Deeps or mediums

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by crazy8days, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I contemplating if I want all deeps or all mediums. What I've read is it's better to keep all boxes the same. Right? I'm leaning towards all deeps. The extra weight doesn't bother me. I'm 40, work construction and fit. Besides weight issues any pros/cons?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    All mediums have become popular in the past few years. IMHO, it is because of weight only. It is more work, more money, and likely the same or less honey.

    I never owned anything but deeps until I was 50, then I switched to mediums when I came to NC because the honey flow is so poor here, they would seldom fill a deep in one year. If I were still in the deep south, I would still have all deeps.

    I AM MOST LIKELY IN THE MINORITY WITH THIS OPINION.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You will probably get many different answers to this one because it really is such an individual preference thing.

    I run deeps for brood, mediums for honey. Straight forward, (more work, yes) but it is what works for me. If you ever find that you are going to apply treatments of any kind, for me it is the only way to increase the odds my honey doesn't get contaminated by them.
    I do not extract deep frames, only mediums, and I cannot interchange brood and honey frames. I understand the convenience of the interchangability but with it problems can arise. On more than one occasion (helping) during a harvest, I have witnessed honey super frames with brood being swapped out with frames of honey from the brood chamber. This despite those frames of honey being in the brood boxes during treatment. It can't happen with my method cause the frames won't interchange.

    More cost? My way - Yes ...............I could buy gear in bigger bulk (one size)
    More work? My way - Yes ..............if I find frames in my honey super with brood, I have to put in a queen excluder (after finding the queen and ensuring she goes below it), wait 3 weeks for it to hatch out and then hope they backfill quickly. Not exactly convenient. The loss of the ability to shift frames around is a big drawback. When I find deeps plugging out with honey, I open the brood nest by removing frames of honey and save them for the fall when hives may be light. (again, I don't extract them!)
    My #1 rule is simple, if there is anything (treatment of any kind) going on in the hive, the honey supers are not on it!

    You will have to figure out what will best suit you and your way of beekeeping, there really is no right or wrong way. :D
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I run deeps for brood chambers and shallows for honey production.

    When I first got into bees I thought all deeps also, but quickly changed my mind when trying to take off 90 pounders, of course you can do this one frame at a time also.

    Perry gave some very good pointers also.
     
  5. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I also used to run all deeps for brood supers and all mediums (Illinois) for honey. For the last couple years I am going to all medium so I can draw comb on honey and use for brood the following year.
     
  6. Robo

    Robo New Member

    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I run mostly all deeps, but do have some mediums.

    If I had to choose, I would go with all deeps. Saves you roughly 30% (3 mediums = 2 deeps)

    I did try a few "all medium" hives but it wasn't for me. I know many swear by it and will disagree, but I find it breaks up the brood nest.
     
  7. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That has me wondering how well Central Indiana honey flow is?
     
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Perry tells us that he uses deeps and mediums, but as I read his statement, everything points toward sticking with deeps only.
    I confess that I never used mediums and therefore can't really give a fully valid statement as to which is best, but I'm happy with deeps and even if it means lugging heavy supers at times, there's nothing wrong with having to sweat a bit when you're carrying a blessed yield.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    a snip....
    That has me wondering how well Central Indiana honey flow is?

    tecumseh:
    you should be tellin' us. I would guess it depends greatly on location. for example...a corn field is unlikely to produce much honey. a field of houses all surrounded by flowers and blooming shrubs may produce something of a crop.

    I have hives in every kind of configuration from deeps to mediums to shallows. choosing one means you only need one frame size... which sounds good but the world never seems to work out to be that simple for me.

    when I picked up the hive tool 'this time' I thought I would use one box and frame size... but oftentimes for me things just don't follow along with some predetermined plan.
     
  10. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As I stated in the past I'm as green as you can get. I've read many books, googled and wrote on this forum. The one local class I went to when thinking about beekeeping that question never came up.

    I'm thinking cause I live in a "mature" subdivision with 3 ponds only minutes walking distance, several acres a rock throw away of wildflowers I would do ok. But, back of my mind I wonder.
     
  11. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My own personal preference has always been using deeps for everything, uniform equipment, maximizes your work effort, is a bit heavier then mediums but I am a big guy, lol and desperately need the exercise. For me is just easier to track equipment.
    Barry
     
  12. Robo

    Robo New Member

    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One other point, if weight is the biggest concern, there is no reason you have to move a full deep. You can always pull half the frames into another empty deep hive body if needs be. (just make sure you either have spacer frame rest or fill the box out with empty frames)
     
  13. Indiana Dave

    Indiana Dave New Member

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use both deeps and mediums. I use 2 deeps as my brood boxes and mediums for honey. This winter I bought 4 shallows to try out for comb honey production, mainly because they were super cheap. If comb honey doesn't work out for me, I will use them for honey. If you are considering all mediums because they are cheaper than deeps, my advice is don't. You can buy your deeps for your first hive and then use them as a pattern for make your own thereafter. All you need is a table saw, a compound miter (chop) saw, cordless drill, dryway screws, exterior wood glue and paint, most of which you probably already have considering you do construction. I build my own boxes for roughly $3.75 for mediums and $4.50 for deeps. And you don't have to use the fancy dovetail-type cuts to connect the sides of the box together like the commercially made boxes.

    You should have a pretty good honey flow. Fellow local beekeeps and I usually do, and I am only 60 miles south of you. My bee yard is located behind my house in between a 1/4 acre food plot (clover) and 3 acres of warm season grasses and wild flowers, surrounded by woods on 3 sides. I live in a rural area with a stretch of homes spaced 300 yards or more apart. The early black locust bloom here is HUGE, as well as the clover all summer. Last summer the goldenrod didn't produce all that well but the summer prior was a great one. Other beekeeps in my area say that their bees hit the goldenrod really hard in the fall. I think my bees get a lot from the woods because I see them leave the hives and go straight to the woods, and my honey is typically very dark. My bees hit the clover in the food plot and in my yard pretty hard, but I don't see them on the wildflowers like I thought I would. My native grass stand is heavy with Partridge Pea (which blooms all summer), black-eyed susans and purple cone flower . The bumble bees are extremely thick on the partridge pea blooms, but my bees won't hardly touch them. Instead, they work the leafy stems of the partridge pea...not sure what they are gathering but its not from the bloom. They don't seem to hit the other wildflowers much either.
    Since you have neighbors closeby, your bees should have a wide variety of sources to choose from in the immediate area. But you probably have other good sources within a couple miles of your house that they will utilize too. Once you start looking, you will be surprised that you didn't notice them until now. Your bees should do well. Other I know beeks in the area that usually take off 60-100 lbs. of honey off their strong hives each year. Don't expect that this year, but a strong hive next year could very well make you that much.
     
  14. ShaneVBS

    ShaneVBS New Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use double deeps for brood and medium for honey. I wanted to use alll deeps to save money and repetative work, but I thought of resale. Most prefer mediums for weight advantage, so it will be easier to sell if needed.

    Deeps are heavy, but how many times are you going to be picking them up full, once, twice a year maybe. SO is it worth the extra money? To me no, but the next guy may view differant
     
  15. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    It never crossed my mind to buy bee equipment for its resale value. The closest I've ever come to "selling" equipment is when I gave some away to a starting beekeeper. Who wants to sell anyway?
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    indiana dave writes:
    Instead, they work the leafy stems of the partridge pea

    tecumseh:
    sometimes called extra nectar secretions... cotton was also reported to produce more nectar from the stems than from the bloom.

    as to variation in what you see bees work... bees are quite 'good little economist' in discovering which bloom (if they have the choice) produces the biggest sugar reward for their efforts.
     
  17. ShaneVBS

    ShaneVBS New Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Two reasons to sell

    1. Sell a full sized hive for profit, sorta like a nuc
    2. Get tired of bee keeping or whatever, which about 50% or more will
     
  18. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    imho considering resale value is simply good business thinking..

    most all the stuff I buy eventually becomes totally worn out at which time it is burned. so 'real' depreciation (how long does it last?) matter more for me than any other $ related concern.
     
  19. Marbees

    Marbees Member

    Messages:
    983
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I am using deeps only, have 20 shallows for comb honey. If weight becomes an issue, I may keep deeps for brood and build shallows for honey.
     
  20. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have ever combination of hives you can think of, :mrgreen: of course the bees don't seem to mined. The biggest problem i've found, is when your working a yard and want to change out some frames (for one reason or another) you never have the right size with you, (and your 60 miles from home) which can be a big problem at times :roll: . I use old worn out hive bodies (deeps) and old black wax frames for swarm traps, and always catch swarms, or use the empty boxes for top feeding hives. When i throw a hive bodie away it is beyond all use or repair. :lol: Jack