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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi There,

My question is about introducing a deep super. I was taught by a beekeeper to use medium supers rather than deeps (not the traditional way of beekeeping). Now, I would like to start to introduce deeper supers for the brood chamber. Over the winter, I had 2 full mediums supers with a pretty strong colony. It was my first beekeeping season, took no honey but have some left over from a lost colony.

My question is should I add a 3rd box to the bottom of my hive (1 deep with only empty frames, or mix with some medium honey frames and empty)?
OR
Since my packaged bees didn't arrive this year due to Covid 19, I should place my saved drawn comb in check boarding style on top of the two mediums.

My bees are alive and the look like they are bringing in pollen. They do look like they are clustering closer to the sides of the boxes. I saw some splatter of what looks like dysentery on the inner cover but I can't inspect properly yet because it's still too cold here. I have opened the boxes and taken a peak and I have feed 1:1 sugar water using a top feeder and then added pollen substitute patties but it doesn't look like they are taking as of yet. I'm not sure if I should add a new deep or just add the extra drawn code at some point this week. I'm in Quebec and temperature is still cold. This is my first spring beekeeping and want my bees to be survive. I was hoping to split my hives later on this spring.

Any suggestions on what I should do?
 

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Okay, so if I am understanding this properly, you have your bees in mediums and you want to make them into deeps?

If that is the case, here is what I would do. I would avoid putting medium frames in the deep box at all costs. They will draw out comb on the bottoms of the mediums and it becomes worthless when you try to transition. If you checkerboard them in, they will preferentially draw out the medium frames and might not touch the deep frames, waste of wax in my opinion. Also, bees cannot cluster on foundation so if you break them up with foundation, they could freeze to death.

Bees naturally want to move downward in the spring so I would place a deep full of foundation UNDER your two medium hive bodies. They will not draw anything out until the nectar flow begins so be patient and don't put honey supers on them, they need all that energy to make comb. Once some comb is drawn out on the deeps and it gets a little warmer, move the queen down into the deep box and place a queen excluder between the bottom deep and the two medium hive bodies. This will prevent the queen from laying in the medium boxes and the brood up there will eventually hatch out leaving you with empty medium brood comb.

Do want your brood chamber to be 2 deeps or 1 deep? I know a lot of Canadians use the 1 deep method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank Akademee!

I was hoping I could split this hive at a later date this spring. I think I would like to be 1 deep for this year and next year add another deep. You are suggesting that I add an empty deep box only foundations on the bottom of my two medium now? Last year I used wax strip starters and this year I have some deep plastic foundations. I think this would be the simplest method. I was hoping to clean the bottom board, do you think I should wait till the weather gets nicer outside to add this box? Maybe on my first real spring inspection?
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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you can set both mediums off, clean the bottom, add the deep then put the mediums back on top if you have a helper to lift, when it is a bit cooler.
 

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Thank GrayGoose ;-)!! Think I can do this on a 50F day or should I wait till 60+
If you split the mediums into 2 lifts of 1 then 60f+
if you leave them together,, 45f Degrees + As you are not splitting the brood nest just off and then back on

if you have an extra medium or deep box set it next to the hive the opposite way as your hive, set the bee occupied boxes over, fix up the bottom and then set it back.. Having the hive box you set it on turned allows your fingers to not be pinched :) if heavy you may want a bottom hold.

Unless it is in the way the lid and or inner cover can stay on, would hold the heat in better..

Light smoke, then wait 5 min, procede.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry, you mean 2 splits of 1? I was going to try a split later in the spring season depending on how well the bees are do! I can't tell right now as I haven't done a through inspection. For now, I will add the deep box on my next sunny day, probably this weekend. I need to clean the whole area up as there are lot's of dead bees around.

Do you think I can set up an extra box full of comb next to the hive and maybe catch a swarm or will it just get robbed?
 

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I meant lift, IF you leave the 2 mediums together and Lift them off together then the temperature is not as big an issue.

so openering the hive when cool can risk cooling the brood, If you leave it together then the risk of cooling is removed.
Hence I offered you may need a helper, 2 people could lift 2 mediums together quite easily.

if you be by your self then 60f would be better as you are splitting the boxes for a while.

You can set a decoy next to your hive. Ideally some separation would help. But it is what it is. And yes as bees find the comb they will rob.

If you have a fried or relative with some acres placing the decoy there would be a bit better.
One issue is if a big hive neer you finds the emptys, when they get them cleaned up , they may decide your hive is next.
IE baiting robbers next to your hive could have implications, down the road in a dearth.

GG
 
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