Re: Iowa USA - How many deep boxes for brood chamber?
Hi Trevin, single brood box or double is really just a choice of management style. The queen cannot lay enough eggs to fill 10 deep frames with brood so a second box is not vital. However, the standard full sized hive configuratuon is two deep brood boxes with medium supers on top. Deeps for supers is a bad idea, not just from the weight, but most hobby extactors are designed for medium and shallow frames, deeps require additional flipping and spinning.
I would start your bees off in a single deep and buy a large hivetop feeder that holds at least a gallon of syrup. Do not use a hive entrance feeder. Feed 1:1 like crazy, checking every two days to make sure the feeder is not empty. Once the bees have 8 of the frames started with comb, add the second deep. You will need to move some frames around to get them all drawn but do not breakup the broodnest. When the second deep is mostly drawn, add the the first super and remove the feeder. Once they start drawing those frames, you can add the queen excluder.
If you decide later that one brood box is the right configuration for you, it is real easy to push the bees down. If you haven't done so, check out Ian Steppler's "A Canadian Beekeepers Blog". Ian manages all of his hives as single deeps. He also overwinters indoors, which works well for the smaller clusters.
Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.