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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Windsor Ontario Canada
    Posts
    15

    Default How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    Im a first year bee keeper, and I got my first two 4-frame nukes this May 25. My question is that my bee supplier said that I only need 1 deep super (10 frames) for the bees, and then I added a shallow honey super and queen excluder last week. I'm watching everyone else's threads, and I feel like i'v been led astray and am questioning if this is right. I'm in zone 7b in southwestern Ontario (the warmest zone in Canada)(except Vancouver island), and don't have a mentor to guide me thru.

    Al
    Last edited by AlWheat; 07-01-2013 at 07:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,678

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    If you got your nucs from someone local, I'd go with their advice. The number of deeps is extremely regional. Where I'm at in Maine I use two, and people I respect use two deeps and a medium or three deeps as a brood chamber. You want the bees to have room to store the honey/pollen they will need for winter and spring buildup until natural forage is available. You do not want to plan on emergency feeding. If your bees are going to need feeding to survive winter do it in the fall.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    I would do some more checking with other local beekeepers. In our area of Ohio we use two deeps to over winter our hives.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Campbell River, British Columbia Canada
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    zone 8b is warmer :P vancouver island :P everyone i know here keeping bees uses two deeps

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    Singles will winter fine where you are but you should pull supers by first or second week of September, get a mite treatment of some kind going and feed them as much syrup as they will take or they'll most likely starve. Also once you remove the supers there'll be a lot of bees hanging out the front until the fall bees die off. Use a double brood chamber if you don't like this idea but it will severely affect your honey crop by this time of year. Just my 2 cents

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,621

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    I vote with Markt. one deep, with frame manipulation, is fine. We DO have 4 more deeps per hive as supers, three maz on the hive, and one in Que to/from extracting room.


    crazy Roland

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,027

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    I would go with two and don't take a drop of honey. The experts know what they are doing. My guess is you don't. That is why I say go with at least two.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    I think it's a mistake to assume every size cluster of bees needs the same amount of room and stores for winter. A small cluster might not need much at all. A large cluster may need a lot more. Assuming a large cluster of Italians (brood rearing fools) I would like to have five or six eight frame mediums (but if I were using deeps that would probably be three). Because they will burn a lot of that up in the spring rearing brood. But with a really small cluster of feral bees or Carniolans (frugal bees who won't raise brood so early and so much), I might have just one or two eight frame mediums. It is not only a question of your climate, but the race of bees and the size of the cluster...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    I'm running close to 600 singles right now not too far from where you are, one thing you'll want to be sure and do is pull any frame that's nothing but honey out of the broodnest and put it over the excluder, failing to do so will stop the queen from having enough room to lay by later on in the season as they'll slowly plug the bottom nest up with honey, mites will take over and bad things happen from there. You'll definitely want to give them all the feed they'll take assuming the broodnest is packed full of bees by the end of the season to be sure they have enough to survive a worst case scenario winter (Which by the way can be close to 6 months of -10 to -25 on a bad year so others have an idea). Again there's nothing wrong with going for a double if you prefer the idea but you'll likely lose any shot at a honey crop. Maybe ditch the excluder if you're going that route to make them move up more easily.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Windsor Ontario Canada
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    Markt ... I went to check the hives today and removed the burr comb as someone had suggested earlier, it had only been a week and a couple of days since i last checked, and nothing in the honey super (shallow) had even been drawn out. I assume that this is due to the rainy weather that we have been having down here ... I hope that I haven't done anything wrong. The last frame on the outsides of the broodnest is just about drawn out and filled with honey. I went with a shallow honey super as recommended which would make pulling the frame and putting it over the excluder impossible, what would you recommend I do? Should I change my setup and add deep supers? I wish I could see your setup so I could get a mental image of how things actually should be. Words will have to do ..... thanks for the information in advance
    .

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    They really don't like to draw just straight foundation above an excluder, I think what I'd do is go without the excluder until they've drawn the super out a bit (At least a third) then replace the excluder making sure that the queen is below it and not in the super. As for the deep frames of honey and shallow supers that's a tough call, if it's capped I guess you could extract it or else you could save it and give it back to them in the fall. You might end up with some brood in your super doing it this way but it'll have hatched by the time you want to extract it anyway. Just a thought.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,621

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    It really adds management options when all your equipment is the same size. Choose now, and choose wisely.

    Crazy Roland

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    Very true. Something to think about for sure provided one doesn't mind lifting full deeps.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    I don't see where it makes much difference what size boxes you run just as long as you manage accordingly. Presently I am running one deep brood box then everything up from there are mediums. The only reason for doing it this way is I bought 50 unassembled 10 frame mediums at an estate sale for $200.00. I do not like excluders and I have Russian bees which means they lay all the way to the top. I just extracted some honey, and what I do is take the frames from each medium without brood ( which is usually the last 2 or 3 frames on each side of the boxes). When I start preparing for winter I will probably go with one medium on top of my brood chamber. I only got the mediums because of the price at the sale, but now that I have them I am considering going to all mediums next year. They sure are a lot easier on the old back!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,195

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    It really adds management options when all your equipment is the same size. Choose now, and choose wisely.

    Crazy Roland
    That is so true I have all deeps and it's nice makes beekeeping a lot easier .
    I run two deeps in the winter here in PA and it works great.
    Right now I have 3 for brood and as many as 2 for honey.
    Going to make some splits today and start thinking about about getting ready for fall having a good year.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Mesa County Colorado USA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: How many deep hive boxes should I have?

    If you are using the deep, 10 frame, I use 2, put a queen excluder on top of that, and add supers from there.
    Before a bee stings, it will be sure to let you know that it will hurt them more than it will hurt you.

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