switching to mediums

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by d.magnitude, May 7, 2010.

  1. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi,
    I've just started my 1st three hives this year, and they're all started in deep hive bodies. When I was buying equipment this winter, I thought since I was just getting started, I'd go with the "standard" setup. Now, I'm liking the idea of all mediums more and more, and am thinking of switching them over... they'll be lighter, I may try foundationless in the future, and I very much like the idea of moving a frame of honey down from a super to feed.

    If I decide to do this (and feel free to talk me out of, or into it), how should I go about it? When my bees are ready to expand out of their one deep, should I just start putting mediums on top until there are 3 meds, and then remove the deep? Put a queen excluder above the deep so she doesn't move back in?

    I would be giving them new frames w/ foundation, so I'm also a little concerned that I'd be asking them to draw a lot of comb this first season. Should I just wait until next season when I have stronger colonies? Maybe I should just plan to start all the new hives I get next year as mediums (which IS inevitable ;) ).

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If your retired and have lots of time on your hands or you just plan on putting bees in a hive and letting them do their own thing mediums are fine.

    I found that when inspecting a colony of bees that I could only find what I was looking for in medium boxes was on the 25th frame I pulled not the 15th like in a pair of deeps. I didn't find the weight difference to be a big deal either. First off Who moves full brood boxes a lot? when you need to move full deep brood boxes you can remove a feew of the frames full of honey to reduce the weight a bunch.

    Mediums and shallows are fine for honey supoers but I found the mediums brood boxes a time eatting non advantage bit of a pain.

    :mrgreen: Al
     

  3. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree with alleyyooper - that is the dilema I am having right now. I have a queen that just insisted on laying in the super and now (from last year) I have had to use 2 mediums along with my deep hive body. It is a pain because I have split that colony and I can't split like I wanted to because there were no eggs in the mediums she had went back up into the hive body. So if both were the same size I could do the split and have the hive raise its own queen. So now I am getting a queen from another beekeeper and putting it in the mediums in hoping that eventually this year I can get rid of those mediums as brood boxes. A lot of people use mediums and it works for them - but it didn't work for me. And like alleyyooper said - those mediums get heavy too!!!
     
  4. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks guys,
    I'm always reading about the benefits of all mediums as an alternative, but I never hear the arguments for deep hive bodies (maybe it's a given, and nobody feels like they need to explain it).

    I knew I'd hear some opinions on here!
     
  5. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's a wonderful world of personal preference in beekeeping. Also commercial is very different from hobbyist.
    I personally am really growing fond of 7 5/8, 8 frame boxes.
    I haven't had to manipulate frames to get them to use the outside frames and this flow, they only laid some drone in the 3rd box. No worker brood. Came in nice for mite removal. They wintered fine in 2 boxes. My good queens went 4-5 boxes deep during this citrus flow. I also built all new super comb from predominantly 1 1/2" foundation strips. Wired frames. The new comb cost me honey production, but is an investment for later.
    The cost is another factor. It is cheaper to run deeps than others, Unless you have back trouble.
    The other factor is I never have the right size with me when I need it. Thus, I am trying to standardize.
    I still have some 10 frame deeps for brood, but unless I see otherwise, they will be mostly gone by next year.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So many people think a box with 10 frames is one piece. It is NOT. It is eleven pieces. If you had a barbell set, you likely wouldn't try to move it intact. You would move a few weights at a time. Why do new beeks spend all that time and money changing, just to be able to move 11 pieces at once?

    Stay with what you have, save your money, and NOT cause the bees all that extra work.
     
  7. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "If you had a barbell set, you likely wouldn't try to move it intact."
    I did 4 at 6 am this past Sat. morning.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you have a 300 lb. set, you're a strong man or a truth stretcher, one.
     
  9. Ozark Lady

    Ozark Lady New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wondered about the weight issues. I don't have a bad back, just I am not overly strong. And I was questioning, if I could even lift a super full of honey, thanks for posting that we don't have to!
     
  10. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've only ever lifted full deep supers 3 times, that's how many times it took me to figure out that 1) I am not a large or excessively strong woman, 2) there is always a better way to do almost everything, and 3) it's so much easier on me and the bees to just take a plastic tote with a lid on it down to the bee yard and deposit single frames into the tote while adding fresh foundation or drawn comb in for the bees.

    Mediums are lighter but I still take the plastic tote with me, it just seems like less of an issue for both us and the bees to remove frames vs. the entire super.
     
  11. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "If you have a 300 lb. set, you're a strong man or a truth stretcher, one."
    All right now, you know what I meant. They weren't no 300 lb's. Only 1 was over a hundred and it came apart slightly on me. All it takes is slightly for 500 bees to get out, all PO'd.
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nope, you caught me sleeping with that one. I now know what you were getting at.
     
  13. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here in santa Clause land it takes 3 of those mediums to winter the bees. How do you reverese that mess come spring?

    Arkie. Try setting the deep you want the bees in o n top of the mediums and drum on the mediums and see if they won't go up into the deep. I have read a bit on druming and mostly have used it with swarms. I know some don't believe in it. but like about any thing if you believe it does work.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  14. Monie

    Monie New Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Interesting arguments. I'm going with all mediums to make frame manipulations easier.
     
  15. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I put a deep on top of the mediums - they will have to draw out the comb, but they are strong and we have a good honey flow on now. And the mediums are full so they will want the room.

    "Drumming" I never heard of that??? You are not sending me on a "snipe" hunt are you Alley??
     
  16. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for all the input guys. Do you think the gap between the frames from box to box is also disruptive to the bees? If so, that's another good argument for the deeps: 1 break between the two deep boxes vs. 2 breaks between the 3 medium boxes.

    I'm going to go ahead and stick with deep hive bodies this year, but I'm still up for trying a few new hives in all mediums in the future. The idea of moving frames of honey down into the brood area is really appealing to me, and I think I want to experiment with natural comb at some point too. Hopefully, I'll be able to form some opinions of my own. ;)
     
  17. Monie

    Monie New Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  18. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0