Iowa USA - How many deep boxes for brood chamber?
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  1. #1

    Default Iowa USA - How many deep boxes for brood chamber?

    I live in the Midwestern part of the USA and was curious how many boxes I should be using for my brood chamber.

    I've seen a lot of videos explaining why you should do 1 deep for your brood chamber and they explain all the benefits about how it's easier to manage, etc. But a lot of content I read online says it's usually two or even three depending on your area. (That is why I included my location)

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Farmington, MO, USA

    Default Re: Iowa USA - How many deep boxes for brood chamber?

    A lot of it boils down to your own personal preferences. Most beekeepers here in Missouri use 2 deeps. Some use 1 deep, but usually have to feed them in the winter because they donít have all the extra honey stored above them in a second box. A single deep means less lifting which is nice because when the 2nd deep is full of honey, it is heavy. A hive with 2 deeps going into winter can also have more bees going into winter and build up faster coming out. I winter some in 2 deeps and some in 3 deeps. The 3 deep hives build up even faster, but take longer to work and involve more lifting.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Aylett, Virginia

    Default 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.

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

    Default Re: Iowa USA - How many deep boxes for brood chamber?

    My son runs both single and double deeps and finds that the singles needs closer management in variable spring weather and they certainly need concentrated attention to feeding when you pull the supers off. A single deep can have very little honey in it at that time. Feeding will affect and control the size of the winter cluster. I think double deep is more flexible for a beginner.

    If you have lifting problems three deeps will make them worse!


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