Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
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    447

    Default Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    I'm not really that militant; but I do want to confess that I use Dadant deep hive bodies, 10 frames. The frames are 12.5 inches deep, but otherwise identical in dimension to a Langstroth deep frame. I love only having 10 frames to think about when considering the brood nest. No worries that there is brood in the top box in the fall - and no stores in the box below.

    2019 DD CWB P H - med.jpg Here is a frame in the fall. It's from the edge of the (shrinking) brood nest - the first 2 frames were solid honey, the ones towards the center were brood.

    2018 DD cluster left - med.jpg Here is a pic of the cluster last year. It is off to the side - all 3 hives were like that. This year looks to be the same pattern. Unlike in a 10 frame double deep, where the bees are center in the left-right dimension and vary in the "depth" they start at in the box, bees in a Dadant deep start at one side. I like that - no chance they will start in the middle and lose a frame or two on the opposite side!

    2018 DD brood QC - med.jpg Here is a pic of a queen cell, looks like they were superceding based on the brood pattern and few queen cells. It was last year. The gap between the 2 sheets of foundation is reliably where they like to put queen cells first! Convenient.

    So, please share some stories from those who have thrown off the chains of the double deep trap! Us "alternative hive-stylers" who are using the tower configuration - stackable boxes - but not using the double deep setup, we have no home!!! There's 8 frame double deeps, 10 frame and 8 frame mediums, using just 1 single deep for the majority of the year - be heard folks!!!!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,807

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    A lot of people use "1 and a 1/2's". That is a deep and a medium as the brood chamber. I use those and single deeps, double deeps, all mediums, 10 and twelve frame jumbos with 11 1/4" deep frames. The latter 12 frame is the most productive. Brother Adam was right.
    All the ten frame boxes on these 12 frame hives are extracted wets getting cleaned. But hive #6 on the right does have six supers on with 50lbs each if full. I will know next week when we harvest it.

    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    2nd year- beekeeping is about problem solving. If I have a problem there’s one place to go- the single deep hive body. The math works. She has plenty of room to lay. It may require more frequent management but I’m not lifting heavy boxes. They have a medium above for winter stores which was filled with heavy feeding. I’m considering a pollen super below for next year.

    Love the idea of the Dadant deep.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    587

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    I run a deep on bottom and then stack mediums on top of that. I try to have 2-3 filled mediums going into winter. It is much easier to lift a medium than a deep.

    I am curious about the double deep and want to try it, but I will have to figure out how to make some bigger frames.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    It's less $$$ on Apivar, formic pro and such.
    NCSBA Certified Beekeeper - my Youtube Vlog
    https://www.youtube.com/c/BackyardBeesNC

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    1. Are these frames 4 inches deeper than standard deep boxes?

    2. Can they fit with standard medium supers?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,558

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    Normally our colonies are much smaller than those seen in N America (+ NZ and Oz presumably) - but during one season here in the UK I had a colony explode into 3 deep boxes (these being 11-framers, with 14"x 8" comb area). The prospect of inspecting such a mega-sized stack became intimidating, and I kept thinking about how skep beekeepers used to cull both their under-sized and over-sized colonies in order to keep colony sizes appropriate to the sizes of the skeps being used.

    Well, eventually I dressed up like a medieval knight, placed a Long Hive next to the stack, and started pulling frames one at a time (sod lifting those boxes !), transferring 2 boxes-worth into the Long Hive, and leaving the original hive with one box. By then placing those hives a couple of feet either side of the original stand, the field force became roughly divided between them. It was a bit of an ordeal, but well-worth doing as life became far more manageable after that. Hopefully, this won't happen again, for as soon as I encounter an uber-strong colony they're transferred into single 16-frame boxes holding 12" deep frames - which seems to be about the optimum upper size for single height boxes in this neck of the woods.

    Having said that, I do like tall narrow stacks - but only if each box is reasonably light. At 6'4" I need to take care with my 72 year-old back ...
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,247

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    1. Are these frames 4 inches deeper than standard deep boxes?

    2. Can they fit with standard medium supers?
    1. Pretty sure - yes. More like 3 inch deeper.
    2. Pretty sure - yes.
    The Dadant frames fit nicely AS IS into two Lang medium boxes (fixed together).

    Did not get around to rig up 1-2 Dadant sets this year.
    Next year now.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,247

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    ....

    Having said that, I do like tall narrow stacks - but only if each box is reasonably light. At 6'4" I need to take care with my 72 year-old back ...
    LJ
    +1 LJ
    It either a big frame OR a small box, as for me.
    A good small box should be equivalent to 2-3 Dadant frames in coverage (then you truly work by a box).
    Boxes any bigger than this - much hassle and injured body.
    At that rate, I prefer my long hives with large frames.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,940

    Thumbs Up Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    trishbookworm, Fusion_power has done a lot of work on alternative boxes and deep frames. You may find a kindred spirit in his sound posts...Here is one of his posts. HTH
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
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    138

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    trishbookworm, Fusion_power has done a lot of work on alternative boxes and deep frames. You may find a kindred spirit in his sound posts...Here is one of his posts. HTH
    If I may- really like his strategy about getting the right genetics then forcing swarms to establish the feral population. I'm in the ideal forest location to attempt that once I'm more secure with my abilities and bee genetics. What I'm finding is- I'm getting a fair amount of late mite drift. That tells me that the surrounding area doesn't have the genetic influences to support less treatment.

    PS- Greg- if you're ever in Oregon you can have as many ponderosa tree stumps as you can haul for free. You'd have a field day carving out these bad boys.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    TBW, where I am, best success has been 10 frame triple deep. Sorry, but 6 months of nasty winter means two deep brood boxes and a deep of honey on top.
    2” rigid Styro all around, and on top, very small bottom and upper entrance, 10 pound sugar board above upper box, (insurance) and check zealously after Feb.15th.
    Going to -16 C Sunday night. Call it zero F!
    Best regards,
    Brian
    115W, 53N, El.850M

  14. #13

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    I'm in central Indiana and I've been using double deeps for but I'm thinking about switching to a single deep brood chamber for the summer and wintering with a deep and a medium. Every time I remove a brood box its like it starts a timer that counts down to the bees losing it. Being able to inspect the entire brood chamber in one box would be nice.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,541

    Default

    I don't know if it counts, but I switched to 10 frame mediums after I dealt with some back issues.

    Started with 3 mediums but found I like 4 better. I make up a few nucs every year so having 4 boxes per hive is just easier to get better quality nucs.
    The downside is having to go through all those boxes of frames. But life is a trade-off so I make do

    Sometimes I have to break down a hive that has gone queenless or has some other problem late in the year. I give the bodies to the other hives. Then the stack for winter can be a little high.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,425

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    I am not against folks using whatever equipment they want but my double deeps are great. My wife and I have hundreds of colonies in them and most you couldn't squeeze into a single if you wanted to. Many of them are covering 15 frame or more. I do have a bunch of singles as well and they work great. Last year I over wintered 40 5 frame colonies in single boxes and just used a divider board to shrink the space down. I will say that when honey season comes around we do reduce down to single brood management on the doubles. Nothing wrong with different equipment but a well managed healthy hive around here will need 5 deeps during the honey flow and 2 to overwinter.
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Yuba County, California, USA
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    6,550

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    I've used 8 frame deeps since 2004. This year I've changed to all 8 frame mediums. I like them, the bees seem to like them. I'll see how they do next year.
    Live real time bee chat, most evenings...
    https://www.rumbletalk.com/client/chat.php?4%40HY_hmJ

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,136

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    I use 8 frame deeps. I went to 8 frame gear because geezer back, but after flirting briefly with using all 8 frame mediums I went back to deeps for brood because brood does not weigh as much as honey and I can still lift them. I've mulled over the idea of using a Dadant Jumbo in an 8 frame deep for brood. I haven't pulled the trigger. But I have found that I can keep the broodnest confined to an 8 frame deep and the colony will flourish. The queen will lay all 8 frames wall to wall, and I do need a second deep on at all times, but it is where they are putting food, not brood. At the peak brood the broodnest expands into the second deep but during the late summer I put the queen excluder back on and let them emerge. When I arranged the frames for the fall the entire broodnest was arranged so that it is all to one side in the bottom and they have a full deep with completely filled frames above them, so whether they go sideways or go up, they shouldn't be cutting themselves off from an island of food. As has been mentioned, that cuts down on the quantity of Apivar strips needed as well. The thing that has keep me from building an 8 frame jumbo is that if I did end up with brood in the second standard deep then I would be unable to re-arrange the broodnest to the bottom box in the fall - however the jumbo frame would make an 8 frame jumbo larger than a 10 frame deep so keeping the queen excluder on full time might not be an issue if I could overwinter in the single box. I haven't ever tried wintering in a single box here in this climate however and don't know if its feasible.
    Zone 6B

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    4,845

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    I built a couple of 10 frame dadant hive bodies and frames to experiment with stationary single brood box but other things got in the way of putting bees in them. Bad back and hands is very soon putting the end to me moving deeps around!

    I like the idea someone put forth about using two standard medium boxes stacked to accommodate 12.75 inch deep frames. When you are making the sidebars it is not any harder to make them that length than the dadant deep spec. of 11.25"

    There should be no question of adequate room in that size brood chamber.
    Frank

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,126

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    Wasn't it Walt Wright who wrote something about the Evils of the Double Deep? Or something like that. I've used double deeps for 45 years. In fact my standard brood nest id two deeps and a medium. Lots of 150+ pounders this yeas, and...just about every year the same. Had lots over 200 lbs. this year, with the top producers making 240. Yep, them double deeps are evil and must be destroyed. Uuueeeooo!

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,136

    Default Re: Down with Double Deeps! Fess up, you alternative hive-style followers!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by trishbookworm View Post
    The frames are 12.5 inches deep, but otherwise identical in dimension to a Langstroth deep frame.
    Hold on a second Trish, will you clarify something for me? The Dadant Deep is 11-5/8" high (Dadant System of Beekeeping pp36). The modified jumbo, or what is commonly but incorrectly called the Dadant Deep, is 11-1/4" high (That's what Fusion_Power uses). If you are using 12.5" deep frames then you must be using something custom? Can you tell me what drove the decision to use 12.5" as your frame height dimension?
    Zone 6B

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