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Author Topic: Brood Boxes - double or single?  (Read 7809 times)
OzBuzz
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« on: August 24, 2011, 07:43:59 PM »

I'm planning on turning my business semi-commercial with a view of maximizing honey production and population. I'm going to run an excluder above the brood nest to simplify inspections. What I'm wondering though is how much difference does running a double brood box versus a single brood box really make to overall hive population? What do commercial operations do? 

Also, do commercial guys operate under the proviso that they're not going to stop every swarm? Obviously if you have 500 hives you can't fully inspect them all once a week or even once a fortnight.
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ronwhite3030
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 11:28:22 PM »

I tried 3 ways single deep brood chamber, they swarmed to much and weren't able to make excess honey, second way double deeps, they were strong but didn't seem to want to move to the honey super and the way I used to do it a deep and medium brood chamber, they didnt swarm like the single and there wasnt so much room to work with the double so they made plenty of excess honey. thats what works for my area, for you it may be different.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011, 12:17:47 AM »

>I'm going to run an excluder above the brood nest to simplify inspections.

How does it simplify inspections?  You shouldn't need to be in the brood nest during the flow anyway.
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Michael Bush
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2011, 01:26:07 AM »


How does it simplify inspections?  You shouldn't need to be in the brood nest during the flow anyway.


What about to stop the queen from moving the brood nest up in to the honey supers? also, during swarming season wouldn't it control where you'd have to inspect for queen cells etc? I'd assume it would be easy to pull off the honey supers and know with confidence that the queen isnt going to be up in there and then just have the boxes under the excluder to work with... i'm happy to take guidance from those more in the know than me.

How do the commercial guys do it? I mean if you've got 500 - 1000 hives, even 100, do you inspect them every week for queen cells during the swarm season? or do you just run on the principle that you're not going to get every one in time before it swarms?
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011, 01:55:54 AM »

commercial beeks i know run a deep and medium, queen excluder (so queen does not get blown away with blower when taking honey) and just add boxes when flows hit.  They dont have time to check every colony for swarm cells.
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wisnewbee
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2011, 03:16:26 PM »

I work for a commercial beek in Wisconsin. The vast majority of our hives are double deep brood boxes. We do not run excluders until we are taking off the last of the honey supers. We're currently running about 2100-2300 hives for honey production. We do have some story and a half (1 deep, 1 medium) hives, but the last of these will be sold this winter. We're standardising to double deeps. Even with the double deeps we still see some swarms. Early in the season we are actively checking for signs of swarming, but once the honey supers start going on there just isn't time to go down that far into the hive. If the hive looks weak, we inspect fully, otherwise on to the next hive.

Wisnewbee
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 12:07:33 AM »

>What about to stop the queen from moving the brood nest up in to the honey supers?

I have no issues with brood nests in the supers... but then they are all the same sized boxes and there is plenty of drone comb in the brood nest.  Bees do not want a brood nest scattered all over the hive.

> also, during swarming season wouldn't it control where you'd have to inspect for queen cells etc?

I never inspect for queen cells... if I see a hive that is really booming and the flow hasn't started I'll put some empty frames in the brood nest, but I don't really look for swarm cells.  I find them sometimes, and then I split.

> I'd assume it would be easy to pull off the honey supers and know with confidence that the queen isnt going to be up in there and then just have the boxes under the excluder to work with...

I seldom see a queen in the supers.  If there is no brood in the box there is almost never a queen in the box.

How do the commercial guys do it? I mean if you've got 500 - 1000 hives, even 100, do you inspect them every week for queen cells during the swarm season? or do you just run on the principle that you're not going to get every one in time before it swarms?
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Michael Bush
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AliciaH
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2011, 01:46:44 PM »

I would think that a main factor would be how much labor are you planning to hire?  I'd bet the guy in Wisconsin has many young, strong backs to have double deeps on everything (which would be awesome!).

But if you are planning on doing a lot of the work yourself, having a one deep, one western configuration seems to solve some of the problems and reduces the weight of that top box.  Hopfully, you're not actually having to life the bottom one unless you're cleaning bottom boards, and even then they can be tipped.

I know your young and all, but once you start tweeking those back muscles, it's really hard to get them right again.
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2011, 05:35:24 PM »

"I know your young and all, but once you start tweeking those back muscles, it's really hard to get them right again."

The real problem is when you start pinching nerves, this is when you find out what real back pain is all about.
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2011, 07:51:33 AM »



I never inspect for queen cells... if I see a hive that is really booming and the flow hasn't started I'll put some empty frames in the brood nest, but I don't really look for swarm cells.  I find them sometimes, and then I split.


Michael what is your process for doing this? I mean to fit the empty frames do you remove frames of honey? Brood? What do you do with the frames you remove?

Thanks mate
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Shane
Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2011, 07:36:58 PM »

>do you remove frames of honey? Brood? What do you do with the frames you remove?

I have all the same size frames, so I can put them anywhere in the hive.  If I couldn't then I might have to harvest some honey or give it to another hive that is light.  If you have several hives, there is always somewhere you can put it.  If you have all the same size boxes there is always somewhere you can put it.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
ShaneJ
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2011, 08:33:19 PM »

So you always have a box somewhere that you can squeeze a frame of honey in?

Thanks mate.
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Shane
Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2011, 09:23:05 PM »

All my frames are the same so the frame will fit in any super.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
ShaneJ
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2011, 09:28:09 PM »

But wouldn't you have to have a super with a space for a frame?
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Shane
Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2011, 03:12:31 AM »

The frame from the super is often the one I put in the bottom.  But anyway, I have plenty of supers with plenty of empty frames and plenty of empty boxes for any empty frame.  You just juggle them to what you want.  If I need to take a frame out of the super, I do.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
ShaneJ
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2011, 03:32:53 AM »

Right ok. Thanks mate
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Shane
mat299
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2012, 12:41:05 PM »

I live in Georgia and will be a new beekeeper this year.  How many brood boxes do most beekeepers have on their hives in my area?  Should I try to achieve a hive with two brood boxes or just stick with one and then add honey supers on top?

thanks,
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Lone
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2012, 06:38:56 AM »

Mat299,

I like to keep things to one brood box and one honey super for simplicity and because things are usually really really poor for keeping bees where I live.  However, we are on a brood flow at the moment.  At least, I haven't noticed a heap of honey coming in just yet, but trees are out and the hives are booming.  I've had to add the odd super, and I'm thinking of changing the position of the queen excluder from above the single brood box to above 2 supers. That will be two brood and one honey box. I think it depends on conditions where you are and what your bees are doing.  In any case, don't add supers whether for honey or brood unless there are enough bees to fill the space and protect it. 

Oz,  how is your experimenting going with different setups?  Are you ready to give us your results yet?

Lone
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