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  1. #1
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Keeping bees confined to a single brood chamber

    This method of bee culture is new to me. It would free up a lot of supers which would be great.

    Does anyone have experience with this in colder climates? Was overwintering affected in any way, besides the beekeeper getting to keep more honey for sale? Any difference in honey production?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default

    Precisely what are you talking about? I get the basics of what you are saying, but please fill in a few blanks, it sounds crazy. Confining the bees to one super, you'd get swarms, and more swarms, and even more swarms, but virtually nothing else. How could you get any honey this way?
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
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    Jan 2003
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Default

    Please enlighten us nonsubscribers as to what was in the article, then perhaps we can contribute.

  4. #4
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    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Default

    Sometimes, the queen is confined to 1 or 2 brood chamber(s) w/ an excluder, but "the bees" have access (through excluder) to ALL chambers and honey supers (the "bees" produce the honey).

  5. #5
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    Default

    I see where I confused you, sorry about that.
    I took a basic beekeeping course where it was recommended that there be an excluder above the single brood chamber. The queen would only have access to the one box, and supering of course above this.

    I had been working half my hives without excluders and found no major difference in production. I know there are people here who use no excluder and that works for them, fair enough.

    The beekeeper teaching this course has hundreds or possibly thousands of colonies and found it work for him.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default

    I do the opposite:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesulbn.htm

    And find it to be much more effective.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
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    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default

    If you are using an excluder I don't see how you could possibly contain the queen to a single brood box without repeated swarming issues throughout the spring and early summer.

    I am one who uses excluders, but always over double deeps. I could probably harvest more honey without them, but due to time limitations I use them to help me speed up inspections without the worry of injuring the queen.

    I'm wondering if there may have been a misunderstanding of your instructors methods.

    If you are referring to overwintering colonies... then yes, it is possible to overwinter in single deeps in the north. But never with an excluder.
    To everything there is a season....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Tompkins County, New York
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I do the opposite:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesulbn.htm

    And find it to be much more effective.

    I just started reading a book by Brother Adam on his beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey. Apparently, when he took over, they were accustomed to wintering on a single ten-frame super. He increased it to two, and immediately saw improvements in build up and honey production.

    I've never used fewer than two, and only this past summer used queen excluders for the first time, so I can't say how using one brood chamber would compare. In any case, my climate (Upstate NY) is probably colder than England's.
    My beekeeping blog: The Bee Yard

  9. #9
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    Dec 2007
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    Vancouver, BC
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    Default

    Actually I asked the instructor a few questions to clarify this, seems they really are having good success going this route.
    Didn't make sense to me but he was a knowledgeable guy.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2005
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    College Station, Texas
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    Default

    A single unit brood box was kind of the idea of the old Jumbo Depth eqipment. I am not even sure they make them anymore? I saw maybe one fellow run some small number of them perhaps 30+ years back and I think???? he still used an excluder. You had to be a gorilla to toss that stuff around.

    An excluder is good if you don't wish (or have time, or are not set up,...) to sort thru the honey frames to remove frames where the queen may have brooded up. makes the removal of super a bit more straight forward and you don't need to worry about accidently taking the queen along for a ride to the honey house (it has happen). honey production with an excluder relative to without (according to an old journal article) is very dependent on how you set up entrances. hives (with excluders) set up with entrance at bottom, above excluder and at top of stack were approximately equivalent to hives with no excluder (entrance at top and bottom of stack).

    I don't use excluders myself except for some queen rearing stuff and yes I have discovered a queen in my honey house.
    Last edited by tecumseh; 03-20-2008 at 07:51 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Pocahontas County, West Virginia, USA
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    Default

    Foregoing the merits or problems associated with excluder usage, a single brood chamber with an excluder equates with increased swarming. I would check with your instructor and question him concerning his swarm prevention methodologies prior to implementing this technique. Multiple swarming can rapidly deplete a colony to a population level not compatible with survival. In/appropriate manipulation of the brood area can make or break an apiary operation.
    "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." - P.J. O'Rourke

  12. #12
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    Dec 2007
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    Vancouver, BC
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    Default

    The swarm prevention suggested was (wrong spelling!) by demaree. This method makes a lot of sense and would be simple to work.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2005
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    Auburn and Tri-Cities Washington
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    I have good success overwintering single deeps here in Washington. Most of my double deeps are down to one deep by spring anyways.
    \"The man who sets out to carry a cat by its tail learns something that will always be useful and which never will grow dim or doubtful.\" - Mark Twain

  14. #14
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    Jan 2003
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Default

    I run mostly single deeps under a QE, but if you try this you MUST use an upper entrance. I do not have any problems with swarming or lack of production. This subject has been beaten around soooo much here and still we get comments like: "...a single brood chamber with an excluder equates with increased swarming", or "QE equals Honey excluder". A QE is a tool and like any tool if used improperly will not give desired results. If used properly it can really simplify things, and yes even with a single brood chamber. If you have a local mentor with hundreds of hives successfully using this technique then I'd say if you understand exactly their management techniques and copy them you should be good.

    There was a similar discussion lately: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...=216521&page=2

  15. #15
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    In the peak of the brood rearing season here in the north, you often have two deeps pretty much FULL of brood. You can't have that if the queen is restricted to one box. The other purpose of more boxes going into winter is not just enough to get through the winter, but enough surplus that the bees will be willing to rapidly expand in the spring because they are not in danger of starving if they do.

    "Probably the single most important step in management for achieving colony strength, and one most neglected by beekeepers, is to make sure the hives are heavy with stores in the fall, so that they emerge from overwintering already strong early in the spring" --The How-To-Do-It book of Beekeeping, Richard Taylor
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default

    Its a real economical way of managing bees, yet it can cause alot of problems if your not on top of your work. Doubles allow a little more breathing room between procedures, allowing for more stores especially. Some years the singles have to be fed the same night after pulling off the honey late in the season.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
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    Default

    I do operate plenty of single deeps for cut comb production, the Killion method. A queen cell on the right moment takes care of the swarming problem. Some time in July, after we take the suppers of comb honey, another deep is added or united, so they overwinter in two deeps.
    On the other hand, the strong 5 frame nucs are transfer in 10 frame deeps and overwinter very sucesfully.

    Gilman

  18. #18
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    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
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    410

    Default Just 30 yr experience

    In my area. Put a excluder over 2 chambers and you have created a honey plug. Over one chamber you get crowding if you don't continually keep pulling pollen frames. Let the bees put honey rim in the second box ( 2 in honey under the top bar ). The queen will not cross this rim. Stack supers above. Most commercial operators run this way where there are heavy fast honey flows.

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