Musings on one vs two brood boxes and use of excluders
Having read and partly understood various posts on management of hives to minimize swarming while maximizing bee production and honey production I must admit I still have as many questions, if not more, than when I first starting reading the threads.
I may have this wrong and hope to be corrected if I am.
(1) it seems Walt checkerboards above the brood nest by alternating honey filled frames with empty frames in 2 superd boxes. Are these boxes the same size as the underlying brood boxes or smaller like honey supers? Does he use one or two brood boxes below the checkerboarded boxes? Does he use a Queen excluder. Does he checkerboard before the flow when the spring brood is starting to expand?
(2) Ian overwinters in one box...how much feed is each box over wintered with?
His strong over wintered deeps are given a second box. This box gets filled. The 2 boxes are separated into 2 hives. The Queenless side gets a queen. Second boxes are put on. The boxes grow then the queen is retricted to the second box by a queen excluders and honey supers are put on. Is the upper brood box removed or left above the excluder and below the honey supers?
What happens to the weak single deeps that come out of winter?
(3) Bernard's single deeps seem to spend their lives below a Queen excluder. The idea is they form an open space above the excluder fooling the hive into thinking they are not prepared enough to swarm even though there are filled honey supers above the open dome. Again how are these single deep boxes provided for over winter?
(4) others open the sides of the brood nest to encourage brood expansion. Move the outermost filled frame to the outside and put an empty frame in its place thus getting more brood frames. Is this in a single or double brood boz system, with or without an excluder.
(5) I have no idea what Tim does but at 65 yr, 64 " tall, arthritis and heart disease I have no desire to have a 7 ft high hive!
(6) others seem to demaree the hive. I think that involves keeping the Queen to a single deep under an excluder with plenty of space to lay in. Then 2 empty honey supers and above that a brood box containing open and capped brood. I think it is supposed to deter swarming while keeping the hive full of bees to gather honey. After the upper brood has emerged that brood box is put back down below the supers.
I am new to beekeeping. Most of my hives have been 2 deep brood boxes with dadant honey supers above. No excluder. I have noticed that the outside brood frames are usually empty. The brood is on the central 4 frames with pollen then honey outside them.
I am interested in trying using single deeps with excluders to confine the brood nest but am i correct in thinking one allows groth initially before confining the Queen to the lower level? If so what are the season cues for timing of the move down? Also I like that Ian's method allows for hive increase each season.
Comments and musings would be greatly appreciated.
Also we plan on trying to raise a few Queens this year. How best to orchestrate and make up cell starters and finishers when managing hives along the lines of Ian and Bernard?
Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06