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  1. #21

    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Since the queen is the same queen in both the optimal and suboptimal brood nest, with the same physical characteristics and abilities, the amount of eggs laid in the suboptimal (2 brood boxes) and optimal broodnest (adapted broodnest) is the same. There is the same amount of brood in a broodnest with for example 7 honeycombs as well as with 22 honeycombs. Why is that? The queen has a physical limit, she can only lay a certain number of eggs, just as we humans only run the hundred yards in a certain time. Even with training or sophisticated shoes, we don't run faster.

    At some point, each of us has reached an individual limit. It is not physically possible to exceed this limit.
    And so the amount of eggs in the optimal and suboptimal brood nest is the same.

    The difference
    The difference between an adapted and non-adapted brood space lies in the spatial and temporal extent of the brood nest. The brood is spatially much more distributed in the non-adapted brood space. That has direct consequences.

    Imagine a group of people sitting in a restaurant within a hotel and being served food and drinks by two waiters. If the group sits together in a room as a cluster, the waiters can take good care of them.

    However, if the guests are spread across the entire hotel complex, with one guest in each hotel room, it is simply impossible for the waiters to provide all these people with food and drinks at the same time. The guests are all hungry at the same time and want to be taken care of!

    The only solution to serve these distributed guests at the same time is to work with more staff.

    The same thing happens in the beehive. The group of people is our brood. The waiters are the nurse bees, heater bees, supply bees, etc. - in other words, the "care bees".

    If the brood nest is compact and spatially dense on a few honeycombs, then only a few care bees are required. If the brood nest is distributed over a large number of honeycombs, then it takes considerably more care bees to supply the same amount of brood.

    Forage maturity
    A bee colony typically hibernates with 5,000-10,000 bees and grows to full strength in the course of spring to around 30,000 bees. In the literature, the limit of 20,000 bees is mentioned on two-broodbox systems, at which the so-called "forage maturity" occurs. From 20,000 bees on, the bees collect so much honey that the bees take on the first honey super. This is the so-called maturity level 1.

    The second level and the full foraging power the bee colonies develop with 30,000 bees in the bee colony.

    2-broodboxes-colony.jpg

    observation
    The following is observed by all beekeepers who work with an adapted broodnest: In colonies with an adapted broodnest, the bee colonies start to accept the first honey chamber and fill it with honey from as little as 10,000 bees.

    Why is that?

    Organize the existing staff better
    As we have shown in our example with the waiters and the guests: the spatial distribution of the guests creates an additional need for staff. This additional requirement was created artificially and is unnecessary. If the group would sit in a room as a cluster, you would get by with fewer waiters.

    It is the same in the beehive

    A queen lays about 2,000 eggs a day. Calculated over 21 days of a breeding cycle, we have 42,000 brood cells. This number wants to be supplied. According to literature, one nursing bee supplies about 4 cells. If I divide the 42,000 brood cells by 4, I get almost 10,000 bees, which you need to take care of the compact brood nest. (And is the size of a typical winter cluster, which is no coincidence...) Instead of 20,000 bees in the unmatched brood nest!

    This frees 10,000 bees from direct and indirect brood care. 10,000 more bees that can collect or process honey. Instead of 10,000 bees, 20,000 bees hunt for honey with such a colony.

    adapted-broodbox-colony.jpg

    Before honey greed is said to me again: I'm not just thinking about honey. The freed bees can also do completely different tasks in the beehive: heating, cleaning, collecting propolis, building honeycombs, etc. Such a colony with free resources is much more efficient in all things!

    A living being that is in a body that fits it, is always more efficient, more capable of survival, more independent than in the reverse case.
    Another observation: in the adapted broodnest, you will find that the bee mass, ie the number of bees in such a colony is growing faster and larger than in an unmatched brood space. The hives grow like yeast dough! And form much larger colonies than normal.

    The bee masses in such colonies are sometimes very amazing. Why is that?

    In my opinion, this phenomenon of large bee colonies can only be adequately explained by the fact that the bees that do not nurse are getting older. A population can only grow if the mortality rate is lower.

    If 10,000 bees are relieved of the task of brood care and therefore get older, fewer bees die per day than if the brood room is not adapted, where the bees are placed for brood care and die younger.

    Which causes all the effects described above.

    On top of that, adapting the broodnest - which is done only one time a year, in mid January to start of February Ė is a lot less work than stacking boxes, shuffling frames. And produces great results.

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Quote Originally Posted by DonaB View Post
    One thing Iíve not had answered though is can this system work with 8-frame equipment or do I need 10 frame boxes. Based on the math I suspect 10 frame is needed.
    I don't agree that a 10 frame box is needed. What IS needed is that honey frames be removed from the brood chamber, and replaced with frames with open cells, providing a place for the queen to lay.

    I finally transitioned to all medium boxes (7-frame; I don't like lifting any deep boxes). I plan to run 2 boxes for the brood chamber, place a queen excluder above the 2nd box, and place medium supers above the QE.

    The vigilence is required to make sure the queen has a place to lay, either by checkboarding or other methods, to keep the bees out of a swarming frame of mind.

  4. #23
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    Cool Re: Single brood box colonies

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    We use medium honey supers. We will get around 40lb of honey extracting a medium box. We sell honey for 10 dollars a bottle and our cost for bottle, label and lid runs about a dollar, so we will put about $360 into the kitty after packaging costs. To replace that with syrup dried to 17% means we supply about 34 pounds of sugar, give it to them in 2:1 in the fall and by the time it's dried to capping levels, it'll be 40 pounds of 'syrup honey' for the bees to winter on. 34 pounds of sugar is about 17 dollars.

    Some other reasons for this to be good overall, besides just economics. In an area where the bees get confined for months without the ability to do a relief flight, fall honey will likely have to much particulate and the bees wont winter well on it. Sugar syrup on the other hand, properly made, has no solids at all, so the bees wont end up with the runs.
    1....to get your $360 Canadian I'm guessing that you spend a lot of time at the Farmers' Market? I've heard this stuff about comercial beekeepers in Canada getting $1.50 a pound when they sell their honey in drums. Am I mistaken?

    2....extract all the honey and then feed syrup which is better for the bees because it stays liquid? You've got to be kidding, or as Johnny Mc would say, you can't be serious. This feeding syrup and then later harvesting honey from the same hives has always bothered me. How does one know that their is not any sugar or worse in the honey which is then harvested?

    I got into the business after I discovered that raw unadulterated honey is such a wonderful product. I hate to think that any North American beekeepers sell an adulterated product.

    I think I will go hide now.















    /

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Quote Originally Posted by Gino45 View Post
    1....to get your $360 Canadian I'm guessing that you spend a lot of time at the Farmers' Market? I've heard this stuff about comercial beekeepers in Canada getting $1.50 a pound when they sell their honey in drums. Am I mistaken?

    2....extract all the honey and then feed syrup which is better for the bees because it stays liquid? You've got to be kidding, or as Johnny Mc would say, you can't be serious. This feeding syrup and then later harvesting honey from the same hives has always bothered me. How does one know that their is not any sugar or worse in the honey which is then harvested?
    1. We spend no time at a farmers market. Our honey goes on a stand at the entrance to our property. People take bottles of honey and leave money in the cash box. Ours is a different market than folks selling in drums, and yes that 1.50 you hear they get is true these days.

    2. You misunderstood, did not say it stays liquid. I said it doesnít have the solids typically found in fall honey around here. Bees wintering on fall honey tend to show dysentery problems in a cold winter where they donít get relief flights for long stretches. As for feeding in the fall there is no worry about that ending up in supers the following year, itís all gone by April. We donít have flows running year round like Hawaiians do. Our bees go from 1 oct till mid March with no nectar incoming, and they can chew thru a full deep of stores during spring buildup from mid feb thru mid April. Fall feed gets stored in brood boxes and will be long consumed before honey supers go on.

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Quote Originally Posted by Gino45 View Post
    This feeding syrup and then later harvesting honey from the same hives has always bothered me. How does one know that their is not any sugar or worse in the honey which is then harvested? /
    That would bother most respectable beekeepers but I believe you are misunderstanding the process. I my area of the country, the timing of feeding is different than what you are describing. There is no feeding before mid March, it is too cold. Mid March comes and all heck breaks loose. Maples bloom, peaches, almonds, cherries, plums, pears and apples finally come on. All this happens between mid March and about Mid May. It is a non-stop flow and there is no reason to be feeding. There is a short lull and then black locust and blackberries come on. Once the blackberries are done, the annual drought hits and just about July 4, all flowering plants pretty much disappear until ivy in late September. If you take the supers of honey and don't feed through the drought, the bees will starve before fall comes. If you leave the supers with the honey, and you may not have gotten much, your bees may still starve. Either way, come winter, without feeding, your bees will not have enough food to make it until spring. If you are beekeeper who moves his/her hives around, the summer dearth is not so pronounced.

    You are assuming that the beekeepers are feeding with the supers on. They should not be. Food in the brood chambers is for the bees. Honey in the supers is for the beekeeper. If you are feeding, you should NOT have supers on. That way the honey in the supers that gets extracted is real honey, made from nectar and is not adulterated sugar water honey.

  7. #26
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    Default

    Very interesting description of your broodnest dynamics Bernhard. I imagine if everyone is working harmoniously that would also extend their lives and the queens productivity. What is your process for assessing colony strenth and placing follower board in Jan / Feb? (Seems pretty cold....) Also, do you allow the need to use (hang out in) the rest of the space beyond the follower board at night? If yes, do they not build comb and what do you Do to block the queen going in? (I don't know how this set up works: I imagine if they get in from the entrance that could cause robbing issues in some seasons; of They go up through he excluder and then down into the space I think many would clog the broodnest at night; if the follower board is loose enough for bees to pass the queen will go in as well. Maybe a small queen excluder on the follower board?) Thanks!
    For the op, I have found 8 frames is fine for single deep brood box in upstate NY. Some are 8 frame deeps some are 4 /4 resource hives 2 high. I'd like to try a broodnest individualised for each queen....

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Bernard - Everything you wrote is true.

    Yes, a queen has a limit to the number of eggs she can lay.

    Yes, brood scattered all over the hive would be a waste of energy by the nurse bees, just like your waiters analogy.

    Do you count the time SHE wastes looking for an empty cell to lay in?

    We restrict her to one deep, with plenty of open comb in front of her. The removed brood comb is placed centrally above the excluder, maintaining contiguous comb.

    Crazy Roland

  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    No need for a deeper frame if you do more moving of the frames.

    Crazy Roland
    Mind going into more detail about this? I run single 10 frame units but am interested on how frequently you move frames around ?

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Quote Originally Posted by RPA2019 View Post
    I also like the idea of a single brood box but I'm thinking of trying a deeper frame in them.
    Me too. I started last year with a single deep brood box and put a medium on top of it. Then used frames that were the size of a deep and medium put together. I got a local woodware maker to make frame sides that were the length of a deep and a medium put together, then put them together myself with a normal top bar and bottom bar. Easy peasy. I concur with not moving boxes much so weight is not an issue for me. My understanding is that deeps were primarily developed for ease of commercial beekeeps that have to schlep them around. I don't schlep my bees. My theory is that deeper frames will allow the cluster to better retain heat in the winter by not having to bridge the gap in frames between multiple brood boxes. I've not done a cutout or seen a colony inside a wall that was as shallow as a deep box. Obviously not saying that they don't exist but bees will normally fill the cavity they're in.

    Note: I also tried to cobble together these extra large frame by gluing/screwing together a deep and a medium frame. In each case they ignored the medium frame I had below the deep frame. Much easier and time saving just to get someone to make the frame sides for you. And it's cheap.

    Roland, from your comment below, I'd much rather not have to manipulate frames, just my personal preference. I want to move frames as little as possible. And, I'd rather inspect 10 deep deep frames (or maybe 8!) than 20 deep frames or 30 medium frames.

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    This year I going to try the two deep frames tied together with 1 of the nucs I'm getting this year. But I'm also going to try using a Layens frame in the brood chamber with Langsroth mediums for honey supers like on Matt's Beekeeping on YouTube. That way I can use a standard extractor.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Quote Originally Posted by RPA2019 View Post
    This year I going to try the two deep frames tied together with 1 of the nucs I'm getting this year. But I'm also going to try using a Layens frame in the brood chamber with Langsroth mediums for honey supers like on Matt's Beekeeping on YouTube. That way I can use a standard extractor.
    Wow, I'd be interested in knowing how that goes. That is VERY deep! In case I wasn't clear, my set up is a brood box consisting of a deep and medium put together, with frames the size of a deep and medium frame put together. Honey supers are all mediums so I can extract them. Again, deep honey supers are also more weight than I want to deal with.

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Ya I don't want to use deep supers either, only mediums.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Frames to fit two stacked mediums would make heavy item to handle. Without going to heavier material for the side bars, crosswiring to prevent sag sucks the sides in. You could use dowels or vertical wiring but that is a large area of comb to support till it gets fastened side and bottom. In my climate it would not happen in one season. I made sidebars for 20 frames but I am going to meditate on them for a while. I may cut them down to the dadant depth. Using two medium boxes is attractive but it would be easy to make 2" lifts to accommodate the Dadant depth in a regular deep box. I will try a couple of colonies this summer on the dadant depth and see how they perform as single stationary brood boxes.

    Even the Dadant boxes need hard to get wide boards and you discover how much more you are inconvenienced by board cupping when it comes to assembly. Pic. showing proper grain orientation to prevent cupping/splaying of frame rest area: Dont put the heart in a box of pine!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Frank

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Rhop - we inspect and manipulate as needed every 2 weeks until the summer flow is on.

    PHINV - The queen is only in the bottom deep, so we only inspect 10 frames. Brood Frames are moved upstairs, empties downstairs.
    you wrote:
    "My understanding is that deeps were primarily developed for ease of commercial beekeeps that have to schlep them around."

    It is my understanding that the deep was developed in the 1850s's to emulate the ussual size of a brood cavity. Large scale migratory beekeeping came after the invention of the Truck.. We are "Linden Apiary", not the plural "Apiaries" because we where founded in 1852 when it was hard for a horse to get to an out yard and back.

    Crazy Roland

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnmyke View Post
    All my hives have upper entrances for moisture control. It's mandatory in my humid climate.

    Makes no difference.
    mtnmike when I used Upper entrances most of the nectar hauling bees used the upper entrance to avoid the brood nest. So I have had the opposite experience.
    GG

  17. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnmyke View Post
    All my hives have upper entrances for moisture control. It's mandatory in my humid climate.

    Makes no difference.
    mtnmike when I used Upper entrances most of the nectar hauling bees used the upper entrance to avoid the brood nest.

    So I have had the opposite experience.
    GG
    Works for a lot of people. My girls just have issues using queen excluders and even with top entrances, and having 3/4" holes in the front of my supers, the bees still prefer to go through the brood chamber. Of my 22 hives, only two of them were storing honey above the excluder. The others got a second deep and supers with no excluder. Even with the extra work to build into another deep, they now have more honey than the single deep colonies.

    I'd prefer not having to use 2x the equipment and 2x the frames to go through for maintenance, but when my double deeps have 300 lbs of honey and my singles have 100 - the math is easy.

    But go with what works for you and your area.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    "My understanding is that deeps were primarily developed for ease of commercial beekeeps that have to schlep them around."

    It is my understanding that the deep was developed in the 1850s's to emulate the ussual size of a brood cavity. Large scale migratory beekeeping came after the invention of the Truck.. We are "Linden Apiary", not the plural "Apiaries" because we where founded in 1852 when it was hard for a horse to get to an out yard and back.
    I believe you guys have this the wrong way around(*) - it was the shallower (say, less than 12") brood boxes that were developed to service the method of maximising honey production that was in vogue during the immediate post-Langstroth era.

    The technique used was to actively encourage the hive to swarm, and to swarm relatively early in the season, with the issuing swarm being caught and held in a second box close to the first. After a short time, those boxes were swapped over, with the second (temporary) box then removed - such that the original colony was returned to it's original stand having got swarming 'out of their system' for that season, only now they had added to it their original forager work-force as well, which maximised the colony size at that particular hive-stand location.

    This procedure (together with the particular beehive configuration which supported it) was conducted primarily for the purposes of box-, comb- and section-honey production - in particular the process of swarming which was actively encouraged - and has simply been continued (with that hive configuration maintained) as earlier methods gave way to extracted honey production. Hence, the swarming which is nowadays seen as an inherent problem of beekeeping which needs to be solved, is actually a direct consequence of the beehive style being employed.

    It is perhaps significant that Langstroth chose his Deep brood frame as being the shallowest he ever supplied, and he is on record as seriously considering specifying a deeper frame for his beehives:

    [...] in extracted honey production it was no longer necessary to use a shallow brood-chamber, as in box-honey production. Even Langstroth seriously considered changing his frame to a deeper one.
    On this subject he wrote, in a letter to A. I. Root, on April 4, 1872, as follows : "Dear Friend: I hope you will try the 12x12 in., but I have many years ago tried such frames and do not like them - ” too much cost to make and handle, etc. I think the hive 14x14x13 in. deep much better and shall probably adopt that shape, as the honey emptier '(note honey Extractor)' and side boxes make it no longer so desirable to have a shallow hive." The next day, April 5, he wrote: "You will see from my last that I propose to change the dimensions of my frame. Perhaps there will not be much choice between the hive 14x14x13 in. and 12x12x12 in., but I prefer ten frames to twelve." - ” Gleanings in Bee Culture, Vol. 2, p. 58.
    (the comment "prefer ten frames to twelve" is, I believe, a reference to the configuration that Charles Dadant had adopted)

    The above is based upon a retrospective essay written by G.S. Demuth in 1920. Hope this helps.
    LJ

    (*)perhaps putting the cart before Roland's horse <chuckle ...>
    Last edited by little_john; 03-16-2020 at 02:39 AM.
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Single brood box colonies

    The Langstroth depth frame (9 1/8 in.) was the shallowest brood frame in use until the Heddon depth (5 3/8 in.) was patented in 1885. The Danzenbaker hive used a frame 7 1/2 inches deep, but I think it came after the Heddon. The preference was definitely toward deep frames in the brood area.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

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