Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are there disadvantages to running a double deep hive. Of course the main reason for doing it is to ensure enough food for the winter, but any cons? My thinking is that perhaps the bees having to maintain (and keep full) two deeps can detract from surplus honey production.

Do any of you who run double deeps take the top box off in the Spring? Or, as I suspect, keep them on all year long?

???

Thank ya'll for your input.

Robert
Erwin, TN
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
I believe the 2 main reasons people have gone away from deeps is weight and to standardize box size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,309 Posts
Are there disadvantages to running a double deep hive. Of course the main reason for doing it is to ensure enough food for the winter, but any cons? My thinking is that perhaps the bees having to maintain (and keep full) two deeps can detract from surplus honey production.

Do any of you who run double deeps take the top box off in the Spring? Or, as I suspect, keep them on all year long?

???

Thank ya'll for your input.

Robert
Erwin, TN
Actually Robert, two deeps helps honey production. The purpose of the double deep is not only winter stores, but enough space for a good queen to lay, and for larger bee populations. A larger population equals a greater honey crop. I keep my hives in two deeps year round. Some people have back problems, and go with 8 frame, or with medium equipment. I compromised, use two deeps for brood nest, shallows for surplus honey. Most of the time when I have to manipulate two deeps, they're light.
Regards,
Steven
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
One of the local beekeepers (retired commercial couple... they keep 50 hives for honey production and selling some bees) use a single deep and a single medium. They talked about it at our last club meeting... works great for them in our Northern climate.

Do you get confused when swapping frames from one hive to another due to size difference; IE... wanting to swap a deep frame of brood from a strong hive for an empty medium frame in a weak hive?

nope; you get used to it and adjust pretty quickly.

As far as they were concerned, they saw no reason to change to 2 deeps, since 1deep/1medium seems to work really well for them.

Whereas, my mentor always did 2 deeps; as do many people around here. Apparently some beek's in Southern Ontario (slightly milder climate) are getting by with one deep overwintered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
What I'm hearing is 2 deeps for warmer climates and 1 deep/1 medium for colder northern climates... what's the theory behind that?

I'm in a cold winter climate and would love for my bees to make it through the winter. I'm using a Russian/Carniolan hybrid just for that purpose. I am planning on using 2 deeps and medium honey supers... 10 frame gear. I can lift the heavy loads if the need ever arises so deeps didn't scare me much and 8 frame gear wasn't available to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
What I'm hearing is 2 deeps for warmer climates and 1 deep/1 medium for colder northern climates... what's the theory behind that?
I don't know about that being any kind of rule, rule of thumb or concensus of opinion amongst beekeepers in general.

Sizes and numbers of supers or combinations has more to do w/ beekeeper preferences, what the person who mentored you did or what you find most convenient. The bees don't care. One jumbo Dadant super for a brood chamber may be the best for the queen, since she doesn't have to move across wood to get to open comb, but I haven't noticed that to be a problem.

As Jim Tew used to tell us, back at school, "The bees don't read the same books that you and I do." Perhaps he should, or has, update that statement to read, "The bees don't read the same blogs as you and I do."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Yea I hadn't heard that at all until this thread and was curious if there was anything behind it. Like smaller spaces needing less heat to keep it going or something like that.

Honestly, I'm in a 2 deep + medium supers set up because it was the only thing available to me at the time and seems to be kind of an industry standard for beginner beekeeping kits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I run double deeps last year on the advise of the feller I got my bees from. Both my hives starved out over winter. They was plenty heavy going in too and I throwed the feed at them. Then I find out a whole mess of folks around here running double deeps lost about half their bees.

Got to reading on here about Walt Wrights ideas about how to stack your hive so its like a regular bee tree. Shallow on the bottom for pollen, deep in the middle for brood, and a couple of honey supers on top. He has a lot to say about how the queen doesn't like that empty space between deeps. I did notice a lot of folks on here say to move a frame of brood up to get the bees to follow. I got new bees this year and I'm gonna run them like he says.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
Please let us know when you get your bees trained to deposit pollen in the bottom shallow, brood in the middle deep and honey in the top.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Then I find out a whole mess of folks around here running double deeps lost about half their bees.

Shallow on the bottom for pollen, deep in the middle for brood, and a couple of honey supers on top. He has a lot to say about how the queen doesn't like that empty space between deeps.
Shoot, I lost alot of my hives last winter, in doubles, singles, story and a halfs and double 5 frame nucs. So which of these configurations should I give up?

Anecdotal evidence is just that.

Shallow on the bottom for pollen? Are you sure about that? Maybe you should double check what you read.

What empty space between the deeps? The 3/8 bee space between the top bars and the bottom bars?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
What empty space between the deeps? The 3/8 bee space between the top bars and the bottom bars?
I was wondering this also, the "bee space" the same whether you have a deep, medium or shallow sitting on top of another deep, medium or shallow :scratch:

AND do your bees specifically store only pollen in shallows? Are you utilizing all 3 different sized boxes???? Shallow, deep, then honey super, what size is the honey super... a medium??? Not sure I am understanding this method :scratch:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
Allen Dick is a retired commercial beekeeper from Alberta, Canada who ran up to 4500 hives. His advice was to run single deeps in the summer, but winter in doubles.

I had another commercial beekeeper tell me that you lose a 5 gallon bucket of honey by running a second deep. He runs his summer hives in single deeps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,532 Posts
After the main flow with light honey is done place the second deep back on and if they don't produce enough dark honey from the fall flow for winter then feed them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,228 Posts
Around here I run double deeps for 2 reasons.
1. in the summer a good queen will not have enough room to lay in only 1 deep. She needs at least 2 deeps for brood.
2. in the winter, between the end of Nov and the end of Jan the bees will bring in 60-90 lbs of honey and store it in the upper deep. If they only had one deep they would wind up swarming out.

Around here, the smart beekeepers clean the excess honey out of the upper deep at the end of Jan or early Feb. Cause swarms will start by Mar 1st.

But after all, that is around here not where you live -- Fuzzy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
I'm new, and don't know much yet about beekeeping... but if it takes 70ish pounds of honey to overwinter a hive, why not just take all that honey and buy new bees in the spring? Surely the cost of the honey is more than the cost of a replacement package of bees?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,136 Posts
I'm new, and don't know much yet about beekeeping... but if it takes 70ish pounds of honey to overwinter a hive, why not just take all that honey and buy new bees in the spring? Surely the cost of the honey is more than the cost of a replacement package of bees?
There is at least one commercial beekeeper on here and one on the Oregon (OSBA) forum that use that management plan. Shake out the bee in the fall, extract the honey and buy packages in the spring. Don't worry about mites or disease or overwinter losses.

It depends on why you are beekeeping. Because you like beekeeping or want to maximize your honey return?

It normally doesn't take 70 lbs here, but it came close this year. I try to leave that much, but there is normally still 20-30lbs in the spring. So it only takes 40-50 lbs to build up for the next winter in the deeps. This year we had a nice early spring and they started storing honey early. Since the first of May they have used quite a bit of that.

If you had bought packages this year you would still be feeding.

I should note that I mostly have NWC, so my winter honey usage is lower. My Italians didn't do to bad though this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Hmm, that's interesting about the commercial beekeeper that actually does that. The reason I ask is because I live in a place that has pretty darn cold winters and if I lose both my hives this winter to the cold, it wouldn't seem like a bad idea for the next year.

From what I can tell:

Pros:
~Extra 50ish pounds of honey
~No winter maintenance
~Lower disease, mites etc.

Cons:
~Slower buildup in the spring?
~Kind of sad to kill off your bees in the winter
~Added cost of buying new bees for the spring

It also hit me that a downside would be that some of that extra 50-70 pounds may be mixed in with brood and may be harder to extract? I could be wrong though.

Man... what's 50 pounds of honey worth? That can't be cheap. That's a lot of honey...
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top