Single Brood Box Keepers?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 38
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
    Posts
    76

    Default Single Brood Box Keepers?

    Just curious to hear from any keepers on here that keep a single brood box. I have been considering it, but it is a little intimidating for me.

    My understanding is that you have to split aggressively in a single BB set up. Also, most keepers in the US that I have seen do single BB use 10 frame deeps. However, I jumped on the 8 frame bandwagon when I started and run 8s exclusively. I have read that mathematically if a queen were to lay at full potential, she can keep about 9-10 frames full of brood. There seems to be some hope for me, because running single 8s is a thing in Australia. I should note that here in Central Florida we don't have a true "over-wintering" event or full brood break.

    Advice? Cautionary tales? Experiences?

    Thanks!

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,201

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    Mathematically, it is probably possible to do in an 8 frame deep but I believe it would be really difficult. With about 7,000 cells per deep frame, and 8 total frames, you would have 56,000 total cells available. According to another thread here on Beesource, once there is some honey and pollen on each frame you end up with about 4,800 cells available per frame for brood. That makes 38,400 total cells on 8 frames. If the queen lays 1,500 eggs per day over 21 days she would fill in 31,500 cells at any given time. However, if there is a lot of drone comb, their 24 day hatching period will take a lot more cells and if the honey flow is good, or there is a lot of pollen available, that will take up a lot of additional space. If she is a great queen and is laying 2,000 eggs per day, you would be screwed because there are not enough available cells. All this assumes that the bees will move through the excluder and put most of the honey and nectar above it. Sometimes, they don't want to. My best guess is that if you wish to try this, you will constantly be manipulating the boxes to make it work.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by dudelt View Post
    Mathematically, it is probably possible to do in an 8 frame deep but I believe it would be really difficult. With about 7,000 cells per deep frame, and 8 total frames, you would have 56,000 total cells available. According to another thread here on Beesource, once there is some honey and pollen on each frame you end up with about 4,800 cells available per frame for brood. That makes 38,400 total cells on 8 frames. If the queen lays 1,500 eggs per day over 21 days she would fill in 31,500 cells at any given time. However, if there is a lot of drone comb, their 24 day hatching period will take a lot more cells and if the honey flow is good, or there is a lot of pollen available, that will take up a lot of additional space. If she is a great queen and is laying 2,000 eggs per day, you would be screwed because there are not enough available cells. All this assumes that the bees will move through the excluder and put most of the honey and nectar above it. Sometimes, they don't want to. My best guess is that if you wish to try this, you will constantly be manipulating the boxes to make it work.
    Great info, thanks. Sounds like I would need to do 10s in order to make single BB effectively work, at least on paper. However, I'm still going to try it on one hive and see how it goes "for science".

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Lambton Shores, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    I keep mine in single-deeps, but I'm brand new at this, so I've got no advice to give. They do require more monitoring than a double-brood setup, in order to prevent swarming. You don't need to split to control though; supering and destroying queen cells is sufficient.

    In terms of your setup, I have my doubts. A local beekeep (Devin Rawn) has a pretty good youtube page on maintaining hives as single deeps, and he goes into a lot of the factors you need to consider. That includes this video where he goes through the numbers regarding brood space. There is enough space in a 10-frame single-deep for broodrearing and stores, but I suspect an 8-frame would not have the space needed. You can do the calculations yourself, based on the numbers in his video, to confirm.

    Single-deep broods are the "standard" around my parts, and there are a number of local beekeepers who have good youtube pages on maintaining hives in this format. I cannot recommend their videos enough - but I would also caution that I/they are in a very different climate, so their advice may not translate perfectly to Florida:

    Devin Rawn
    University of Guelph Honeybee Research Centre
    A Canadian Beekeeper

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuiGeneris View Post
    I keep mine in single-deeps, but I'm brand new at this, so I've got no advice to give. They do require more monitoring than a double-brood setup, in order to prevent swarming. You don't need to split to control though; supering and destroying queen cells is sufficient.

    In terms of your setup, I have my doubts. A local beekeep (Devin Rawn) has a pretty good youtube page on maintaining hives as single deeps, and he goes into a lot of the factors you need to consider. That includes this video where he goes through the numbers regarding brood space. There is enough space in a 10-frame single-deep for broodrearing and stores, but I suspect an 8-frame would not have the space needed. You can do the calculations yourself, based on the numbers in his video, to confirm.

    Single-deep broods are the "standard" around my parts, and there are a number of local beekeepers who have good youtube pages on maintaining hives in this format. I cannot recommend their videos enough - but I would also caution that I/they are in a very different climate, so their advice may not translate perfectly to Florida:

    Devin Rawn
    University of Guelph Honeybee Research Centre
    A Canadian Beekeeper
    Devin Rawn is actually one of the reasons I started looking into it. A lot of good info in his videos. Thanks for posting!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    Iím learning fast and started in May. Iím in a four season climate and decided on a 10 frame single deep brood box setup for simplicity and practicality. My climate compares to Ontario where Devan keeps his bees. The management is more active but the diagnostics are easier. If I have an issue I have only one place to look. My weekly inspections are fast but careful. I see a lot of new people getting lost in their boxes so I made the decision early on to find a style of management that suits me. Beekeeping is about problem solving. Problem solving for one box is much simpler. August was about mite control. September is about fall feeding, nutrition and preparing for winter.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by LAlldredge View Post
    I’m learning fast and started in May. I’m in a four season climate and decided on a 10 frame single deep brood box setup for simplicity and practicality. My climate compares to Ontario where Devan keeps his bees. The management is more active but the diagnostics are easier. If I have an issue I have only one place to look. My weekly inspections are fast but careful. I see a lot of new people getting lost in their boxes so I made the decision early on to find a style of management that suits me. Beekeeping is about problem solving. Problem solving for one box is much simpler. August was about mite control. September is about fall feeding, nutrition and preparing for winter.
    Exactly, I am by all means a new beekeeper. I started my bees off in a single brood box (as one does) and it was amazing having everything so accessible. For me, it is much easier to do short and often inspections than do long tedious inspections. Less time for the bees to get pissy and really easy to diagnose and quickly glean the health of the hive.

    It sounds like the challenges that come with single BB is swarm prevention and being smart about feeding in winter/slow months. If I take my supers off and leave the girls with nothing (because the brood box is pretty much only brood and pollen). I run the risk of not only starving them, but also not giving them the start then need to build up in spring.

    So far, I have only heard from Northern keepers on this subject, really interested to hear from some in warm climates.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    The advantage we have as new beeks is not having any limitations. I don't confuse longevity with success. The success of a beekeeping class can be measured by how successful the students are. If I hear about lots of swarming, confusion and mite infestation that's not a successful teacher in my book. My mentors are the virtual Michael Palmer and Randy Oliver. And I'm sassy enough to argue with them if it's in the best interest of my bees.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    325

    Default

    My 2 cents, I gave it a go this year on 15 hives. Every one of them swarmed even with weekly checks. It requires a lot of attention, which means time and effort, which is what I was trying to save in the first place. I’m not giving up on it, but approaching it differently next year. 2 boxes in the spring build up, then moving all brood into the 2nd box, shaking all bees into the bottom box onto 5-6 empty combs and QE between them. She just needs a ton of space in the spring.
    Mistakes are the best taechers

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,943

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    I run single deep brood chambers and super with deeps also I use all 10 frame deeps. Swarming is all but unheard of in my apiaries. If you run single deep brood chambers and your bees are swarming you are doing something wrong. Drawn comb is essential in running single brood chambers and placing supers of drawn comb in a timely fashion. Deep 8 frame single brood chamber is definitely doable but will require you to be sure the queen has empty cells to lay in requiring your inspections to be every week rather than every 2 weeks. When you run single brood chambers move capped brood above the excluder and place drawn comb with empty cells in it's place and super in a timely fashion that's all the swarm control necessary. When the queen has no open cells to lay in is where the risk of swarming comes into effect regardless of your hive configuration.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    325

    Default

    What I did wrong was underestimating how quick she will run out of space in that single brood box. It’s that constant cycling out of full frames that’s the key. You need lots of empty drawn comb on hand. And no drone comb either. Going into 15 hives every 5 days to shuffle frames around ended up being a bit much for me, especially with 15 other hives to get to. I just don’t have that kind of time. I’ll modify the system to fit my schedule and the hives’s schedule.
    Mistakes are the best taechers

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Drone View Post
    I run single deep brood chambers and super with deeps also I use all 10 frame deeps. Swarming is all but unheard of in my apiaries. If you run single deep brood chambers and your bees are swarming you are doing something wrong. Drawn comb is essential in running single brood chambers and placing supers of drawn comb in a timely fashion. Deep 8 frame single brood chamber is definitely doable but will require you to be sure the queen has empty cells to lay in requiring your inspections to be every week rather than every 2 weeks. When you run single brood chambers move capped brood above the excluder and place drawn comb with empty cells in it's place and super in a timely fashion that's all the swarm control necessary. When the queen has no open cells to lay in is where the risk of swarming comes into effect regardless of your hive configuration.
    Interesting, so you would check every week or so and if she looked packed out or close in the brood box then you would throw a couple of frames up into the super. Resulting in them hatching out and those frames getting backfilled with honey while the queen has a couple of empty frames to have her way with. Makes sense, sounds like I need to get my hands on some spare comb...

    Where would the frames you removed from the super go (assuming they aren't ready for extraction)?

    Thanks for the insight.
    Last edited by Kyeman; 09-06-2018 at 03:08 PM.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,943

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    You got it! It's just that simple less work in the long run also. If I pull from a super it goes in the extractor shortly afterwards. When you put the first box of drawn comb on you pull 2 frames out to put in the brood box then take the 2 frames of capped brood from the brood box move them up into the super. With this method what you end up with is nothing but frames of brood in the brood box

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Drone View Post
    You got it! It's just that simple less work in the long run also. If I pull from a super it goes in the extractor shortly afterwards. When you put the first box of drawn comb on you pull 2 frames out to put in the brood box then take the 2 frames of capped brood from the brood box move them up into the super. With this method what you end up with is nothing but frames of brood in the brood box
    I should have clarified, what if there are no frames from the super that are ready for extraction. For example what if you only have frames of uncapped honey? I see that you are trying to get a "frame cycle" going, but I'm just trying to think of different scenarios. Thanks again!

    EDIT: Sorry, lots of questions. If you are not in a flow and do not have supers on, I guess you just split as needed?

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,943

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    Same thing move 2 frames up and 2 frames down. If they have all frames filled with nectar and honey you need to add another honey super anyways.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Drone View Post
    Same thing move 2 frames up and 2 frames down.
    They have no problem clearing out the uncapped honey fast enough to get the queen laying in time?

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,943

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    The frames of open cells you're feeding in always come from the box you are putting on. As an example on the black locust flow this year First honey super I put on I took 2 frames of drawn comb out and swapped it with 2 frames of brood from the brood box and put the super on. 5 days later Once the first super was full of nectar and honey I put another super on again pulling 2 frames of open cells and swapping for 2 frames of capped brood 7 days later I repeat the same process and 7 more days after that repeat. I like to under super so keep that in mind also.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Drone View Post
    The frames of open cells you're feeding in always come from the box you are putting on. As an example on the black locust flow this year First honey super I put on I took 2 frames of drawn comb out and swapped it with 2 frames of brood from the brood box and put the super on. 5 days later Once the first super was full of nectar and honey I put another super on again pulling 2 frames of open cells and swapping for 2 frames of capped brood 7 days later I repeat the same process and 7 more days after that repeat. I like to under super so keep that in mind also.
    Right, I just have my doubts that I will have that big/long of a flow. Then what about when it is between flows? In my area we tend to have a slower but longer flow. I guess this is where the spare pulled out frames come in?

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Southwest CO
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    I'm looking forward to trying a single brood box management system next year, and thank you for this information!

    One question---it sounds like both Kyeman and I have the challenge of not having drawn comb. In that case, does adding frames with foundation just slow things down or does it mess things all up? It seems like if the bees are in the mood (spring, flow) they will draw the foundation super quick, especially if it's added in the heart of the brood nest. Thoughts?

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Re: Single Brood Box Keepers?

    It's not the 8 frames of brood you have to worry about. It's how full the super above them is with feed. I have Fl comm. beekeeper in my area running in 8 frame singles, but they always have a feed super above.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •