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I have placed an empty shallow supper chamber below deep brood chamber. That is part of preparing the hive for the winter. I have read that it is good for the bees to have a pillow of air below brood chamber so first they can form winter cluster lower, second for the better air circulation (CO2 goes down), and third to protect bee cluster from cold wind gusts that would get inside the hive thru the entrance.

Is that 7 inches of empty space below brood nest too much or fine?
 

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More empty space to keep warm in winter=more energy spent. Besides they will just build comb down into it and fill it with honey for winter. in winter you should use a top entrance or quilt box which allows air to circulate and leave. hot air rises. closing the entrance some will stop winter wind
 

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Some use slatted rack. Some put a shim.

I thought there was a commercial guy on here who winters in a single deep with an empty below it, a deep.
 

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Some use slatted rack. Some put a shim.

I thought there was a commercial guy on here who winters in a single deep with an empty below it, a deep.
Yep, people routinely winter with an empty box below.
 

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I would not get jumpy about it.
A shallow super below will not hurt for sure.
It may actually help.
i can always count on you to keep me in line. edited it. suppose in some climates it could. Where op is i've not seen it used much with success. Doing it now they will just build it down and fill it so not sure what it will do vs not putting it in.
 

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i can always count on you to keep me in line...........
You may if you wish.
Keep in mind, I am only a student on most subjects.

Here is a real life example for you about a commercial TF beek, just for the reference:

Chris Baldwin uses a 10-frame system with a shallow box (5 & 11/16”; frame 448 x 137 mm) on the bottom. It is always there. It’s kind of an expansion space which the bees use as they want, more or less without control from the beekeeper. The bees remodel, tear down and build back, the combs in the frames there. Sometimes they are bad in shape, sometimes a lot of drone comb, sometimes good looking well used by the bees.
http://www.elgon.es/diary/?p=984
 

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You may if you wish.
Keep in mind, I am only a student on most subjects.

Here is a real life example for you about a commercial TF beek, just for the reference:



http://www.elgon.es/diary/?p=984
my original concern about cold weather and open space still stands. Baldwin has his hives in texas and cali for the winter. op is in snow country. I've never seen this used in northern large scale operations. If they do build it out and fill it i don't see the harm but if people just add it when packing away a hive for winter I think it can be detrimental.
 

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my original concern about cold weather and open space still stands. Baldwin has his hives in texas and cali for the winter. op is in snow country. I've never seen this used in northern large scale operations. If they do build it out and fill it i don't see the harm but if people just add it when packing away a hive for winter I think it can be detrimental.
Sounds like you have not - seen it.

People in Russia (including Siberia) routinely do this with their Dadants for outside wintering.
Hard to be much colder than that.
Extra under-frame space is beneficial specifically for wintering
- at the winter start - the cluster has a space to hang down while - else they are forced up too early (not the best)
- later this space allows for moisture to dissipate

Remember - this space is UNDER the cluster - any energy from the cluster is largely escaping up, not directly down; they are not loosing much energy downwards.

A couple of quick vids for you so that you can now see it.

Siberian beek - classic Dadants with 4-5 inch under-frame spacing - by design.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKAo6OILXQU

Here is another example - the extra deep bottom - specifically for wintering.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4kPyEbp-8U
 

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I winter in three deeps. I put all the partially drawn frames in the bottom box, that is usually pretty much empty except for some pollen. Then the brood nest above, and then a deep of sugar syrup on top, with a 3" shim above that with sugar bricks. A inner cover with a notched upper entrance. Then a empty medium filled with grass for a quilt box. And a piece of foam under the lid.
 

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I winter in three deeps. I put all the partially drawn frames in the bottom box, that is usually pretty much empty except for some pollen. Then the brood nest above, and then a deep of sugar syrup on top, with a 3" shim above that with sugar bricks. A inner cover with a notched upper entrance. Then a empty medium filled with grass for a quilt box. And a piece of foam under the lid.
Your setup seems to be well geared for your climate; it works well here too in northern Ontario.

Perhaps some food for thought re. the super of sugar syrup. There can be a potential drawback to having the late winter cluster camped up in the pollen barren sugar syrup honey in February or March. Once they start brood rearing they need protein so it is especially helpful to be ready with top feed of pollen supplement. Usual capped stores on brood frames contain quite a bit of pollen in the bottom of honey cells but we may throw a wrench into their plans with our interventions!

My first pollen to forage is tag alder and pussy willow but with our long winter the bees need to start brood rearing before that starts coming in.
 

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I feed a pollen patty in August when they are making winter bees. And then again in the spring when I know they can get out for cleansing flights. This spring they didn't really brood up much at all until the real pollen started coming in.

I also have all my boxes pained black. That helps a lot IMO
 

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Have a couple hives, from splits, that just now are getting packed in single 8 frame deeps. Plan is to add a medium below, let brood nest expand downward in August/September, backfill up above. Hopefully all brood will be up top in spring. To get queen laying in the medium, will place it on top initially, and move one deep frame of eggs/young brood (and queen if I can) into it, letting frame hang down into the deep. Wait a week, expect queen to lay a bit in the other medium frames, then swap the boxes, putting the deep frame back where it belongs. I don’t know whether a single 8F deep is adequate alone for wintering, and having a medium up top with brood is a pain for springtime management.
 

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Have a couple hives, from splits, that just now are getting packed in single 8 frame deeps. Plan is to add a medium below, let brood nest expand downward in August/September, backfill up above. Hopefully all brood will be up top in spring. To get queen laying in the medium, will place it on top initially, and move one deep frame of eggs/young brood (and queen if I can) into it, letting frame hang down into the deep. Wait a week, expect queen to lay a bit in the other medium frames, then swap the boxes, putting the deep frame back where it belongs. I don’t know whether a single 8F deep is adequate alone for wintering, and having a medium up top with brood is a pain for springtime management.
Pchristu, I use mediums and Shallows for supers. I often extract in 2 batches for 2 reasons the first is I run out of supers and need to empty some for more Adding of comb space. the second is for the first extract there are too many bees to take all the supers off, so I need to phase my extracts. With that said I often put mediums on with crimp wire brood foundation , take them for the early extract. then Nadir with the wet comb under the brood nest. the bees then back fill the brood nest a bit working down into this new space in the fall. As the cluster contracts and back fills the remaining supers can then be removed in the second extract phase. Give it a try. BTW I would not bother with the deep frame to get the queen to lay, she will go down when she needs to. the extra time to go back in and make it right, can be saved and the chance you roll the queen in late season avoided. If all you have is foundation then put it on the top and leave it. I do not ever try to winter in 1 -8 frame deep. I just had a couple small splits like yours. I added a deep under, then swapped them with large colony's, to use the large bee population to fill out the small split. good luck
GG
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. I’m assuming you did a newspaper combine when swapping boxes between hives as mentioned at the end of your post?
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. I’m assuming you did a newspaper combine when swapping boxes between hives as mentioned at the end of your post?
yes when combining any types, i use news paper. I combine mated laying queen on 2 to 4 frames of bees "often" newspaper combine, double screen and add as a "super" IE to a hive that is needing space one you would "normally" add a super or 2. Bees move up start building/cleaning the Comb, she lays it up as fast as she can. In 3 weeks on a strong hive you can go from 2 frame NUC with 8 frame of foundation, to 10 frame all build 3 frames of honey and 5 frames of brood. Disconnect and do the next one. I did like 5 of them this year. ( Hive and the Honey) bee book has a chapter on 2 queen hives, from there I extrapolated, the "queen add" is identical, I take it off as a "Split" rather than add supers to the 2 Queen hive. In The north when the season is short And you want/have mid season Queens, it may be necessary to boost to get to winter size. Also some what modified version of splitting the coasted off, is to at the 3 week point, when you take the split off, shift to "remove the parent Queen" into a NUC and combine it all, mix the frames a bit. in 5 days the old queen brood is to old to matter, remove the queen and do a second split up of the breeder queen, either forced swarm or emergency.
 
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