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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first year beekeeping. 2 hives to start purchased as 5 frame nucs.
I live near Ottawa, Ontario , Canada
I’m going to manage my colonies in single brood chambers and run all deep honey supers to keep all equipment the same.
My question is about wintering as a single.
Is there enough stores for the winter in a single?
I plan on feeding right untill winter after the honey flow is over and treating with OA to manage mites.
My plan was to get their stores maxed out in the single by feeding sugar syrup untill they won’t take it any more.
Pollen sub untill November

1 Deep brood box
Place newspaper on top on frames with dry sugar
3”shim with top entrance drilled in
Wire mesh or Queen excluder ( to hold burlap )
Medium box with burlap and wood chips to adsorb moisture
Piece of foam insulation
Top cover
Hive wrapped with 1” foam insulation.
 

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There is some concern that with a single absolutely full of stores there is little room for bees. Some people will put another box of empty drawn comb or foundation underneath the brood box after the honey supers removed. They can beard quite scarily otherwise. I put a medium of undrawn plastic under some last winter and they partially drew it out as a bonus.

I also put one of the 3" lift boxes under one or two and they did not draw free style comb into the empty space. My concern here is leaving some space for dead bees to drop out without plugging bottom of frames. Last year is the first I wintered some as singles.

My son West of Ottawa winters quite a few as singles and sees no difference in survival. You do have to watch them close as they often need feeding in spring. A lot of bees in the area lean toward Italian genetics and can be a bit more trouble in singles than Carniolans at least in my opinion.

I suggest searching up some of the threads on single colony management where Roland discusses his methods.

I like your insulation and ventilation proposals. Dont wait till after the flow to get mites under control or you will be behind the 8 ball.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There is some concern that with a single absolutely full of stores there is little room for bees. Some people will put another box of empty drawn comb or foundation underneath the brood box after the honey supers removed. They can beard quite scarily otherwise. I put a medium of undrawn plastic under some last winter and they partially drew it out as a bonus.

I also put one of the 3" lift boxes under one or two and they did not draw free style comb into the empty space. My concern here is leaving some space for dead bees to drop out without plugging bottom of frames. Last year is the first I wintered some as singles.

My son West of Ottawa winters quite a few as singles and sees no difference in survival. You do have to watch them close as they often need feeding in spring. A lot of bees in the area lean toward Italian genetics and can be a bit more trouble in singles than Carniolans at least in my opinion.

I suggest searching up some of the threads on single colony management where Roland discusses his methods.

I like your insulation and ventilation proposals. Dont wait till after the flow to get mites under control or you will be behind the 8 ball.
If I put a box of indrawn foundation under the brood box after honey supers are pulled off do I pull this extra box say in October or early November before they cluster?
I understand this is just to keep them busy and leave some space.
 

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You will have plenty of time to pull it in the spring before they move down into it; they will be well up in the top of the deep. Space below the cluster does not seem to create a heat demand like empty spaces above the cluster.

I am quite new to wintering in singles but have been following the discussion for a while. Ian Steppler of Miami Manitoba has a lot of video on singles but does winter in sheds.

There is plenty of room for stores for wintering in insulated hives with low mite counts. I dont know whether you will get a deep super drawn and capped in the first year from a nuc. Waiting for that to happen often results in putting off mite treatments till it is too late to get mite and virus free winter bees. One nuc I put down there for my grandaughter did draw, fill and cap a deep super of honey but that was an exceptional year.

I hear you about one size of equipment and that works well once you have drawn comb and established colonies; first year it can be a bit of a problem. It would be a very big problem here but I am plus 300 miles NW and my season is at least 2 and a half weeks shorter on each end. You will likely be close to a lot of surrounding bees so be prepared to stay ahead of the mites or you will be playing catch up!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Basically what you are saying is for the first year just leave whatever they draw out and fill with honey under the brood box for the winter and basically winter them as a double?
 

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Basically what you are saying is for the first year just leave whatever they draw out and fill with honey under the brood box for the winter and basically winter them as a double?
I would consider that a possible outcome. It is often not easy to get honey supers drawn out. You may have to put some brood frames up to get them working up. Are you planning to run queen excluders and try to keep honey supers from having brood drawn in them.? Things are easier if you are not concerned with keeping honey frames pristine. This way you may be able to extract a few outer frames from the brood box and get a small harvest.

This will have to work in with your mite count determination and how you plan to handle that. Getting them through the winter is more important than honey harvest.

Edit. Just saw the link from Clayton Huestis; good info!
 

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I didn't notice where you said you were from. Most places it is either 3 medium or 2 deep (rule of thumb) for the brood nest. That is what the books will tell you, the courses, and anyone in your county association if you ask. So take that to mean that single brood chamber beekeeping is at least an "advanced" technique.

Treat for mites with at least 2 different techniques, and make sure you do a treatment end of fall before going into winter. Know your mite counts and what to do about them based on the level, the outside temperature, the size of your hive, age of your queen, and whatever other factors I have forgotten.

Make sure that if they didn't have sufficient stores from the flow, that you are providing them with ample amounts for them to store, so you are not forced to feed them candy boards or fondant or dry sugar at Christmas time.

Make sure you consolidate the cluster, low and surrounded above by a beautiful rainbow of both honey/syrup as well as pollen. Get pollen substitute to them as well.

If you don't, plan to have sugar (candy boards, fondant, dry sugar) ready, if they top out and run out of stores. Be ready for spring. They will still need a bunch of stores for the spring build-up. It would be a shame to get them through winter, only to have them not make it through spring.

Have nice fat healthy non-mite-infested winter bees.

If you have well fed, healthy, non-mite-infested bees you can do almost every thing else wrong, and still have bees.

If you do all this right, you should have a nice strong hive come spring that is just aching to swarm. You can stave that off by giving them a second box, and doing some opening of the brood nest, and some other things... If you are lucky they will just decide to bring in honey and fill up lots of supers. If you are luckier, they will still want to swarm, and that means you can start doing all the different kinds of splits you read about here in the forum articles and end up with bunches of nucs and full hives and maybe even still have some honey crop to speak of.

That's how I see it. I am an expert. I say that, because all those things I told you are exactly the reason why I lost bees. So little by little I am learning all the things not to do. And, by the way, of you are anywhere near the south... 3 words... Small Hive Beetles. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Nucs that I purchased were treated with Apivar strips this spring so I plan on doing 3 week interval treatments of OA vapor this fall.
I purchased a 12v battery operated vaporizer that the nuc seller recommended.
The diagram from the link provided is exact way I’d like to run. Except for the wintering indoors.
Don’t have that option.
I will be using excluders
And plan on doing regular alcohol washes to check mite numbers
I don’t think SHB is a problem up here yet. From what I read anyways.
I’m not expecting a honey crop this first year.
My main goal is to get comb built out on as many frames as I can and get colony numbers up for winter.
And leave them as much honey and pollen as I can for winter.
If I have to leave them whatever honey I get this year in a deep box on top on the brood box and winter them in 2 deeps I’m good with that. Makes sense.


I have lots of pollen Sub (Feedbee) and have made lots of patties with it that they love. They are taking lots of 2:1 syrup as well from the hive top feeder. Not too sure when I should stop feeding them. But I assume the syrup is helping them build the comb out.
 

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It sounds like you are on the right track. Dont have it written in stone what your treatment will be. Influx of mites from surrounding bees can be a major influence. Do some searching on the question of effectiveness of three treatments at 7 day intervals. Some have found tighter spacing and one or two more reps needed.

Watch the feeding to ensure some open polished cells always available to the queen. She can be flooded out with feed and induce swarming.

Small hive beetles are not an issue there. ( suggest you update your forum user profile to show approx location. You only mentioned it in your post as being near Ottawa. Enables better advice). There have been years where there is a lot of Deformed wing virus in the area and you will see its crawler bees if you let mite numbers creep up. If you are not taking honey there are other treatments you can use rather than waiting for the broodless time where OA is most effective. The latter prospect scares me as potentially leading to late treatment for the best production of low virus levels in the wintering bees.
 

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This is my first year beekeeping. 2 hives to start purchased as 5 frame nucs.
I live near Ottawa, Ontario , Canada
I’m going to manage my colonies in single brood chambers and run all deep honey supers to keep all equipment the same.
My question is about wintering as a single.
Is there enough stores for the winter in a single?
Over 95% of all beehives in Finland (latitude of Alaska) is wintered in one Langstroth.

Sugar solution (25-35 litres) is given in late August early September.

But: Our bees are suitable for wintering in cold climates. In the 1950´s when Italian bees were something new, it was wise to give them 2 boxes.
 
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