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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been building my new and overwintered colonies up to capture this honey flow. Now i find myself wondering what is the trigger of adding space to prevent swarming. I would like to run my hives as single deeps with a queen excluder and supers but i find they build out the bottom deep with brood on every frame and don't go up past the excluder. I know i'm only a few days away from these colonies exploding and i'm concerned they won't move up to store the honey.
I have some where i keep adding deeps to overwintered hives and i have 3 deeps with brood but again not much above the excluder. i have drawn comb and new foundation up there.
What should i be gauging to add brood area vs honey production supers?
 

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add your first super without the excluder and let her lay it up. then shake all the bees back into the deep and add excluder, laid in honey super, and another super. in 21 days the laid in super will have had all the bees emerge and now they dont see the excluder as a barrier AND you have given that queen extra room to lay freeing up the deep a little bit. i find it important to remove the frames that are pollen bound to prevent swarming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
add your first super without the excluder and let her lay it up. then shake all the bees back into the deep and add excluder, laid in honey super, and another super. in 21 days the laid in super will have had all the bees emerge and now they dont see the excluder as a barrier AND you have given that queen extra room to lay freeing up the deep a little bit. i find it important to remove the frames that are pollen bound to prevent swarming.
I have been trying to keep my supers broodless to keep them cleaner then brood comb but i believe this would entice them up there. I'll give it a try
 

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I have been trying to keep my supers broodless to keep them cleaner then brood comb but i believe this would entice them up there. I'll give it a try
i used to think that was important. i have found one round of brood firms up the comb and makes it easier to uncap. dont have to go crazy. just three or four drawn in the middle and the rest foundation would work. once there is larvae you can slip in the excluder after shaking and they will want to tend to them larvaes.
 

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8 Frame mediums throughout with 2 under excluder
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I was just going to say to just let the queen fill half the frames instead of the whole super. And I agree, 1 round of brood helps make the comb stronger.
 

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I had this exact same issue, trying to run a single deep brood chamber with a queen excluder. I installed three packages of bees (1 queen) from Barnyard Bees on March 29. Put them in a deep with 10 frames of drawn comb. About two weeks later I added a queen excluder and a medium of drawn comb on top. Ended up adding two more medium boxes of drawn comb as the flow as been really strong here in SW Kentucky. Went home at lunch time yesterday, found my bees 20 feet up. Made a couple of attempts with my pole and 5 gallon bucket but was unsuccessful.

Got into the brood chamber, found three capped queen cells on one frame, two on another. Left the frame with the two cells in the hive, took the other and put it in a nuc box for the split. I took another frame that had some pollen and honey, capped brood and put it in the nuc with a shake or two of bees.

This is/was my first attempt at a single brood chamber. Any suggestions as to how to keep a strong colony for honey production but yet keep from swarming? So frustrating....
 

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I had this exact same issue, trying to run a single deep brood chamber with a queen excluder. I installed three packages of bees (1 queen) from Barnyard Bees on March 29. Put them in a deep with 10 frames of drawn comb. About two weeks later I added a queen excluder and a medium of drawn comb on top. Ended up adding two more medium boxes of drawn comb as the flow as been really strong here in SW Kentucky. Went home at lunch time yesterday, found my bees 20 feet up. Made a couple of attempts with my pole and 5 gallon bucket but was unsuccessful.

Got into the brood chamber, found three capped queen cells on one frame, two on another. Left the frame with the two cells in the hive, took the other and put it in a nuc box for the split. I took another frame that had some pollen and honey, capped brood and put it in the nuc with a shake or two of bees.

This is/was my first attempt at a single brood chamber. Any suggestions as to how to keep a strong colony for honey production but yet keep from swarming? So frustrating....
I am only in my 3rd year of running singles and seventh year of keeping bees. The first year I worked my butt off cutting out cells and pulling back hives. The second year, I did better. I didn't have hives wanting to swarm as early, but I still had some that built queen cells that I had to cut out. Actually, most if not all did, they just started later because I pulled them back more. This year, I've gotten closer. After watching Ian Steppler and Kamon talk about single broods for honey I took a more calculated approach. Usually, weather permitting, our flow starts in earnest around May 1st. I tried to leave only 3 frames of capped brood in the brood chamber. I tried to use bee math to figure out when to do this maneuver. I wanted the capped brood to emerge approximately 7 days after my honey flow. For me I used May 1st. So I did this the last week of April. There is more that leads up to this. They will want to swarm well before the last week of April. You really have to give the queen room prior to what I just described. I would add a deep and the queen lay, then shake them down and take a full box split after the bees came back through the excluder. Some I pulled resources from to boost weaker (not sick) colonies. Some of the resources I used for making cell builders. Some I left as doubles because I more resources (bees) than I knew what to do with.

I would encourage you to watch the videos of the guy's I mentioned above. You have to get the timing right for your area and sometimes they want to swarm anyway no matter how much you pull them back. I hope this helps.
 

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Reading the above, IMO Kaizen would do well to run double deeps with 10 frames in his hives. Put the excluder above the second box. Then the issue becomes how to get the bees above the excluder. One way to do this is by running a couple of mediums in that 2nd brood box. Once the bees are working them, move them above the excluder while making sure you don't move the queen up as well. With the 2 deep space and young queens, swarming shouldn't be as great a problem.
 

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I have a swarmy feral bees. I'm trying to run one hive in a single deep brood box with an exluder above it. Just to try it. But I fully expect them to be in a tree sooner than later. I did purchase a nuc from a commercial beekeeper last year. That queen would not lay above the bottom box. Period. No excluder needed. Im new to bees but I think it's all based on genetics. Some will never stay in a single deep brood chamber.
 

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Without using deep supers, I do not know how to prevent swarming with a single deep brood chamber. Empty comb must be rotated downstairs to keep it clear for the queen. Ian has a unique work around, but he is using a deep as a super at some point.

Using two different sized boxes creates alot of limitations. Choose and choose wisely.

Crazy Roland
 

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Yes. Drawn comb is key. You have to keep space for the queen. I'm definitely trying to get better at it. Pulling brood or food and replacing with comb is a large part of it. So is super early and often and more than one at a time especially if using mediums.
 

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2 then 4, now 11 hives- all doing well, thanks to a lot of help and resilient bees!
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On new hives, you need to get comb drawn. To accomplish this, consider using a deep and a medium below the excluder. As you add new supers, move a few medium "bait frames" of brood to the center of them, and repeat as they draw the boxes out. Bait frames work great! They won't see the excluder as a barrier anymore, and they will fill everything with honey, including the bait frames after they emerge. This works awesomely to get lots of frames drawn out.

To keep them from swarming from a single deep brood box, you need to regularly remove outer frames that have honey in them and replace them with drawn comb. This keeps her happy and laying.

If you don't have drawn deep frames, consider making one hive double-deep to provide drawn comb to swap into others with. Or, consider going to all medium boxes, so it doesn't matter. I notice that many very experienced beekeepers have done this. I'm considering this for upcoming years.

Once you build up a supply of drawn comb, everything gets much easier.
I wish you great success.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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On new hives, you need to get comb drawn. To accomplish this, consider using a deep and a medium below the excluder. As you add new supers, move a few medium "bait frames" of brood to the center of them, and repeat as they draw the boxes out. Bait frames work great! They won't see the excluder as a barrier anymore, and they will fill everything with honey, including the bait frames after they emerge. This works awesomely to get lots of frames drawn out.
I second this idea
I use 2 deeps and one medium.
this allows to shake some frames and place above the excluder to bait them up.
and allows a way to get comb drawn.
And you can shake 5 frames,, one side and then exclude them up in the super, to do the OSBN method of swarm control, and adding space at the same time..
can extract 1 and 10 or 1,2,9,10 if the hive gets honey bound.

consider the 1 deep 1 medium config as it would offet a bit more brood space and some helpfull options.

GG
 

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add your first super without the excluder and let her lay it up. then shake all the bees back into the deep and add excluder, laid in honey super, and another super. in 21 days the laid in super will have had all the bees emerge and now they dont see the excluder as a barrier AND you have given that queen extra room to lay freeing up the deep a little bit. i find it important to remove the frames that are pollen bound to prevent swarming.
What do you do with those removed pollen frames?
I try to spread them around to other hives that don't have as much ( like newly established colonies/splits ) but sometimes end up with more frames than colonies to give them to. This is in spring through right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Its been a challenging year so far. I have been getting my new mediums drawn out by putting them below the excluder. Some I've moved up above and let them hatch out and store honey. I've gotten a lot of honey so far this year.
Looking at some comments above regarding using deeps and that it prevents swarming is hogwash. All of my hives have had empty drawn supers above one or two deep brood boxes and I've had to split several hives. One monster hive had 3 deeps and 3 supers and i had to split it as i found over 20 swarm cells. Big boxes and empty frames do not stop swarming.
I'm trying the single deep as my operation is growing and with one deep it saves equipment and costs. Mite treatments are more effective and I don't have to lift off a deep full of honey in 95 degree heat to see what's going on.
They do have 2 deeps in spring build up but then they are split to make more hives and from about now through the rest of the year they just have one deep and drawn comb above for honey storage.
 

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In my very limited experience, and as repeatedly told by others, healthy colonies want to breed, regardless of space, if there is a good food supply.

I got a frustrated trying to stop it. My big colonies had tons of space, but were still making swarm cells every few days. I finally started listening to the wise counsel here and made splits as needed.

The results have been excellent. I stopped losing bees, and I got a ton of drawn frames and lots of honey. I needed more equipment, but I have been able to trade bees and nucs for equipment. Now I have lots of resources, equipment and bees. My only question is how many will I keep, versus combining or selling? Nice problem to have.

Sounds like you have figured it out for your situation. Nice job!
 
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