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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Parker, CO
    Posts
    19

    Default Slow start...Time enough to add 2nd deep?

    Hey all:

    I'm in Parker, CO (near Denver).

    I started 2 hives with nucs in late May. I didn't feed them anything, expecting them to populate the foundations themselves. In August I found that I had several empty (untouched) foundations and started feeding them.

    I have fed the hives 4 gallons each of 1:1 syrup since August. I guess I achieved my goal as there are now more frames with comb and honey/syrup than before. The brood area is reduced to a half-frame here and a quarter frame there in both hives.

    It is late September and freezing will start in a few weeks. It's already down to the mid to high 40s at night.

    QUESTION:
    Since both of my hives appear to have 5-6 frames of capped honey and uncapped syrup in 10 frame deeps, should I put a 2nd deep on then keep feeding? Or should I overwinter in 1 deep that doesn't have a lot of room for brood?

    I envision that I could take honey and uncapped syrup frames from the original deep and start the 2nd deep, then put empty foundations in the bottom deep. Is that advisable?

    Thanks in advance for your experienced input!

    BannonB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Slow start...Time enough to add 2nd deep?

    I don't know a thing about your locale, but here, I would over winter them in a single deep. How much do they weigh? Are they heavy?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Parker, CO
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Slow start...Time enough to add 2nd deep?

    I'm in the windswept plains of Colorado. Super low humidity all winter, very windy, zone 5a.

    Since there are about 6 frames of liquid (capped honey and some uncapped syrup) I would say that they are heavy.

    My concerns are about room for brood. If I keep feeding them, there will be lots of honey/syrup but little room for brood in the single deep. I also am afraid of putting the 2nd deep with undrawn foundation becasue they would have to draw it out before using for storage.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,270

    Default Re: Slow start...Time enough to add 2nd deep?

    Put a box underneath. It will give them room if they need it. Do it quick as they need heat to draw comb. I am feeding heavily and drawing new comb right now due to shaking bees off AFB infested comb. It will be close for me for the last ones shaken. If you get right at it they will draw some comb in that lower box and give you cluster space and laying space. Reduce the bottom entrance to keep the draft down and help them heat things. If you have sbb's get rid of them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Parker, CO
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Slow start...Time enough to add 2nd deep?

    VanceG,
    Thanks for the pointers. You are from a dry cold climate kind of like me (except a lot colder)

    Let me rephrase to be sure I understand the what and why. Let me know if I missed any points.

    -So if I added a bottom deep with wax painted (or just new) frames and keep feeding them, they may be able to leverage it for the winter time. They will use them if they "need" them.
    Is this where 2:1 syrup will help them draw comb faster than 2:1? I was planning on starting that soon.
    -They will tend to cluster in the top deep (the original) where all the honey and syrup are presently. If the cluster is big enough they will use part of the bottom box too.
    -It won't hurt anything to have that empty space below them but probably would aid the spring expansion.
    -Finally, I do have screened bottom boards, but can slide in the cover to allow them more warmth.

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