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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Milwaukee, WI, USA

    Post Brood nest health movement


    I'll be starting my first hive...maybe year and I have a bit of a concern. All medium hives seem really popular on the internet so I figured that I might go along with that. However, I have two concerns with the philosophy vs deep/shallows.
    Shouldn't a brood nest within a deep hive body be bigger than in a medium? Meaning with more brood the hive should be stronger in deep/shallow configuration. From what I understand the hive picks one section to raise brood so I figure I'd want them to take the biggest section.
    Also since the bodies are all medium...could I have trouble as a beginner with honey supers vs brood supers? The queen could essentially be laying brood anywhere, or moving the brood nest around since there wouldn't be a preference with all the bodies being medium. People don't seem very concerned with it but since I don't have any experience I feel like it could be a mess.

    Again, no experience as a beekeeper so my assumptions could seem silly, but they have been bothering me. Since I want to keep bees but I cant yet I've been obsessing about it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Spokane, Washington, USA

    Default Re: Brood nest health movement

    one medium is not enough for brood. the queen takes 2-3 mediums for brood.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Evansville, IN

    Default Re: Brood nest health movement

    Yes, a larger continuous brood nest is probably better, but likely the only time it would restrict the queen in any way would be in early spring when it's cold. Soon as it warms up, she will cross the frames easily. Two mediums is larger than one deep, too.

    You always have the possibility of the queen laying in the honey supers, particularly drones. There are ways to minimize this, but it's no more or less of a problem in mediums than in deeps. However, the bees restrict the queen to the brood next except for drones as a rule (which means some won't and you will get brood all over), and even then it's only a problem if there is brood in a frame you want to extract, or more likely, a row or two of brood in the center at the bottom. You can wait until the brood emerges and extract then if you want, it will not affect the honey. Cut comb is more of a problem, because the wax isn't clean and white after bees are raised in it.

    Mediums work well, are much lighter than deeps (a big advantage if you are short or not terribly muscular, or just lazy) and the amount of honey a hive makes isn't affected. The other plus is that all the frames are the same size, which is very handy at times.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    DFW area, TX, USA

    Thumbs Up NOt that complicated!

    Bees will live most anywhere. We took a colony from a six inch pipe in the ground a few weeks ago. The bees (pests and diseases aside) will thrive in any configuration of Langstroth hive you can imagine (many other hive designs too).

    The issue for many is lifting the weight of each section of the hive. I chose eight frame deeps with a medium on top of that for the brood chamber. That worked just fine for me. I can add a deep next year if I want two deeps for the brood chamber. This year, the queens worked both the deep and a medium for the brood chamber in two of my five hives (the others were late splits).

    Some bee strains (read Italian) can produce gigantic brood chambers. My bees don't. They are Carniolan/Italians crossed with my local sperm doners. Don't be too concerned about a brood nest that is all over the place. The queen will usually make the brood nest in a predictable and organized shape and position.

    Many beekeepers prefer one size for all equipment, providing universal interchange. That means one size for all hive bodies and one size for all frames.

    Bottom line: Its an individual choice, there isn't any wrong answer in the thoughts you outlined above.
    Last edited by Lburou; 10-14-2012 at 12:47 PM.
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

    Default Re: NOt that complicated!

    psfred hit the nail on the head, go with mediums you wont regret it. You wont have to lift them everday, but when you do those deeps are heavy, and hard to work with.
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    San Mateo, CA

    Default Re: Brood nest health movement

    My experience with 30+ years of using large frames (11 1/4" deep) and large brood chambers (12 frame) in parallel with smaller frames and boxes, is that larger frames and boxes produce a larger honey crop.
    But, the argument that lighter weight boxes are easier on your body and uniform size boxes are a convenience, certainly should be taken into consideration.


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