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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Tompkins County, New York
    Posts
    118

    Default 1 Brood Box vs. 2 in NE

    I'm curious if anyone uses a single deep for brood and/or overwintering (with or without extra rations) in the northeast. I've used two deeps since I started keeping bees in 2004 (or 3 mediums last year), but I'm considering one deep for brood this year, and wondered if anyone had thoughts or experience.

    Thanks!
    My beekeeping blog: The Bee Yard

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    Default

    We have one beek in our association in NE Ohio who overwinters all of his colonies in single deeps. He is geared toward local pollination, so his goal is to have healthy singles to move to the orchards in early spring.

    He has moderate winter losses, but to achieve this, he spends considerable time and resources in heavy feeding in the fall and early spring.

    He stresses that successful overwintering in single deeps is an attainable option, but you can't just walk away and leave them to fend for themselves, they will need your help if you want to keep your losses low. If you don't have the time or inclination to be extremely attentive to the colonies needs then it would be much simpler to leave the extra stores in place and overwinter in double deeps or three mediums.
    To everything there is a season....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Tompkins County, New York
    Posts
    118

    Default

    With only two colonies, I can certainly give them a bit more attention. A Canadian told me that it's the norm in Canada, where the weather is certainly more challenging than here in Upstate NY.
    My beekeeping blog: The Bee Yard

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lstclair View Post
    A Canadian told me that it's the norm in Canada,
    Single deeps in Canada - norm? Most of the beekeepers here in NE Ohio overwinter in double deeps. If I'm not mistaken I believe that most in the northern US and Canada do the same, in general. It may be normal for your Canadian contact to overwinter in single deeps, but I believe rule of thumb for most in the north is double deeps.
    To everything there is a season....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,252

    Default

    Thompkins County...Ithaca area? I wouldn't winter in one deep there. In fact, I prefer two deeps and a medium. Gives the bees plenty of room to grow big powerful colonies, store the honey and pollen they need without competition for brood rearing comb space, and gives you a bit of extra time in the spring before they get the fever, and hit the trees.

    Go talk to your inspector, Peter Borst, who lives near Ithaca.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Tompkins County, New York
    Posts
    118

    Default

    I'll talk to him, no fear. I tried two deeps and a medium last year for one hive, and four mediums for the other; both starved inches from 40 lbs of honey. Maybe just bad luck, but I was looking for other ways of handling things.

    Yep, Ithaca area, and the Canadian words at Dyce... I 'll be back there in August, so maybe I'll have a chance to ask him a few more questions.
    My beekeeping blog: The Bee Yard

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Posts
    103

    Default single broods

    I live in New Brunswick, Canada, and we have some harsh winters some years. Most people winter bees in two deeps but there are a couple of guys that run singles only and their losses are in the expected 20 % range. The biggest thing is to feed as soon as the honey supers are taken off and keep feeding until they won't take anymore and watch them closely in the spring to make sure they have food. I experimented one winter with half singles and the rest in doubles. I had losses in both but the strongest survivor was a single and I made three splits from it.
    sterlingc

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Beecher Il
    Posts
    76

    Default

    I run singles all year. In my area they seem to build faster and I can super earlier. I have to feed spring, fall and sometimes in august. They can go down hill fast and you have to keep an eye on them. Last year I pulled at the end of July in the second week of August they were starving and stopped rearing brood.
    Al

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    134

    Default You could, but why would you?

    To me, it doesn't seem to make much sense to overwinter in one deep if you have to spend all that time feeding sugar syrup and pollen substitute. It seems to me that it would make more sense to just leave an extra deep of real honey and real pollen.
    Michael

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,298

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    To me, it doesn't seem to make much sense to overwinter in one deep if you have to spend all that time feeding sugar syrup and pollen substitute. It seems to me that it would make more sense to just leave an extra deep of real honey and real pollen.
    Except, in many areas, like my own, they do not readily build from stores, but simply subsist on stores, and only start building, in earnest, once an abundance of fresh nectar and pollen are available. Feeding simulates a population stimulating flow.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 05-30-2008 at 09:40 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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