of honey overwitner. Carniolans will not. Buckfasts are somewhere in between. Three deeps is not an unusual arrangement. It's a typical "unlimited brood nest" managment technique. In the old ABC & XYZ of Beeculture books, the third box is called a "food chamber". G.M. Doolittle certainly believed that the amount of brood you get in the spring is directly proportional to the bees' perception of how "rich" they are with resources to spend on brood.

    Personally, I was using three deeps when I had Italians and it worked ok. Two deeps seemed to work fine too. With the ferals, who seem even more frugal than the Carniolians, one deep is probably fine. But, when in doubt, too much stores is always better than too little stores.

    Of course, I'm on all eight frame mediums. Basically two eight frame mediums equals one deep. Some of my hives right now are in two eight frame mediums. Some are in five. I leave them in a hive as big as they occupy.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Thanks MB....i guess i'll wait a bit until the flow is over and figure out what to do then..
    Kevin M.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,467

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    On this subject, I added this page:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesulbn.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10

    Post

    had good luck with 2 deeps 10 frame for winter.
    for some reason a deep and medium doesn't work for me,a single deep will almost always make it,go figure?
    bob

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

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    Kevin,
    I had great success last year with hives that went into the winter in three deeps which I "checkerboarded." Checkerboarding is a technique described by Walt Wright in his Nectar Management booklet. Do a search here for Checkerboarding to read all about it.

    Considering that many of us are feeding after this pathetic year, you're in great shape to have your hives come out of the winter booming if you try this technique using your three deeps (baring any surprises you haven't described).

    If I had ANY "supers" on at all, I'd be doing it again this year. the only reason my Great hives are being fed is that I split them into thirds and each had supersedured queens. If I had left them alone, each would have produced a surplus.
    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Thanks everyone for your replies.. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Kevin M.

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