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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    The way I read Tim, and maybe I'm wrong, is that the three deep hive produces 300% more bees early, because the bees have the resources to brood up before the first flows of the early spring.
    That was my understanding as well; once the early bees work themselves to death there is only 50% more brood area available.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    does anybody have trouble finding queens that are capable of that? seems to me that less than maybe 5% of the queens will use more space? possibly a certian strain??? My carniols don't seem to get much more than a good solid deep full of brood....
    Most of that 300% more doesn't come from a queen laying at a higher rate, but beginning to lay about a brood cycle sooner according to his post.
    With a larger space and more stores the winter cluster is larger, and able to heat more comb up to brooding temp earlier in spring.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    I'm in my first year of 3 deeps. I have mutts, Carniolans, and certified Russians from Carl Webb. All 3 strains have used all 3 deeps for brood. This is my first year with no swarms although I suppose that could still happen. Some bees are in 8 frame deeps and some are in 10's. Some have screened bottoms, and some don't.
    The honey harvest has been good. Along with the medium supers, we harvested 3 frames out of each top (3rd) deep and gave the bees back foundationless frames. One week later and they had 1/3rd to 1/2 of those frames drawn with new wax.
    I like the 3 deep system because when I need resources for a split or for queen rearing, taking from them doesn't seem to set them back hardly at all. I still have quite a few 2 deep systems that I hope to turn into 3's next year.
    These 3 deep hives are now refilling medium supers and we'll use those to beef up nucs and 2 deep hives for winter.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    St. Joseph County, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    The way I read Tim, and maybe I'm wrong, is that the three deep hive produces 300% more bees early, because the bees have the resources to brood up before the first flows of the early spring. Eventually the difference is not as great, but because he gets lots of foragers early, he is able to harvest honey from flows that other beekeepers aren't able to, because they don't have enough bees then to fully exploit the flow. Pollen and nectar have to be there before brooding up, but in Tim's big hives, that stuff is already available to the bees-- they don't have to go out and find it before the queen can start laying a lot.
    Yes, my understanding is that his hives are FULL of brood and foragers before other's even have a single brood cycle. He is supering up for maple, deadnettle, chickweed flows before everybody else builds up on dandelion

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    St. Joseph County, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    I don't think Tim leaves supers on for winter, but I do know he uses both top and bottom entrances and wraps with tarpaper. The majority of his stock is feral.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    I should have mentioned this in the other thread that was talking about 3 deep hives... I do have some rather large long langs. A few of which are the equivalent of about 3 or 4 deeps. Most of these are usually about 3/4 full at any given time and they make A LOT OF BEES. Once they get up to speed they seem to be pretty self sufficient except for the feeding in of the occasional empty frame or two to ward off swarming by keeping them busy drawing comb. I let two of them overwinter with all their stores and they came out of winter with most of their honey intact and absolutely jammed with bees. I have been using them mostly for making nucs to start other more traditional hives.

    I usually don't do anything with them except swarm prevention.

    I have 8 of these critters. The other 14 of my hives are 8 frame lang deeps. I started with them years back when I thought I might want to try something different, and they have their advantages - such as not being recognizable to vandals that they are a bee hive. I use them mostly in places where you would not expect to see bees, like in vacant lots near town, etc. - sort of a guerilla tactic i guess.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    Read Dee Lusby's "Back to Biological Beekeeping", free on this site. I had the priviledge of helping Dee one day a week for about eight weeks a couple of years ago and the typical hive in all of the yards are 5 deeps - bottom three for brood nest - top 2 for honey. These are booming hives, not "Tonka Toy Hives" as Dee says, and probably not the best for begining beekeepers or urban locations. Swarming is kept to a minimum, honey production is high - you would have to ask her the #'s - and this is in the Sonoran Desert. Also, all of the frames/foundatioin have been Housel (sp?) positioned, so typically no empty frames. Honey supers are left on over the winter, as Dee removes one filled frame at at time to another deep for transfer, and BeeGo/Gone or any other chemical or treatment is never used. The greatest testimony to successful beekeeping without treatments that I have witnessed. With that experience - what I consider a master class in commercial beeking - I have followed Dee's formula (with the exception of hives that I have in the urban Tucson enviroment, which are smaller). I lose a couple of hives a year (I have about 50) to the queens dying out, but to the best of my knowledge I have not lost one to disease. Yes, they're semi-Africanised, but there just honeybees. David, Tucson Honey Company

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    David - I very much am interested in what fellow desert beekeepers do. I purposefully avoid most of the industrialized ag areas and place my hives mostly in the desert or mountain environments. I know I could yield a larger harvest if I did not, but I also do not have to worry about poisons, etc.

    We are in an "AHB" area too, for what it is worth. Yeah, occasionally you see bees that match AM Scutellata, but mostly they are just wild bees. Usually very, hardy. I used to have mine tested, but gave up when 90% came back as African, even the ones I bought from reputable breeders(the ones that didn't die). The only ones who did not were some vicious dark bees I got from a mountain top. Far more aggressive than anything i ever encountered in the desert. For what it's worth that was my experience. I have not decided whether it is just another ploy to make an industry, where we have to be constantly purchasing new queens, or for killing our remaining wild bees to support pest control or what. maybe I am just cynical.

    I just requeen anything that is too runny, or aggressive.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    I'm interested in expanding the brood nest. This is only my second year and I run single deeps. However, I don't use queen excluders. Only once in the past two years has a queen ever ventured above the single deep, and then only laid about half a frame of brood (which was filled with honey as soon as the brood emerged). Do you guys tempt the queen upward by moving frames of brood up? I live in SW MO (not much north of Solomon) and I'm kicking around the pros and cons of moving to double deeps. I have Russians and I wonder if they would avoid some of the cons of double (or triple or quadruple) deeps because they slow brood production to a crawl in a dearth.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lazy Mountain, Alaska, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    I use 8 frame 12 inch deep supers and require the extra volume for winter stores. I winter with two deeps. I have never had a hive of three deeps survive a winter (most likely I am doing something wrong). Then add medium supers for honey production. I also use quilt tops.

    This was a better year for bees here up north as all my April packages have filled two of my 12 inch deeps with newly built comb on wax foundation and was able to harvest a frame of honey from each.

    This winter I'll make some 14 inch deep 8 frame supers to experiment with.
    My bees can hold it !

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Platteville, WI
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    I have 1 triple-deep hive and the others are double deeps. My trriple-deep doesn't have an excluder. I also have drilled a 3/4 inch hole in the top deep as an upper entrance. The bees will use about half of the top box for brood and there is a nice honey-bridge that the queen stays below. Honey production is excellent. The bees don't seem to swarm as often as the other hives and the hive is unquestionably strong. I am treatment free as well, but I also utilize a Screened Bottom Board(SBB) and slatted rack. The queen won't lay all the way to the bottom with a SBB - I find that the slatted rack helps bring her down some, but still not all the way down.
    In the next couple of years, I may convert all of my hives to tripple-deeps.
    One issue with tripple deeps, besides the weight, is that the queen can be difficult to find sometimes - if that is important to you. I generally don't look for her for too long, it is easier to note if there is a healthy brood pattern and brood at all stages.
    Good luck!
    "Life will find a way - it always finds a way." -Jurassic Park (MOVIE/BOOK)
    USDA Zone 5a

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Osborne View Post
    I generally don't look for her for too long, it is easier to note if there is a healthy brood pattern and brood at all stages.
    This is an excellent and efficient practice. There is no need to find the queen, only eggs. In fact the more you look for her, the more you endanger her and risk hurting or killing her.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    http://bushfarms.com/beesulbn.htm

    The "unlimited brood nest" concept seems to mean somewhat different things to different people but it almost always involves leaving more honey over winter and not restricting the queen during the brood rearing season. Some do three deeps or equivalent with an excluder, some don't use an excluder. But I think most if the build up of the hive comes back to G. M. Doolittle's "millions in the bank plan". Bees who have the resources to rear a lot of brood in the spring will. I guess I don't see that this has anything to do with depth or width of boxes, but everything to do with leaving extra stores and leaving plenty of room for the queen either by not using an excluder or by giving them plenty of brood space.

    The old ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture used to have an entry for "food chamber" which was that 3rd deep full of honey over winter.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Young County, Tx
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    Do you guys tempt the queen upward by moving frames of brood up?
    That's what I do by moving a couple brood from below and then placing stores on either side, then replace the space with small cell foundation or small cell starter strips. I only maintain 14 colonies, 4 of which are in 3-4 deeps now. The goal for me is to get all of them built up into 3-4 deeps. Following concepts of Dee Lusby, Michael Bush and now what Tim Ives is doing, more bees per hive and leaving enough stores on for winter is working for me. Basically its small cell brood (more bees and more efficient bees), unlimited brood nest, no excluders, chimney effect ventilation, and solid bottom boards. I started with 2 packages, the oldest from 2010 superceded this year but is still in 4 deeps with supers on top of that. The rest are swarm catches, cutouts and splits. Swarm trap catches from last year and one from April this year are now in 2 deeps, hopefully 3 before the first frost. I put empty wets back on the hive or give some to the new swarm catches and leave on after the last extraction over winter. The bees take better care of them than I can.

    So far so good with regard to pests, swarming issues and hive loss. To me, a strong hive with sufficient stores is better equipped to handle dearth, pest and disease.

    Mike in N. Tx

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    397

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    I think the same can be accomplished with two deeps if properly managed. Overwintering with a larger young cluster with stores in excess is more important than extra space. I have used 3 deeps and it is less work to reach those numbers than in a two deep system. Until the beekeeper has the extra deep box of comb the same high pop can be gotten thru proper rotation and checkerboarding. (This once again is more work)

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    Kamon: that's just it. I can spend time with "management" on double deeps, OR I could just have 10 more 3 deep hives. It costs me more initially, but only visiting hives monthly and not worrying about coordinating my days off with good weather is woth a lot. Three deeps just make things less stressful.
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    webster county Iowa
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    All in all the three deeps works better for me, kind of a northern climate here - but even if food isn't the issue I think just having the numbers - especially in the spring is. I know they use alot of food overwinter but there are good points to larger sized hives.
    Some people take the opposite approach and run smaller brood cluster strains - like russians or carnolians. I have tried and overall it wasn't a roaring success.Problem for me is simply this.
    If I keep a big cluster and numbers they burn alot of fuel over winter but survive - I am running Italians by the way. They can also handle a traumatic event much better, I guess you could say even if alot die from something there are still alot left to fill the gaps and keep the show going.
    They don't always survive but with a little care they are pretty dependable workhorses - not racehorses, maybe big producers, maybe not, but they are live and that is very important to me as things can be changed by re-queening, splitting, other manipulation.

    Bees that have lesser numbers, smaller clusters use less food but don't build as fast ( I have a short season here ) they don't recover as well from a shock to the system, like an accident, robbing, etc....
    Bottom line for me is dead bees don't make honey, I don't care about a huge harvest, survivability is my main criteria, then I worry about the harvest size. I do do this for production and profit but loosing hives and having to start over, buying packages especially is really a wallet draining experience. If you get a few to split in the spring it helps but splits have to come from strong hives and the best way I have found to keep them strong is to keep them large and in good condition....
    Some queens just ignore anything above the first box or second but if I get one that likes to really get loose and lay I just give them room and let them go.
    I have one now that is laying all the way up into the super - 4th box - eventually it will get filled with honey and she will move down, she is an ambitious queen - I did a couple splits off her hive and they are doing better than average as well.
    Some luck, some genetics, some environment but if you get something that works let it work.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Liberty, IN
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
    I'll be trying it on 20 or so hives this winter. Expensive experiment.

    Don

    Numbers game. 30 doubles or 20 triple. 60 hive bodies either way. If you lose 30% of your doubles and put resources on other 20. You still end up with 20 triples. As long as losses wasn't due to AFB.

    Your next problem will be, enough supers to contain everything from swarming.

    My area pollen starts coming in 3/11 on average.

    If hives are not supered early enough. My triples start swarming 4/27-5/9. Doubles 5/26-6/11

  18. #38
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Liberty, IN
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    This is an excellent and efficient practice. There is no need to find the queen, only eggs. In fact the more you look for her, the more you endanger her and risk hurting or killing her.

    Agreed..... If all hives are set up the same. There's a fairly close average activity of hives. Anything below average I'll check why.
    I can look at a yard of 50 hives and tell within a few minutes if there's a problem with a hive.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Liberty, IN
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by arrowwood View Post
    I don't think Tim leaves supers on for winter, but I do know he uses both top and bottom entrances and wraps with tarpaper. The majority of his stock is feral.
    I'll do my last extraction 1 st week of Oct. Put supers back on for bees to clean. Take back off after a good frost. They'll go back on first week of April.

    Being in the lake effect snowbelt of Lake Michigan. Nothing to get couple feet of snow, so I like having the upper entrances. But don't over ventilate top. Back 05' made my top groove on inner cover equal my bottom reducers. The bees propolised them down to a couple bees width. So I listened to them when cutting others.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Liberty, IN
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Triple Deeps, Benefits of Larger Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    does anybody have trouble finding queens that are capable of that? seems to me that less than maybe 5% of the queens will use more space? possibly a certian strain??? My carniols don't seem to get much more than a good solid deep full of brood....
    What's going to happen if you multi generationally raise something a certain way for decades vs something unadulterated?

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