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Author Topic: One deep?  (Read 1163 times)
dfizer
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« on: August 30, 2013, 05:44:08 PM »

Is it possible to over-winter a hive in just one deep?  I have a 5 frame deep nuc that is exploding so I'm going to transition them to a 10 frame deep box tomorrow.  It's starting to get late north of Albany NY so... My plan is to feed them like mad to stimulate wax building and drawing out of the 5 undrawn frames and continue feeding until they stop taking it. 

My question is what chances does this hive have of making it through the northeast winter?

David
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dfizer
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 09:41:51 AM »

Is it safe to assume that they wouldn't make it?  Why are the no replies?  Does no one know?  Perhaps everyone lives in the south?  I'm confused why there are no replies. 

David
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 09:59:47 AM »

it's a holiday weekend and no one got to it?

you can overwinter in one deep.  i don't think you will encourage much comb building this late, but if the queen is still laying well, and they need to room to store, they will build what they need.  much will depend on what your weather does this fall.  you probably have 2 more decent brood cycles.

do you have drawn comb to give them?  that would work better and allow them to store quickly.  getting enough food in for winter is going to be the thing.  a smaller cluster can survive if they have a small space and enough to eat.
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dfizer
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 10:23:07 AM »

First - thank you so much for the reply... I was kind of thinking the same thing.  I have frames to give them - the frames are not only drawn but the have capped honey too.  This was from a hive that went queenless then developed laying worker syndrome!!!  Therefore I have frames from that hive to give them.  I want to leave them some room to build / fill but I could easily provide them with a full deep of nearly capped honey and 5 frames of partially capped honey from the failed hive. 

In your opinion would you add a deep full of more or less capped honey on top of the newly installed nuc or just let them get used to the one deep with those frames?

David
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BlueBee
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2013, 11:56:10 AM »

Of coarse they can make it if conditions are right and you end up with enough bees and a good enough hive configuration to prevent a freeze out.  Small colonies can and will get frozen out if not prepared.  As Kathy says, there is a season when the bees build comb, and it’s not now.  They may build some, but you can’t force nature too much.  I would hold off on feeding until after the first frost.  If you feed now, they will fill valuable comb space with syrup instead of baby bees.  As Kathy says, you’ve got about 2 more brood cycles before they shut down.  Then the summer bees will start dying off and you’ll probably end up with something around 5 frames for winter.  I’ve wintered colonies of 4 frame medium nucs here in Michigan so small can survive if insulated well enough.  I’ve also wintered a few single deeps in wood hives when I’ve run out of my foam hives.  They shut down earlier and die from the cold quicker in the wood hives as they are colder; but they do work sometimes.  IMO, if you insulate a colony for winter, the bees to volume ratio is one of the more important attributes to control.   
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capt44
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2013, 12:56:47 PM »

Here in Central Arkansas I will start merging hives to make sure I have strong colonies going into winter.
Most will be one deep box but will start feeding early February. Sooner if need Be.
I will have candy boards on the hives during the winter.
The long range forecast is calling for a wet, cool winter here.
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2013, 01:19:36 PM »

i would not add the 2nd deep.  i would give them the 5 frames for brood and then 5 of food.  numbers will start to decline soon.  already the queen has probably backed off laying and the brood area will not increase much, if at all.  what she lays now will be what will go through winter. 

i have experimented with adding thin sheets of insulation between the inner cover and lid of my hives.  my survival rate last winter was much higher.  hard to tell why as our winter was fairly mild.  just a thought for you as you are going to have a fairly small hive keeping that space warm.  i also always dump dry sugar on my inner cover before i close them up for the last time.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2013, 08:56:00 PM »

The smallest configuration I've successfully over-wintered a colony of bees is in a single western (3/4 depth) 5 frame nuc box. Second smallest was a 2 tiered medium 5 frame nuc box.  The smaller the box, the smaller the cluster.  Once a cluster gets down to baseball size its done.
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tjc1
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2013, 10:20:07 PM »

If I recall correctly, Finski, as a cold zone beek, is pretty adamant about getting them into one deep for the winter, so it certainly has to be doable if not even preferable...
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2013, 10:35:24 AM »

It depends on the size of the cluster and your location.  In New York with a booming Italian type cluster, I'd say one deep is pushing your luck.  With a carniolan cluster, it would probably work fine.  With a hive that hasn't built up to full strength it would probably work better than too much space would.
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dfizer
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2013, 12:05:00 PM »

I am going to add 5 frames of food to the already full 5 frames of brood as I believe this nuc is really strong.  It's a trapout that started about 10 weeks ago.  Now it seems that all the bees are in the nuc box and none coming out of the tree.  I'll close up the hole in the tree and relocate the nuc tonight.  I believe that one deep may be perfect given the amount of stored honey I can supply them. 

Thank you for your help.

David 
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T Beek
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 08:00:12 AM »

I've over wintered in a single medium brood box with another medium packed with honey on top.  That particular colony produced some mighty fine queens and bees the following summer, I think it was 2011.
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dfizer
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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 08:39:00 AM »

I have to relocate the nuc in the next day or so and I think when I put it in the deep I'll have those 5 deep frames from the nuc be the center 5 frames then put two on one side and three on the other - kind of like a brood sandwich.  I like the idea of getting these bees to winterover in just a single deep.  I'm considering taking one of my other hives (the one with the fewest bees) down to one deep for the winter. 

Thanks for the help on this.

David
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L Daxon
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2013, 01:50:04 PM »

A couple of years back I caught a small grapefruit size swarm from one of my hives in early Sept. and put it in a 5 frame medium nuc. I nursed it on my back porch for a few weeks adding drawn frames of eggs and honey from my other hive.  Once I saw it was being robbed so I moved it to the other side of my house for a few weeks, then back to the back porch in early Nov. Then I added a second 5-frame medium box with more brood and honey donated from my other hive.  Since I had mediums, I thought it was important for the girls to have less width to cover and more height to enable them to move up if they wanted to during the winter.  Not only did the hive make it through the winter, it swarmed that next April (by then it was in 2 regular 8 frame mediums) and I have made several splits off of it in the 3 years since.  The queens from that swarm have been great layers!
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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2013, 07:03:37 PM »

Can you put another 5 frame box on top of your nuc and add 5 filled frames to the new box?



Glen
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