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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone, I am getting 3 Deep Frame Nucs Saturday and have 3 deep boxes without drawn frames to transfer to. I also have med brood boxes with drawn frames, some with honey and pollen. Questions is should I put one medium brood box on each deep when I transfer them or wait until they draw out the deep frames? Or is there an easy way to get them to move into the med brood box and ditch the deeps?
Thanks for your help!!
 

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I'm assuming you want to go with all medium boxes? If that's the case, you may be stuck with the deep bottom box until next spring. As the bees over-winter, they'll tend to move up in the hive and the bottom box will pretty much be empty by next spring, so you can ditch it at that point. In the meantime, you could consider placing your medium frames in the deep box - they'll draw comb on the bottom of the frames, and you can remove that later if u need to. Or just go with all deep frames in the deep boxes and start stacking mediums on top once they've filled up the bottom deep. Don't add a medium onto the deep right away as there will be too much empty space for the bees to manage.

One other thought - once you have at least a deep and a medium, move the queen to a frame in the medium box, then place a queen excluder in between the deep and medium. That ensures that queen never goes back down to the deep to lay and you can more easily remove it later in the season since it won't have any brood.
 

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If you want to convert to all mediums, I would fill the rest of the box with medium frames. That way you'll soon have some brood on some medium frames. After you do, you can move these with the queen on the other side of an excluder and after the deep frames of brood have emerged, you can pull them.

Here's my typical advice to convert from deeps to mediums:

First, I would say if you are changing frame size and combs then I would also change cell size to either natural comb or small cell at the same time. It will be the same amount of work. It just requires that you use either small cell foundation or foundationless frames.

The concept, of course, is to get to a point where all of the old combs (deeps, large cell etc.) are out and all of the ones you want (small cell and mediums) are what you now have. So first, you need to view all of what you don't want as a liability to be eliminated and all of what you do want as an asset. During a flow anything but brood is fair game to remove. During a dearth, honey and pollen are assets. At any time brood is an asset. At any time you can remove empty frames. There are several ways you can deal with any given deep frame. You can leave them in a deep and any excess that can't be filled with a deep (because you pulled them out) you can fill in with a medium. This is what I tend to do if there are more deeps than mediums. If you have more mediums than deeps, you can put the deeps in two medium boxes (it will hang down into the medium box below). If you have only one or two deeps with brood you can cut the comb to fit a medium frame and rubber band it into the medium frame. You can also get the queen and a couple of frames of brood on the other side of an excluder from the frames you wish to remove and wait for the brood to emerge in those frames and then remove them from the hive. These are the concepts.

So now to begin. The easiest time to begin is probably the first warm flying day in the spring. On a warm day you can look in the hive and pull any frame that is empty. You may have an entire box worth of empty deeps. Early in the spring there has been no flow to start refilling them and brood rearing is just getting into gear probably. The sooner you get the queen on the other side of an excluder from the combs you wish to remove, the better. If you have drawn medium frames, then try to get the queen on those. It's kind of early at lest in my part of the world to expect them to draw comb but they will be in about a month. So if you just keep removing empty frames until then, and after the flow gets into full swing you can steal any deeps with pollen and honey and harvest the honey. The pollen you can feed to the chickens (assuming there are any chickens) or cut them out and tie them into mediums (rubber bands probably...). Then applying the principles above you juggle things until all the boxes are full of frames. Later if you had comb on the bottom of a medium frame that was in a deep box, you can cut it off and rubber band it into a medium frame. If you have comb on the bottom of a deep (that was in two medium boxes) you can cut that off and rubber band it into a medium frame.

I don't know how to just make it a step by step unless I make assumptions about some brute force method, but that is also a possibility. You can simply do a "cut out" where you cut every frame of brood to fit a medium and rubber band all the combs into mediums and harvest all the honey and scrap or cutout all the pollen. If you have thin strips of brood left over you can put several in a frame to fill it out. This would be a "brute force" method and you could do it in an afternoon as long as there is a decent amount of nectar and pollen available.

A scaled back version of this is to cutout two combs of brood and put those with the queen on them on the other side of an excluder and wait for all the brood in the deeps to emerge and then pull them all.

If you don't want to do any cut outs of combs, then you could pull empty frames, replace with mediums and wait for the queen to be laying in some of the mediums and then pull those above an excluder.

All in all, I play it by ear and juggle it the best I can without stealing brood from them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help and all the info I really do appreciate it!!! I will go with putting the drawn medium frames in the deep box and work with that. Hopefully we all have good weather and a good honey flow!!
 
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