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Author Topic: All mediums...deeps/mediums/shallows...what are the pros and cons?  (Read 2218 times)
Honeytree
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« on: March 01, 2011, 12:07:15 AM »

Please forgive me if this has been covered at length; I read back six pages, and didn't see this addressed, but I'm brand new to the site, and would be glad for a few pointers on how to best participate and navigate!

I'm soon to be ordering my equipment (before I have even read my bee books  embarassed, though after I took my local beekeeping chapter's short course), and I'm wondering about the benefit of having the different sizes of hive bodies and supers. Why do people like the deep bodies with the medium and shallow supers on top? Why do others prefer all mediums? What does it mean to the bees? Is there a benefit to starting out one way or the other?

Thanks in advance for any responses.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 01:32:57 AM »

Lots of combos will work and everybody has their opinions about what is best.

Michael Bush’s site has some great information on this subject and a lot more:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeseightframemedium.htm

Personally I’m running all mediums, but I am in Michigan and you all may do things a little differently in the south.  I like all mediums because I can standardize on just a single size of frame.  This means I can swap brood up, honey up, and make splits without having mismatches between frames and hive bodies.  

I’m of the opinion (I could be wrong) that a big motivator for going with deeps is their lower cost.  For example 2 deeps = 3 mediums.  So for a commercial bee keeper, it may be 33% more cost to go with medium equipment.  Hence if you’re looking to go commercial, that is a very good reason to consider deeps.  If on the other hand you’re a hobbyist who’s goal is a few hives, then your back might value to lower weight of the mediums over the 33% cost savings.  
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 02:56:05 AM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#uniformframesize
My first motivation was to have all the same size.  I decided on deeps.  The weight changed my mind.  I changed to mediums.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#lighterboxes
My second motivation was weight.  So eventually I went with eight frame mediums.  It's a box size I really love.  It's the right width for a winter cluster.  It's the right weight for me to lift when it's full.  It's the right size to be able to do splits by the box or use one box as a nuc (one eight frame medium is the same as a five frame deep).  So I not only get uniform frame size, but uniform box size...
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Michael Bush
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Jim 134
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 06:05:07 AM »

I when to all  mediums (6 5/8") in 1985 and happy I did .

pros

   1 All the same size      

   2 The weight


cons
 
      1 Have to look at 30 frames to find the Queen (if I have to find  her)


          BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 06:15:49 AM by Jim 134 » Logged

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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 09:45:50 AM »

I run all mediums mainly because of Arthur Ritus he's a tough cookie, he also made me put lugs on for lifting!

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annette
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2011, 12:10:12 AM »

I started with deeps, but now have all mediums that are lighter for a not very strong women like myself. Also like all the supers the same size as Michael Bush has written. Easy to move supers around as needed.

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deknow
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2011, 12:14:51 AM »

...it's worth noting that if you use certain treatments (apistan, checkmite, fumidil, terramycin, thymol (because of the smell), you should not be swapping frames and boxes between "brood" and "supers".  if you plan to use such treatments, it will probably help to use different depth boxes...otherwise you either violate the label on many treatments (and the trust of your customers), or you spend a lot of effort keeping things marked and separate.

deknow
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2011, 11:52:43 AM »

Just my .02. I had the plan of starting out with all mediums last year and have since got a mixture of everything. Mediums are lighter but as already stated above, they are equipment intensive. It seemed as every time I turned around, I was ordering more frames and building more bodies. Also, precious few people sell medium nucs, so if you think you may purchase nucs in the future chances are they will only be offered in deep frames. But, do whatever you think is best for your operation.
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annette
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2011, 03:42:20 PM »

You are right about the medium nucs. Brush Mountain carried them for a while and I bought them, but they do not have them anymore.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2011, 10:27:23 PM »

If you mean medium nuc boxes, keep in mind that an eight frame medium box is the same volume as a five frame deep nuc box.  I'm pretty sure most of the places selling deep nucs would sell you mediums.  Or, it's easy enough to cut down a deep.  In fact, if you leave it 3/4" deeper you can just nail anything on for a bottom board...

As far as nucleus hives for sale in the spring (bees on frames, in other words) there are more and more selling medium nucs but not all of the places you might go will have them.  That's all I usually have when I have nucs...
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Michael Bush
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woodchopper
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2011, 10:13:51 PM »

 Many places that didn't sell medium nucs five years ago are selling them now. They were losing too much of the market share sticking to their old ways.
 Using mediums does cost more initially but on your third year when you start rotating out your brood chamber frames you'll get some of that money back because of how you initially bought your frames and supers. Buying your foundation in the 137 count box VS in lots of 10 is cheaper per sheet and buying your supers in lots of 5 or more is cheaper.
 I don't have it on this computer but I've got a spread sheet with the price breakdown that shows if you have two hives the price difference after three years is under $12 for both hives.
 Everybody is different and has their own opinions but I don't mind spending $6 a hive to have the ability to use honey frames in my brood chamber if I get moth or mice damage or want to rotate out some of my dirtier brood frames.
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2011, 06:32:36 AM »

Brushy still has the medium nuc box.
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/5-Frame-6-5_8-Nuc-Body-only-empty/productinfo/695/
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Robo
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2011, 10:36:13 AM »

Please forgive me if this has been covered at length; I read back six pages, and didn't see this addressed, but I'm brand new to the site, and would be glad for a few pointers on how to best participate and navigate!

The forum has a great search feature. Give it a try and you'll find loads of info on this subject.

One drawback not yet mentioned is cost.  If you go all mediums, you equipment costs will be 25-30% higher.  Not a big deal if you only have a few hives.  Can add up to quite a lot if you plan to have 100s.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2011, 11:31:36 AM »

One drawback not yet mentioned is cost.  If you go all mediums, you equipment costs will be 25-30% higher.  Not a big deal if you only have a few hives.  Can add up to quite a lot if you plan to have 100s.



 The woodenware only is about $5 higher (per hive )  or about 15% up
 http://humbleabodesinc.com/


 wax foundation 20 Deeps $17.20   30 Med is $16.20 or about 5% down

http://www.mannlakeltd.com/

I don't mind spending about$5.50 per hive to have the ability to rotate frames.
   


            BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley

 
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Jim 134
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2011, 11:43:49 AM »

Please forgive me if this has been covered at length; I read back six pages, and didn't see this addressed, but I'm brand new to the site, and would be glad for a few pointers on how to best participate and navigate!

The forum has a great search feature. Give it a try and you'll find loads of info on this subject.

One drawback not yet mentioned is cost.  If you go all mediums, you equipment costs will be 25-30% higher.  Not a big deal if you only have a few hives.  Can add up to quite a lot if you plan to have 100s.


 Robo ....

  Did you read Reply 10  huh


   BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
annette
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2011, 12:35:31 PM »



How do you like that?? Don't know why I thought they didn't carry it anymore. Well very good news. 

Annette
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