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Order of the hive

1445 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  cmonkey
As I understand it, the two deeps serve as the pantry and broodnest for the year, right? What order do they work? I *think* that frames 1, 2, 9, and 10 are reserved strictly for pollen and honey, and the rest are for brood, is that right? And is that the case for the upper and lower? Does the queen tend to spend most of her time in one or the other of the deeps, or does she migrate back and forth? I guess I need some basic info that I'm not really getting from my books. Or maybe I just haven't gotten deep enough into them, I don't know. But I want to understand how they arrange things in there so I know what I should recognize as abnormal.

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Looking over the top of your hive body think about a placing a basketball in the hive, right in the center. Everywhere the basketball would be will be brood. As you see the basketball get smaller and smaller as it goes towards the edges of the hive, there will be less brood.

Everywhere the basketball does not cover will be honey and pollen.

My mentor showed that to me one day in his bee yard and I've looked at my hives and seen the same thing.
Now THAT is genius. Okay, so a narrowing band of brood, and that should be in both the top and bottom deep, or just the bottom? Right now there's brood in both. I assume that changes with the end of the season, but how?
Don't forget that some of use don't use any "deeps" at all. I also use slatted racks on the inside walls of my brood supers, this often inspires the bees to raise brood on both sides of all eight frames, though not always.
Well, the broodnest, the hive bodies, whatever one calls them. That's *generally* composed of two hive bodies, yes? No? Maybe? Slatted racks, are there pictures of those in use? I'm picturing something like a ladder up the sides?

I guess I just want a good idea of what a healthy colony looks like from the inside, regardless of the size hive body, number of frames, etc. Like the basketball image.

And as long as we're on the topic of deeps vs mediums/other, I'd assume it takes more of those to get the required amount of honey for the winter. What is the general equivalent for a medium of honey vs a deep? I am definitely moving to mediums next year, maybe even 8-frame ones. Just a half-full deep was a lot for me to lift. I ain't getting any younger, and I'm not really into pumping iron, so I want to make it easier on little old me next year.
We are new this year--- using all mediums. When we went to pick up our equipment in Watertown, WI, Dadant people advised us against 8 frame mediums because of the winters we have in Wisconsin. I am thinking if two frames makes that much difference, then maybe pull a couple before lifting the super. :)
If I lived and kept bees where there was a real, "Winter", and I have -- Waynesboro, VA; Oak Harbor, WA; Key, OH; and Santa Fe, NM. Places where the bees really need winter stores to survive the winter, and I was already using gear and management practices that worked for me, I'd definitely be cautions about making changes as drastic as going from 10-frame deep supers to 8-frame medium's. I like how it works, but, if I ever relocated again to a cold winter location, I would want to try it out before I used it on a large scale.
I have pulled a few frames to move the boxes, but until I have the new deep (should be here any day!), I don't have a safe place to put them; I'm worried about losing the queen if she's on a frame and I don't spot her.

I guess I'd like it to be as easy as possible, and while moving a few frames is easy, it's not as convenient as just moving a smaller box. We'll see.

I'm itchy to go back in but I'm going to resist and give them a week's rest.
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