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Sacramento Region, California - Do I Really Need Two Deep Brood Chambers?

2818 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  atayl0r
Hi All:
Just getting back into beekeeping after a 30+ year hiatus. Had bees while I grew up in Arkansas and, way back then, I didn't use 2 deep brood chambers. A couple questions:
- Is the two-deep chamber to help bees through harsh winters? I'm in Sunset zone 9, USDA zone 8A (rarely below freezing in winter).
- Or is it to maintain a strong hive and reduce swarming?

Thanks in advance for your answers!
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1)yes it helps provide space for extended stores for winter
2)yes it maintains a strong hive by giving space for an expanded brood nest= more workers for harvest. it gives the beekeeper more options(search here for "checkerboarding" and "reversing brood chambers") to reduce swarming. good luck,mike
 

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In the spring the queen needs plenty of room to lay eggs. If she doesn't have the space they will more than likely swarm.

I let mine go into winter last year with over one deep box full of honey. A couple weeks ago when I checked the bottom box was empty & the queen was laying in the top box, which still had about 7 frames full of honey in it.

I reversed the boxes, putting the empty on top. My bees are already bringing in pollen & nectar.

I should add, theirs no harm going into winter with too much honey in the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info! This is a great resource.

After a bit of reading, I think I'm going to forget about deep boxes and start the hive with two mediums and add a third when the first two are 7/10ths full. After that I'll add a honey super.

So much to consider. Back in the '70s there wasn't anywhere near the current amount of information: we just plopped 'em in the back yard and harvested honey in the fall!
 
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