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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone uses a deep with a couple of supers on top for a brood chamber? I'm asking because i'm a newbee and of course I have two backfilled top deeps on my brood chamber, as a result of overfeeding and using a queen excluder I am sure. After digging around the site and seeing this is a common problem with those of us who use books that make it seem like paint by the number, I put the supers in between the deeps in the hopes they will draw out the comb there were as they have drawn none on top. But i was thinking about leaving the deep on top and let them fill and cap it and use the supers as more brood space. Both hives were queenless for a while, but I have found a new queen in both they made themselves. Tried to requeen after one had swarmed and thought why not replace both Italians with a better northern strain of bee, I'm a bee whisperer right! Ya, big fail, but the bees seem to have bailed me out. Is this a good idea? Any suggestions?
 

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Jay, this describes the system I use.

I found all-deeps to be heavier than I wanted to lift, and all-mediums to leave me with compatibility issues.

The system you propose offers the best of both worlds: The compatibility of deeps, and the decreased lifting weight of mediums. The two mediums on top will get lifted off for various management tasks, but it's rare that I ever need to lift the deep on the bottom.

Additionally, the spaces in between the mediums allow easier lateral movement/communication in the winter (As per C.L. Farar).

Like the all-mediums system, it facilitates the moving of frames above the excluder to encourage bees to go up.

The capacity comes in at about 2.3 deeps.

I think this is a perfectly fine system for a small scale keeper - Particularly in the North where colonies grow big in summer, and need substantial stores for a longer winter.


HTH,
Metro.
 

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What size are the supers you are considering? Mediums?

I used a deep with two mediums up in Maine. Also 3 mediums successfully. I'm using the same mixed bag of configurations here in PA now. (Never used a queen excluder so the hive could move up into a forth box if it wanted to.)

You should have no problem with brood space.

Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. I thought it would work for all those reasons. I will keep it that way. I'm licking my wounds right now. Just watched my crowded hive swarm. Amazing!!!.....ly sad. Was going to split them last week, but my nucs arrived without the bodies and had to be shipped this week. Wish I would have had some time to build them, but to much work. Got them will the bees were swarming. Ups guy wondered what all the bees were about. Nice. Life can be funny that way. Now I'm looking at them in my neighbors back yard forty feet up in a white pine. Do they move on very quickly?
 

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Maybe not quickly enough, Jay.

By supers, you seem to mean deep supers which you have above an excluder. Pull out the excluder and let the brood chamber expand. If I understand your situation I doubt that the queen will move up above the second deep. A honey barrier works well as a queen confiner/excluder.

It also seems as though you may be bee rich and equipment poor, is that right? You better get some equipment, get it put together quickly and sleep when you have to. A friend of mine likes to say something like "Do what needs doing when you can, not necessarily when you want to." So, if you need boxes and frames w/ foundation get it built when you get it and eat and sleep later.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How right you are Mark (I think it's Mark). I pulled the excluder a week ago. I have read some of your posts on this and I have proven what you already know. When I pull the excluder I put the mediums between the none honey bound deep and the bound deep. Hoping they would pull some comb in the mediums and fill the deep with honey.

And I also do subscribe to you and your friends philosophy, but I own a small business and it tends to come first (my kids sometimes wonder who I am). And I will be building more equipment very soon! It is most silly to ship things made of wood across the country when I have ALL that is required and more to build woodenware. Bad on me!

But I do believe the hive is still strong. It did have a LOT of bees in it. More than likely no honey for me this year though. No big deal, I want to keep bees and learn more than guarantee honey for me this year.
 

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Looks like you are on your way and will be alright. And I bet your bees could spare one frame of honey for you. Best wishes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So Mark, do you think it is possible to catch this swarm if I put a nuc together and put some lemon grass oil in it with some frames and put it out will the scouts possible find it? Or has that ship sailed. Do the scout look before they Swarm? Is there anything tricky I can do short of renting a lift?
 

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You could possibly capture this swarm if it volunteers to accept your nuc. It's possible.

From Dr. Tom Seeley's work scouts go out from the swarm once it has issued and is hanging on something. They may do this before issuing from the hive too. Whichever it is it can take a couple of days for a decision to be made or it may happen quickly. But I think Tom determined and average of three days. If I remember correctly what he said.
 
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