Single Deeps and Swarming
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
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    166

    Default Single Deeps and Swarming

    Last year for the first time I used single deeps, and had about 30-40% swarm. I usually use doubles and over the past decade have perhaps 10% or less swam with doubles. The careful management of the singles did not help. It was a tough year with poor weather, but that in my opinion was not the issue. Anyone else have this issue or suggestions?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
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    1,231

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    What breed of bee?????

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    5,482

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    University of Guelph in Southern Ontario run single deeps but I think they do routine tear down of queen cells. Probably lots of free, inquisitive students on a regular basis helps. Our colder season up north seems to encourage less than picture perfect comb construction in spring that makes a bit of a jumble around sides and bottom of frames. Very easy to miss a queen cell and there they go!

    They do take a bit more watching and often need spring feeding where the doubles don't. That is what my son finds with them in eastern ontario.
    Frank

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    Amixtue of carolinas and italians.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Honey Householder View Post
    What breed of bee?????

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
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    1,231

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    I've been run single deeps for production for 30+ years. The queens I use is Wilbanks Italians. I see little to no swarming even on the wet years. The managing of single are a lot different then managing doubles. You have to always keep space above them. Even when I put packages in in March I put a super above the excluder, so they have space. I'm in the hives every 14-17 days working the hives in season. If you have to pull bees out to keep them at the right size and cut cells. If you let your hives swarm, you won't get a very good crop. My 2019 crop was a 155 lb avg. even on a very wet spring.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    This year due to significant losses I am starting with NUCs. I do use excluders and I will as you suggest use a super from the start. I will go into each every 14 days as you suggest but it seems that once they produce even one cell it is too late. Historicall in my area even with 2 deeps the average per hive in good years is 60 pounds and perhaps 90 pounds. On a few rare occasions I have had 4-6 supers. I have too find a method for mite control that does not affect my health as I have cancer and the drifting chemicals could be a very serious problem for me.
    Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by The Honey Householder View Post
    I've been run single deeps for production for 30+ years. The queens I use is Wilbanks Italians. I see little to no swarming even on the wet years. The managing of single are a lot different then managing doubles. You have to always keep space above them. Even when I put packages in in March I put a super above the excluder, so they have space. I'm in the hives every 14-17 days working the hives in season. If you have to pull bees out to keep them at the right size and cut cells. If you let your hives swarm, you won't get a very good crop. My 2019 crop was a 155 lb avg. even on a very wet spring.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    Quote Originally Posted by Plannerwgp View Post
    This year due to significant losses I am starting with NUCs. I do use excluders and I will as you suggest use a super from the start. I will go into each every 14 days as you suggest but it seems that once they produce even one cell it is too late. Historicall in my area even with 2 deeps the average per hive in good years is 60 pounds and perhaps 90 pounds. On a few rare occasions I have had 4-6 supers. I have too find a method for mite control that does not affect my health as I have cancer and the drifting chemicals could be a very serious problem for me.
    Thanks
    re: chemicals, you can use half as much treatment in a single as a double. example, IF you were to treat with apivar, 4 strips are needed for a double whereas only 2 for a single.
    also, with singles there is no deep boxes to lift like that of a double. you can just tip the single back and fan through the frames looking from underneath. much quicker inspections.
    after seeing good wintering with singles, i ran several strong hives for honey last year. no swarms, even with 2 year old queens. #100avg, usually its 50-60. you have to be ready to feed when you pull honey as they put all stores above the excluder.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,482

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    Have you considered using Snelgrove's system for swarm control? I have used it with good results for about 4 years, usually on about 4 double deep colonies. Around 60 pounds is about average for me too.
    Frank

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada-Near Vancouver
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    I'm going into my 2nd year, my 1st hive so far is surviving the winter but earlier in the summer I was chasing queen cells. My neighbor always had swarm issues with single deeps but he told me as soon as he put a medium brooder on top of the bottom deep he never had a swarm issue so that's what I did. I don't know enough to definitively say it's a fix all but after I did the same I didn't see a queen cell the rest of the season. I'll keep a close eye on that this year. I'd prefer to keep it to a single deep but don't mind the extra box. Fwiw, I had queen cells even with the deep honey super above the excluder mostly empty and the frames in the brood deep weren't full of honey, at least not abnormally. Again, I'm a newbee so keep that in mind...

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
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    394

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    Sorry, but I have to answer with a question. Why a single deep? To save materials, space, transportation or thermal . internal environment reasons?

    I, for the first time, went with a Medium - Deep - Medium as my standard with a QE on top in early Spring. I was stunned at zero swarming from 9 hives. I did have fairly young queens in most hives and the flow was very good and I added supers and removed capped frames quickly. I removed supers and heavily insulated for the winter with no top vent. I intend to run half insulated and half without this summer. It should make for soem interesting observation.

    I want to get some swarm queen cells - I hope. Good luck this year,

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada-Near Vancouver
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    73

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    Well as a beginner I felt it would be easier and I was honestly a bit intimidated at first. This “simple” hobby that I knew nothing about took on a life of its own. As I’ve grown into it the deep/medium combo is working well so I’ll keep it as a base. I also run 8 frame boxes, no reason other than that’s what I started with.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Maysel,WV
    Posts
    92

    Default

    I ran single deeps last summer. Checked for queen cells every 14 days and if I found swarm preparation had started I just pulled the old queen and a few brood frames.
    That stopped the swarming impulse as the bees in the original hive think the old queen has already left. Take the queen and the brood and start your self a new hive if you want another one. Or just hold her until you know the hive has a new queen and then decide which queen to keep and which one to sell or give away.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
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    1,084

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    Ian Steppler (Canadian Beekeepers Blog) let's them expand into 2 Deeps during Swarm Season and then before the Main Flow shakes the bees from the Top Deep into the bottom one and then puts on an Excluder to run them as Single Deeps for the rest of the season. He often takes the Top Deep for a split, but you could just them them fill it with Honey.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YbA-P_l13QM

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    4,215

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    Like the Householder, we run single deeps, possibly since they where invented. Like him, we inspect every 14 days in the spring, and keep the brood nest open. It may seem like more work at first, but when you figure the cost of bees, and half the frames to look at, you can make more money with a single deep. A few of our yards last year averaged 5 deeps, so you are definitely missing out . (We are less than 2 hours north of you).

    As for swarming, I would put our percentage at insignificant. We keep all of the hives at uniform strength, so any missing bees would be noticed.

    Crazy Roland
    5th gen beekeeper

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
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    272

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    Roland- what are you using for entrances- vent holes- insulation? Trying to remodel some failed experiments from the last couple of years.
    Thanks
    Jerry

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    1,844

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    Ian Steppler (Canadian Beekeepers Blog) let's them expand into 2 Deeps during Swarm Season and then before the Main Flow shakes the bees from the Top Deep into the bottom one and then puts on an Excluder to run them as Single Deeps for the rest of the season. He often takes the Top Deep for a split, but you could just them them fill it with Honey.
    A lot of commercial beekeepers run singles in a method similar to what Ian is doing. What I see around here, when a hobby beekeeper tries to run in a single, they get into swarming issues sooner than in doubles, and the reason for that is really easy to understand. Hobby folks tend to miss the most important detail of running singles, and that is equalization. When you go into a yard during spring there is a target for colony size, most measure it in terms of frames of brood. Colonies with excess brood have some removed. Colonies short on brood get some. Any surplus brood frames end up in boxes to become new colonies. Managing for swarm prevention is done during equalization.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    4,215

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    Swarmhunter - appropriate entrance blocks, changing with season, and upper set back supers, again changing with season. And deeps for supers.

    Listen to Grozzie, he nailed another aspect of what is happening.

    Crazy Roland

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    Roland- Yes Grozzie explains typical single box manipulations. Thanks. I was just wondering if you used top openings or vents in the winter.
    thanks
    Jerry

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,360

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    I start early spring with the queen confined in a single deep and a second deep above a queen excluder. I'll arrange the brood nest so that the bottom box is about half full with the queen in the bottom with plenty of empty frames. Any other brood goes above the excluder directly above the bottom brood frames to hatch out. The queen excluder stays on until a honey band is developed in the second box. If the bottom needs space I'll move capped brood up to hatch out and an empty frame down. An upper entrance is required here to make this work, its not optional (because drones). After a honey band has formed I remove the queen excluder. The brood nest will expand at that point into the lower parts of the second box. In the late summer I repeat that, with the queen below the excluder and all the brood if it will fit. Having a single brood box at the start of fall makes the fall mite treatment easier. That is also the time I put on the feeders so that they will back fill any space in the second deep. The QE and the feeders come off at the same time. This has worked well for me so that the hive is set for winter with a fully packed deep.
    Zone 6B

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: Single Deeps and Swarming

    JConnolly- I understand how a lot of people utilize single box hive successfully. As I asked Roland and I am asking you - do you run upper entrances and/ or upper vent holes summer or winter? Just trying to to get other peoples ideas on entrances- vent holes- and insulation -Summer and Winter. Going to be making some changes in my own hives this year.
    Thank-you
    Jerry

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