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This year I am experimenting with a triple deep configuration on two of my hives. Just want to see how they do over the course of a year or two, compare them to my double deeps.

I set up two hives as triples with drawn frames earlier this spring. The two triple hives are are doing really well, though they don't seem to have as much population as I thought they would have at this point. I did remove the queen on both in early May to prevent swarming. Both have newly emerged and mated queens that have started laying, which probably accounts for the smaller than anticipated population.

Anyways, last check showed that both hives had the third deep on top either completely filled and capped with honey, or were close to doing so. Both hives are also light in the supers, which is what I kind of expected for the first year, as they seemed to have packed it all in the top deep. I am not sure what to do at this point though. Should I break up the honey barrier in the top deep by inserting some drawn or undrawn frames to entice the bees back "upstairs"? Should I do nothing and just view this as part of the early part of getting ready for winter? Is this building of a honey barrier in the third deep in early summer a normal occurrence? What do you guys think?
 

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If the top deep is loaded with brood, Take a look in the lower boxes, You will probably find the bottom box empty. If the top box is mainly honey, then the bees are simply treating it as a honey super. This is often the case, it seems once the brood chamber is established and they begin filling the upper with honey during a flow then they will keep it that way. putting a deep on top of a 2 deep hive simply gives you a heavy honey super. If you want to create extra winter stores, Simply leave a honey super on for the bees. At least that has been my experience
 

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I would think that the removal of the queen caused the bees to fill and cap the deep because with no queen laying the bees were not forced to go higher. I would remove the middle
4 or 5 frames that are full and capped and move them to the sides of the two lower brood boxes. Then if you can find good frames that have just the top part of the frame capped with honey put these in their place. that leaves you with a honey barrier to keep the queen from going into the honey supers and some place for her to lay. If you run 3 deeps you have to keep good young laying queens in the hives to force the bees to use the supers and not bury the queen. here is some good reading.

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?264292-OW-in-triple-deeps
 
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