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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fortson, GA, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default medium to deep brood chamber

    I started my first hive of Russian bees this year with a medium super so that I can use only mediums in my entire hive and reduce the different sizes of equipment that I need. Well this year my bees came out of the winter very strong and I had a fairy early swarm that I want to try to avoid next year. My question is: Would it help relieve some swarming tendencies if I switched to a deep brood chamber? Also if I did try this how should I go about making the switch from a medium to a deep chamber?

    With the Russians tendency to over winter in a small cluster and then build up quickly I thought that giving them a little more room might help.

    Jason
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,844

    Default Re: medium to deep brood chamber

    It just doesn't matter what size the box. It is the total living space they have. Two mediums will replace one deep or close to it. If you want to switch just put a deep on and when the queen lays in it, move it to the bottom. That simple

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sale Creek, Tn. USA
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: medium to deep brood chamber

    I agree with Vance that it is the total space that counts. I really like your idea of having ALL frames interchangible. Even two mediums are not enough in my opinion. I used three when I was in Langstroth ( commercial ) equipment.

    You have to be careful about "spreading the brood" too much when you reverse the supers. If you have young brood in the top and put it on the bottom they may not be able to cover it all on cool nights ( below 60 degrees ). Some brood might chill and die.

    I despise deep supers because of the weight. I would never use them for brood chambers or anything else. I would use all shallow supers before I would use a deep.

    The most effective method of swarm control is to requeen at the beginning of a honeyflow. Even with lots of space you will probably not stop a two-year-old queen from swarming. If you see queen cells with eggs in them you may have to requeen even earlier, and feed sugar syrup to simulate a honeyflow. Raymond, Sale Creek, Tn.
    Raymond

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default Re: medium to deep brood chamber

    >My question is: Would it help relieve some swarming tendencies if I switched to a deep brood chamber?

    No, but you could try overwintering in more boxes to give them more room earlier.

    >With the Russians tendency to over winter in a small cluster and then build up quickly I thought that giving them a little more room might help.

    With ten frame mediums I would give them a minimum of three boxes and it wouldn't hurt to give them four. How many are you overwintering in?

    In eight frame mediums I would give them a minimum of four boxes and maybe as much as six.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fortson, GA, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: medium to deep brood chamber

    "With ten frame mediums I would give them a minimum of three boxes and it wouldn't hurt to give them four. How many are you overwintering in?"

    I recieved my bees last year in August and by the end of the season they ended up with 2 8 frame medium supers and the top was full of honey. They came thru winter very well and by the beginning of April I had already added two supers and should have put on another, but they swarmed first. I will try to have more for them this winter. Thank you for the advice.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Albany, CA, USA
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: medium to deep brood chamber

    I also made this mistake the first year with our swarm hive. We wanted to use all mediums with these girls because of weight considerations, but we did not realize what prolific wax builders these girls are. Much more compared to our Italians. Speaking for just our swarm hive, it is much better for them to have two deeps as brood chambers. We are attempting to slowly switch them over to that configuration.
    Mil Apostol - Chef, Beekeeper, Gardener, Forager, and Geocacher
    http://www.UrbanFarmAndBeehives.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default Re: medium to deep brood chamber

    I would follow this rule for adding boxes. Anytime the current space is 80% full double the space. So if they have two eight frame boxes 80% full add two more boxes. A hive will double very quickly during the main buildup.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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