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Can I use a deep with a follower board and put a 1/2” strip on the bottom under the follower board to divide a deep to get multiple nucs into one deep? Also if so I believe I watched a video where Michael Palmer had two nucs under a queen excluder both sharing a supper and the queen excluder kept the queens from fighting and the bees didn’t seem to mind each other am I imagining things or is this possible.
 

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I use divided 10 frame deeps to start nucs at times, I did it originally thinking the combined heat would help in the early spring and later in the fall. I built bottoms so that the opening for each is on the opposite side to the neighbor. It works.
Theres lots of stuff written on various ways to run two queen colonies for honey production. One way is the one you mentioned that Michael Palmer describes.
 

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I make bottom boards with a center divider and entrances at opposite ends. My deeps are divided by a 3/8"plywood that completely divides the two sections. I router out the center line to the exact depth of the frame shelf. I put a queen excluder over the top and indeed add supers on top. When I was short of drawn deep comb I would draw deeps as supers and extract them. Then when the honey flow was over, I would put a second divided deep on after removing queen excluder and feed the second hive body full for winter feed. They basically winter as one big divided cluster. The excluder on top is covered with wet newspaper and mountain camp supplemental feed is happily shared as they overwinter. I am now giving each their own deep single which I super and run as a single for honey production. Then in the fall I add a second deep and feed it full and winter. Sugar is just cheaper than honey.
 

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Another option that is more versatile, I have a divider (like a follower board) that goes all the way to the bottom of the bottom board. I can have any combination of 9 frames divided. Then the bottom board you just leave the front and back open and cover as necessary. It's a little more work, but you have a lot of options.
 

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A couple times when using the QE over a divided hive, the bees drifted to one side making a booming hive and a busted hive. I quit trying that and just super up with nuc boxes now.
 

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The busted hive had no or a defective queen as that doesn't happen unless possibly both entrances are side by side which causes drift to the stronger. If one queen is bad The good queen benefits from the unemployed workers so nothing is really lost.
 

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Entrances are opposite. One I opened up and found supercedure cells and almost no bees; they had moved over. The other one both queens seemed fine, not sure why they ditched her. I had 2 others set up the same way and they seemed to work ok, but now I find using nuc supers just as easy. I guess my point for the OP is that it works, but is not without potential pitfalls like having unequal strength hives.
 

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A couple times when using the QE over a divided hive, the bees drifted to one side making a booming hive and a busted hive. I quit trying that and just super up with nuc boxes now.
I had this happen when my queen failed/disappeared (twice in a row, I suspect a queen leek through the divider or QE). All the bees ended up on one side. Ultimately, I combined it I to just one double deep 10 frame hive to overwinter.
 

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Can I use a deep with a follower board and put a 1/2” strip on the bottom under the follower board to divide a deep to get multiple nucs into one deep? Also if so I believe I watched a video where Michael Palmer had two nucs under a queen excluder both sharing a supper and the queen excluder kept the queens from fighting and the bees didn’t seem to mind each other am I imagining things or is this possible.
the bees are fine with 2 or 3 queens the Queens are the ones that may have an issue. sometime in a supercedure they both co-exist. You will want to find a way to keep the queens from each other. they WILL fight on the excluder if each one has access to 1 of the sides. When the bees all go to one side of the double NUC, either the one queen has "lots" of pheromones or the week side has too few. I think if you followed that weak queen she would soon be supercedured. So IMO not really a loss just an early warning system. I ran 2 queens a lot in a 2 queen hive with 2 excluders, a couple decades ago, when it works correct its wild. the reason some recommend the entrance on opposite sides is that the "hive smell" will be the same on each side and the returning mated queen could land right or left of her side and end up fighting the queen there and causing a loss of one and in the case of a simultaneous fatal sting both could be killed. opposite ends will help this problem greatly.
GG
 

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I've pretty-much abandonded the use of divided brood boxes, although I do still have a few divided Long Hives still in use. But from now on all new builds will be discrete boxes: one colony, one box.

Two reasons: bees are in the business of survival, and I find that almost any disparity - however small - between queens or nuc strength will cause bees from the weaker to abscond over to the stronger. Which makes sense from a survival point-of-view, but causes endless frustration for Yours Truly ...
Secondly, when the time comes to move 'em into their own boxes, getting all the bees out from one section of a divided box is a hassle. Life is just so much easier with a pair of nuc boxes, rather than a divided full-size brood box. Just my opinion.
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My intent was to avoid buying a bunch of nucs + bottom board + tops because I have deeps and lids and there other things on my list but it seems like it would work but experience is necessary.
 
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