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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so we're new to this thing... Had two experienced folks give us two perspectives... One said to use one deep and then two shallows. The other says let them fill out two deeps before adding shallows.

If I understand correctly, you don't harvest honey from the deeps, and use a queen excluder to make sure only honey is in the shallows... so two deeps would mean a larger community but a longer wait to start getting honey...?

Looking for some pros/cons on one deep versus two deeps.

We currently have two new hives with 10 frame deeps (one currently) but are needing to give them more space.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!
 

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2 deeps or 3 mediums have about the same area of comb . what you need for a brood chamber area varies with location. the type of bees also influences this, italian type are much larger colonies than Russian type. the further north the bigger the hive needs to be for winter. count the frames and adjust for 8 frame vs. 10 frame boxes. the supers are for the extra honey after the bees needs are met. some use, some do not use a queen excluder. some like to use all the same size boxes and frames. the old timers mostly liked 10 frame deeps for brood and over wintering and shallow honey supers. 2 deeps and in the north, 2 deeps and a couple of supers further north. way down south some use a single deep... look at what the old timers are doing in your area, the non-migratory ones.
 

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I am new this year so take this with a grain of salt. I have asked similar questions and have been told that some people use all mediums, I am using two deeps then mediums on top of that. I don't plan on using queen excluders as my understanding is that queens typically will stay in the lower two boxes or brood. I don't think (could be wrong) that the bees will treat different size boxes any differently. If you use two deeps or three mediums they would act the same. One thing I have learned about this new hobby is that every person you ask has a different opinion about bee keeping.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So this may be a "there's no perfect answer" area.... still, appreciate the insight. "Brood area" size seems to be a good thing to consider. Guess I'll have to ask my wife what nationality our bees are... :) We'd love to get some honey this year, and seems like only having one deep would help that cause... just don't want to limit the hive if that will harm them.

Looking for old-timers...
 

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I am new this year so take this with a grain of salt. I have asked similar questions and have been told that some people use all mediums, I am using two deeps then mediums on top of that. I don't plan on using queen excluders as my understanding is that queens typically will stay in the lower two boxes or brood. I don't think (could be wrong) that the bees will treat different size boxes any differently. If you use two deeps or three mediums they would act the same. One thing I have learned about this new hobby is that every person you ask has a different opinion about bee keeping.
Lol I hear that... Honestly I'm starting to think No One knows lol

I know I sure don't but I'm so green at bee keeping I have an excuse:}
 

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Unlikely you'll have honey this year, if you don't have any by now.

Most people around here run 2 deep boxes or 3 mediums for brood. Honestly it doesn't really matter what size the box is. You can over winter a 5-frame nuc or 2 deep hive. The bigger the colony the more honey it will produce. So if you limit the brood nest you run into swarm issues. No way is right, its just what you prefer.
 

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The number of boxes to use is a regional thing - not something that can be answered on an International forum.

What can be answered is that if you are looking at a single deep configuration you are expecting both the bees and their winter stores to be in that box come late November. Questions you should be asking (locals if you don't know the answers yourself) are what are the winters like around here? Does spring come early and with it lots of blooming plants for bees to forage on? Are the winters easy enough for bees to make it through on relatively tight stores? For answers seek out someone who has been successfully keeping and over wintering bees in your area. You may find them through a local club or statewide organization.
 

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I run double deeps in the spring. After the spring flow I break them down to singles for the fall flow. I over winter in singles. In the spring I add a deep and I'm back up to double deeps. They seem to winter better in the singles for me and adding the deep in the spring really lessens the swarming. As stated everyone will tell you something different. If you run migratory for pollination double deeps are require for most contracts.
 

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Where you live the choice is yours. Double deeps will work so will a single deep with shallows or mediums so will all mediums 8 or 10 frame. I don't live far from Hendersonville and have hives with different set ups and all of them work. My least favorite is double deeps but alot of people do like um.
The flow around here is really dropping off so if they make any honey it is probably best to leave for them for winter.
 

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"Looking for some pros/cons on one deep versus two deeps."
We use mostly 8 frame mediums. I would use two of your boxes below the excluder this year. Others would use one. How much honey you leave for the bees depends, among other things, on both the size of the colony now and the size you would like for them to be during the winter and spring. It also depends on your purpose for the hive and whether and how you plan to increase the number of hives you operate. Leaving more honey for your bees right now is a little like ploughing earnings back into a business. Leaving a full colony of bees in your area in only a single deep box for brood and food over winter and early spring will give you a little more honey now, but it will mean that the colony may lack optimum brood space and winter stores. They may starve unless you feed them syrup or other refined sugar derivatives, which are not as healthy as honey, and you may need to feed them at times when it is too cold for them to break cluster and eat. This can weaken the hive and make them more susceptible to pests and disease. They may not emerge as strong in the spring as they would have which means you may not be able to split them as readily to make more colonies and they may produce less honey than they would have. As you get to know your bees, they will show you what they need based on your plans and operations. This is not to say that wintering a small colony in a single 10 frame deep or equivalent sized woodwork is not good. It may be very good if you have just made summer splits and intend to sell them or grow them in the spring. Enjoy the hive.
 

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An under-recognized feature of honeybee inate instincts is their skill at adjusting the population to be proportional to cavity stores and size. (All tree hollows are not the same size.) They "want" to fill the cavity with functional comb and maintain a brood volume that keeps the population proportional to the supporting stores that can be stored in that volume. Tough job - but they make it work, if they don't have a beekeeper to contend with.

As a result of this skill, the bigger the wintering cavity, the more bees that are generated for seasonal activities. More bees equals more honey. They also have a safety margin in all critical survival requirements between what must be accomplished to survive, and the work force to get it done. In this case, the safety margin is in excess population. The surplus honey that you call your own is that honey created by the safety margin.

In TN, colonies can winter well in a deep and shallow. Further, if the broodnest is properly backfilled with nectar in the fall, the reserve of the shallow of honey is not needed in the spring buildup and remains capped through swarm season. It is a reserve,and can be used if needed, but remains intact in most seasons.

We might add that for either the single or double deep, properly prepared in the fall, Swarm prevention is quite difficult in the spring. In the single, all the swarm preparations take place in the deep and are hard to head off. In the double, swarm preps include brood in both, and prevention is complicated by broodnest disturbances of some kind. We switched to wintering in a deep and 2 overhead shallows years ago for the added flexibility.

Walt
 

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An under-recognized feature of honeybee inate instincts is their skill at adjusting the population to be proportional to cavity stores and size ....

Walt
A trivium = a meeting of three ways:
The bigger the wintering cavity => the more bees that are generated for seasonal activities.
The more bees that are generated = > the more Varroas that are generated in the season.
The more Varroas that are generated in the season => the more chances to loose the bees after the season.
Another under-recognized feature of contemporary beekeeping?

Johann
 
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