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Author Topic: another deep?  (Read 526 times)
Carol
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« on: October 20, 2013, 01:38:54 PM »

I'm in Central FL. Lots of stuff blooming. I installed a large package of bees on Sept 5...there is a window in the back of the hive (Langs) and it's looks like there are a lot of bees. Could they have built up enough to have to worry about them swarming? I have a medium supper on it but they have not built it out yet. (foundationless frames)(it also has a window) The frames have a small bit of comb from extracting and they seem to be working on it. I had to remove some comb they were building on the bottom of the frames.

Wondering if I should just skip the super and add another deep below the one I have now....or is it too late in the season. I'm hopeing for  a 2 deep broodnest.
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Bees In Miami
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 06:32:08 PM »

Carol:  Single deeps for brood (or double medium) is the most common practice in FL.  Obviously, the decision is ultimately yours, but I don't know of any FL folks running double deeps for brood.  They will work the super when they want the space.  Since you just installed in Sept, I think it's just a bit early.  Our flow is just beGINning...so never mind the 'too late in the season' idea.  I bet they'll have that super packed in the next few weeks.  
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Carol
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 07:34:24 PM »

Thanks...just wondering...why are double deeps not popular in FL.
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Sundog
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 12:45:45 PM »

I don’t know the answer to your question, but I have been told the same thing as BIM says, one BB and one super.  However, I have been running a two deep (since I didn’t know any better), and the colony is thriving and has been for several years.  The last time I looked into the bottom box, it was just full of dark empty combs and a few SHBs.  I close the SBB on cold nights and vent the top during the hot-hots, and I have a screen over my inner top to keep the bugs out.

IMO, bees adapt readily to what is available, from hollow trees to in-ground meter boxes.  Most conversation is about optimizing production and that is not my concern since I get more Honey than I can use.  I put a second medium super on once and my bees showed no interest, so I took it back off.  I’m pretty sure the idea is to give them space they need but not too much for them to manage.

I would speculate that colonies in Florida (mine are feral mutts) do not build large numbers because of weather conditions and dearth, so a single brood deep enables them to be more efficient.  Mine have never swarmed or bearded, perhaps because of the second BB.  I do have a swarm trap nearby where, before I kept bees, I had a swarm move into a bird house, yet alas no luck.   If your bees are busy, they are happy and you can’t help them much, and if they are happy, they’re not going anywhere.

 cool



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Carol
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2013, 04:02:06 PM »

I also have a screen over my inner cover...a friend bought a hive with a screen and one day he lifted the cover and had a wax moth on the screen...mine went on shortly after that...

I'm not looking for honey production....I am more interested in a strong hive that I can pretty much leave alone...other than to peek into the windows Jim put in them...sounds like the 2 BB is working and I am in an area similar to yours...although my area is probably more swampy. I live in a "hammock"....during the summer there is standing water in the woods...drying out a bit now, but lots of stuff blooming. Since I already have the 2 extra deeps I will most likely use them. I don't need 4 hives. I still have a Top Bar Hive I want to try again....maybe 3 times a charm. ...if I can keep the big ants out. So far my grease on the hive stand legs has been working. They just stroll right on through vaseline.

Thanks for the help.
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Sundog
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2013, 07:54:28 PM »

I had a KTBH too and lost it to bull ants.  The ants moved in quickly and the bees absconded.  I gave the hive box away because it is too much trouble to harvest the honey anyway, although they are fun to inspect.  Crush and strain is a pain and if you want comb honey, you can always run a few foundationless frames.  Giving your hives as much sun as you can will help with the ants as well as sprinkling ground cinnamon around the area.  I think patio stones or some other ground cover under the SBB helps too.

You may want to save the BBs until it gets warm again (next spring) and a flow begins.  A few more weeks and they will downsize on their own for winter.  I wouldn’t worry about swarming this time of year.  Besides, the more healthy bees we all contribute to the environment the better off we will all be.

Have fun!

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merince
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2013, 08:15:18 PM »

Double deeps are pretty much standard here in NW Ohio. The main reasoning is that they allow for enough honey reserves for the bees to overwinter. The rule of thumb is to add another box when the first one is about 80% drawn. Since they are starting to work the super, you can just replace it with a deep box and let them draw it out.

Deeps are tricky with foundationless. I would recommend pulling 2 or 3 brood frames from the bottom and replacing them with foundationless. For example pull frames #3, 5 and 7, replace them with foundationless and put them in the middle of the top deep. In this way the bees will have a "ladder" to use when drawing the top box out.
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Carol
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2013, 09:12:34 PM »

I had one deep doing well....with a super almost full. Had to leave for a month or so and put 2 empty medium supers on to give them room. A few days after we got home the hive swarmed....a few days later it swarmed again...I am thinking that a second deep might have solved that problem. I am doing real well at populating the woods around me with lots of natural cell bees. I actually like that idea. I figure most of the bees foraging around my place are "mine". 

I realize that at some point they are going to get over populated and either swarm or I'll have to split. If I have a "beek" in the area who is interested in raising treatment free bees I might consider it...other wise they can take off and bee free.

I have ceramic tiles under the hive...and crushed millings. Will be adding more. I don't think the SHB will be happy with that type of dirt. Hope the tiles give the ants a chance to get the larva if they do make it out of the hive.

I put mechanics grease on the legs...so far the "bull" ants havn't bothered it.

If I get through the winter with bees I will be happy...I still like the TBH idea...dont' know why it intrigues me so...but I do want one. Dont mind the crush and strain...trying to build something we can use to spin the honey out and save the comb.

I think I can put the TBH between the two Langs if I move the "pink" hive to the end. Doing it a few inches a day.
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