Hello, I am a newbee and will be picking up my bees ( 2 packages ) May 10. I have decided to go with all medium hives with 10 frames for bottom chambers and probably 9 frames for the honey supers.
Why 9?....I know, I know, easier uncapping, right?
How many Medium hives will I need?
2 for 2 packages, but I think you mean supers. Figure 2 and then 1 honey super per brood box then pull, harvest and replace on a rotation basis.
In other words if you hace 3 brood boxes you would have 5 honey supers.
Will the bees produce enough honey the first year to need the Medium honey supers?
Maybe, but not likely unless you feed them heavy to start.
How many supers will I need to leave on the hive to winter the bees?
Depends on the cluster size....from 1 to 4, 2-3 is more standard depending on climate.
Also I have decided to go with a screened bottom board. Can I use a slatted rack with it and do I need to? If I use a screened bottom board do I need to cover it in the winter?
Good choice. I use slatted racks and like them, in fact I like them so well I'm no longer using bottom boards except as top entrances. I have built that option into my bottomless hive stands but have yet to over winter bees on SBB or otherwise using the slide in cover. The slatted rack renders the cover for the SBB moot as the dead air space provides the necessary insultation.
Thanks for any help