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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is my problem. I have five hives, 3 hives are double deeps which I prefer, and the other 2 hives are 1 deep and 1 medium. The double deeps are hives that I bought new and installed nucs in and the other 2 hives, 1 deep 1 medium, I bought as established hives. I want to change these 2 hives into double deeps and wanted to know the best way to accomplish this as they are really booming and I plan to split them pretty quick which I figure is as good a time as any to make the change to the deeps. The medium frames have brood in them now and eggs and I don't want to disrupt them too much. I thought maybe I should reverse the hive bodies and let them move up into the deeps? Not sure and would like some ideas on the best way to do this. This is my second year so I am not overly experienced. Thanks in advance.

Randy

P.S. I hope this made sense.
 

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I had tried medium bodies, and returned to the double deep. Here's what worked for me, as I moved to deeps, and split hives to increase my numbers.
I took a hive with a medium and deep, when brood was in both bodies, deep and medium, I split. I set the medium on a bottom board, put a deep of foundation or comb on top. If the queen was in that medium, I left her alone. I fed to stimulate wax building in the new deep. When the queen had moved up into new comb in the deep, I watched, and as they built that deep out and filled with brood, I added the second deep. I then supered as needed the rest of the season. By the end of the season, when I pulled supers, I also pulled the medium off the bottom of the stack. Generally it was empty. If not, I put it back on top over a queen excluder, until any brood emerged. Then removed it. Or left it on as a honey reserver for winter. You'll have a good idea what to do with that medium when the time comes.

For the deep that contained brood, if the queen was not in this box, I introduced a new queen that I had purchased. i set a new deep of foundation (or foundationless, with one frame of comb as a pattern/guide), and fed heavily to stimulate wax building in the new deep.

It doesn't matter where your old queen ends up, simply install a new queen in the now queenless hive. Or commit regicide, and requeen both hives at this point. But then you run the risk of neither new queen being accepted, which causes more problems. For that reason, I've left the old queen alone until later in the season.
Regards, and good luck!
Steven
 

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And here I am looking to go the other way - I have double deeps and want to go to 3 medium brood chambers.

Just goes to show there is no wrong way, only what works for you and your bees. :)
 

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This makes alot of sense to me and was really what I was kind of rolling around in my head but sure wanted some kind of reassurance that I am not crazy or headed in the wrong direction. Thanks for your input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Was also wondering about if I put the medium brood box on the bottom with 2 deeps on top of it, and making sure the queen was in the deep above the medium, then put an excluder on top of the medium. Would that work ok? What is the downside to that idea?
 

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If your entrance is on the bottom, the queen excluder above the bottom medium would also trap any drones inside the hive. The natural proclivity of the queen is to move up. My experience has been that soon enough that bottom medium will be empty, and can be moved upstairs or even removed. Perhaps mid summer. That's been my experience anyway. Of course, as soon as I say that, you'll have havoc in your hive. :lpf: Or I'll have havoc in the hive I'm doing that to this year. Did it last two years, worked fine, without an excluder.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay here is an update. My original configuration of both hives was 1 deep on the bottom and 2 mediums on top. Top mediums were put on for honey supers and had honey in them going into winter but I left them for the girls. After busting them apart today I couldn't find the queen in either hive but was in a hurry because it was late in the day and fairly windy. First hive I found the deep was mostly empty and the brood cells, larvae, and pollen were in the middle medium. Remember this is the medium I eventually want to replace with a deep. So I reversed this middle medium to the bottom and put the deep on top of it and then put the top medium back on top where it was. Now to the second hive. This is where I was baffled. The deep was empty and the brood cells, larvae and pollen were in both of these mediums. So now I have 2 mediums instead of 1 that are brood boxes in this hive. Not exactly what I wanted. Not sure what to do but I put the 2 mediums to the bottom and the deep on the top. I feel both of these hives are in great shape because I found plenty of bees, brood, larvae, pollen, and some honey in the frames, mostly to the outside of the frames where the brood is. Hope that is ok. Was also surprised to find as much pollen as I did but the pollen levels are high here right now and saw plenty of bees with pollen on their legs. Found decent numbers of drone cells also. Bees were not happy and got stung several times in this process. As I said it was fairly windy but the temps were in the upper 60's and we have had rain lately and it was clear and sunny but we are fixing to get more rain and storms tomorrow so I thought now was the time to jump in. I'm hoping I did the right thing. What do ya'll think?
 

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If all you're brood is in the two mediums, put the deep on top. When the bees start building up their brood nest in the deep add another deep on top. Before you know it the bees & brood will be in the top two deeps allowing you to remove the 2 mediums from the bottom.
 

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Dan's plan is on target, go for it, and you won't regret it!
I worked my girls today too, and they were very unhappy, and let me know it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here is an update. I was kind of worried after I found that they were storing nectar in the deep and I mean a lot of it. After opening the hives up today I was surprised and happy to see most of the deep was now brood and larvae. I want to thank all of you for your advice.
 
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