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Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Dakine, Apr 13, 2012.
Which is better and why? 5 11/16 or 6 5/8 frames?
All 9 5/8??
Thanks and aloha!
5 11/16 for comb honey. 6 5/8 for extracted honey. 9 5/8 for brood. 9 5/8 for extracted honey if you have a strong honey flow and a stronger back.
Some would say that having all of the same size is more important than whichever size you choose. Older or weaker folks like smaller sizes so when they are full of honey it's not so hard on your back. But if your brood boxes and honey supers all have the same size frames, it's easier to do splits and, for example, move a frame of brood into a higher box that, after brood hatches out, will become a honey super.
Thanks guys. I'm 73 with 4 herniated disc. Looks like I'll go for comb honey frames with a 9 5/8 brood box.
often called deeps, mediums (sometimes Illinois style supers) and shallows. If I was 73 and had back problem (well actually I am 10 years younger with some back injury from flying a bit too close to the ground as a younger man) I would recommend the shallows not only for your back but also because this depth is about perfect for comb honey production. Comb honey in deeps (9 and 5/8th inch) will be a bit tricky.. with no support wires this will be quite unstable no matter what the ultimate intentions.
We have a member of our local club that uses ONLY the shallow boxes because of age and back issues. We have an older woman that uses deeps, but she always takes an extra box with her and never tries to lift an entire deep. She moves about half the frames to the empty box, then moves the box, then re-assembles. She says she'd rather deal with 20 frames that way, than deal with 40 frames if she used all shallows. Different strokes for different folks.
If I was that age with your back problem, I would seriously consider a top bar hive. Then you could have it at whatever height is comfortable for you, much like a raised bed garden, and it wouldn't be necessary to stoop so low. With Langstroths, you might have boxes stacked up several feet higher than the bottom box, depending on how strong the honey flow is. That means you have to start low with the first box, not knowing how high the stack might get. Then you don't know what your management style might be.....If you reverse hive bodies at certain times of the year or "bottom super" to get more drawn comb or any number of other possible techniques, you will be required to be picking up boxes, sometimes full of honey.
With a TBH you can have it at a consistently convenient height, and you never have to pick up a box, even harvesting your honey is just a matter of picking up each bar one at a time and slicing the comb into a plastic tub or whatever...
Just a thought....
Dr. Buzz has a good point. I have always pondered about giving a TBH a go for that very reason. The only thing slowing me down is our cold and long winters.
Aern't top bar hives difficult to insulate from a Canadian Winter?
Ive gone all deeps because I can move frames from brood to super to nuc, I do alot of things its just easier for me to have 1 size frame, Im sure some day I might have a few shallows for comb honey but Im just not playing with that yet. and as for the Canadian winters and insulation, look at Perrys face, he even has insulation glued to it:rolling:
I bet everything is hard to insulate from a Canadian winter, but even so, the feral bees up there survive in whatever tree they can find to live in, and they do it in Russia, too......
I've heard it said that cold isn't the problem, it's moisture. Some northerners over insulate and the condensation in Winter kills the bees.
I know a couple of keeps up here that have overwintered TBH successfully so it can be done. I have always figured on bees tendancy to move upward over winter into their stores. I figured (right or wrong) that TBH only allow for more of a lateral movement.
My face has insulation glued to it?. :shock: Naw, that's just some snow I fell into over the winter and it hasn't warmed up enough for it to melt yet. :lol:
why not go with all mediums (6 5/8)? it will be alot easier on your back & you will only have 1 frame size to deal with as mentioned before.you could even lighten the load on your back further by going with 8 frame mediums.