Single brood chambers
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  1. #1

    Default Single brood chambers

    Looking for you experience in utilizing single brood chamber and excluder.
    Advantages ... Pitfalls... outcomes

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Hamilton, Alabama
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    It is climate dependent, can do it very successfully in the deep south, hard to do in northern tier states. The fundamental problem is that there is not enough honey for a wintering colony. Feeding can make up for the deficiency, but IMO is energy better used elsewhere. I ran a Langstroth 10 frame deep with a 10 frame shallow on top for a lot of years. This has the drawback of having different size frames.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    Been running singles in the North for 166 years. Can be done with skill.

    Crazy Roland

  5. #4
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    Feb 2015
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    I think it works for overwintering in warm climates where bees can forage late in the year and get out for early spring forage, and in very cold climates (Canada and Northern New England zones 4 and 5) where the bees will have very little in-hive activity seem to be overwintering in a single successfully. Youtube is packed with Canadian beekeepers pushing overwintering in a single 10 deep. Micheal Palmer (Zone 5A) is wintering hundreds colonies successfully in 4 over 4 nucs, so the quantity of honey isn't a question, however the vertical -vs- horizontal configuration could be. It may not be enough in moderate long winter climates (Zones 6A-7B) where it is too cold to fly for 15-16 weeks but because blue skies are plentiful the hive interior warms and bee activity increases. I pulled two colonies through last winter with an 8 frame deep with a well packed 8 frame medium above, and one weak colony in a 5 over 5 surprised me and made it too, but by March I was pouring sugar on them. I'm in zone 6B and I think that ideally I need the double deep for overwintering here.

    For summertime it probably works. Try it on a hive or two and watch closely, if it becomes a problem you can always yank the excluder and furnish more comb.

    I posted on another thread on this topic that I've observed that when I let the queen roam two deeps I end up with hives going into winter where the bottoms of the frames in box #1 have a lot of empty space, and box #2 is not topped off with honey because of brood and the queen hasn't utilized the bottom box well. Because of that I sometimes end up having to leave a super behind and that means a larger winter hive volume. Last week I arranged half my hives into a single deep brood nest under an excluder and I'm going to try that for a while to see if I can force them to fill the second deep with honey. Once it is full I'll remove the excluder, and hopefully they'll be able to go into winter with a deep that is completely full above them.
    Zone 5B

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Been running singles in the North for 166 years. Can be done with skill.

    Crazy Roland
    vampire beekeeper?
    Terrence

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    I overwintered a few in single deeps outside. They were smaller colonies and i wanted to try it out. IAN up in canada who has a ton of videos uses it and has done a long explanation. very well done. Only possible pitfall is you need a lot of queen excluders and extra deeps to allow them to expand in spring flow.
    Terrence

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    Kaisen - please explain vampire???

    Crazy Roland

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Kaisen - please explain vampire???

    Crazy Roland
    your wording indicated you were running singles in the north for 166 years.
    Terrence

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Bunker Hill, IL
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    I read this question in terms of can i use a single 10 frame deep for a brood chamber. My answer to that is yes, you can but it takes an increased level of management that the avg hobbyist beekeeper is unlikely to maintain and therefore likely to swarm.

    IMHO keeping a single brood chamber is not overwintering in a single deep. Those to items are not the same IMHO.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    Thanks for the feedback, I currently inspect all my hives every 10 days so that is not an issue, I use only deeps for honey suppers and my plan is to use single brood chambers for a few to see how the overwinter. I have had no swarms for 3 or 4 h years using the 10 day inspection and splitting and equalizing colonies.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Kaisen - please explain vampire???

    Crazy Roland
    your wording indicated you were running singles in the north for 166 years.
    Zone 5B

  13. #12
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    Birmingham, AL
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    So -- I saw this youtube video as well, and since he's in Canada I thought, "Maybe it works up there, but would it work in the deep south? Maybe our bees are active for longer, and so they need more food for the winter than a hive that 'hunkers down' for winter would?'" Penny for your thoughts? I can definitely see how running just a single deep for brood makes it easier to find where the action is and do your treatments. But, at the same time, if I don't really want to be feeding sugar all winter, don't they need a second box at least? Could I get the brood into 1 deep for spring, put the queen excluder on, let them build up honey, rob them down to their one deep late summer, take off the excluder and add a second deep at let them fill that up late summer - fall, and work their way up into the top deep in winter, and then switch deeps and add a queen excluder between them come spring again?

    Naomi

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by naomi1431 View Post
    Could I get the brood into 1 deep for spring, put the queen excluder on, let them build up honey, rob them down to their one deep late summer, take off the excluder and add a second deep at let them fill that up late summer - fall, and work their way up into the top deep in winter, and then switch deeps and add a queen excluder between them come spring again?
    That's basically what I'm experimenting with this year. I was going to let them fill the #2 deep first, then remove the queen excluder. I had noticed that when I let the queen roam both boxes that the bottom half of box #1 went unused, which meant less stores in #2 because of utilization for brood.
    Zone 5B

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    To make my self perfectly clear, Linden Apiary was established in 1852, about the time of the invention of the "Deep", and to the best of my knowledge, we have always used a single deep brood chamber. From the pictures, it appears my Gr. Grandfather mixed 8 and 10 frame equipment in the apiary. Some samples are in the bee house in Nelson Dewey State park, Cassville. Wis.

    Crazy Roland, 5th gen beekeeper

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    It is climate dependent, can do it very successfully in the deep south, hard to do in northern tier states. The fundamental problem is that there is not enough honey for a wintering colony. Feeding can make up for the deficiency, but IMO is energy better used elsewhere. I ran a Langstroth 10 frame deep with a 10 frame shallow on top for a lot of years. This has the drawback of having different size frames.
    Given that single deeps are the norm here in Canada, I'd have to say this is untrue.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by SuiGeneris View Post
    Given that single deeps are the norm here in Canada, I'd have to say this is untrue.
    I think it depends a lot on what bees you have. I dont doubt that a lot of bees in Canada have a fair bit of Carni influence and lend themselves to smaller hives. With Italian habit bees in single deeps in our northern regions I think you might have to be sure to get them jam packed with stores in the fall and be prepared to feed them in the spring. Many of the commercials do just that as a matter of course. You can make more honey with the same amount of equipment but it takes closer management.

    My son has ~ 40 colonies, some doubles and some singles. The doubles are nice for pulling frames from for splits to start new colonies.

    I will be trying a few on single deeps and a couple on Dadant deeps because I am starting to be challenged by lifting stacked deeps. Singles dont need more than to be tipped back.
    Frank

  18. #17
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    Dec 2017
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    Wharton, Texas, USA
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    Default

    This is my approach spring split all are single deep under excluder with a deep super or two mediums once the honey is pulled I remove the excluder and they get a deep on top to fill with August and fall honey/ cotton flower and goldenrod and that’s how they stay until spring when I split them back down. Another beekeeper in my area taught me this and really like it. I don’t know if it’s a true single management plan or maybe a hybridized one.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    vampire beekeeper?
    Pretty funny kaizen.
    Beekeeping 5 Years - 10 production hives and about 10 nucs - Treatment OAV Only

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    SuiGenaris - Precisely.

    Crazy Roland

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Single brood chambers

    Quote Originally Posted by SuiGeneris View Post
    Given that single deeps are the norm here in Canada, I'd have to say this is untrue.
    When you say "single deep", you mean a deep containing the brood chamber and a medium or two of honey on top of that? Or do you mean a single deep with both the brood and honey contained in it?
    Beekeeping 5 Years - 10 production hives and about 10 nucs - Treatment OAV Only

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