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single 10f, 5f, 4x4, and plamers have shown good survival in your area http://www.rrbeekeepers.com/Meghan/Sustainable-Fall-Nucs.pdf
management and stock likely makes the difference.. I am going to go out on a limb and say there is a good reason people much more north of you keep in singles

obulisy there IS a reason why dubble/triple stack are the "standard", my guess is simplicity, bigger margin of error (safety net), and a stock that over winters in a large cluster
Single box management would seem to be an advanced skill for honey production. As I under stand it from friends keeping up in the mountains (8300' zone 4) they have a very short bloom season (last frost June 23, 1st frost sept 3) and with out single management they don't get a crop. The more compact nest alows for better spring build up (heat related) and to push the max in to the supers to be harvested, when the nest retracts they feed, this keeps fall flows(with there indejustabuls) out of the brood nest limiting the need for cleansing flights and improving overwintering.


absulty, I know people who plug up dubble deeps early spring feeding and then super and "magically" make huge crops. This is another argument used for single brood chambers

I don't care who does what, I just like to know the how/why something works or doesn't compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages so I can make an informed choice
Exactly, I am in the same boat. How, why does it work and what can I use from it. When I started "77" we did not feed. I was unaware it was done, so in My history only in the last 10 or so years, Have I warmed up to the idea of feeding. My Apiary is more in line with St Cloud MN. I am 4 or so hours drive north of Munith. I am trying to overwinter NUCs this year. will see how that goes. I am not necessarily trying to maximize production per footprint. My goals are to try to overwinter my bees and have enough in the spring to split back to some target and what ever honey I get is fine with me. Luckly when the dandelions bloom the flow starts and ends with Goldenrod, so I have a fairly long flow. I have a day job and Kids, so I do not box swap in the spring, or have the time to manage too intensively. A few swarms go off each year and I am also fine with that as a means to a DCA in my area. Again for me who admittedly may be a bit set in my ways , Single box management is not for me. My Grandpa was a 3 deep guy in the 50s and most of what I do is what he did. I do like to read ,so I have been reading up on what I can find, it does not move me off my base much however. It does offer different options some of which I have tried. Hope I am not dating my self too much but the first time, Bears wiped me out I ordered 3 packages from Sears Catalogue "Starlight" was the name as I recall. Maybe 30-40 bucks each,, was was back at it behind an ele. fence.
GG
 

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... I ordered 3 packages from Sears Catalogue "Starlight" was the name as I recall.
Gray Goose:

I recently posted this in the 'Welcome' forum, but if you haven't read it, it gives a good outline of the 'Starline' and 'Midnite' bees, courtesy of Randy Oliver:

Witherell,Peter article from Feb 1976 ABJ - pg 1of3-1.jpg Witherell,Peter article from Feb 1976 ABJ - pg 2of3-1.jpg Witherell,Peter article from Feb 1976 ABJ - pg 3of3-1.jpg
 

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I am trying to overwinter two small colonies in 5 frame deeps. We will see how it goes. So far seems Okay but it has been a very mild winter so far. They came out of Fall with almost no stored honey due to very poor Fall weather, endless rain and cold, so they have sugar blocks on top and a thick layer of insulation on top of that. They were alive and looked fine a week ago.
 

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Gray Goose:

I recently posted this in the 'Welcome' forum, but if you haven't read it, it gives a good outline of the 'Starline' and 'Midnite' bees, courtesy of Randy Oliver:
Meant to thank you over there. Also ask if you have a direct link? Could not find it at Randy's site nor with a web search. Hoping the original is a bit easier to read.
 

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Meant to thank you over there. Also ask if you have a direct link? Could not find it at Randy's site nor with a web search. Hoping the original is a bit easier to read.
Glad to help, William. I wish I had a better version of the article, but the photos that I posted came directly from Randy himself. He does not actually have them posted on his website, but references the 'Story of Success' in the attached article:

http://scientificbeekeeping.com/choosing-your-troops-breeding-mite-fighting-bees/
 

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I am trying to overwinter two small colonies in 5 frame deeps. We will see how it goes. So far seems Okay but it has been a very mild winter so far. They came out of Fall with almost no stored honey due to very poor Fall weather, endless rain and cold, so they have sugar blocks on top and a thick layer of insulation on top of that. They were alive and looked fine a week ago.
AR1 be great to hear how these 2 do, with food and insulation they should make it, we are well into winter so they have a good chance. Are these in NUC boxes or full boxes? Have you been able to over winter 5 frame hives in the past winters?
GG
 

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Discussion Starter #108
actually I think your missing it
........... but its not about small populations
Let us not forget - I am not in honey making/selling business.
For me 4-5 boxes (equivalent of up to 30 Lang medium frames) is enough.
I need redundancy/sustainability/free bees, not tons of honey to sell.
 

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Discussion Starter #109

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Let us not forget - I am not in honey making/selling business.
For me 4-5 boxes (equivalent of up to 30 Lang medium frames) is enough.
I need redundancy/sustainability/free bees, not tons of honey to sell.
Unless you are in the bee killing business,

you should understand that lots of honey means that the bees are healthy and very well.

So a lot of honey IS your goal. They are honey bees, not just bees. Hindering them from making honey, means, you make unhappy bees that barely survive instead of living a good life.
 

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Discussion Starter #111
This is how the "bunch of little hives" can actually produce something worthwhile.
while I am sure the spring explanation is timed to create the largest field work force and least brood peak flow, these are well populated hives. I don't see little hives, as you say
On average he is running one set of 6 Dadant frames (the excluded brood nest) and 7 honey supers.
So again, you are forgetting my context - NOT in honey selling business I am.
I don't need to go 7-8 high; the opposite, I need more smaller units and a stack of 3-4-5 is sufficient.
Taking just 5-6 frames off a unit times 10 units - more than enough for a household needs.

The subject of the "6-frame case study" is a true honey selling commercial beek.
He MUST produce honey so to pay his bills and support his family - and so one can not keep splitting his hives non-stop.
Of course he will go 7-8 boxes high (which only amounts to equivalent of about 50 Lang medium frames - these are small volumes honey producing units).

OK, why not compare that to the well respected Mike Palmer's honey hives - talking about up to 100 Lang medium frames per a unit - now that is BIG.
Here is the good visual of the true big honey hives - based on 10-frames: https://www.frenchhillapiaries.com/summer
 

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Discussion Starter #112
Unless you are in the bee killing business,

you should understand that lots of honey means that the bees are healthy and very well.

So a lot of honey IS your goal. They are honey bees, not just bees. Hindering them from making honey, means, you make unhappy bees that barely survive instead of living a good life.
Sufficient honey stores <> lots of surplus honey.
AM tired of saying am - NOT selling honey.

"Bee killing" - heard that before.
 

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AR1 be great to hear how these 2 do, with food and insulation they should make it, we are well into winter so they have a good chance. Are these in NUC boxes or full boxes? Have you been able to over winter 5 frame hives in the past winters?
GG
5-frame nucs.

My only prior experience with this is a 6-frame trap that froze out in -20 degree temps. That was a poor example though because those poor bees were very badly infected with mites, and had wax moths and beetles that Fall. I am surprised they survived until January. They left a large amount of honey behind.

The current nucs are healthy. They are in one nuc each, and on top is a second nuc stuffed with fiberglass insulation batts. I was worried they might get caught in the fiberglass but so far not a problem. I have them pushed up against the wall of my house and they are well-protected from wind.
 

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AM tired of saying am - NOT selling honey.
I am not stupid, Greg. And you don't play stupid, please. You are keeping honey bees. And thriving honeybees do make honey. There is no surplus thinking in honeybees. They do a lot of honey. Not only for one winter. For future colonies as well!

In a book from Nicol Jacobi, dating back to the year 1563, the authors describes beekeeping in log hives. The author states that a log hive wasn't harvest until five years. So they waited five years until the colony (and follow up colonies, since the original colony swarmed) was truly established, before they did the first harvest any honey.

You can look at the book at:
https://gdz.sub.uni-goettingen.de/id/PPN595247474

Although it is written in German language.

Point is, honeybees forage for honey, as much as possible. If a colony isn't able to collect much honey, it suffers. Withering and suffering is NOT a natural state for a living being.

I keep bees in fixed comb primitive hives for 15 years now. So I probably know a thing or two about it. My suggestions to you are meant friendly, to save you and your bees unnecessary trouble.
 

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It is probably good to avoid extremes.

Bee colonies of a variety of sizes appear to survive well enough, and to produce surplus honey.

There is considerable evidence that confining bees in smaller hives promotes survival in the world of Varroa.

We all do our share of bee killing. It is unavoidable, especially if a person is trying to find out what works where they live, at their scale, and to meet their objectives.

Some things don't work. That usually means boxes full of moldy dead bees. I have seen more than I would like to.

It is no more or less noble to have huge hives which produce 300 pounds of surplus than to have small hives which don't even put up enough for themselves.

Most of us don't make a living from our beekeeping enterprise. If we did, we would either do it differently or go bankrupt.

I am happy if most of my bees are alive in the spring, and I get enough honey for Christmas gifts for my children and some for my own consumption. It is a bonus if I have some to sell, as it helps offset the cost of keeping bees. I may someday make a profit, but realistically, it is not all that likely.
 

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Let us not forget - I am not in honey making/selling business.
my comments had nothing to do with you or your management, just pointing out your stament that honey yields were not proportionally to the size, and that your 6 frame example was of big hives, not small ones Yes 2 small nucs can make a small crop, but with a shared super, or one queen pinched and combined they will make a significant bigger one.
I have said before that you would likely do well with a lot of nucs out fitted with swarm keepers

So they can keep them INSIDE in winter.
nope
From the Canadian honey Counsel http://www.honeycouncil.ca/images2/...Pub_22920_-_FINAL_-_low-res_web_-_English.pdf
"To prepare colonies for outdoor over-wintering, it is recommended that beekeepers ensure that
colonies are healthy and populous and have adequate food stores. Colonies should ideally have
a large cluster, an abundance of young bees and a young, fertile queen. Colonies should be fed
with 70% (2:1) sugar syrup and should weigh 80-90 lb (36-40 kg) if single brood chambers are
used and 120 lb (54 kg) if double brood chambers are used
."

Unless you are in the bee killing business,
he is.. Greg runs sort of a modern day skep program, but instead of the beekeeper picking witch to cull and harvest he has nature do it. He makes full use of hive products... drone brood smoothys :lpf:, beebread and what not and wants chemical free hive products. Cant say I agree with it, but he is very truth full about his losses and a wealth of information about how other areas keep bees. So I find it better to debate/suggest how he can reach his goles more efficiently
 

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Discussion Starter #117
OK, I am getting a bit tired of this...
Will do what I wanna do and it be it.
Let us move on and keep this about the primitive beekeeping (which deserves a second look IMO just about now).

Here, have some fun - a guy did not have any boxes and just set few frames on the top if his little 6-7 frame hive and covered the frames with some rags.
Watch what happened next:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVX0aKfk1Gc
 

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I keep bees in fixed comb primitive hives for 15 years now. So I probably know a thing or two about it. My suggestions to you are meant friendly, to save you and your bees unnecessary trouble.
Bernard, you’ve got me curious. Do you treat for Varroa in those fixed comb primitive hives? Do you normally requeen them? Do you crush and strain and harvest both the wax and honey?
 

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Do you treat for Varroa in those fixed comb primitive hives? Do you normally requeen them? Do you crush and strain and harvest both the wax and honey?
Yes, some I treat, some don't. I don't requeen them, rather combine or harvest underperforming hives, for the sake of the bee population.


I harvest both wax and honey. I dice the comb by cutting, before I put the dices into a honey press. (Read cider press.) It is way better to dice the combs than mashing them before pressing, because much less honey remains in the wax.
 
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