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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Norfolk, MA. USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Split or add a third deep?

    I'm a 2nd year guy located in Massachusetts. I re-queened one of my hives last fall and it did very well over the winter. Last week I inspected and found nearly no eggs or larva. Lots of empty space in both deeps, plenty of bees, and there were no emergency or swarm cells. Yesterday when I looked. Both deeps were filled with capped brood and larva. Liquid is being stored in the super.

    It appears to me that the hive may be getting a bit crowded soon. My question is; Should I split or add another deep?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    primm springs, tenn
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Split or add a third deep?

    Masskeeper, I too am a 2nd year beek so take in stride my opinion. As I have queried other beeks and the internet blogs, I find the consensus of most is if your supers are at least 70 to 80% fully drawn, it is time to add another super. adding too late could result in swarming and adding too soon could result in the chimney affect.

    I have also learned that if if ask 10 beeks, you will usually get 10 different opinions.
    Have a good day

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,533

    Default Re: Split or add a third deep?

    MK you post is very contradictory. If you have very little brood one week, you cannot have two boxes of sealed brood the next week. It takes a queen a couple days to fill a frame with eggs and the first one laid won't be sealed for around a week!??? I wonder if your hive is queenless and what you are seeing as brood is capped honey in both boxes. A broodlesss hive with nothing else to use the honey for like brood rearing can store a prodigious amount of honey. Look again hard for eggs or larvae. Open a couple of those cells of brood and see what is in them. Oh yes, no matter what the frames are full of, you need to add a super!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,674

    Default Re: Split or add a third deep?

    Vance is on the money there, got any pics? the brood will be a straw collered yellow cap. Honey can be anything from white to yellow but will have a wet look.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,252

    Default Re: Split or add a third deep?

    3rd deep is always the way I go. This way you get a new box built out and if she lays brood in the center two frames you get a easy spit. Either way you will get some honey in that 3rd box. Use the comb for splits.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    581

    Default Re: Split or add a third deep?

    Assuming you have a queen and unless you plan the third deep as a super, my vote is split.

    Years ago I introduced a third deep between two for swarm prevention. They had their own ideas, built drone comb sideways and swarmed. Fortunately, I caught one and used that third deep in the new colony.

    By the math I've seen, two deeps is the space needed to keep a queen busy and her pace dictates total population. Beyond that, you have stores. Yes, you may get a full third deep to split, but the queen cycle takes the same time. When you pull frames into a nuc or deep, they immediately raise a new queen. If you wait for a full third deep, it starts then. Yes, you can purchase a queen, but IMHO your own stock has more merit than a bred queen especially after reading recent threads and comes at no cost or risk. As long as you can manage them, a few hives beyond what you intend to harvest provides greater loss recovery and ultimately less cost. If you find queen cells, you're ahead of schedule.

    I made an early split this year and while still small, they appear active. Since I don't expect a harvest from them, I'll try a Demaree two queen hive and let then separate to build up for winter. Why? Because I can.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,444

    Default Re: Split or add a third deep?

    What are your goals for beekeeping? Do you want to make honey? If so get some honey supers on. If you want to increase your hive count at the expense of immediate honey production, add a third deep for them to draw out before you split.

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