It seems that 3 deeps or the equivalent used to very common in harsh climates. Both in the desert or in the northern US or Canada. Dee Lusby runs 3 deeps, with brood in all 3 bookended by honey and pollen. There are some interesting observations here as well:
Adam - Zone 5A
I'm dubious about your credentials, to be honest. What serious academic would make up stuff about a guy he had no actual knowledge of, based on a few posts on an internet forum, particularly when those accusations can so easily be demonstrated to be a baseless fantasy? In essence, you've accused a beekeeper you don't even know of being some sort of conman. That's pretty irresponsible, and I'm a little surprised that the moderators haven't admonished you for this."Each year I just pull splits, bred them in other yards and create new
yards." --Tim Ives
I expect Barry would speak sharply to me if I started making up stuff about you... and you don't even have a name.
Veni, vidi, Velcro. I came, I saw, I stuck around.
He started his massive supering operation in 2006 with 40 hives, each three deep. Given his loss rate, he lost 3 or 4 of those. As I understand it, these days a lot of beekeepers average 30 percent loss rates. I you were to break up those 3 deeps into single boxes, and had that percentage of deadouts, you'd have to restock 36 hives, so he's doing better on both the labor side of things and the replacement cost side.
Except for that whole climbing the stepladder thing, he does avoid some of the labor costs, and woodenware costs, associated with breaking the 3-deep boomers up into single boxes.
As I said earlier, I'm old and feeble, so his system is impractical for me. But he handles 150 hives and works a full time job as a carpenter, I believe.
It's possible some variation of his system might work for folks like me, if we pulled honey more frequently and didn't have such massive stacks of supers.. but that's just speculation.
What I don't get is, considering the basic idea that to produce a frame of brood requires a frame of honey and a frame of pollen, how does one get those huge crops?
I know one beekeeper who has hives in NY in which the brood is in a deep and a medium w/ the honey above an excluder, the number of medium supers commonly being head high. Six or more supers above the excluder. Some times they will all have honey in them.
(how do you spell excluder to satisfy Spell Check?)
In it, the author lists the forage sources in Tim's area, according to Tim. There's no reference to nectar from hensbit, just "forage." Being an ignorant newbee, I didn't know that hensbit isn't a nectar source, and just assumed.
Mark, excluder isn't in most spell checkers. You have to add it.
I'm just a beginner, so I don't understand what's unrealistic about that statement.In Tim's area, March 11 on average, pollen starts coming in. He says a typical 2 hive body system will start laying at this time and over the next 2 brood cycles (21 days) a 2 hive body system will average 12 frames of brood, but a 3 hive body system will average 18 since it incurred an earlier cycle. That's 50% more brood in the 3 hive body system and by the end of April, a 3 hive body system can have 300% more bees versus a 2 hive body system. Of course... this is also requiring a healthy queen that is properly nourished and in her zone... laying approx. 2000-3000 eggs per day.
Tim is being entertaining. I recognize the methodology.
He's not a conman. He's a story teller.
The fat bee thing isn't scientific, nor is it necessary to understand what he's doing.
It's just a 'Powerhouse Honey Hive'.
And no. There's no way he came up with 18 frames of capped brood from a single queensright hive right before the main flow.
I am an admirer of Mel's MDA Splitter methodology.
That's why I recognized it immediately.
Am I making sense to you?
It seems to exceed the laying capacity which is generally stated to be up to about 2000 per day. 18 deep frames is far more than I have ever seen in my admittedly limited experience. A much more experienced bee keeper I have met who is well known locally for very large honey per hive numbers says that 20 medium frames is an adequate size for a brood nest. But it's all anecdotal as far as I know.
The key is that you don't want uncapped brood (or even a laying queen!) in that type of tower hive.
That's why the capped brood, and any bees you shake or combine into the tower will gather and store so much honey. They're basically just foragers, comb builders, and honey makers.
Capped brood, alot of bees, and queen pheromone are the main ingredients (some don't use a queen or the pheromone). You're restricting the castes that the bees will become by doing that.
That's the trick.
Just remember that the queens and combs that aren't useful to this method, are safely in nucs removed to some other yard (some say at least a mile away).
They're the ones used to outbreed mites and prepare for next year's towers.
Here's how Mel does it.
Here's Mel's site:
Are we cool on this yet?
If you took a gander at Mel's method, you'd see that it takes 3 or 4 queensright hives to build a tower of power.