Running single deep and medium for brood
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hubert, North Carolina
    Posts
    378

    Default Running single deep and medium for brood

    So this is what I've faced most every year. I went from double deep brood boxes to single deeps, for a number of reasons. I use mediums for honey supers. This time of year the nectar flow slows but I still have a lot of honey in my mediums, and I don't pull the frames until they're fully capped. I also use OA for mite treatments and we all know that you can't use it when supers are on. My dilemma is that I don't have enough space to store honey supers (currently running 37 hives) and I normally have 1 to 4 honey supers on a hive. It prevents me from treating if needed during the dearth. So... I was thinking about running a deep and a medium for brood, which will give the queen some more room to lay, as well as more room to store nectar & pollen. I can always get my medium supers down to one on each hive. Does it make sense to run a deep and a medium for brood? I don't want to go back to running double deeps.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,159

    Default Re: Running single deep and medium for brood

    I ran a few of my hives as a medium over deep this past winter here in Richmond. You will need to consider where you want the boxes to be coming out of winter. In other words, you may wish to have the medium on the bottom.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hubert, North Carolina
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Running single deep and medium for brood

    Yeah, the cluster tends to move up over the course of the winter, so the medium would be switched to the bottom come Springtime.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,159

    Default Re: Running single deep and medium for brood

    I was thinking about it the other way around. If you start the medium on the bottom going into winter, box rotation gets it back on top for the spring. And the bees over winter on the deep frames, which I believe is better.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Lacomb, Oregon USA
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Running single deep and medium for brood

    For the same reasons as you, I will be trying 2 hives this winter with a deep/medium setup. Deep on bottom.

    People run all mediums and winter their bees. Why wouldn’t the bees be able to move up into the Medium and cluster? Seems sometimes they move up and sometimes they don’t when running a 2 deep setup.

    Pretty sure there are beeks out there who winter with this setup. Hopefully they will contribute some feedback.

    Scott

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,808

    Default Re: Running single deep and medium for brood

    Been running a med over deep as my standard overwinter configuration for years. I don't rotate the boxes and only occasionally have a problem with the queen not moving back down into the deep. However, I'm mainly foundationless and the bees put the drone comb in the med so that maybe a contributing factor why the queen moves down into the empty deep.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,985

    Default Re: Running single deep and medium for brood

    Give a thought to where pollen supplies are going to be in relation to the cluster when late winter broodup must start anew. Frames with solid honey can leave the bees pollen starved if that is where they find themselves when it is still to cold to travel down into the cold depths of the hive.

    A search on Google for Brood and a half bee colonies will get you lots of info from Britain where it is a more common arrangement. There seems to be quite a lack of agreement on who should get on top.
    Frank

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Ocala, Florida, USA
    Posts
    615

    Default Re: Running single deep and medium for brood

    I have been running a deep/medium brood set up for a few years now. I like mine to end up in the spring with the medium in the bottom. I feel that the brood does better on the deep frames up top. Less break in the nest. Our bees usually make the bottom box the “pantry”. Just my $.02

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