Convert to 8-frame decision

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by omnimirage, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. omnimirage

    omnimirage New Member

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    I plan to expand my operation and build many more beehives. I'm developing back problems at too young of an age, and I struggle to lift a full 10 frame honey super. I've also noticed that the bees don't tend to fill the outer frames of a deep, 10 frame super. It's evident to me that deep, 10 frame supers are not optimal for honey production. The use of them seems most suitable for a system involving queen bee excluders, with the deeps being used for the brood chamber. They may be ideal when using queen excluders, but I feel queen excluders are not ideal for anything other than comb production, but I'm really unsure. Investing in deep 10s, the standard, seems none-worthwhile. From what I've been reading, 10 frame seems to be the standard due to how the Langstroth Hive was originally designed, it was arbitrarily made a 10 frame system. Many people seem to be converting towards an 8 frame system. It seems overall, advantageous, on the account of the deep size for 10 frames being too large and inflexible for my tastes.

    I note that 10 frame mediums are just about as heavy as 8 frame deeps. I simulated this weight and lifted it, and found it to be quite heavy but manageable, just at my peak. Something to take into consideration, is 8 frame system tends to encourage building upwards, rather than expanding sideways. In Australia, I believe beekeepers often need to transport hives around: it might be easier for me if they weren't as tall when doing so. Furthermore, I have most of my beehives at a good sight (my property) that has a big ant problem: I've needed to put the beehives on a stand to redeem such, my big 10 frame 4 deep beehive might be too tall as an 8 frame hive, and the hive could still grow yet.

    Where I live, 10 frames is the standard. I'm interested in building beehives and selling my inventory to the public, so conforming to the 10 frame standard may be better for business. I may be able to find more profitable deals on gumtree, if I'm seeking 10 frames, instead of 8 frames. I already own about 30 supers for 10 frame deeps. I have large ambitions in beekeeping, and if an 8 frame setup is better for me, I'd rather invest in such now, before I'm too committed towards 10 frames.
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    sounds like you have a plan. I am going down to 10 frame mediums, found that I wasn't using them as I had all deep nucs and swarm traps, so I bought a bunch of medium (illinois) nucs last year, as it is virtually impossible to put a deep frame in a medium box. At least in going 8 frame you will not have to sacrifice drawn comb in the switch. Good luck with it. (I do NOT move full hives by myself if I can avoid it. If multiple boxes,I use a smoker and boards cut to size to confine bees as I shift the boxes. I also don't leave 4 boxes on, since I know I can't see the top one if I do. I have a skunk issue as well as local ant issues, my pipe stand is 18 inches off the ground.
     

  3. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Have you thought about dummy/ follower boards on the inside of your deeps? A 1/2 inch thick piece of foam sheeting on each side of the deep would replace one frame. You'd have to cover any foam with a vinyl sheet, to keep the bees from chewing it up. This would give you some insulation value and allow you to keep using 10 frame supers. This is just something I've thought about, I have NOT tried it!
     
  4. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    I am plagued with a bad back. I still use some deeps for honey. I always take a few empty nucs with me and pull honey and put it in them, leaving the boxes with empty comb. Works pretty well and keeps my back under control.