Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??
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  1. #1
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    Default Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    In my area I'm looking at a few weeks of zero degree weather. If I'm looking at a colony that's 10 frames would it be better to take them into winter as 10 frames in a single deep, 5 over 5 in nuc boxes, or using a double deep set up and do 5 over 5 with empties to fill in the gaps?

    Jack

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  3. #2
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    Lebanon Pa
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    5 over 5 heat rises the cluster will be large enough to access all stores
    Friend tells me take time to stop and smell the roses I say "I do then I take 10 steps quicker to make up for lost time"

  4. #3
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    I like divided deeps two high personally and put a queen excluder over them with mountain camp sugar and your there.

  5. #4
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    Jul 2016
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    Snyder, TX
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    Think thermal mass, which eliminates any empties. Air does not absorb heat but only insulates against its loss if there is no air flow. You'll get a heat-dissipating current in a double deep with empties.

    Though heat rises, a cluster is formed to share heat perpendicularly, too, through comb and contents thereof.

    Since a sphere is more efficient at conserving value than a cube of any shape ...

    I'd say a single deep.

    Fr. Michael

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    I'd put them in two deeps, but never just with empty frames surrounding them. I'd make some wood follower boards and fill the space outside of them with foam insulation panels (with exposed edges covered with aluminum HVAC tape - not duct tape - to keep them from gnawing then foam, which isn't good for them.)

    I winter all my same-year nucs in this type of set-up and it works like gangbusters. If they are slight laggards and don't get to a full ten frames, your can winter four over four, with just a it more foam. If you have a good flow, or a pair of stray frames with stores, they can be in six over six. I make a point f having the same number of frames in each box. And the HVAC tape on the exposed edges is really important.

    I use my same regular 10-frame equipment (bases, feeders, tops, quilt boxes, etc.) and come spring it's a piece of cake to give them more room as they build-out by just removing foam panels, one by one and adding a frame in that space. It's a great, natural anti-swarming technique, in contrast to the fixed 5-frame width that can result in crowded bees if you have a good early flow.

    I start prepping this in August when I will divide a single deep into two deeps, and place empty frames around them. They may fill out an extra frame in each story, or not. (Which is why I really like this, because you're not locked into a five-frame width.) But mostly they just ignore the frames on the outside, which means that when you go to remove them, you're not disrupting how they have already got the main body of the their winter nest set up, you're just swapping out the unused frames for the follower boards and insulation panels.

    If you're interested, there are some other fine points and somewhere I have some pictures.

    Enj.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    see figure 6A on this link - this will help YOU make a proper decision

    https://beesource.com/resources/usda/...port-material/

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    The last two winters Iv lost quite a few bees in the spring till I found out what was happening. I built a trailer with large hives that holds 17 deep frames on each level and can hold 3 levels. The bees seems to do great all summer and winters OK till spring when they run out of honey and with the cold we have here in MT the cluster will set there at the top of the frames and starve. It seems that with the extreme cold that the cluster will not move right or left onto full frames of honey and will starve with 3 to 5 full frames on both sides of them. I would recommend that you use the 5 over 5 so the cluster can move strati up into additional frames if they need to. What works great in one aria may not work at all in another.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    So if air acts as an insulator, would it work to stack them 5 over 5 and use no empty frames around them? I could only imagine the burr comb if down during the flow but in fall/winter I don't see them building much extra comb.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    Mel Disselkoen is overwintering them in single deeps in MN. Michael Palmer and Kirk Webster are overwintering them in 4 over 4 divided deeps. Both are succeeding.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    I like divided deeps two high personally and put a queen excluder over them with mountain camp sugar and your there.
    IIRC, Michael Palmer said that he saw higher overwintering success with "Duplexed" 4 over 4's than he did with full sized colonies. I could be wrong about that. Remember, his nucs share warmth through a common or shared wall ( divider).

    Every way I tried last winter worked, but they all got supplemental feed. The only single medium nuc I tried sat atop a double screen board, over a double medium nuc - both 10 frames.

    Scientific studies have shown that the bees survive by heating the cluster, not the entire hive. When they are in the cluster, the temperature outside the cluster is virtually the same as outside the hive. Windchill is the gorilla in that room. Frames of honey along side the cluster can freeze solid, while those above are kept warmer by heat rising off of the cluster. Arranging stores above, rather than along side is likely a better scenario. This is the logic behind stacking nucs in smaller boxes, side by side.

    There appears to be quite an advantage to the Palmer style, in that two clusters "snuggle up" against the common wall. Two clusters can overwinter by sharing the heat, on far less stores. You come out of winter with two nucs (or queens), ready to go, rather than one big colony that has to then be successfully split, (after waiting for queen rearing season) to get to the same point.
    Last edited by Colobee; 08-03-2016 at 10:49 AM.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    >Michael Palmer said that he saw higher overwintering success with "Duplexed" 4 over 4's than he did with full sized colonies

    What the OP wants is to compare a single deep (not a full sized colony) with 5 over 5...

    >Windchill is the gorilla in that room.

    Actually there is a lot more than that... I have seen so many little things make a difference in body heat loss when working out side in the cold and they were not all windchill, but little things made a huge difference. Windchill was certainly among them. In a self regulating system, it's not the temperature that matters. Not the temperature of the hive or the temperature of the cluster. What matters is the heat loss.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    Thanks for this. Just what I was looking for. Do your insulation boards have any foil covering on the sides? Will they chew sides of the panels as well as the edges? You emphasize putting foil tape on the edges, but what about the sides of the panels? Also, is it important the follower boards be as tight and bee-proof as they might be when trying to keep the queen from getting from one compartment to another? Or can they be a loose fit? I am in mid-MD. Do the bees not plow through all their stores since they are being kept so warm during the winter?

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    I ran several single deeps and several 5/5 boxes last winter. All made it through the cold however two of the nucs ate all their stores and starved before my first open them up inspection in Feb. Two other nucs the queens just never started laying again. All of the single hives made it through but took awhile to build up whereas the nucs were busting at the seams. All had the same saskatraz queens and were made up at the same time last summer.
    I do like both and both have their purpose. Also i'm much much colder then you so either will be fine for your area imo
    Terrence

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    I'd put them in two deeps, but never just with empty frames surrounding them. I'd make some wood follower boards and fill the space outside of them with foam insulation panels (with exposed edges covered with aluminum HVAC tape - not duct tape - to keep them from gnawing then foam, which isn't good for them.)

    I winter all my same-year nucs in this type of set-up and it works like gangbusters. If they are slight laggards and don't get to a full ten frames, your can winter four over four, with just a it more foam. If you have a good flow, or a pair of stray frames with stores, they can be in six over six. I make a point f having the same number of frames in each box. And the HVAC tape on the exposed edges is really important.

    I use my same regular 10-frame equipment (bases, feeders, tops, quilt boxes, etc.) and come spring it's a piece of cake to give them more room as they build-out by just removing foam panels, one by one and adding a frame in that space. It's a great, natural anti-swarming technique, in contrast to the fixed 5-frame width that can result in crowded bees if you have a good early flow.

    I start prepping this in August when I will divide a single deep into two deeps, and place empty frames around them. They may fill out an extra frame in each story, or not. (Which is why I really like this, because you're not locked into a five-frame width.) But mostly they just ignore the frames on the outside, which means that when you go to remove them, you're not disrupting how they have already got the main body of the their winter nest set up, you're just swapping out the unused frames for the follower boards and insulation panels.

    If you're interested, there are some other fine points and somewhere I have some pictures.

    Enj.
    THANKS! In the vast majority of cases i expect my nucs to have built to two deeps by winter but that's not always a reasonable expectation. We've had pretty good luck with singles over the years but sometimes that does prove tricky. On the other hand we've had almost no luck with single nuc boxes. Think I like this idea in certain situations particularly if you happened to have a colony that was built up to a certain number of frames like 11-12-13-14. That can be the case when you are trying to get later season nucs ready but the final flow shuts off before they have everything arranged in two boxes and since I don't feed its not uncommon. I see the advantage of stacking nucs but I don't have much use for the 4x4 or 5x5 nuc box method due to the specialized equipment that cant be exchanged easily with production equipment. This could use standard equipment, wouldnt have to divide equally into two sides, and would be easy to deal with in spring in comparison to the other options of stacked nucs or divided boxes

  16. #15
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    Zionsville, IN, USA
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    Ive found in Indiana that 5 over 5 with upper entrance and small piece of foam board under telescoping cover will overwinter better than a single deep. I believe it has more to do with the bees having access to all 10 frames if they cluster in between the two boxes whereas in a single deep they have to move laterally. Just my experience. Regardless of setup, if you have varroa problems, not enough stores and not enough bees it wont really matter which setup is chosen.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlackBirds View Post
    THANKS! . This could use standard equipment.......
    Standard equipment + follower boards = pretty much all anyone needs for most any need.
    Just a little oversized is always better than just a little undersized (speaking of 10 frame vs. 8 frame equipment).
    Easy to reduce used volume inside the big box.
    Impossible to expand a small box beyond the walls (takes a whole new box just to add a frame).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #17
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    Frederick, MD
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    Default Re: Single deep hive or 5 over 5 for winter??

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlackBirds View Post
    THANKS! In the vast majority of cases i expect my nucs to have built to two deeps by winter but that's not always a reasonable expectation. We've had pretty good luck with singles over the years but sometimes that does prove tricky. On the other hand we've had almost no luck with single nuc boxes. Think I like this idea in certain situations particularly if you happened to have a colony that was built up to a certain number of frames like 11-12-13-14. That can be the case when you are trying to get later season nucs ready but the final flow shuts off before they have everything arranged in two boxes and since I don't feed its not uncommon. I see the advantage of stacking nucs but I don't have much use for the 4x4 or 5x5 nuc box method due to the specialized equipment that cant be exchanged easily with production equipment. This could use standard equipment, wouldnt have to divide equally into two sides, and would be easy to deal with in spring in comparison to the other options of stacked nucs or divided boxes
    I am really enjoying this thread. It all makes sense. Yesterday I made 2" foam insulation inserts. I made them long though (19"x18") to fit all the way down in a 2-deep (10-frame) brood box set-up. I used the HomeDepot foam board that has foil on the sides. Then I wrapped the edges with wide HVAC tape. Now I am about to make follower boards from 1/4" plywood which also go all the way down the height of two (not only one) stacked deeps. I plan on moving my several 5x5 nucs (they are packed) into the 2-deep brood chambers but adding a 6th frame of open comb in the top and the bottom, so it will be a 6x6. This set-up allows me to insert one follower board and one piece of insulation on each side. Fits perfectly when using 6 frames. If I reduce down to a 5x5 inside the two-deep brood box set-up I will simply add a 1" piece of foam insulation board to one side or the other. Any suggestions? This is a first for me.

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