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Author Topic: Do Commerical Honey Farmers use Deeps or Mediums  (Read 1664 times)
Pond Creek Farm
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« on: December 11, 2008, 07:57:45 PM »

A friend asked me today about whether the people who are actually selling honey use mediums or deeps for their brood boxes.  We were discussing the many posts on the forum regarding using the 3 medium set up.  I said I assumed that some folks who sell honey use the medium set up ( I was thinking of Michael Bush and simply assumed that he sells honey given the number of hives he tends), but I was not sure which was more prevalent and was confident I had no idea why it was so.  Anyone have any information on this? 
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2008, 08:09:44 PM »

If your asking about small operators and sideliners, then the answer would likely be along the use of deeps in the brood chamber.  Don't let the collection of internet bee junkies that hang out here fool you by the amount of chatter. 95% of ALL beekeepers still use deeps (or at least one) in the brood chamber.

Some large operations, that are in the tens of thousands of hives, keep nothing but all deeps, for both brood and honey. (Imagine throwing deeps full of honey around all day..  shocked  )

I'll let "commercial honey producer" MB, speak for himself as one of the main honey producers out there..... grin
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2008, 05:20:51 AM »

all that I have been to and seen use deeps and mediums, I have never seen (in person) a beekeeper that uses just mediums, just heard of them here on the net the last few years, most seem to be newbie's or hobbyist. but even here in the south like Bjorn said, all use 1-2 deeps for brood chambers then either deeps or mediums for supers.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2008, 08:49:24 AM »

>I'll let "commercial honey producer" MB, speak for himself as one of the main honey producers out there.....

I'm, of course, not a "commercial honey producer".  Probably neither is Jim Fischer, who also uses all mediums.  Is Steve of Brushy Mt. a "commercial honey producer"?  I'm just a sideliner.  Commercial people use all different things.  I know of some who have no pattern whatsoever and use whatever is around for everything.  Deeps, mediums, shallows.  But I find this is difficult to deal with and all the same size box is much simpler.  Some commercial operators run all deeps.  They usually use forklifts or cheap labor to handle those.  I don't have a forklift nor cheap labor.

Some parts of the country a deep and a shallow seem to be the standard brood chamber.  Again, the difference in frames is a pain from my point of view.

I notice eight frame boxes are making a come back in the commercial arena as you can fit seven eight frame boxes across the back of a semi and you can only fit five ten frame boxes.  So you can haul more eight frame hives in a semi load than ten frame hives in a semi load.  Many of these are a deep and a shallow or a deep and a medium.  Some are two deeps.

When discussing this issue with Lloyd Spears (of Ross Rounds) he said to me that he didn't use all mediums because he couldn't afford to do all mediums.  If you do the math it does cost more for the same size hive in all mediums than in all deeps.  If figure at my scale it will just about cover my back surgery when I mess up my back with the deeps.
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2008, 07:45:11 AM »

Lots of the guys I know have such a mix it's shameful almost.  They buy a few hunred here, a few more there,  buy out a small operation for the locations.  You get the idea soon us southern boys have a bunch of everything. 
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2008, 07:59:08 AM »

This site is taylored mostly to the hobbyist, we do what is easier for us and on our bodies. Full deeps as everyone knows are heavy, too heavy for most to be throwing around.

Most of the big operations that I've read about use all deeps. We have a decent size outfit in Varnado, Louisiana, I've been to their place, they use all deeps.

Now a good friend of mine, a full time beekeeper, uses all deeps, and he does it all by his own labors, and he's a thin guy, no muscle bound guy like you would expect, he's quite the anomaly.

When its about making the most bang for your buck, deeps make you the most honey.


...JP
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2008, 02:39:00 AM »

When its about making the most bang for your buck, deeps make you the most honey.


...JP

No, they save you the most in labor costs, because a deep will usually handle the harvest as a result of any pollenation set.  Most commercial beeks harvest when they pull their bees from any pollenation yard and moving them to a new location.  Whereas mediums might require 2 boxes which is twice as many frames to extract regardless of how you count. 
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2008, 07:51:26 AM »


No, they save you the most in labor costs,

Don't forget investment cost too.   I just laid out a couple of options for a new beekeeper,  and a 5 medium hive was 30% more in cost than a 3 deep hive.  That adds up pretty quick when you start multiplying hives.
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2008, 08:47:53 PM »

yeah, imagine if you had 8 frame mediums hives what the extra cost would be. stacked 6-12 high in a real good flow  Wink
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