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Running Singles in the South East

3699 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  wglord
Does anyone successfully run single deeps year round in the south east (NC,SC). I've been in double deeps for as long as I can remember but am open to options.

For anyone who does so, has it changed how you manage vs. running doubles?

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The only way it could be done is with very heavy spring feeding. I choose not to feed on that scale.

I run several colonies as 1 and 1/2 with a deep brood chamber and a shallow for winter stores. I overwinter single deep nucs with 3 to 5 frames of bees in the fall and packed full of honey. I have several colonies set up as doubles but that is because I am working through a major comb replacement.
Im not in NC or SC but I know many in Ga that run singles and yep. Feeding is always an issue. Other than spending x amount of time feeding there is no other issues.

Personally when I run my bees south for the winter I run them in DD with top super full of honey! IM NOT FEEDING.
I don't run singles in your area but I do migrate to TX with singles. As for feeding, we bring the feed truck when we take off the last of the honey in the fall and fill two rob barrels per about 48 hives. They do the work and that's it. No worries for months!
Thanks for the responses so far. Does having the single box create any issues along the lines of limiting the brood nest size?
About 2/3rds of our operation are currently in excluded singles and 1/3rd in doubles. Yes, brood nest size will be somewhat limited. Net honey yield is usually higher in the singles unless there is a heavy mid summer or later flow. Obviously singles require more supplemental feed and your doubles are generally the better bees in the fall. From my perspective running twice as many singles is economically advantageous not just for the additional honey but also in reduced shipping costs.
Jim, I have thought about the shipping charges. I have had terribly large singles going into winter before. Why do doubles generally look better in the fall?
Jim, I have thought about the shipping charges. I have had terribly large singles going into winter before. Why do doubles generally look better in the fall?
In our case, we are running only 8 frames and an inside feeder. A double is probably holding half again as much brood and lots more pollen stores. For best results running 10 frames and bottle feeding them would no doubt result in better bees but that's quite labor intensive and presents some logistic complications. Despite all that if you get a good late summer flow the populations in a single aren't too far behind the doubles and if they can average 7 combs can get you an almond check for about 1/2 the shipping costs.
I run singles in the fall winter and they do good as long as you keep check on feed. You will have to feed in late winter and spring . The plus to the singles is I don't have to pull boxes off to do hive work in the spring. I start feeding i jan. anyway to get queen laying a lot to make Nucs later. Works good for me and I can get more on truck when I am ready to move them
Singles are almost the rule here in North Florida some go as far as 1 1/2 but, double deeps are almost unheard of. I personally like singles, I'm not commercial by no stretch of the imagination. I have 40-50 production hives and move them around my area for honey production so feeding is not normally a big problem. I have to pay attention during mid summer and early spring if the honey flow is slow because of lack of moisture. The past two years we have had adequate rain and have not had to feed much.

Swarming is a bigger problem for me than feeding is. I haven't been keeping bees long enough to have plenty of drawn comb. Once I get all my drawn comb on the hives and have to start adding foundation I start getting swarms. I'm still shocked by how much and how fast a single can make honey.
Work with 2500+ single deep and Illinois super for brood space. 1 3/4 effectively.
Gives a tad more for the ebb and flows of main brood space vs. honey drying/capping cycle.

Like it so far enough to incorporate into my personal long term apiary.

DD for making increases much much more effective than other hobbyist methods have used. Putting second deeps on to draw combs out in next few weeks.
To summarize:

Singles are possible, as long as feeding (internal or jar) and pollen sub is built in to the plan. ####Question: Do singles tend to start swarm prep any more aggeressively or quickly than doubles?

Doubles are better, especially as it relates to making increase and drawing out reserve comb. ####Question: Does this extra space result in decreased honey production (harvestable) since there is more storage that the bees will fill prior to moving into the honey supers?

Thanks Again,
All I run is singles. You have to accept the fact that you will have to feed after you pull your honey supers in the fall and I usually start feeding toward the middle of February for the buildup. I always take some brood off of them during buildup and replace with comb. Also I run ten frames and make sure all ten are good worker comb. They are easy to medicate and requeen because you only have one brood box.
I am north of you just a bit. I would be very careful of singles, and it would depend on what kind of bees you run. Russians might work as they overwinter and start with a small cluster. I would be leary of running Italians because they will need feed and space in NC. I don't need to tell you we get an explosive spring build-up and early flow. I have run singles, doubles, and one and one halfs but now run doubles. Sometimes they pack honey in the top of doubles but I have given up excluders over doubles and feel I get better honey yields and little brood in the supers now. You could run Russians in singles successfully I think. My best honey producers seem to be the medium sized clusters coming out of winter. They build gradually and hit their peak just at the flow. The extra strong hives require feeding and splitting and make for a lot of work. They seldom produce as much honey as the average hives.
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