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Author Topic: Medium Super Question  (Read 2568 times)
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« on: March 09, 2009, 04:49:49 PM »

Why are people using these? I am still new to beekeeping and have deep supers and shallow supers. Should I be using mediums? Why or why not? I'm just wondering what the pros and cons are I guess.
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2009, 04:54:40 PM »

I believe it to be just different people with different preferences.  To me a shallow is to small for a honey super(I don't know why it just is to me)  To others they are just right.  I use a deep and a medium for my brood nest and mediums for my honey supers.  What you have can and will work just fine.
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2009, 05:18:04 PM »

I am still new to beekeeping and have deep supers and shallow supers.

Geesh, you are as politically incorrect as me grin
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2009, 05:27:16 PM »

I have some deep supers but I am changing to all mediums.Shallows are too small and deeps are too  big for me with a bad back.
 
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2009, 05:45:06 PM »

One of the main reasons is it makes all of your equipment interchangeable. If you have a strong hive, they will begin to lay brood in the shallow supers if you don't run excluders-- which alot of folks don't. I don't run excluders---I have had a deep and three shallows of brood.The mediums allow you to open the brood nest, pull nucs, feed honey etc. all in the same equipment and it all fits. Makes life a little simpler. Of course you can put a shallow frame in a deep box and they will sometimes pull off the bottom and complete it with natural comb.

a medium of honey is also heavier than a shallow so alot of folks are going to all medium 8 frame equipment. It helps with the back especially as you age grin! Actually some pollinators are begining to go to 8 frame because they say they can get more colonies on a truck load due to width of colony and width of truck etc.. Less wasted space on truck I guess?

Most nucs for sale etc are deeps however. Unless you place a special order. The most common equipment is deeps for brood and shallow supers for honey.

 With that said, I wish I had started with eight frame mediums. More beginners need to be made aware of this!!!
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 05:47:57 PM »

All 8 frame mediums here. Uniformity, always having the size you need handy appeals to me and the mediums are not as heavy as the deeps but hold more than a shallow. 
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2009, 06:11:50 PM »

I use all eight frame mediums.  As mentioned, all the same size frames is an advantage as is the lighter weight (than deeps).

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#uniformframesize

10 frame boxes
Deep, Langstroth Deep 9 5/8" 80 - 90 pounds Brood & Ext
Medium, Illinois, 3/4 6 5/8" 60 - 70 pounds Brood & Ext & Cmb
Shallow 5 ¾" or 5 11/16" 50 - 60 pounds Cmb

8 frame boxes:
Deep 9 5/8" 64-72 lbs
Medium, Illinois 6 5/8" 48-56 lbs
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2009, 06:29:03 PM »

Bodo says.... Geesh, you are as politically incorrect as me

Well, I've got ya beat.

Deeps are for MEN. Mediums are for women, pansies, and old folk.

Shallows are for comb honey.

Whether you use all mediums or all deeps, your equipment will be interchangeable.

OK, I've got my flame proof undies on, so go for it.   tongue   grin
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2009, 07:41:43 PM »

Whether you use all mediums or all deeps, your equipment will be interchangeable.

And.....  all deeps is cheaper grin

I priced a few options for a start-up hive for a friend and the all medium was like 30% more for the equivalent hive.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 08:00:38 PM »

I used to lift full deeps and think nothing of it, 35 years ago when I was a 20 year old construction worker.  I'm not 20 anymore and I'm not a construction worker anymore...

"...no man's back is unbreakable and even beekeepers grow older. When full, a mere shallow super is heavy, weighing forty pounds or more. Deep supers, when filled, are ponderous beyond practical limit."--Richard Taylor, The Joys of Beekeeping

"Friends don't let friends lift deeps"--Jim Fischer
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2009, 08:09:02 PM »

Deeps may be cheaper, but not when you add in the neurosurgeon.  I use mediums for supers, and with ten frame equipment, that is heavy enough.  I will admit, however, that given my prowess last year with honey making, it would not have mattered.  I did not have to lift any full supers - deep, medium, shallow or otherwise.  Perhaps I can do better this year.  My one remaining hive has pollen coming in like gangbusters.
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2009, 08:15:37 PM »

Another advantage of medium boxes is you can build them your self using standard lumber (1" x 8" x 8 feet).  I've tried sourcing boards for deeps and found I'd need to go to a 2" board which increases the expense and weight.  

In our area, the PNW, many fences were built using 1" x 8" cedar boards.  As "unsightly" grey boards are replaced by property owners they are often discarded or given away for free.  These are perfectly OK for making medium boxes, bottom boards and tops.  If you're patient you can build hives based on mediums for the price of glue, screws, hardware cloth and frames.  Perhaps no more than 2 or 3 a year but that can soon add up.  You might have a similar supply for boards in your area.

Just a thought.

SH
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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2009, 09:06:18 PM »

>Deeps may be cheaper, but not when you add in the neurosurgeon.

That's how I figure it.  It'd have to save a lot of money just to be worth the pain of NEEDING a neurosurgeon, let alone the COST of one.
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« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2009, 11:09:22 AM »

Another advantage of medium boxes is you can build them your self using standard lumber (1" x 8" x 8 feet).  I've tried sourcing boards for deeps and found I'd need to go to a 2" board which increases the expense and weight.  

The hardware stores near me sell 1" x 10" and 1" x 12" boards. After ripping them down to deep size, you'll have useful scraps for making tops, bottoms and handles (not a fan of the dado handles).

With that said, I have all 10 frame mediums. I'm young enough that I'm willing to lift the extra 20% weight to save 25% of the cost. As I age, I'll probably shift down to 8 frame mediums.
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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2009, 11:41:28 AM »

I must be having an attack of old-timers disease today...

There was a post late last week regarding 8-frame equipment, and someone mentioned a supplier other than Brushy Mountain (started with R, I think) Now I can't find it anywhere!.  Would someone be kind enough to either point me to that post, or remind me of the supplier's name?

Thanks,

Pat
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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2009, 11:54:40 AM »

Started with 2 deeps a couple of years ago.  Began converting to mediums last year.  Just this weekend I finished the conversion (bees hadn't moved down yet into deeps). 

Brood in Mediums needed to be "opened", helping me stock the former deeps with some drawn comb to help guide them (foundationless also now).

For me, having all mediums is already helping with sharing stores/brood between hives and moving things around.

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« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2009, 11:59:32 AM »

I must be having an attack of old-timers disease today...

There was a post late last week regarding 8-frame equipment, and someone mentioned a supplier other than Brushy Mountain (started with R, I think) Now I can't find it anywhere!.  Would someone be kind enough to either point me to that post, or remind me of the supplier's name?

Thanks,

Pat

Betterbee sells 8-frame stuff,  and I think there selection may be bigger.  I know they sell an 8-frame slatted rack and Brushy doesn't.

www.beetterbee.com
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2009, 12:31:47 PM »

Fred Rossman,

http://www.gabees.com/about.htm

Has 8 frame equip.
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« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2009, 01:13:06 PM »

Interchangable.
Lighter.
Cuz I wanna be cool like Michael Bush someday. afro

Mostly because of the weight.  Even though I -can- lift 100#, I really don't wanna.  In five years, I may not be physically -able- to lift that much.

Of course, I also prefer Top Bar Hives because there is little or nothing to lift, and it is all at one height.  Wink
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« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2009, 01:17:20 PM »

Thanks!  Rossman is what I was trying to remember.
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« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2009, 05:06:09 PM »

I have ta chim in:

I have gone to all 8 frame mediums.  I've had back, shoulder, knee, ankle and hernia surgeries with more in the pipe line.  At 60 years old, I might not be considered a real old timer but I am decrepit and for a period of time was forced to do everyting from a wheel chair.  If it wasn't for 8 frame mediums or nucs I couldn't continue with beekeeping. 

All you youngster's and smart alec's take heed, the day will come, might as well make the change and preserve your health than wait until you health forces you to make a choice.  Take it from me, the cost of 8 frame mediums can save you thousands in doctor's and related medical fees.
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« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2009, 09:20:34 PM »

Bodo says.... Geesh, you are as politically incorrect as me

Well, I've got ya beat.

Deeps are for MEN. Mediums are for women, pansies, and old folk.

Shallows are for comb honey.

Whether you use all mediums or all deeps, your equipment will be interchangeable.

OK, I've got my flame proof undies on, so go for it.   tongue   grin




Just because someone CAN lift deeps does not mean they SHOULD be lifting them.
I have had 3 back surgeries and would never risk screwing with my back for the sake of saving some money on a hobby.
My husband is built like a brick house and is the strongest man I know. He has spent years doing a job that requires heavy lifting, all that heavy lifting has also wrecked his back and he has had 4 surgeries and a spinal fusion.
I don't care how you lift or wear a back brace etc. lifting heavy objects on a regular basis causes wear and tear on your back and doing it for a living may be necessary but to keep bees?
Can he easily lift 100 lbs, sure. Should he be lifting 100 lbs over and over after a spinal fusion?
I made the decision and ordered all mediums for us so I guess that makes my husband a pansy, but I'll let YOU tell him that or I guess I could tell him for you. evil

I chose mediums because I don't want to have to rely on him to lift them for me and I hope to be able to use this equipment for the rest of my beekeeping years and not stop because I can't lift the supers anymore.
How many people are going to be in their eighties and going to lift deeps all day in the summer sun?
I don't see anyone doing that, unless they want to rely on someone else to do all the lifting for them and then its not really much of a hobby anymore if you can't be self reliant.
It seems to me that some people go with the deeps due to the cost of the mediums but then you hear people saying they are switching over to all mediums because of the weight, so you are buying equipment twice in order to keep up a hobby, not very cost effective.
There WILL come a time that everyone will have some trouble lifting deeps all day unless they get out of beekeeping before their old age, so anyone who is not 20 years old and hopes to have their equipment see them through for the rest of their beekeeping years should consider 8 frames, mediums or 8 frame mediums.
It makes sense to think ahead when you are investing time and money like this and tunnel vision can be expensive.
While mediums may not be everyone's choice, it is very unhelpful to discourage people from considering all their options or risk being labeled a pansy when they are making an expensive decision based on someone's advice and its further unhelpful to make people feel they have to explain themselves or defend their choices.
Also, your equipment is NOT all interchangeable if you use deeps and mediums since you have different size frames.
All mediums are truly and completely interchangeable.
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« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2009, 09:48:50 PM »

Thanks, Natalie. I was beginning to think my tongue-in-cheek post was being ignored. I happen to be 63 and hurt my back in a fall at age 14. I have had back problems ever since.

My advice on size of boxes and what protective equipment to wear is always:
"What you are comfortable with".

I don't think there is a "one size fits all" in either.
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« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2009, 12:59:22 AM »

A friend with many years of beekeeping pointed out to me that the danger to the bees is less CCD--and more due to the loss of beekeepers to old age, injury, and disinterest.  It's a point worth noting in this discussion.

I'm converting to all mediums this year, because I am seeing a lot of oldtimers talking about how that 100# of Deep is getting to be too much, and I see myself getting there all too soon.  My back isn't bad from ill use, and it is actually getting better now, thanks to some positive steps I've taken to make it better.  Stronger than I have been in years.  Still don't wanna lift 100# so I can keep bees.

I'm not sure which forum it was in, but one beek said that were it not for 40 years worth of Langstroth equipment, he'd be doing Top Bar Hives.  In fact, I must admit that had I done a little more research a little sooner, I might never have had the Langstroth hive I do have.  This isn't TBH evangelism, but rather an admission that I find not having to lift anything heavier than the lid of the hive even better than not having to lift a 100# Deep.

I like uniformity.  Lots.  I'll probably keep the Deeps around for a while, because it will make a quick and dirty swarm trap, if nothing else.  The only reason I have them in the first place is the same reason why a lot of beeks have them--they were part of the kit we bought to get us started.  Thankfully, supplier catalogs started to acknowledge the desire of the all-medium school this year, and were actually selling kits that reflected that thinking.  Cool.  Means that people are asking for them.

I was telling someone today that a lot of new beeks are simply not prepared for that moment, oh, about mid summer, in the 80 degree heat, sweat dripping, suit sticking to you, flopping around heavy deeps and trying to do an inspection in a cloud of irritated bees.  Really makes you wonder if you really want to keep doing it or not.  My guess is that with 65# Mediums, that moment won't be quite so bad.  Someday, I'll cut my boxes down to 8 frame and finally enter Nirvana.  Wink



« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 03:43:29 PM by Daddys Girl » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2009, 03:12:31 PM »

Every talk I heard and book I read said to buy a deep for brood and mediums for supers.  Didn't even think all mediums was possible.  Hopefully, more and more newbies will know this is an option to consider.  I only have a few hives, and I can cut the deeps and frames down to mediums so the cost isn't too high, but would have saved time and labor if I'd started out mediums in the beginning. 
Although weight is a definite benefit, and I'm sure to appreciate it more when the temps are in the 90's +, being able to interchange equipment from any or all hives will help me in the future I hope.

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