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This is our 3rd attempt at bees, our first with a Lang hive.

Installed a swarm in the spring, in a deep. Checked on them periodically, have found no signs queen cells/swarming. Very busy bees.

We have one eight-frame deep, with two 8 frame mediums above it. About a month or so ago, the deep was full of brood. The medium above it had about three frames of brood, the rest honey. The medium above it was all honey.

Right now both mediums are all honey, as are 2 of 8 frames in the deep. Six frames in the deep are capped worker brood, a smattering of capped drone cells and lots of larvae (light wasn't good for finding eggs), plus pollen and honey.

We had put on a shallow a few weeks ago since the uppermost medium was 90% full at the time, but they are not drawing out any comb in it.

The summer flow here is over as the blackberries past blooming. I'm not aware of any fall flows in this area. We have very hot, dry summers and the temps are about to go back to the 100s.

I guess my question is: So, is one deep brood box "normal" for a first year hive heading into a dearth? Should we take any more honey before winter?

Note: we do crush and strain, so the bees won't be getting back any empty comb, just empty frames.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>So, is one deep brood box "normal" for a first year hive heading into a dearth? Should we take any more honey before winter?

What is "normal" depends on the climate. I wouldn't plan to take any more honey. I would try to get them up to two deeps before winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
What is "normal" depends on the climate. I wouldn't plan to take any more honey. I would try to get them up to two deeps before winter.
Thanks for your response! We don't usually have very brutal winters here; around freezing with little snow.

What can we do to facilitate them expanding brood to two boxes before winter?
 

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Brood rearing starts to slow now, not much you can do about it now. No point in extracting either as they won't draw much wax now either unless you get a big fall flow
 

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What you need for winter there is better addressed by someone in your location. As far as building up, if there is nectar coming in, I'd leave them alone. If there is a dearth, then you have to consider all the pros and cons of feeding. Feeding tends to set off robbing, especially in a dearth. Feeding tends to attract ants. Feeding interferes with the microbes in the gut of the bees that defends them from brood diseases and Nosema. Feeding tends (if there is no nectar flow) to stimulate brood rearing. Feeding tends to stimulate comb building. Feeding will increase stores. You have to figure out if it is or is not worth doing in your situation.
 

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The farthest south I have bees is in Elmira, OR. At this time of year I want my hives to look like yours for winter. They probably won't use all of that over winter, but if next spring is long and wet, they might. So odds are you could take a couple of frames and be fine and the worst that will happen is that you would have to feed with a long spring.
 
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