A question on the 2-deep brood boxes practice. Is it necessary or is it just desirable from a commercial pollination point of view to build up a hive to a 2-deep size? Will a hive with 1 deep brood box be able to make honey in a hobby situation around the Los Angeles California area? I want them to survive through winter and of course a little honey would be nice.
Last year I built up two nice 2 deep-box colonies but they did not make it through winter due to robbing, predation (bad hornets/yellow jackets) and perhaps a late swarm. I have moved the location (out of the wind), captured the wild hive and have started over. Is it possible I gave them too much space last year? They did a great job of building comb and making honey (didn’t take any because I fed them most of the time) but by November one was gone and the other just a fist full of bees. The bees were Italian and have been told that they tend to over-breed, but they had plenty of stores in the hive. Even after significant robbing by wild bees there was almost 10 frames of honey (some full, most partial). This year I was thinking of keeping the breeding area to a single box and adding supers (~ 50% drawn) with an excluder and not forcing them to do all the colony building they did last year. Is this bad thinking?