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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So far I have built my hive and im awaiting all plastic frames/foundation and I have a package of bees on order for April 12th shipping. Im using a 10 frame setup. I have done a search on whether or not to run double deeps before honey supers, but not really come up with a good answer. The book I bought recommends double deeps-excluder-supers, allowing the colony to winter in the double deeps. I dont see a problem with this but im new. Running two deeps would allow me to rotate them every season also right? Im located in Arkansas, should I bother feeding right away or since spring will be full on will I be better off not feeding the new package? Also are top entrances a common place now? I used plans to build my boxes and covers but it didnt have a upper entrance noted in the inner cover. As always all opinions are welcome.
thanks
 

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Welcome to Beekeeping

sounds like one thing is for sure -- the book you are reading needs to be tossed !!!!! haha

sounds like its missleading you more then helping you

what most beekeepers are running is a double deep brood area- then super after it

so here is what we do

set up your hive area (where the bees will live there lives)

set out the bottom board - then ONE deep and ten frames - and the entrace reducer - then inner cover - then Tele cover - if using Mig cover -skip the inner cover

once the bees come - take out a few center frames and dump in bees - follow the Youtube videos on this -

but anyhow - you will start with ONE hive body (9 5/8 deep) and FEED FEED FEED FEED FEED untill you cant mix another bucket of syrup

what feeding is goin to do is stimmulate the bees to produce Wax - the foraging bees will then search for Pollen (brood food)

next is after about a month - but maybe sooner then later but once they have drawn out about 8-9 frames add a SECOND DEEP - and keep feeding let them fill this box to about 7-9 frames - then add the super - DONT add the queen exculder the first year on foundation - then bee will 99.9% swarm before they drawn wax above the exculder -

the exculder is to keep the queen out but the first yeat you might not get any surplus honey - you might get a taste of the honey from time to time but you will not be filling bottles the first year -



PM me if you need more advice
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess I didnt articulate well enough but thats esentially what my beekeeping for dummies book said. It didnt however mention not to run an excluder the first year. So even if i start adding honey supers the first year I will have to leave them on all winter or do I pull any supers at the end of summer and leave the colony the two deeps to winter in? I have a beekeeping freind that never runs an exculder but harvests honey. I guess im confused as to how he keeps brood out of his honey. Also your saying run a hivetop feeder my entire first season? Thanks for the help!
 

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Last year we added the excluder to ours after the bees started drawing the first super. luckily we got to mediums of honey off that first year hive. Our other hive wasn't strong enough to super.

Whatever you do get the brood boxes drawn out before you super.
 

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So even if I start adding honey supers the first year I will have to leave them on all winter or do I pull any supers at the end of summer and leave the colony the two deeps to winter in?
Pull the super off by the end of the summer (August?). Make sure they have 60- 80 lbs of stores (60 is probably good for west central AR but ask other 'Keepers in your area) , 1 deep full of their own honey from the fall flow or 2 sugar;1 water sugar syrup to make up any short fall, by the first frost in your area.

I guess I'm confused as to how he keeps brood out of his honey.
When the hive get established they will have a brood area that is not stationary, it moves up and down and expands and contracts with the seasons.
They should start at the bottom in the fall and eat their way to the top by spring.
Then they start to collect nectar and fill in the winter brood area pushing the brood rearing down to the bottom hive body (this assumes no manipulation by the beekeeper)
This is the honey "dome", an arch of honey above the brood nest. once it is established (most of the time) the queen does not "like" to cross frames of capped honey to find open cells. The super above the dome open up space to fill and the bees fill it in order to store food for winter.

This is how the brood stays out of the honey supers, and more to point any brood get push down out of the supers during a flow if some get in a super.


Also your saying run a hivetop feeder my entire first season?
Not if you are going to harvest honey this year, or you will end up with capped sugar syrup, not capped honey. You need to leave the feeder on until all of the frames in the hive bodies are drawn out. That may very well take the whole first season.

Did all that make any sense? It is a concept that took me a bit to get my mind around.

RKR
 

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A general rule of thumb when hiving a new swarm or package or nuc is to decide how you want the colony to end up for winter - e.g. two deeps? And a medium or shallow for additional food? Then you feed feed feed to build the colony up into two deep brood boxes. When that is accomplished, put on your extracting super, generally foundation. Remove the feeder when you do that. They'll then draw that foundation, and start storing honey and not your sugar syrup. As they draw out and fill 2/3 of that super, add another. Stay ahead of them.

I don't use excluders. And yes, frequently the queen lays some eggs in my extracting super, but I just leave them there until the brood hatches out, and is replaced with honey.

The odds are, you won't have all the frames drawn out in your extracting supers the first year. Consolidate them at season's end, and you might be able to pull some for your own use. Just be sure to leave a medium or shallow to augment their winter stores in the deep boxes.
Regards,
Steven
 

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I'm in Poplar Bluff, MO, and yes, two deeps generally are good enough for winter. But I get a little paranoid. I've fed more the past few years as I've been splitting and increasing colony numbers. The hives I've wintered on two deeps and a shallow, or medium, have come through stronger, with more honey left over after winter. I would suggest you check with local beeks, see what they do. And try it a couple of different ways for a couple of years. When you leave extra honey, you don't have to feed.
Regards,
Steven
 
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