Single Brood Chambers
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Brenham Texas
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    35

    Default Single Brood Chambers

    Hi....I am planning on about 50 single brood chambers next spring. I have never done this so wanted to hear pros and cons that those who might be doing this already. I know it requires more inspections and time but for me I would like to keep all brood in one bottom deep. I will be using a queen excluder above deep and using mediums for honey supers. I am in Texas and have good flows. thank you! --stan

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    Only problem with me that as we have such wast amounts of brood diseases here I never figured out a way to circulate old combs out. With two brood chambers (there may be one at a time in use) it is soooooo easy.

    The official advise is to move old combs to the sides and remove them in cold period. Well I did not get this message to my queens, language problems... they kept on laying on the dark combs where ever they were.
    TF since 2008, max 1 nuc/hive, no swarm collecting, www.buckfast.fi, YouTube juhanilunden

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Brenham Texas
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    thanks! sounds like its all a management call. The old comb procedure makes sense. I just want one brood chamber. Time will tell. thanks!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    863

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    What do you do with all of the bees and how do you prevent them from swarming? I am in the north and have a hard time giving them enough space with 2-3 deeps with supers above. If they swarm, you won't have many bees left. I don't see the appeal of running single deeps, so please explain. Thanks. J

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Brenham Texas
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    35

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    This is one of the best videos on it. On swarming you just dont let them swarm. Management. Watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjyNcyVvbEI

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    863

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    Unfortunately, he doesn't go into his swarm management. I would love to hear how swarm management is done with only one brood box. Besides pulling frames of nectar and splitting, I can't think of any. I have a hard enough time preventing swarming without reversing and providing another deep as part of that management. Its all I can do to keep two or three brood chambers from becoming nectar bound almost overnight when the flow is on. His math is off and I don't see how he is pulling 200lbs of honey and splitting the hive too!
    I am only a second year so cannot say this can't be done, and would love to hear from real people here that get those kind of results. J

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Brenham Texas
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    35

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    Swarm Management is easy. With single brood chambers even easier. You just have to be in your boxes every 10 days. Some only check their boxes every 6 months. What ever ones goals are. We all have different goals. Its all management.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default

    Swarm management is cutting out cells on colonies that make preparations. Most will go into production mode when the flow hits. Cut cells once, twice, if a third time split them for max nucs and be done with it. Don't mess around if no honey production you make bees and make your $$$ there. The split he is talking about is a capped frame of brood and an open frame of brood to make up a nuc. Won't effect production at all if done at the right time. 150 - 200 pounds is normal there from good hives. Remember beekeeping is local.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    I may have some insight on how swarm prevention would go hand-in-hand with running single deeps...

    before I get started, some links... http://www.three-peaks.net/PDF/hive_...ble%20Deep.pdf and http://www.pedersenapiaries.ca/wintering_singles.html So, it is done by some commercial folk in Canada, eliminating the argument about not enough winter honey (somewhat - for northerners).

    When a queen lays 2000 eggs a day, on a frame with about 3000 cells on a side for brood (it has 3500 total but will not be completely brood), it will take her 3 days to fill a frame, and in 21 days she will have laid 7 frames worth. Then the first frame she started with is open and she can go to that one. Or she can go to another... but the new frame will just replace the original as brood space, right? that first frame won't magically fill with eggs.

    That's right, I am making the argument that a queen laying 2000 eggs a day, using about 80% of a frame, will only EVER have 7 frames of brood going at a time.

    How can someone make the claim that they have 3 deeps full of brood? A few possibilities come to mind... 1) Queen only laying in top deep; 2) less than 40% of all the frames' area usable for eggs due to pollen or backfilling or cells too big for worker brood, so used for honey/drones; 3) queen has much higher laying rate than expected.

    Going back to a queen laying 2000 eggs a day, using 80% of a deep frame, this means someone using 1 deep has to manage the comb VERY CAREFULLY. It's key to note whether comb has become unusable due to pollen, for example. Bees do not remove old pollen. And that if too much of the top part gets drawn out as honey storage, you won't have enough brood area. It also means often there is no cushion for days where the bees cannot go out and forage due to rain or cold or wind, when it is not during an expected time of no-fly. A sugarboard would be in order.

    My understanding is that the majority of the honey collected is stored in the supers for a single deep case, making for a larger crop collected. Then at the end of the season the beekeeper feeds a lot, to the point the bees backfill the broodnest.

    What does this mean for swarm prevention? Keep the frames with the majority of worker cells available for eggs, be prepared to remove frames and add an empty one. Super early. Maybe temporarily have a double deep if the single becomes very crowded - but only long enough to start a split. Have a super or a medium UNDER the brood nest for extra bees to "hang out" in - just tossing thoughts out there of strategies I have seen in old books.

    I'm going to try a Dadant deep - basically a Jumbo Langstroth - 12 in deep rather than 9 and some odd inches deep. Hopefully that will be the best balance of honey reserves (we can get 50 and crappy in late June, and have long stretches of no-fly in spring during build up) and using only 1 brood chamber.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,828

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    I'm a big fan of the single box brood chamber in a square Dadant depth box with 14 frames. It easily meets all the needs of a full size colony year round. The area available for brood is equivalent to 18 Langstroth frames.

    Juhani and others have pointed out the weaknesses with Langstroth equipment.

    1. Difficult to rotate frames out of the brood nest
    2. Easily gets crowded in spring which leads to swarming
    3. Requires management with queen excluders
    4. Requires plenty of supers since most of the crop will be removed
    5. Fall feeding is necessary to pack the box for winter
    6. Difficult to relieve honeybound colonies except by swapping out full frames with empties
    NW Alabama, 47 years, 22 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  12. #11

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Juhani and others have pointed out the weaknesses with Langstroth equipment.

    1. Difficult to rotate frames out of the brood nest
    This was actually the reason I gave up using full Dadant (Jumbo 285x448) frames.


    With Langstroth (232x448) frames rotating is much easier, even with single brood chamber system. Just put the queen on clean frames or foundation (one drawn comb is usually needed) in the bottom box, excluder on and then all other boxes.
    With Full size Dadant this cannot be done unless you have 2 full size Dadant boxes per hive. And even if you have, they brake your back, and therefore it is not a good idea.

    Today I have all equipment half Dadant(140x448) 12 frame boxes.
    TF since 2008, max 1 nuc/hive, no swarm collecting, www.buckfast.fi, YouTube juhanilunden

  13. #12

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    Unfortunately, he doesn't go into his swarm management. I would love to hear how swarm management is done with only one brood box.

    With one brood chamber Langstroth size it needs a bit work. Put the queen is one drawn frame (the one she is walking) in a box of foundation. Put this on hive bottom. Queen exclure on top and then all other boxes, take one frame out and equalize the beespaces. Do this operation just before your main crop and/or when the bees start swarm preparation. If your beestock has a problem with swarming you need to check for queen cell above excluder after 7-9 days. Destroy cells or use them for nuc production.

    P.S.
    The best is to buy beestock which does not swarm.
    I have given this advise in all my courses and lectures for the last 30 years and there are always beekeepers who say "such bees do not exist". Well, I understand it is hard to believe something exists if you have not seen them (ufos for example). But bees, which do not swarm or swarming is such a rare incidence that it is not profitable(time spent/ money saved) to do anything, really exist. Where is US, cannot say, but you just need to find good enough beebreeder.
    TF since 2008, max 1 nuc/hive, no swarm collecting, www.buckfast.fi, YouTube juhanilunden

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
    Posts
    1,737

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I'm a big fan of the single box brood chamber in a square Dadant depth box with 14 frames. It easily meets all the needs of a full size colony year round. The area available for brood is equivalent to 18 Langstroth frames.
    I`m with Dar here. With a closed floor the bees used the foundations completely and as a brood chamber the 12 frame Dadant Ive got is exactly right for a colony made in spring or a swarm caught.
    Put a second deep on top in may and wait until filled with 3 frames of brood just use this for a split in spring as the new chamber, no shifting of combs necessary, except of combs with stores perhaps.
    Or let them throw a swarm, this will happen in June without swarm prevention, if flow is good.
    I cant say to overwintering yet, but space is sufficient for stores in my climate without a medium on top ( honey frames at the sides and big domes on top, I need 20-25kg of stores) . If the horizontal moving of the cluster is good for survivability I have yet to see.
    Put some mediums on top for honey they never bred into those after swarm season.

    I have a co-worker in Ireland who uses square dadant with his production hives, but does swarm prevention by breaking cells, his colonies use two deeps for brood and 2-4 for honey storage above an excluder.
    So to us, one square dadant is a nuc hive.
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    Thanks for the explanation on swarm prevention. I sure would like to find non-swarming bees. Most here (Northern US) say they do not exist. Just some are less swarmy, but you usually give up a desirable trait. J

  16. #15

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    Put a second deep on top in may and wait until filled with 3 frames of brood just use this for a split in spring as the new chamber, no shifting of combs necessary, except of combs with stores perhaps.
    If you use two Jumbo 12 -frame boxes as regular procedure, there will be time when you:

    1. have to lift full size Jumbo ( brakes your back)

    or

    2. lift frames individually from this box (lots of extra work)



    either way not good idea if you have more than about 10 hives
    TF since 2008, max 1 nuc/hive, no swarm collecting, www.buckfast.fi, YouTube juhanilunden

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    9,185

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    Unfortunately, he doesn't go into his swarm management. I would love to hear how swarm management is done with only one brood box. Besides pulling frames of nectar and splitting, I can't think of any. I have a hard enough time preventing swarming without reversing and providing another deep as part of that management. Its all I can do to keep two or three brood chambers from becoming nectar bound almost overnight when the flow is on. His math is off and I don't see how he is pulling 200lbs of honey and splitting the hive too!
    I am only a second year so cannot say this can't be done, and would love to hear from real people here that get those kind of results. J
    Ive been getting bombarded with single management questions, so Ive Been putting a vid together to help demonstrate the practice here.
    Should be up shortly. Swarm control is the major theme of this management

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    beaver county pa usa
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    Ian cant wait to see this I have 10 single deeps that I am trying to take through winter I have been trying to find everything I can about singles

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    9,185

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    Im not treatment free, as I realize this topic sits in the treatment free forum
    But the management practice is sound and practiced by most around here

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
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    9,185

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    The trick about managing singles is not to restrict your thought toward single boxs, just manage around the single box as the base unit

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    8,213

    Default Re: Single Brood Chambers

    ian, you are more than welcome to post in the tf section anytime you wish.

    it appears that the equipment/hardware subforum is a better fit for this thread so i have moved it here.

    i use a single deep with medium supers, but allow the broodnest to expand up into the (checkerboarded) supers as part of my swarm prevention strategy.

    by mid spring the broodnest is usually all the way up into the supers and the deep becomes mostly empty comb. at that point i'll move the queen down into the deep below an excluder and make her start a whole new broodnest. (many thanks for sharing that strategy ian)

    as the brood emerges in the supers it gets replaced with honey during what is our main spring nectar flow and with this management i'll thwart swarm ambition for about 85% of my colonies.

    in some hives i'll find a few queen cells pulled out in the supers after moving the queen down. i've been culling those cells but next season my plan is to go ahead and make up nucs with them.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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