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Author Topic: 8-frame vs. 10-frame WORK FLOW  (Read 5930 times)
beek4018
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« on: September 14, 2009, 09:11:49 PM »

I am a new beekeeper, starting my first hive in the spring.  For a number of physicality (heavy lifting) reasons I'm considering going with eight instead of ten frame hives, but I have a question about work flow and working with the hive.

I understand that an 8-frame super will be lighter than a 10 when full of honey or brood.  But how often do you wind up removing a full hive body of honey vs. brood.  It seems that you'd be more often going into the brood bodies to check the queen and brood patterns, etc. 

With honey, if you want to avoid lifting the whole super,can't you just remove the frames and replace with others, leaving the boxes in place.

So with a greater number of 8-frame brood bodies aren't you going to wind up lifting more of them even though they are lighter? You'd be more often lifting the 2-3 top 8 frame medium brood supers rather than the one top 10-frame brood super.

So, I guess I'm asking if it really makes much difference in the lifting work and if so how?

Thanks.

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David LaFerney
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 09:34:55 PM »

I don't know about all that, but one thing is for sure you are going to have a taller hive. 

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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 10:07:28 PM »

8 frames are great for the backyard beek (especially if you have a bad back) but is your ever going to expand or shoot for production it makes economical since to go with standardized equipment.
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beek4018
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 10:38:23 PM »

Farmer,

That's my question...Are they really better/easier on your back if you wind up lifting more of them (since you can swap out honey frames rather than removing whole honey supers, but have to remove the upper brood supers to get at the lower brood supers(and there will be 2-3 of those to remove to get to the bottom brood super in an eight frame setup vs. only one ten frame brood super to be removed).

Thanks.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 11:04:05 PM »

If you are at all concerned about how much a box of honey will weigh then the depth of the box is a bigger issue than 8 or 10 frames.  3 ten frame medium boxes is almost the equivalent of 2 10 frame deeps, but would only be about 60% of the weight.   Ten frame equipment would certainly have it's advantage if you ever expanded past hobbyist, and would be more likely to match up with used equipment you might get a deal on.  However using all the same depth (medium in my case) is extremely handy because you can swap frames any way you need to.  I don't think I would want to handle very many 10 frame deeps full of honey though.
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beek4018
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2009, 07:46:38 AM »

David (or anybody else),

Do you spend more of your time as a beekeeper working with honey supers or brood supers?

As a new beekeeper, I've never really heard the answer to that question.

Thanks.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2009, 08:06:51 AM »

David (or anybody else),

Do you spend more of your time as a beekeeper working with honey supers or brood supers?

As a new beekeeper, I've never really heard the answer to that question.

Thanks.


Brood, but I haven't been at it long enough for that to be very meaningful - just this year.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

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beek4018
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2009, 08:32:37 AM »

Thanks.

Can any longer term beekeepers comment on this?

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Robo
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2009, 12:26:10 PM »

It all comes down to personal preference.   You will find a lot of folks going to all medium depth boxes. 
 
If you want to just go by full box weight, then the question becomes, is it easier to lift 90lbs to waist height or 60lbs to shoulder height?  huh

But you are correct, if a box is too heavy,  then just remove half the frames into another box for transport.

Also if cost is any concern,  going to all mediums is about 30% more expensive.

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BoBn
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2009, 06:08:33 PM »

Also consider a long deep hive.  It can be on legs so that it is waist height.  No bending over.  Only lifting individual frames 12" or so.  A 48" long hive is equal to 3 hive bodies.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm
http://bwrangler.com/tnex.htm
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2009, 04:31:42 PM »

>I understand that an 8-frame super will be lighter than a 10 when full of honey or brood.  But how often do you wind up removing a full hive body of honey vs. brood.

A couple of times a year with a couple of hives.  How often do you want to mess up your back?

> It seems that you'd be more often going into the brood bodies to check the queen and brood patterns, etc.

Which often have a 90 pound deep of honey on top of them.

>With honey, if you want to avoid lifting the whole super,can't you just remove the frames and replace with others, leaving the boxes in place.

Of course.  But you get a lot more bees in the air and spend a lot more time moving a frame at a time.  The BIGGER advantage though is to have the SAME SIZE FRAMES in the brood boxes so you can bait them up into the supers and you can pull frames of honey to feed etc.

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

>So with a greater number of 8-frame brood bodies aren't you going to wind up lifting more of them even though they are lighter?

I don't care how many boxes I lift that don't hurt me.  I care how many boxes I lift that DO hurt me.

> You'd be more often lifting the 2-3 top 8 frame medium brood supers rather than the one top 10-frame brood super.

You get to move 48 pound boxes instead of 90 pound boxes.  This is ALWAYS an improvement.  If they are empty you can take them two at a time.

>So, I guess I'm asking if it really makes much difference in the lifting work and if so how?

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

Basically it's 90 pounds vs 48 pounds.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2009, 12:38:41 AM »

Mr bush hits this right on the head of the nail.

It only takes lifting on box thats too heavy to screw up your back, then your done.  If you have not lifted a deep box full of honey, just wait till you do.

If you are into seeing what is going on in the brood chambers you will pay more attention to this area than your honey boxes.  I have not had medium brood boxes but I would not want them because if I am looking for the queen or just looking at brood, I don't want to look through thirty frames let alone twenty.  Then comes the manipulation factor between brood and honey boxes.  I have been debating this in my head.  Mediums are very nice for honey.  They are much easier to lift.  If you do not have a heavy flow you are more likely to get a full medium than a full deep, dah.  I have used five frame nuc to ease the heavy lifting of the deeps.  Time consuming matter.  So to solve this whole issue in part, Im thinking of going to three deeps and then mediums.  Why you say, that makes no sense.  Well, this allows more room for brood rearing in spring, then when they backfill the third brood box you can take some of the honey in a nuc but still be able to pull backfilled brood frames up.  Then you can have the mediums which are easier on the back for most of your honey harvesting.  I think its a damed if you do, damed if you dont situation, but you have to respect your back unless your a weight lifter or something.  I have heard more than one old timer say that they wished they started with all mediums or shallow from the get-go.  It is really hard to try to enjoy anything when your back is out.
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jclark96
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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2009, 06:01:27 PM »

I have never used medium equipment so I don't have any comment on those. A shallow super of honey will make you hope you never have to lift a full deep. You also have to think about everything else that is going on. Go to Home Depot and try to move concrete sacks around while you think about all of you beekeeping gear and bees flying around.
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