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· Registered
2,833 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings . . .

I know there are 1-story hives, 2-story hives, and 3-story hives. Why?
Beekeeper choice, WHY?
Some need, what?

Im looking for "learning info" not an answer to a specific problem/question.


Added - Please feel free to write a book

Dave W . . .

A NewBEE with 1 hive.
First package installed
April, 2003.

[This message has been edited by Dave W (edited January 03, 2004).]

Dave, in some areas of the country bee hives don't have to have as much room for winter stores as others. In my area we only need about 35lb of stores for winter.

Most in my area only keep one deep with a super in the winter, and never add another deep or super for the brood in the peek of the season. They only add supers for honey stores. Now I do agree with my area only needing 35lbs of stores to get through the winter but I also want plenty of stores to help my hives in the spring build up. I'm not one to pull every last drop of honey out of my hives just so I can go back later and feed syrup or honey back to them. (I'm lazy, and I think the honey is better for them)

I like to run at least 2 deeps on mine year round. This will give plenty of room for brood production and much more winter stores than they realy need. With doing it this way I never have to feed the hives and they come out of the winter very strong.

Remember when you look at a hive the first comb on the out side will have honey in it, the next will most likely be full of honey and pollen. If this is the case on both sides then you have droped your brood nest down to only 6 frames IF you are running 10 frames in a box. The other frames will have honey and pollen at the tops and ends, so how much room do you have for the queen now....what about when she is laying 15,000 to 2,000 eggs a day?....How many cells is on a standard fram?...So you see what I'm talking about when I say the queen needs plenty of room.

Once you go to 2 or 3 deeps the bees will still keep honey and pollen on the sides but you will have plenty of room in the middle for the queen, and the bees will not store as much if any honey around the top and bottom bars where the queen is crossing over from one frame to another.

I have read and have played with unlimited brood nest (UBN) or 3 deeps. I have had a real problem getting the bees to finish out the top deep and move into a super. (I may need to give them another season to help build up)I have found that using 2 deeps work quite well in my area, and I don't have to worry about the queen running out of room. I will keep 2 or 3 UBN hives until I learn the art of it or find that it doesn't work in this area.

The only draw back to building up hives into 2 or 3 deep is you will most likely lose a season letting them build up. If you look at the pros and cons I'd have to say go with the 2 or 3 deeps.

Ther are several good post on this subject in beesource. Give the search a try and you will be able to read till your eyes fall out

I hope this helps


[This message has been edited by BILLY BOB (edited January 03, 2004).]

· Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
54,344 Posts
I assume the subject is, as Billy Bob has also assumed, the number of brood chambers. If you use all the same size box and no queen excluders then it's really only a question of how many do you overinter in. If you use deep brood boxes and different sized supers, then it becomes an issue of lifting a lot of full deeps, but that's a different matter.

I think the reason to use plenty of brood boxes for overwintering is, as Billy Bob pointed out, the spring build up. If you give the bees just enough to get through winter they will come out in the spring kind of weak. If you give them plenty of stores they will use them up building up in late winter and come into spring stronger then they went into the winter.

The amount needed for this depends on the climate. I can overinter a strong colony on two deeps here, but I prefer three. Since I'm using all mediums I shoot for four mediums. But a nuc I that's not that established I'll overinter in one medium box, on top of a notched inner cover with double screen on the hole. So the amount also depends on the number of bees.

Differences are due to philosophical differences of thinking you should sell the honey or you should leave it for the bees to build up early. Also due to climate. Also due to strength of colonies.

· Registered
537 Posts
In the Nov. 2003 Bee Culture, there is an article by Walt Wright entitled "Evils of the Double Deep." He has some interesting ideas as to why 3 boxes may be better than 2 for over wintering. I was going to link to it but they don't have that article online, so you'll have to dig up your copy of the magazine if you want to read it.

The author uses a shallow, deep, shallow configuration. He writes from a Southern perspective (Tennessee), so I don't know how his ideas would translate to a harsher climate. It isn't hard, though, to imagine reaping the same benefits from a 3 deep configuration.

Rob Koss

· Registered
9,343 Posts
Managed a yard in singles this past year. Produced more than doubles, mostly becasue of the extra box of honey extracted rather than left for winter. The singles are being wintered inside. I found that the brood present was the SAME between the doubles and the singles. The differece was that the doubles had its brood between both chambers with lots of pollen and honey available. The singles used most of the chamber for brood rearing, and the rest for pollen stores. I was very aware of colony food stores in my singles when I pulled off my last supers,made sure to have the feed there right away. Besides the fact that I winter my doubles outside, I feel that managing my hives in doubles was easier and more forgiving that managing in singles.
I do not beleive in unlimited brood nest when managing bees for honey production. Very inefficient, lots of wasted resources>honey, equipment, time<

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