Feeding with Deep Boxes in the Northwest
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Bozeman, Montana, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default Feeding with Deep Boxes in the Northwest

    Greetings to all!
    This is my second year using deep boxes as I moved to SW Montana. I was previously using all medium boxes so this was not an issue but; how do I go about getting them to build up winter stores in deep boxes with most of the honey currently being in 2-3 mediums above the deep boxes?

    All of the honey is in the mediums above the double deeps and I dont really want them to have just sugar syrup stores. IF thats how its normally done that's fine but I'd really like them to use the honey they made versus me taking it all and giving them syrup. I plan to harvest this weekend and do my mite treatment. I am hoping I have options other than harvesting the honey and then feeding it back to them. Is there any logic to just removing the one bottom deep box and overwintering in 1 deep and 2 mediums or is that nonsensical and too easy. I plan to add a quilt board and some mountain camp sugar on a feeder shim in late fall but I am always up for other ideas.

    Thanks for any feedback.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,547

    Default Re: Feeding with Deep Boxes in the Northwest

    Quote Originally Posted by zombeek View Post
    ... Is there any logic to just removing the one bottom deep box and overwintering in 1 deep and 2 mediums or is that nonsensical and too easy. I plan to add a quilt board and some mountain camp sugar on a feeder shim in late fall but I am always up for other ideas.

    Thanks for any feedback.
    Yes there is Logic to it and yes, easy is good. This would be your easiest way to accomplish a good over winter arrangement for the hive. There are other ways you could try, but this way is easiest and least amount of work for you as well as for the bees to perform.
    Live real time bee chat, most evenings...
    https://www.rumbletalk.com/client/chat.php?4%40HY_hmJ

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Feeding with Deep Boxes in the Northwest

    Probably a similar climate to yours. I overwinter in either 2 deeps, or a deep bottom and 2 mediums. I am batting about average on overwinter sucess, but only have had one hive die of starvation so far, and that was early spring and due to beekeeper ineptitude.

    Greg
    Last edited by bushpilot; 08-31-2019 at 10:40 PM. Reason: improve clarity

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,804

    Default Re: Feeding with Deep Boxes in the Northwest

    I had some new colonies on single deeps that were getting a bit on the busy side a few weeks ago. I put a medium of undrawn frames under the deep, with the thinking that f they dont get them drawn and filled I would rather not have the bees wintering and facing spring up in such a box. I expect the deep on top will get well filled and push the bees down to cluster and start winter in the lower box.

    Honey supers that have been worked above an excluder will not have near as much pollen as previous brood combs. Even if filled with sugar syrup, I have the feeling they are not ideal for bees to be situated in starting late winter/spring build up. If you place the bees in that situation I think it would be a good idea to put on pollen sub patties.

    Getting good early build up is a problem with my long, cold, and late springs.
    Frank

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    1,389

    Default Re: Feeding with Deep Boxes in the Northwest

    There’s always logic But what if the bottom deep is not empty of stores or brood? Why not just take less honey, if feeding sugar water is a concern?
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Park County, Montana, USA
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: Feeding with Deep Boxes in the Northwest

    Hey Zom, I'm, just over the hill from you in P-Valley. I winter in 2 deeps and we're doing our first harvest this coming weekend as well. We will weigh the 2 deeps after we pull supers and we generally end up pulling a couple frames of honey from the upper brood box because they come in over 125 pounds. Our brood nests are in the lower boxes now. When we pull brood box frames we pull only the center frames, then move outer frames to the center, this assures us we have this year's honey. The cluster will eat the honey we leave in the center as they move up during the winter. We do 3/4 insulation on 3 sides, wrap over that, a 1" hole in the upper brood box reduced to 1 bee width using cardboard, feeding shim with sugar and quilt box above that. We've had 100% winter survival so far. Some hives will go through their 10 lbs of MC sugar by December, some will never go through it all, lots of variation. We toss in sugar bricks if needed. I'm trying out a single deep this year, had a queen I was going to kill but decided to try to winter in a single deep with her, that hive will get the same as the others.
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Bozeman, Montana, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Feeding with Deep Boxes in the Northwest

    Good deal. I think I made the right moves today and 4/5 hives looking strong.
    I have one that is in a single deep; this is a colony that swarmed earlier in the year and I was lucky enough to catch them. I am thinking of trying them in the single deep. Or is it better to add a box of honey? Last year was my first year with bees in Montana and I murdered them all so I may be overly paranoid. I made a couple of mistakes (too much space and wrong size screen on quilt box, and not aggressive enough varroa treatment) and I am hoping for a better outcome this winter.
    I treated with MAQS today and will do the second round with them in 2 weeks.
    The brood boxes were heavier than I had anticipated so we arenet too far off from where they need to be for winter. I plan to feed them some of the honey I harvest from last year's dead outs as I have a 5 gallon bucket full of it and hopefully things go smoother this winter.
    I also combined a couple of weak hives. 1 had swarmed and successfully requeened the other had requeened and swarmed immediately.

    Ill leave them alone a couple of weeks, treat, and feed feed feed until I start winter wrapping in October. Fingers crossed and always up for feedback!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Park County, Montana, USA
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: Feeding with Deep Boxes in the Northwest

    Well, may the bees be with you.
    I use duck canvas on the underside of my quilt boxes.
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

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