Single deep
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Thread: Single deep

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    hixson, tn, usa
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    Default Single deep

    What's yours thought on running a single deep vs double deep. Can this be done with 8 frame hives?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
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    259

    Default Re: Single deep

    Is this in regards to brood nest or wintering? Also, this is location dependent (i assume you are asking for Hixson, TN).

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    876

    Default Re: Single deep

    My only thought is that it would make the hive more likely to swarm due to lack of brood space.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
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    2,575

    Default Re: Single deep

    We winter some of our hives in three eight-frame medium boxes. They do well. I would not winter a mature hive with less. We don’t move or harvest from the bottom three boxes even in spring and summer. Our bees are frugal.
    David Matlock

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    1,809

    Default Re: Single deep

    I know some folks have successfully done the single deep brood box but I found it a little restrictive since I'm not fond of queen excluders for every day use. I don't have the brutal winters like some of our northern brethren so I can get by with an overwinter configuration of a deep and a medium; obviously you need to super as required during a flow.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    1,700

    Default Re: Single deep

    Quote Originally Posted by craneop917 View Post
    What's yours thought on running a single deep vs double deep. Can this be done with 8 frame hives?
    Our National Hives are slightly smaller than your Langstroths, and I've over-wintered nucs successfully here (relatively mild climate) in single thick-walled 8-frame boxes - but stacks of 2 or 3 boxes do come with a much better guarantee.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    4,178

    Default Re: Single deep

    Sure it can be done. Excluders are a useful tool, use them. It would be easier with A.M.m. My Gr. Grandfather used 8 frame equipment in the 1800's.
    Frame manipulation would also help.

    Crazy Roland

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hubert, North Carolina
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: Single deep

    I switched to single deeps last year. I haven't been subjected to any more swarms than when I was running doubles. Single deeps are easier to manage (only inspecting 10 frames), less resources and easier to find her majesty. I run mediums for honey supers. A queen excluder only goes on when I add the first honey super (to keep the queen in the deep). Once the bee's put a good amount of nectar in the medium frames, the excluder comes off. The queen rarely will cross over the nectar. I'm also producing equal amounts of honey, currently running 31 hives. Keep in mind, I'm running 10 frame equipment, 8 frame may require more attention with swarm prevention and manipulating frames to prevent becoming honey-bound.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    813

    Default Re: Single deep

    Keep in mind 2 other items,
    1)with 8 frames and lots of brood there may not be as much stores for winter, if there is a decent late flow like goldenrod then the bees may fill in some late stores.
    2)the honey you get is very related to the population of bees, which is very related to how many empty cells the queen has available. If you govern the egg laying you will impact the honey production.

    I use 8 frame as well, if you like the deep frame I would run 16 frames, if you prefer the medium then I would run 24. this size has the room for the eggs and the room for the stores. However, you CAN run on 1 8 frame deep, A better question would be is this optimal. If you are pulling bees and brood making increase, and feeding like it is your second job then sure it is doable. It is somewhat how you wish to spend your time, as your choice will drive how you then need to manage. with 1 deep, feeding and swarm cell inspections, 2 deeps I feel would produce a bigger crop, and winter better, be less need for constant monitoring.
    GG

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Single deep

    Grey Goose wrote:

    2)the honey you get is very related to the population of bees, which is very related to how many empty cells the queen has available. If you govern the egg laying you will impact the honey production.

    Precisely why you COULD get more honey from an 8 frame deep. Keep plenty of open comb in front of the queen. With 14 day inspections, it would be hard for her to lay 8 frames up in 14 days. With only 8 frames, there is less space for them to store honey downstairs. It takes more work, and is a little more risky with swarming if something happens and you can not make your inspection for 18-21 days.

    Crazy Roland

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
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    955

    Default Re: Single deep

    im going to try this with a few hives this year and see how they do. The idea is appealing just in terms of Rx cost for mites, efficacy of Rx for mites, ease of finding the queen, less equipment etc etc.
    Per the math on a youtube video the queen cannot outlay the number of cells in the bottom box even laying at full clip. Having said that i have never tried this so im just repeating the spiel off the youtube video

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Stevens Point, WI
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    227

    Default Re: Single deep

    I did a single brood box ,but it wasn't restricted to a single at all times. I had a single for awhile during spring, then a double brood box, then a split during spring buildup which turns into singles and a QE heading into the honey flow .....After the Honey flow, and all bees removed from honey supers, single box became crowded and had an after flow swarm....so this year I am taking a shook swarm off during honey super removal and will use the shook swarm to boost new weaker nucs heading into fall. Then leaving a single medium on the deep into winter as both that had this configuration thrived thru the winter for me. Others ran out of food at different times...doubles got off honey and died...too much space.

    It's a work in progress to streamline it.
    Last edited by KevinWI; 04-12-2019 at 01:10 PM.
    Help is here to never misplace that hive tool again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvwlSiOzgOU

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    North Alabama
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Single deep

    I overwintered two 8 frame hives in North Alabama. One was a double deep with a medium honey super. The other was a single deep. The Double deep died out with the last winter cold snap, the single deep was alive, but nearly out of food. So I moved the medium honey super to them and they have done fine. I am considering trying this fall with a single deep and a medium super of honey and see what happens.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    813

    Default Re: Single deep

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Grey Goose wrote:

    2)the honey you get is very related to the population of bees, which is very related to how many empty cells the queen has available. If you govern the egg laying you will impact the honey production.

    Precisely why you COULD get more honey from an 8 frame deep. Keep plenty of open comb in front of the queen. With 14 day inspections, it would be hard for her to lay 8 frames up in 14 days. With only 8 frames, there is less space for them to store honey downstairs. It takes more work, and is a little more risky with swarming if something happens and you can not make your inspection for 18-21 days.

    Crazy Roland
    Hi Roland, So I still must be missing something My point is with the amount of cells they use for pollen and some honey stored, I do not think 8 frames is enough for a brood nest. The queen would not be able to lay at her max, she would lay at the "8 Frame max" so with a few less bees the crop would reduced. I agree you would need inspections, as they would tend to want to swarm. Unless you mean to remove brood every 14 days, and make more increase. So A 5 over 5 NUC is 10 frames and that is a bit small IMO for a hive I do not see how 8 frame brood nest could be used for honey production. I inspect like every 30 days so it would add a lot of time for me. I use 2 8 frame deeps and 1 8 frame medium, for over winter. seems to be enough honey, for the winter and enough brood space for the summer. Also can flop medium frames around if needed to get them to move up into the supers. 1 8 frame brood box is just Crazy Roland,, I may have to try it....

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    813

    Default Re: Single deep

    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post
    im going to try this with a few hives this year and see how they do. The idea is appealing just in terms of Rx cost for mites, efficacy of Rx for mites, ease of finding the queen, less equipment etc etc.
    Per the math on a youtube video the queen cannot outlay the number of cells in the bottom box even laying at full clip. Having said that i have never tried this so im just repeating the spiel off the youtube video
    Hi Aran, I have seen 12-14 frames of brood somewhat often, Yes I seen the dude who cut his boxes down to 7 frame as he thought he was a math wiz. IMO 7 Frame Boxes promotes sub par queens, as the good ones fly off with swarming and eventually you are splitting the 7 Frame units you have. All queens that can only use 7 frames. I tend to challenge them with a bit with bigger cavity size and split from the ones that handle it well. As with small cell, I am sure you can get bees to do 7 or 8 frame if you wanted to. For the hobbyist they may be easier to deal with, to each their own. That's the beauty here 3 keepers can do this 5 different ways, most of the 5 can succeed.
    Give it a whirl and let us know how it goes.
    GG

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    4,178

    Default Re: Single deep

    GG, Just because the queen is resticted to 5 frames, the brood is not. We keep open frames in front of her at all times.

    Crazy Roland

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Single deep

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    GG, Just because the queen is resticted to 5 frames, the brood is not. We keep open frames in front of her at all times.

    Crazy Roland
    Roland, I tend to be a proponent of brood nest integrity, moving frames around all the time IMO would be time consuming and interruptive for the hive. If you have found it to work then swell, I guess if I was in the hive anyway then maybe it would work. I go into the whole hive like 2 times in the spring, early check Queen rite and stores, late spring check size and super. Then again in august, after honey is pulled. Do you have mostly NUCs? So you are pulling brood out of the bottom deep and placing into the second deep above the excluder. At some point do you let it fill to be extracted? What stops the bees from filling the frame with honey after the brood hatches? Interesting, method, so you are finding 1 deep is not enough, somewhat the same as I have found, if you are adding empty frames to the queens area. If the frames are here today gone tomorrow how do they set up their nest for winter? So it would some what work like OTBS and box swapping in a incremental often repeated 3-5 frames at a time, manner correct?
    GG

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,190

    Default Re: Single deep

    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post
    im going to try this with a few hives this year and see how they do. The idea is appealing just in terms of Rx cost for mites, efficacy of Rx for mites, ease of finding the queen, less equipment etc etc.
    Per the math on a youtube video the queen cannot outlay the number of cells in the bottom box even laying at full clip. Having said that i have never tried this so im just repeating the spiel off the youtube video
    A deep frame has over 3600 cells per side. At 65% utilization even a prolific queen can't keep 8 deep frames full. Now that is by the math. In practice it is probably different and you should watch very closely to prevent swarming.

    This year I'm trying something similar with half of my hives. I use 8 frame hives so I'm going to need to watch them closely. What I have observed is that when I let the queen roam both deeps I end up with neither box full for winter. Usually the bottom of the #1 box has a fair bit of empty comb along the bottoms of the frames, and the #2 box isn't full because of the brood nest. So I end up leaving a super behind, and come spring it has brood in it. Last weekend I put the queens and brood in the #1 box with with an excluder in half my hives and I'll be watching those very closely and comparing it to the other half. When they get the #2 box well stocked then I'll lift the excluder. I'd like to compel them to go into winter with a fully packed deep above them in a smaller cavity than they'd have if I have to leave a super behind.
    Zone 6B

  20. #19
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
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    955

    Default Re: Single deep

    Quote Originally Posted by JConnolly View Post
    A deep frame has over 3600 cells per side. At 65% utilization even a prolific queen can't keep 8 deep frames full. Now that is by the math. In practice it is probably different and you should watch very closely to prevent swarming.

    This year I'm trying something similar with half of my hives. I use 8 frame hives so I'm going to need to watch them closely. What I have observed is that when I let the queen roam both deeps I end up with neither box full for winter. Usually the bottom of the #1 box has a fair bit of empty comb along the bottoms of the frames, and the #2 box isn't full because of the brood nest. So I end up leaving a super behind, and come spring it has brood in it. Last weekend I put the queens and brood in the #1 box with with an excluder in half my hives and I'll be watching those very closely and comparing it to the other half. When they get the #2 box well stocked then I'll lift the excluder. I'd like to compel them to go into winter with a fully packed deep above them in a smaller cavity than they'd have if I have to leave a super behind.
    that all sounds very reasonable. And your description is exactly what i tend to see in my double or triple deep brood nests also.

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