I like to start keeping bees in spring 2022…

R2elk

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Afaik beekeepers here do the same thing as everywhere else: Two deeps for the hive, a queen separator and one to two supers for the honey.
No clue why it is two hive boxes and not one or three. - Because in Nature, there's ginormous bee-hives in hollow tree-trunks, far bigger than two hive-boxes… (?)
In the northern part of the country, double hive bodies is the standard. Where the winters are milder there is no reason that a single hive body can't be used.

I believe it is Olympic Wilderness Apiaries in Alaska that uses two medium deeps for their hive bodies.
 

WannaBeHillBilly

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I prefer metal excluders.

Some people claim that you should never use queen excluders. If you don't want brood in your honey, use a queen excluder.

If you are going to leave a super on through the winter, remove the queen excluder after harvest.

I do use a queen excluder without any issues.
Went to the local bee-hardware supply store yesterday and all they had was metal excluders. My mentor claims that the crevices at the rim of the excluder serve as hide-outs for hive-beetles.
I also bought four hive-beetle traps too, to mitigate hive beetle problems, should those manifest.
 

WannaBeHillBilly

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In the northern part of the country, double hive bodies is the standard. Where the winters are milder there is no reason that a single hive body can't be used.

I believe it is Olympic Wilderness Apiaries in Alaska that uses two medium deeps for their hive bodies.
So, nobody is using a triple hive-body? ;)
 

Field Bee

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So, nobody is using a triple hive-body? ;)
The more I overwinter in 3 deeps the more I like it. All my hives looked good this spring, but the 3 deep hives always look amazing. It could just be coincidence. One thing that is nice about 3 deeps is the lower box is mostly empty comb by spring and it gives you lots of splitting options. At the end of the day, its mostly personal preference and what equipment you like to work with. Bees will overwinter in most configurations if they go into winter strong and with a low mite count.

I use both plastic and metal excluders and the metal lasts way longer. Plastic excluders work as well but do tend to warp and of course dont last as long. I dont care to have brood in honey supers but there's nothing wrong with it as long as you dont extract from those frames until they backfill with honey. I'll sometimes put a 3/4" hole below the handhold in one of the supers so bees can just go directly into the super instead of going through the excluder.
 

R2elk

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Went to the local bee-hardware supply store yesterday and all they had was metal excluders. My mentor claims that the crevices at the rim of the excluder serve as hide-outs for hive-beetles.
I also bought four hive-beetle traps too, to mitigate hive beetle problems, should those manifest.
Fortunately I don't have any hive beetles.
 

R2elk

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The more I overwinter in 3 deeps the more I like it. All my hives looked good this spring, but the 3 deep hives always look amazing. It could just be coincidence. One thing that is nice about 3 deeps is the lower box is mostly empty comb by spring and it gives you lots of splitting options. At the end of the day, its mostly personal preference and what equipment you like to work with. Bees will overwinter in most configurations if they go into winter strong and with a low mite count.

I use both plastic and metal excluders and the metal lasts way longer. Plastic excluders work as well but do tend to warp and of course dont last as long. I dont care to have brood in honey supers but there's nothing wrong with it as long as you dont extract from those frames until they backfill with honey. I'll sometimes put a 3/4" hole below the handhold in one of the supers so bees can just go directly into the super instead of going through the excluder.
Never tried a triple. A larger mass of bees would handle cold better. I would be concerned abo9ut them running out of food here.
 

WannaBeHillBilly

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Fortunately I don't have any hive beetles.
I am not sure if they're hive beetles, every time i open the hives i see some bugs running out of the crevice between the boxes. I don't want to take any chances and have set up two beetle traps per hive: One on top of the frames of the lower hive-box and one on top of the frames of the upper hive box. Friendly lady at the store told me they can stay there until fall, so i don't have to disturb the hive during summer.
The last thing i need for the hives are screened bottoms. I think i will try to build those myself, just buy some untreated wood and get out the tools...
There's a good plan here: https://www.beesource.com/threads/ipm-screen-bottom-board.365754/
 

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Never tried a triple. A larger mass of bees would handle cold better. I would be concerned abo9ut them running out of food here.
I will definitely give it a try in the future. I assume our winters here in the Appalachians are way shorter than your's in the Rocky Mountains. Basically our Winters start sometime at the end of October to mid November and last until End of March, mid of April. So the bees here have to huddle inside for 4½ to 5 months.
 

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I am not sure if they're hive beetles, every time i open the hives i see some bugs running out of the crevice between the boxes. I don't want to take any chances and have set up two beetle traps per hive: One on top of the frames of the lower hive-box and one on top of the frames of the upper hive box. Friendly lady at the store told me they can stay there until fall, so i don't have to disturb the hive during summer.
Shes right, you can leave them in until fall. I get a few hive beetles but not enough to put traps in the hives. The few that I do see get the hive tool treatment. It's a good idea to get into your hives every 2 to 3 weeks to check for eggs and once a month mite count.
The last thing i need for the hives are screened bottoms. I think i will try to build those myself, just buy some untreated wood and get out the tools...
There's a good plan here: https://www.beesource.com/threads/ipm-screen-bottom-board.365754/
I had screened bottom boards on all my hives when I started, they're a great learning tool. For mites, they dont do a thing. Now they collect dust in the barn. It became too much trouble to keep them cleaned out when I got over 10 hives.
 
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