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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rowan County NC
    Posts
    347

    Default Needing some opinions

    I plan on agressively splitting within the next month. I have eight hives that are 10 frame double Langstroth Deeps. I plan to pull a several frames from each to make at least 12 more hives. I have 15 queens coming at the end of Feb, and a couple of them might need to go elsewhere so I am hoping to use a minimum of 12.
    My delima is having drawn out comb in the honey supers. I have 4 supers that are completely drawn out but I would like to make as many as possible with the spring feeding and build up.

    I live in Zone 7A in NC and there is good natural forage and I have 4 acres of crimson clover and one acre of wildflowers planted for the bees.

    I know a few people who run single deep HB's all season long, but the old school around here has always been double deeps. I have always ran double deeps. I did notice the hives (including the very large ones) this year all seemed to winter in the top deep with virtually no stores in the bottom deep.

    So do you guys think it would be feasible to make the splits and have the new and the old hives all at single deeps just so they dont have as many hive frames to draw out and can concentrate more on super frames?

    Would you just worry about expansion and filling the double deeps and not worry so much about honey?

    I just did not get a lot of honey last year because I was busy making increases and having them draw out deep frames...Heck I had one hive draw out 36 deep frames and 10 shallows... But I would like to make some honey this year.

    Thanks in advance.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    New hives typically start as singles and become doubles once 75% of the frames are drawn. This principal would still apply to expansion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    In my experience using a single deep for me would 1. make for some aggressive swarm prevention techniques and 2. I would have to run excluder's...and yes I have had first year hives swarm.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,876

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    An old saying about a choice between growing bees or making honey, as it is hard to do both at the same time. They insulate and wrap them well, but beeks all over Canada winter single deeps. They do rely heavily on filling that single deep by feeding a lot of sugar after they take off the supers. If you are raising bees to make a honey crop, you can do with that information as you wish. You are going to have to draw a lot of comp any way you look at it. Why not run half as doubles and half as singles and see how it works out. Go to pedersenapiaries.ca/ or frenchbeefarm.com and get an idea how they run single brood chambers in a far more challenging climate but probably a much better honey flow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    Depending on the weather and how well your bees are building up, it could be too early to aggressively split hives on March 1. If you want to increase your chances, start feeding pollen patties now to stimulate broodrearing with the idea that you will have enough bees to do the splits. If you don't have enough bees to do strong splits, it will hurt your chances of increase, rather than help. Strong splits will build much faster.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rowan County NC
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by rkereid View Post
    Depending on the weather and how well your bees are building up, it could be too early to aggressively split hives on March 1. If you want to increase your chances, start feeding pollen patties now to stimulate broodrearing with the idea that you will have enough bees to do the splits. If you don't have enough bees to do strong splits, it will hurt your chances of increase, rather than help. Strong splits will build much faster.
    Believe it or not brood rearing is already happening on an amazing scale..especially in three hives. I have three that are already almost boilling over with bees and full of brood. others are catching up slower but they are brood rearing.

    As far as early splits, I have never had a problem with march splits before...I always just have to feed pretty heavy for them to draw out there comb early enough before the flow starts.

    It just seemed like I was trying to get comb built last year and not getting any excess honey...but I do like the idea of trying half in singles.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,285

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    Maybe try double queen tower hives?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,394

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    gp, we are about in the same climate and around here the old school is to overwinter is a single deep with a super of honey on top. the bees have overwintered here easily in that configuration.

    i decided to give them a super on the bottom as well, which gets move up in late winter, and checkerboarded with the top super.

    i don't worry about a queen excluder, as the super frames that have brood raised in them end up getting backfilled with honey or moved back to the bottom when a super is put back down there after the spring harvest.

    i had to get a lot of comb drawn last year, and made the mistake of adding full boxes of foundation between the deep and the existing supers. i think it triggered swarming by creating a 'barrier' of no comb. from now on, all foundation will go on the very top or very bottom.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldprospector View Post
    Believe it or not brood rearing is already happening on an amazing scale..especially in three hives. I have three that are already almost boilling over with bees and full of brood. others are catching up slower but they are brood rearing.

    As far as early splits, I have never had a problem with march splits before...I always just have to feed pretty heavy for them to draw out there comb early enough before the flow starts.
    You all are ahead of us. A mild end of winter will work in your favor too, and we could end of with that again like last year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    I think the winter here in upstate New York is probably both colder and longer than Rowan County.
    I'm wintering in 4 frame nucs, and the bees are doing very well thus far.
    The bees adjust their wintering population and stores the space they have to put up stores.

    I expect that if you winter in singles, the bee will do the same, so lonig as you give them time to make the adjustment.
    Way up here, I make sure the boxes are in their winter configuration by the end of September, and feed as much as they'll take in October until it gets cold.

    Giving them a brood cycle or two to adjust population, and making sure there is plenty of pollen (or balanced suppl) available the during that time is I think what they need to have a proper proportion of stores to healthy bees in order to winter.

    I'm not saying i know how to winter bees in NC, just sharing what I'ce learned in a harsher environment.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,285

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    The bees adjust their wintering population and stores the space they have to put up stores.
    ... and feed as much as they'll take in October until it gets cold.

    Giving them a brood cycle or two to adjust population, and making sure there is plenty of pollen (or balanced suppl) available the during that time is I think what they need to have a proper proportion of stores to healthy bees in order to winter.
    Doesn't the feed upset their natural instincts? It is not their preparation anymore it is yours.
    I wonder if the boost in brood causes the mites to flourish when they should be crashing.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Doesn't the feed upset their natural instincts? It is not their preparation anymore it is yours.
    I wonder if the boost in brood causes the mites to flourish when they should be crashing.
    Yes, Brian.
    It's all about preparing for what I want out of the hive.
    That's why I keep bees.

    Of course, they benefit greatly from my intervention...if you don't believe it, go count the feral colonies.
    Not near as many coming out of winter as in spring.
    I've heard 80% of feral swarms perish every year.

    My beeyard has a much higher survival rate than the feral hives' reported 20%

    If you want to see for yourself how little mites are affecting these colonies, put your imagination away and come see.
    I'm not that far away

    BTW...using 4 frame nucs does not result in an increase in brood rearing over a 5, 8 or 10 frame colony, but the opposite.
    With 3 1/2 frames of stores, there is only a 1/2 frame of brood in autumn, a much lower need for stores, and a cluster big enough to to winter well in that small space.
    Imagine the decrease in mite population with so little brood rearing!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,394

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    >My beeyard has a much higher survival rate than the feral hives' reported 20%

    interesting ber, where was this reported?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    I honestly don't recall.
    I could have been something authoritative I read, could have been a conversation w/some of the bee guys from Cornell...
    Shoot, for all I know it could have been something Ace himself posted at some point in the obscure past.

    Please note, "I heard" isn't the same as "I swear it's accurate"

    I will say, that given the relatively small size of of hivespace chosen by feral swarms (Seeley), and the number of prime & secondary swarms such a colony would throw in year the wild bee probably isn't far off from the figure mentioned, or we'd see a lot more feral colonies around here.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,285

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    or we'd see a lot more feral colonies around here.
    The wiled bee competes with the managed bee for foraging space. If the managed bee disappeared the wild bee would flourish.

    Think about rabbits that breed like crazy. The population will increase for a while until it draws in predators that wipe out the rabbit population.

    A large population of managed bees will bring in more predators and parasites that suppress the wild population. It is the law of nature.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,394

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    understood ber.

    >we'd see a lot more feral colonies around here...

    are you seeing a few?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rowan County NC
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    gp, we are about in the same climate and around here the old school is to overwinter is a single deep with a super of honey on top. the bees have overwintered here easily in that configuration.

    i decided to give them a super on the bottom as well, which gets move up in late winter, and checkerboarded with the top super.

    i don't worry about a queen excluder, as the super frames that have brood raised in them end up getting backfilled with honey or moved back to the bottom when a super is put back down there after the spring harvest.

    i had to get a lot of comb drawn last year, and made the mistake of adding full boxes of foundation between the deep and the existing supers. i think it triggered swarming by creating a 'barrier' of no comb. from now on, all foundation will go on the very top or very bottom.
    I think it would be interesting to try a super on the bottom to see if it is drawn out differently than a super on top. I guess I gotta try it. Alaso, I think I may try to run some single configurations for over-winter just to see how the bees respond.

    I just set everything up the way I used to do it 20 some years ago...It may not be the best way, but it worked back then. Anyway, I'll try both to see what happens and which will be easier.

    Thanks Squarepeg
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rowan County NC
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    I think the winter here in upstate New York is probably both colder and longer than Rowan County.
    I'm wintering in 4 frame nucs, and the bees are doing very well thus far.
    The bees adjust their wintering population and stores the space they have to put up stores.

    I expect that if you winter in singles, the bee will do the same, so lonig as you give them time to make the adjustment.
    Way up here, I make sure the boxes are in their winter configuration by the end of September, and feed as much as they'll take in October until it gets cold.

    Giving them a brood cycle or two to adjust population, and making sure there is plenty of pollen (or balanced suppl) available the during that time is I think what they need to have a proper proportion of stores to healthy bees in order to winter.

    I'm not saying i know how to winter bees in NC, just sharing what I'ce learned in a harsher environment.
    thanks Ber,
    I will have to try to judge when it the right time for them to make the adjustment...maybe mid Oct. around here.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,117

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    I'm with squarepeg one deep on the bottom with drawn comb, then mediums on top. You will probably want to leave a med. on for winter. You should get some honey, we can get 40# from a package started on foundation in April in zone 9b. I think you can beat that with you're idea.

    I've put foundation on the bottom & they didn't touch it, it made good cluster space for the over crowded hive though.
    Dan

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,394

    Default Re: Needing some opinions

    i'm not sure about getting comb drawn with putting foundation on the bottom, as i put mine there after the wax making had pretty much stopped here. having foundation on the bottom definitely stopped the overheating and bearding though.

    during the main wax building part of the spring, i'll put any foundation i need drawn on the very top. once all of my mediums are drawn out, i'll be putting empty drawn comb in the bottom position instead of foundation (for cooling and pollen storage) and this will be in the late spring/early summer after the honey harvest. the bees can protect it from pests there and i won't have to worry about storing it, plus i'll have that empty comb to move up and checkerboard the with top super in late winter/early spring of the next season.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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