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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    104

    Default One deep or two deeps?

    I have done lots of searching and found that some people use one deep for a brood nest, some use two deeps, some use one deep and a medium, etc...

    How is it that one hive can have one deep, then add honey supers and the bees fill the supers with honey. Then the next person has one deep and one medium, both boxes are used for a brood nest before the honey super is added. What determines weather the bees will use the second box as a brood nest or fill it with honey?

    Sorry if the question is confusing, I'm just trying to figure out if I should use one or two deeps for my hives. I would like to get the largest honey crop possible.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,074

    Default Re: One deep or two deeps?

    What determines weather the bees will use the second box as a brood nest or fill it with honey?
    A queen excluder
    And if not using one
    The bees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    774

    Default Re: One deep or two deeps?

    Bees in different parts of the country have different needs. All beekeeping is really local in nature, so you look around at what successful beekeepers in your area are doing and that is how you start. As you gain experience, you try different things to see what works for you and what does not. And, too, the boxes that hold the brood nest also hold the winter stores. The brood nest will expand and contract according to the hive's needs, but they always need enough space for stores to keep themselves fed no matter how long the dearth. And some dearths occur in the middle of summer in some parts of the country, not just in the late spring, which is part of why I say all beekeeping is local so follow the successful local beeks.

    HTH

    Rusty

    I would like to get the largest honey crop possible.
    This depends on the strain of bees, the local conditions, AND your skills. The longer you keep bees, the more you learn and the better you get at it. I barely got any honey my first couple of seasons. But I learned and eventually the amount of honey started reflecting that. For the first season or so, try not to kill them. After that you can try to increase your yields.

    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Princeton, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: One deep or two deeps?

    bosco500,
    I've wondered the same thing you are. I don't think I would ever try to use just one deep for the brood nest. Right now I have some hives that are two deeps and several that are a deep with a shallow. The questions for me are: 1. What is the best for swarm prevention? 2. What is the best for overwintering? 3. What is the best for ease of management? I'm trying to find the best for all three, and I've got a ways to go before I figure it out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    692

    Default Re: One deep or two deeps?

    IMO A single deep and a young queen is ideal for honey production. If you pollinate then I would go with doubles. We make large nucs in spring and the nucs grow into singles quickly. This way we have July honey from them. A second brood deep is added with a big patty for late summer/fall flow so they could stock up on honey and so the queen goes through a few more cycles to have those winter bees.

    You have to personally try each setup and see what works best for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,762

    Default Re: One deep or two deeps?

    Not all queens are equal, some are just better than others at laying lots of eggs. I think if you confine the average queen to a single deep box with an excluder she will put brood in most of the frames, the bees will store most of the honey above the excluder to give her room to lay. If you use two deeps under an excluder, the bees will be inclined to put more honey in the two deeps because there is that much more room under the excluder. If you are looking for maximum honey production, I think one deep for brood is sufficient. Some will argue that two deeps is better than one because you get more brood which gives you more foragers which gives you more honey, if the bees use all that extra room for brood, then yes, they may be right, but in most cases the bees will pack more honey into that extra room which nullifies the whole plan. John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,439

    Default Re: One deep or two deeps?

    Your location will make the choice for you. In Northern climes the bees use the 2nd deep as the place for storing food for winter. I know of beekeepers in my area who use 2 deeps and a medium just to make sure the bees have enough winter food. Of course the beekeeper needs to be sure the boxes are full in the fall!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: One deep or two deeps?

    Thanks guys for the responses. I guess I will try some of both and see how I come out each way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clintwood VA USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: One deep or two deeps?

    I use 2 deeps as it will cut down on swarms and usually the queen uses both for brood. There are exceptions and occasionally the second deep will be filled with honey.

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