Using all medium boxes

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by hlhart2001, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    I am wondering about using all medium boxes..I am in the process of buying another hive and am debating on buying all mediums because they are easier to manipulate/easier on the back. I have been reading Mike Bush's info at http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm Currently I have the standard 2 deeps and 2 mediums(with another extra medium)...the deeps are so darn heavy for this weaklings back. The only thing I wonder about is the nuc part(I just ordered two) because I assume they are on deep frames although he says to put the deep nuc on top of a medium box and cover the part that is exposed with a board until the bees move down. Anyone using all mediums...pros and cons? Thanks, Halley
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Many folks are turning to mediums, or even 8 frame deeps, in order to avoid the heavy weight. I still run double deeps and because they are used almost exclusively for brood rearing they don't get moved about much, and are seldom full of honey in any event.
    3 mediums for brood works, but I am always a wee bit hesitant about the amount of extra manipulation involved having 3 boxes and 30 frames to handle.
    As I get older my back may end up dictating a change in my current opinion.
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I think if you had 1 or 2 med. nuc boxes that you could put on top of the deep nuc would work better? Going to all med. would be great,it would be easier on the back and when you went to the bee yard you would have the right boxes with you to work with. I have hives that are, 2 deeps, 1 deep and a med.,and 3 med.,for the brood chamber, and when i go to the bee yard i never have the boxes i need:roll:.I'm now working my way back to 2 deeps for brood, it seems to work better for what i do. But as most of you know, i'm old and set in my ways, and from the Show me state.:lol: Jack
     
  4. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    halley, it is a consideration, i don't use mediums, except for honey supers. i have too many deeps/drawn frames to change over. as perry said, the weight of the double deeps can at times be considerable, tough on the back and aging doesn't help...:lol: with that said, given the choice to change over, for myself i will still stick with the deeps, for the reasons perry mentioned, especially the manipulation involved. here, i would have to use 4-6 mediums. for example, if you chose to reverse your hives in the spring, bees would most likely be in two or more of your mediums, so it would be difficult to reverse without disturbing the cluster.

    another consideration for you, is to place 'cleats' or extra hand holds on the deep boxes to aid in lifting them. these are nothing more than a length of wood, extra handle, placed on the sides of the boxes, it does aid in getting a better grip on them when lifting.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray Member

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    'On the horns of a dilemma' or your gunna regret whichever option you choose :lol:
    M. Bush's web site & book also suggest, that with medium brood boxes there less chance of the cluster hanging up (vertically) and running out of stores.
    Cost is another issue: Brood area, two deeps and 20 frames compared to three mediums and 30 frames

    good luck with whatever option you choose
     
  6. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Personally, if i had it to do all over again, I'd go with 8 frame deeps for the brood boxes, and 8 frame mediums for the honey supers.
    Nowadays many nuc sellers are giving folks a choice of 5-frame deep nucs or 8-frame medium nucs.
     
  7. rail

    rail New Member

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    I have a mixture of all the frames available; jumbo, deep, western, medium and shallow. Each one has a purpose for a beekeepers needs.

    If I had to choose a frame size for a hive with all the same size frames, it would be the western 7 5/8". It is 2 inches shorter than a deep and 1 inch taller than a medium. Two 8 frame westerns (7 5/8") make a nice brood-food chamber hive. Have had bees winter in a 10 frame single western, no problems.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I have suggested this option to the lady (Phd) for who I will soon begin doing a little bee work. It is likely (at some time in the near future) this will be the direction I myself will take. Clint Walker (Walker Honey) according to his hired help only uses mediums.

    for me it is not that difficult to make wood medium depth nuc boxs (essentially from scrap material so they are very cheap). you could of course even purchase wood deep nuc boxes and always cut them down and 8 frame stuff certainly would make for a nice sized nuc box also. I myself do not really consider the smaller depth as a downside but as Omie suggest you do need more frames to have some equal value with the deeper stuff (in the forms of comb, bees and brood). I have found that making up medium stuff in those jester ez nuc boxes doesn't work too well.... too much area below the frames that in a nuc seems to quite frequently encourage robbing and eventual absconding.

    I would say go for it. This was an idea passed on to me some 30 years ago by one of the commercial fellows I worked for and I kind of regret I did not go down that path when I started up beekeeping this time.
     
  9. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    tecumseh said: Something, something, something, and then this gem, "when I started up beekeeping this time"!!!!!!!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

    tec, as hard as it seems for me to accept, was there a time where you were out of keeping?
     
  10. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    That's exactly what I'm doing Omie. I have the 10-frame hive I started out with, and an 8-frame hive I put the swarm in. Both have two deeps for brood and mediums for supers. The two packages I'm getting in April will go into 8-frame deep brood boxes.

    If my back keeps going the way it is, I may end up with shallows for supers. But since I don't lift the deeps so much, they'll probably be ok for now.

    But, if interchangability is your main goal, all mediums will certainly work.
     
  11. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Hilhart, you've heard the pros and the cons from a lot of experienced beeks. Now make your decision and keep to it. Mixed equipment only makes for difficulties in management, especially in the field. If all your boxes and frames are of the same size, the interchangeability of them ALL is only an advantage.
     
  12. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    As Efmesch stated the interchangeability when using all the same size equipment makes managing and tweaking a hive a lot easier. If the brood chamber gets to plugged with honey frames can be moved up into the honey supers and replaced with empty ones from the honey supers. Filled combs can be moved up into the honey super to encourage the bees to move up thru the queen excluder.
    In the fall if winter stores are lacking in the brood chamber frames from the honey supers will be the proper size to fit and top up the required frames for winter. The biggest draw back is that the cost for the extra supers and frames needed to have the equivalent space for brood and honey storage.
     
  13. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    I already have a lot (for me) of deep frames. So far all my boxes are ten frame. I already regret it when one of those gets full of honey. SO I started contemplating goign all med but ran into the same issue. in fact late last year I had two 5 frame deep nucs I needed honey for. Those bees woudl not get it together and draw comb. the only ten fame box I had was a med. so I had to cut two 5 frame deep nucs down to med get my big hive to make a med box full of honey and then split that between the nucs. It worked fine but it woudl be so much better to just be using all med or all deeps.

    Well over the winter I read a bit and came across the addition of 8 frame deep. smaller box. when lifting the weight remains closer to your body improving where the center of gravity and it removes the additional frame size issue. This may be the answer for me. I may have made my last piece of med equipment. now the question is will I cut everything down to 8 frame width? Live with it for a while. make up some colonies and sell off the 10 frame stuff and live life easy by buying 8 frame boxes? Nah, I'll make it. But 8 frame deep is looking like a good solution.
     
  14. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    "Well over the winter I read a bit and came across the addition of 8 frame deep. smaller box. when lifting the weight remains closer to your body improving where the center of gravity and it removes the additional frame size issue. This may be the answer for me. I may have made my last piece of med equipment. now the question is will I cut everything down to 8 frame width? Live with it for a while. make up some colonies and sell off the 10 frame stuff and live life easy by buying 8 frame boxes? Nah, I'll make it. But 8 frame deep is looking like a good solution.[/QUOTE]

    So when you say the 8 frame deep smaller box that means the hive would consist of 2-8 frame deeps and then 8 frame supers? Thanks.
     
  15. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    So PerryBee, would these be 3 medium 10 frame or 8 frames boxes?
    "3 mediums for brood works, but I am always a wee bit hesitant about the amount of extra manipulation involved having 3 boxes and 30 frames to handle."
     
  16. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Has anybody had any issues with overwintering 8 frame deeps? Aren't you eliminating the honey area of the hive? Micheal Bush claims good results, overwintering mediums in Nebraska. No offense just curious. :)
     
  17. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I was thinking 10 frame mediums.

    I really don't thing 8 frame versus 10 frame deeps would affect overwinterability all that much. Bees tend to work up, and often I will find honey in frames 1 and 10 in the spring.
     
  18. rail

    rail New Member

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    hlhart,

    Has the small hive beetle made it to Washington State?

    Keeps in our area use a deep and medium for the main brood-food chamber without issues.

    Ray,

    I have overwintered bees in single 8 frame deeps.
     
  19. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    Doesn't seem to be an issue where I live...at least from the beeks I talk to...(perhaps it is just too cold).
     
  20. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    So I just talked with another beek in the valley who uses 8 frame hive bodies..although he uses deeps. I think I have reached my decision..I am going to buy an 8 frame deep and 4-5 8 frame mediums and see how it goes. If I want to at some point I can cut down the the 8 frame deep to an 8 frame medium. I think my back will thank me.