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Author Topic: New Hive Composition  (Read 6927 times)

Offline thomashton

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New Hive Composition
« on: June 28, 2005, 04:59:03 PM »
Here's a question.

I'm about to begin building everything new for next year. I know the "standard" hive set up is 2 large supers for brood and winter stores, then excluder, then shallow supers for your honey collection.

I was considering doing all mediums to make it easy to swap frames etc. Is this a good idea, and if so, should I plan on making three medium brood/winter boxes instead of two deeps? I live in Northern Utah (Cache County) by the way where the winters are long and deep and cold.
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Offline Phoenix

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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2005, 05:49:16 PM »
First of all there is no such thing as "standard" in the area of beekeeping.  As there is a quote of beekeepers saying "Ask a question of two beekeepers and get three diffirent answers".  "Supers" are only supers if they are used for honey, you can use the same size box for the brood chamber and it is no longer called a "super".  Let's call them deeps, mediums and shallows, just for simplicity.

For sake of uniformity and interchangeability there are a lot of keepers that use all the same size boxes.  And yes, three mediums are equal to two deeps.

Offline Phoenix

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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2005, 05:50:09 PM »
By the way, make up your mind as to where you live...

Offline leominsterbeeman

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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2005, 05:51:11 PM »
I run  2 deeps for brood chambers and mediums for supering.  

I now beleive that running all mediums would have been a better choice.  For a northern climate with cold and snow,  I would think that 4 mediums would get them through the winter.

Offline thomashton

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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2005, 05:57:39 PM »
Quote from: Phoenix
By the way, make up your mind as to where you live...


Hey good call.
I've been home for three months now! :D

Anyone else from the frigid north have any ideas on number of mediums to use to get them through a winter? Perhaps someone from my home country of Canada?
After 18 months of reading and preparation, my girls finally arrived on April 11th (2006)!

Offline Michael Bush

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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2005, 06:07:52 PM »
>I was considering doing all mediums to make it easy to swap frames etc. Is this a good idea

YES!  Your back will appreciate it.

>should I plan on making three medium brood/winter boxes instead of two deeps?

Yes.  Or adjust as you feel the need.  After you've overwintered a few winters you may get better at judging the stores needed by the size of the cluster.  Some of mine overwintered in two mediums.  Some in three mediums and some in four.

Studies have shown they will overwinter better than in deeps because of better communication with the extra gap between the boxes.

I changed to all mediums about four years ago.  I cut down all my deep boxes and all my deep frames.  I have never regretted it.

Now I'm only buying eight frame medium boxes.  I haven't regretted that either.
Michael Bush
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Offline Robo

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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2005, 09:09:55 PM »
Tom,

Welcome back :D


Take Michael's advice and go with all mediums.  If I was starting all over, and knew what I know now,  that would be the way I'd go.  You have the ultimate interchangeability and it will save on your back too.   Unfortunately I have aquired quite a few deeps over the years,  but anything new from now on will be mediums.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



Offline drobbins

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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2005, 09:25:50 PM »
Tom

I'm a rookie too
I'm taking Michael's advice and switching over from the 2 deeps that came in my beeginner kit to all mediums.
It becomes very obvious very quickly that this is a good idea.
Less stain on your back is great but the intechangeablity of parts really opens up a lot of management options

Dave

oh yea, as you switch over to all mediums you can switch to foundationless frames in your brood box's at the same time  :D

Offline bassman1977

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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2005, 09:49:15 PM »
This is my first season, so I haven't had a winter yet.  Someone told me on this site (I can't remember who it was off hand) that being in an area that has pretty rough winters, that I should have at least 120 pounds of honey for my ladies.  Because of my goofy set up (currently one deep and one medium in use) I plan to use those plus one more medium for winter.  I am eventually going to run all mediums once that particular deep and the couple shallows I have laying around wear out.  The hives I am planning for next year are going to be shallows as well.  I plan to keep four mediums for the bees' use in the winter.

Another option I am considering for my deep and shallows is setting up a decoy hive for any swarms.  I heard that works fairly well and even hoisting them into a tree works well.  Maybe we can get a discussion going on for this.  I'd like to know more.
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Offline drobbins

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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2005, 10:21:43 PM »
bassman,

if you can get hold of a tablesaw, turning deep stuff into medium stuff is pretty easy

Dave

Offline bassman1977

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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2005, 11:19:47 PM »
Yeah, I've heard others on here doing that.  I may or may not do that.  Don't know yet.  I appreciate the suggestion! :D  :D
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Offline Phoenix

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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2005, 01:31:45 AM »
Quote
I am eventually going to run all mediums once that particular deep and the couple shallows I have laying around wear out. The hives I am planning for next year are going to be shallows as well. I plan to keep four mediums for the bees' use in the winter.

I think your only confusing yourself... :lol:

Offline Finsky

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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2005, 02:06:55 AM »
in Finland we have "bee winter" from September to April.

Many beekeepers us only shallow Farrar boxes. They are light to handle.

Offline odgo

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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2005, 05:19:06 AM »
Hi,

Just two questions:
1. You all talk about medium and deep boxes but what kind of hive design it is: Langstroth, Dadant or any other? I am not sure which one you use. And where can I get the description of sizes (link would be the best)?

2. Farrar hive - what kind of hive is it? Also would appreciate the link to any side about it.

Bee well! ;)
Odgo
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Offline Finsky

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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2005, 06:37:25 AM »
Frame measures in millimeters in Finland

Langstroth 232*448
Zander 220*420
Farrar 159*448
Gerstung 260*410


Farrar has same lenght as Langstroth. Farrar height is 69% that of Langstroth
Mister Farrar is USA famous beekeeper or something. http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/bkCD/HBBiology/history.htm#Research

Offline thomashton

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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2005, 11:03:57 AM »
I have been talking about Langstroth mediums by the way.

Thanks to everyone for the great input.

I'm lucky that about an hour or so south in Salt Lake City is Jones' Beekeeping Supply. So, pretty soon here (sometime after the holiday), I'll run down and pick up a bunch of medium supers and get building.

I need something else to do anyway, the yard in the house I'm renting isn't big enough to keep me too busy. I know I need more when I mow 2-3 times each week whether it needs it or not. :wink:
After 18 months of reading and preparation, my girls finally arrived on April 11th (2006)!

Offline Michael Bush

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« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2005, 11:15:58 AM »
> I am eventually going to run all mediums once that particular deep and the couple shallows I have laying around wear out.

I still have the deeps that I bought in 1974.  I suppose I should retire them, but one of them still has bees in it.  I cut the rest down already.

>shallows

Part of the beauty of running all mediums is the interchangability.  You can pull frames of honey out of a super to boost a light hive in the fall, you can bait up a super with some brood from the brood box below.  I see no real use for shallows.  Even for cut comb, I prefer the mediums.  I can cut around the parts the bees don't finish at the bottom or the top easier and get more perfect cut combs.
Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline bassman1977

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« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2005, 12:10:52 PM »
Quote
I think your only confusing yourself


What I  meant to say was that I am planning all mediums for next year  :oops:
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Offline Phoenix

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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2005, 12:37:37 AM »
Easy for you to say... :lol:

Offline FordGuy

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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2005, 01:12:21 PM »
I am so glad to have found this thread - I too will stop buying deeps.  but one question, what are the unintended consequences? such as trouble maintaining brood temperature since there is a division of mass where the two mediums meet, lack of accessibility for the queen till the bridge comb is built, etc.  any drawbacks?