Acebird, maybe Bluegrass is saying that the physical toll of working a tall hive is a negative in itself, and that was his answer? But tall hives actually affecting the colony or production? Someone had mentioned earlier that stacking tall depends a lot on where your bees are, and if the weather + environment make it a beneficial move. I've got some hives along coastal California, but it wouldn't behoove me to stack tall, because we just don't get the heat to help ripen all the honey.
There are a few theories of why tall hives (triple deeps) might provide some advantages over standard single or double deep hive and super configurations.
I think that the extra room at the bottom of a 3 deep configuration provides a lot of extra space for nectar storage, thereby freeing up the rest of the deeps for other productivity related bee activities.
It's part of unlimited broodnest theory.
The extra supers provide space for the hoarding instinct.
That's some of what I understand about how it's supposed to work.
Timing is everything.
Brian, I don't usually run anymore than two deeps and I don't usually use queen excluders w/ them unless there happens to be some brood in the honey supers, found when it's time to harvest.
OK thanks Mark. How many supers do you put on and are they shallows or mediums? I also would like to know if you mix in foundation and do you do it by the box or checkerboard it with drawn comb?
Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping
Acebird: I have two queen excluders, but I don't use them with this configuration.
sqkcrk: I said nectar. Unless you provide some extra space for it, they'll put it just anywhere.
What does stored nectar become?
I hope they don't go down though after this tough winter.
I'm keeping an eye on a Growing Degree Days tracker (gddtracker.net) so I can at least judge what's coming in.
Tim, you would be doing me a big favor if you start a thread in TF beekeeping to explain the steps you are taking as you prep your own hives.
I'm concerned that these two hives could turn into boomers that might get out of my control. I'd hate for them to swarm.
If the colony does become a boomer, they'll need plenty of space to store it first.
I think that a key part of unlimited broodnest theory is that you want to avoid interfering with the natural structure of the broodnest and stores. If there's not enough space, they'll start working against each other.
My area March 11th on average is fresh pollen. April 27th average start on swarms, so Qcells was started April 11th. I super 2 weeks prior.
Check brood frame quantities. They'll average 18 frames +/-3 frames. Every frame emerged equals 2 frames of bees. 18 frames equals another 36 frames (3.6 deeps) or 6 mediums. Which is why I use 7. Doing so doubles the space.
Feeding to stimulate throws off the natural cycles. Since I don't feed, can't answer on the dynamics of doing so.
I haven't had a Queen pass the New super to get into the drawn supers.
In 2011 when using 10 supers. One out of 8 hives ended up with a second queen in top supers. On them hives you coulf of put another 8 supers on.
Ace, If I may speak for Tim - the first super above the 3-deep brood chambers has 10 frames with new foundation (not yet drawn.) Above that, he places another super of drawn foundation, above that a super of new foundation, and on top, another super of drawn foundation. Two to three weeks later, he adds another 2-3 supers... I believe between the brood chambers and that first super of new foundation (which the bees may have worked at that point.)
I'm going to transition 20 or so colonies to a three-deep system this season. Tim has been kind enough to advise me on how, with subsequent supering after those are in place. I may even try to treat some of my prolific "two-deep and a medium" hives in the 3-deep fashion this spring, just to see If I can get them going early.