> Which companies have the best quality?
They are all pretty acceptable. Shipping is the biggest issue when choosing a supplier.
> Commercial quality or select, will I even notice a difference?
> Should I just order from who ever is closest to me to save on shipping
> Is all 10 frame equipment pretty much interchangable? Are the diminsions mostly standard?
Sort of. It's the beespace between the boxes that's not so standard.
>How about 8 frame? If I order a hive from say...Brushy Mountain will a top feeder or slatted bottom from ..oh Betterbee fit OK or will there be a noticable difference?
Betterbee and Mann lake's 8 frame equipment is 14" wide. Brushy Mt and Miller Bee Supply's are 13 3/4". They are close enough that you could make them work, but it's probably wiser to plan to buy all the accessories to fit.
>Once I order from a company should I stick with them to make sure everything fits allright?
It's helpful, but not required.
>I think I want to go with the 8 frame's but there seems to be alot more 10 frame available.
A lot more as in what? You can buy as many of any size box you want.
> Is there specialty equipment I might want or need down the road that will be available for 10 frame but not 8?
It's pretty much all available from Brushy Mt or Betterbee.
> Are there advantages or disadvantages to both other than weight?
I think they winter SLIGHTLY better in the eight frame mediums, but it's not that big of a difference.
> I mean will my bees winter better in a 10 frame because its a little bigger?
Not in my experience.
> Or do I even need to worry about that here with our Virginia winters?
They have winter in VA?
> Does one size offer better ventalation and summer cooling than the other?
>Will I be disapointed in the amount of honey/wax that comes out of the 8's?
> Do 3 8 frames produce about the same amount as say 2 10 frames?
2 eight frame mediums = 1 ten frame deep
4 eight frame mediums = 2 ten frame deeps = 3 ten frame mediums
>I planed on going with wax foundation then I started worrying about wax moths. How big of a problem are they?
A pain, but only in stored equipment or failing hives.
> Will I be replacing all the foundation every year?
>Those Bee O pac systems for comb honey look pretty cool. Perhaps not now, but down the road when I have more experience....Is there any reason I cant have a super of standared frames and a super with the Bee O Pac's?
If you have all mediums, sure that works.
> Will this determin my other foundation?
> I mean will the bees reject the plastic Bee O Pac because they are used to wax?
No. They will reject it because they don't like working in little spaces. If you crowd them enough you'll get them over it.
>Both 8 frame and 10 frame use the same frames dont they?
> Am I understanding it right that the difference in sizes is determined by the depth of the woodenware not the width ?
The width is what determines how many frames. A ten frame box is 16 1/4" wide. An eight frame is either 13 3/4" or 14" wide. The DEPTH is what determines the kind of frames it takes.
Standard 10 Frame boxes
Name(s) Depth Weight full of honey Uses
Jumbo, Dadant Deep 11 5/8" 100 - 110 pounds Brood
Deep, Langstroth Deep 9 5/8" 80 - 90 pounds Brood & Ext
Western Bee Supply 7 5/8" 70 - 80 pounds Brood & Ext
Medium, Illinois, 3/4 6 5/8" 60 - 70 pounds Brood & Ext & Cmb
Shallow 5 Â¾" or 5 11/16" 50 - 60 pounds Cmb
Extra Shallow, Â½ 4 Â¾" or 4 11/16" 40 - 50 pounds Cmb
8 frame boxes:
Jumbo, Dadant Deep 11 5/8" 80-88 lbs
Deep 9 5/8" 64-72 lbs
Western Bee Supply 7 5/8" 56-64 lbs
Medium, Illinois 6 5/8" 48-56 lbs
Shallow 5 3/4" or 5 11/16" 40-48 lbs
Extra Shallow 4 Â¾" or 4 11/16" 32-40 lbs
>I noticed some 'complete hives' have 1 or 2 hive bodies and some are only supers. Is this simply a matter of preference and weight?
> Are there other reasons for this?
> I like the idea of all supers so that all the frames are the same, but as a beginner would I be better off sticking to standard dept hive bodies?
No. You'd be better off with all the same size and a box you can lift.http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#uniformframesize