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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Adding Deep on top of Super with Brood

    I wintered over two hives each with a deep and a super on top. At the beginning of the winter, the super was full of honey with the deep below containing the brood. When in began checking on them this spring, both had already started using the comb in the supers mostly cleared of honey for pollen and brood.

    I eventually want to build each of these into having brood chambers two deep (two deeps below). The problem as I am looking at it is that now that they have started iincorporating the super as an extension of the brood chamber, I don't want to break this up by putting a deep with foundation in between. The growing colony would not only have to build out the comb, but would have the honey, pollen and some brood separated from the main brood area below.

    So the questions I have are: Should I go ahead and put a deep above the super and have them expand into this? Should I separate the super from the deep by placing a second deep in between and hope they adjust? And, if I do add the deep on the top, when at a later time in the summer do I look to switch out or switch up the super being used presently for brood?

    I guess I could consider going directly to adding a super on top what presently amounts to 1 and 1/2 boxes of brood, but up this way it is typically thought that two deeps are needed to give the best chance at wintering over.

    Thanks for any opinions on my take and any ideas I am not thinking of.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,920

    Default Re: Adding Deep on top of Super with Brood

    If it was my hive, I would add a super, let them fill it with honey, extract and give it back where I expect them to start using it for brood. They will likely have moved up in the brood supers by then. There is no right or wrong or we would all be running the same super depth and width in the same configuration. Whatever you do your bees will make the best of it!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Adding Deep on top of Super with Brood

    Just put the deep on top and let them build up into it, then move it down. When you move it down if there's brood remaining in the super then stack the super over an excluder until the brood emerges. Then it's a honey super again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,379

    Default Re: Adding Deep on top of Super with Brood

    Or, reverse the hive and place the foundation on top. Then your deeps are together and next spring the shallow on the bottom will be empty. Reverse the hive then and the deeps are together and the shallow is on top.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Adding Deep on top of Super with Brood

    Just a rookie question:
    Could you add the second deep on top of the first deep if you moved some of the frames of brood into it first? Kind of like pyramiding? Would that keep the brood nest contiguous?
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Adding Deep on top of Super with Brood

    Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it. Regarding ccar2000's suggestion/question, i don't think the colony is strong enough to be spread vertically that far although with a stronger one and one that did not already have a super on top I have taken five frames from below and centered them on top of the five remaining below to allow expansion into two deeps and that worked pretty well. Maybe no difference in total area. Worth thinking about and thank you.

    Americasbeekeeper and fish stix, thanks for those ideas, too. Allowing me to think outside the brood box. And Mike, thanks also - a true Northeast/Vermont response and one I might follow if I don't feel too stingy about holding hostage one of my few drawn supers (I have just three hives and a nuc at this point) until next spring.

    Not surprisingly, great and different ideas within the discipline of beekeeping.

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