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I am in my second year of trying to manage my hives in single deep brood chambers. One of the challenges that I have noticed is trying to feed them. Because of my lifestyle and storage ability, I would like to use internal hive feeders and just leave them inside the hive all year round. The problem that I see is I have now reduced my brood chamber from 10 to 8 frames.

Does anyone who uses single deeps, year round, use internal feeders?

Does anyone who uses single deeps keep their hive at 8 frames only?

Is anyone managing in 8 frame singles?

Is 8 frames enough or have I created swarm machines?

For context, I am in Western PA.
 

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I use a frame feeder all year round, but I use the Brother Adam-hive, which holds up to 13 Dadant sized frames (officially 12 frames).

In summer I do not use more than 4-7 frames. Wintering on 8 frames is ok. I like lots of stores before the winter, because the size of the winter cluster correlates with the winter stores. Bees adapt the size of their winter cluster to the winter stores they have. It makes a huge difference, if you have 30 kg or 35 kg of winter stores on. With 8 frames, you might consider leaving one honey super on. In winter and all year round.

Swarming is NOT increased with a reduced number of frames. The opposite. If you know the trick, the fewer brood frames, the better. One important thing is to put supers on very very early and you need lots of supers on. With some apiaries I super in February, in the midst of winter (where I live). You need to super ahead of the bees.

Just in short. It is well worth the try, because not only beekeeping in one deep is much more fun, it is less work, more honey. And stronger hives.
 

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This will be my first year managing single deeps. I think you can do 8 frames but you’ll probably need to supplement dry sugar on top. We have been in a terrible drought here so I’ll be feeding until mid-October I’m sure.
 

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BernhardHeuvel - "It makes a huge difference, if you have 30 kg or 35 kg of winter stores on."

It took me a while to learn this lesson. Now I try to have extra weight for winter stores. In two years my small apiary has improved significantly. 36 Kg. is my minimum winter stores. I do use a larger, standard brood chamber.
 

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The influence of available comb storage space on the performance of honey bee communication signals that regulate foraging

Numerous activities within honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies rely on feedback loops for organization at the group level. Many of the processes associated with the feedback loops organizing a honey bee colony’s activities are in striking parallel to other systems, such as intercellular interactions involved in motor neuron function, and principles derived from their study can be applied to these diverse fields, among others. This study looked at the communication signals honey bees employ while provisioning their nest with food to assess whether or not the bees use signals when their hive has no more available storage space. In this experiment, the storage space was alternated each day between no available space and ample space. The communication signals used by the bees were counted during each treatment and compared. When the hive had no storage space available, significantly more stop signals, which inhibit foraging, and tremble dances, which recruit more bees to unload incoming foragers, were observed. This suggests that the bees had noted the absence of storage space and were modifying their communication accordingly.

Kietzman, P.M., Visscher, P.K. The influence of available comb storage space on the performance of honey bee communication signals that regulate foraging. Apidologie (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13592-020-00803-z
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13592-020-00803-z
 
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