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Discussion Starter #1
I have a booming 3rd year hive. I overwintered it with 2 deeps and 2 medium supers. Lots of honey left over and they are bringing in lots of pollen.
She's laying in the upper deep and the first super. About 3-4 frames of brood in each right now.

Modus operandi is no chemicals, no queen excluder, powdered sugar and freezing the drone frame for mite control.

I've been wanting to get away from the 2 deeps for a while. My other hive is running only (two) mediums and I want to be able to swap frames.
After reading some of Walt's articles, I realized that maybe I could run one deep and the rest mediums. And maybe do that on the other hive too.

So what to do for swarm prevention and possibly removing the lower deep. I don't think I have enough drawn comb to implement checkerboarding. And there's a lot of pollen in that lower deep - what do I do with it if I pull the lower deep? Is running a deep and the rest mediums a good idea?

Thanks!!
 

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A single deep and all mediums is fine. I'd just pull the bottom deep and move it all down. If you have blooms and good pollen coming in, don't worry about the pollen down below. Or, check your remaining deep for sparse frames and swap out those with pollen filled frames from your retiring deep. Then, manage your hive accordingly. You'll have essentially put your brood box down to the bottom and now you just have to make room for an expanding brood nest as well as work on your supering method.
 

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Try removing the bottom box and replace it on top over an excluder. Make sure the queen is in your new bottom or the medium box.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys.
I pulled the bottom deep and put it on top of the screened inner cover. Not sure if they will try robbing it or not. I didn't want to put it on an excluder cause they might start putting nectar in it.
I put the lower medium as the bottom box and then put the other deep, then the super.

So far so good, but what's my swarm prevention strategy? :)
 

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Option 1: make a split (2 frms capped brood with bees on it, 1frm eggs with bees on it, make sure your queen is in the mother hive. The split will make their own queen.

Option 2: pull some drawn frames not in use yet and add some foundation frames. Space is the key, plenty of space for her majesty to lay and they shouldnt swarm
 

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I'd split if you have drones flying or access to a queen. I have exactly your situation right now and I've moved some frames around / pulled comb and replaced with foundation / added a super until I can do a walkaway split.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have 2 hives and am trying to keep it at 2.
So I start moving things around. Maybe I'll put in some foundation and move a frame of brood into the other hive and bump that hive up a notch... :)

Doesn't reversing the brood boxes help prevent swarming too?

Thanks!
 
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