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Author Topic: What's your take on All Mediums?  (Read 3734 times)

Offline Adam Foster Collins

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What's your take on All Mediums?
« on: November 18, 2011, 03:37:26 PM »
Do you like the idea of one size fits all?
Do you run all mediums in your apiary?
Do you plan to?
Are you against the idea of all mediums?
If so, why?

I'm expanding into langs this season, and I'm looking to decide the best approach to gear.

Thanks,

Adam
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 10:39:21 AM by buzzbee »
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Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2011, 04:28:14 PM »
We have long hives and use deep frames.

If I were going to go with Langs, I would go to all mediums and 8 frame boxes.

8 frame mediums are a nice weight that won't kill you when working a number of hives.

I strongly prefer having only one size frame and one size box.  You can waste a huge amount of time and resources messing around with all the incompatible combinations created when you try to mix sizes.

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Offline Grid

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2011, 04:35:53 PM »
I like all mediums. For now I have 10 frame boxes.  It does make buying nucs and such a bit of a pain, as none of the providers here sell mediums.  I manage though.

Grid

Offline Sundog

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2011, 05:49:55 PM »
Regarding deeps, I would suggest that deeps offer 50% more area for brood.  So figuring five bees per square inch, that’s roughly 500 bees per side of a medium frame and 750 on a deep.  Times twenty, that’s ten thousand bees in a medium versus fifteen thousand in a deep.  While I doubt that excess honey production is linear…

Everything is a compromise.  Maximize production, or ease and convenience, with many situational variables.  Apparently it all works and I’m certain the bees care less than the beeks.

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Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 07:50:44 PM »
While I doubt that excess honey production is linear…

Honey production is not linear.  It is non-linear in favor of larger populations.   But you are assuming that you are limited to 2 boxes.  You can just add more boxes until you have the same total number of bees.   Two 8-frame mediums is equal to a single 10-frame deep.
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Offline S.M.N.Bee

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2011, 08:06:33 PM »
The only issue I see is the work put into building the hives. You have to build one and a half times the boxes and frames.

John

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 09:12:45 PM »
>Do you like the idea of one size fits all?

Yes.

>Do you run all mediums in your apiary?

Yes.

>Are you against the idea of all mediums?
>If so, why?

The typical arguments against mediums:
1) cost.
Valid to some extent, but the extra cost is not enough to cover your back surgery.

2)too many frames to look through to find a queen.
It doesn't matter.  What matters is how fast you can find her and I can find her just as fast with mediums as deeps with less stress on my wrists. Not to mention I seldom look for a queen unless it involves queen rearing anyway.  This is another case of obsessing over something that is not the real issue.  The queen is in the box with the most bees.  That narrows it a lot right there.  Then she's on the frame with the most bees, and that puts you in the ballpark again.

3)the queen likes bigger comb.
The queen likes comb that runs nonstop from top to bottom.  But since you won't give her that, if you go small enough that she doesn't hesitate to move between boxes she will move up and down better than if you have a deep that is ALMOST big enough for her not to want to move off of it.

4)the bees wont move between boxes in the winter.
I have not seen this at all, in fact I observe the opposite.  When the cluster already spans more than one box they move easily between boxes.

I not only get  lighter boxes, and less stress on my back, but I can do a lot of management by the box that I used to do by the frame.  I can do splits by the box instead of going through every frame.
Michael Bush
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Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2011, 10:15:54 PM »
Do you like the idea of one size fits all?

I like the idea behind it, but hate the reality of them.

>Do you run all mediums in your apiary?

Ive got a few left, but wont do anymore that way.

>Are you against the idea of all mediums?
>If so, why?

Not, against it. To each their own, but I dont like them. 2 deeps equals 20 frames - 4 mediums equals 40.
I would be the one that brings up the points that MB has in #1 & #2.

Plus, I inherited a bunch of deeps and shallows so really there isnt a need for me to run all mediums :)
But even if I hadnt, I would still eventually switch them over to deeps. My back is already shot and I have had both shoulders rebuilt, so the damage is already done at this point :)

Offline bailey

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2011, 11:51:02 PM »
all mediums for me.
mix and match anywhere anytime.
most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.

Offline annette

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2011, 12:52:36 AM »
All mediums for me. Makes it easier to move frames around and lighter on my back. Just as others here have already said.

Offline rufus

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2011, 01:05:40 AM »

I not only get  lighter boxes, and less stress on my back, but I can do a lot of management by the box that I used to do by the frame.  I can do splits by the box instead of going through every frame.


Sorry for the dumb question but just what do you mean by splits by the box and how is that done?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2011, 05:53:16 AM »
>what do you mean by splits by the box

I take a hive that is at least four eight frame mediums full of bees, honey etc. and I put two bottom boards down and "deal" the boxes like cards.  "One for you and one for you."  Then I put as many empties on top as I have boxes and put a cover on them. 

Because of the size of the boxes this distributes the resources much more evenly than ten frame mediums.  If it is during the time of year to split (while the hives are still growing) then there is brood in at least two and sometimes three boxes and honey is distributed enough that if this is done in a flow you end up with two nice hives.  I don't look for the queen.  I don't even pull a frame.  I have split four or five yards in a day this way.
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Offline Jim 134

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2011, 07:05:26 AM »
>The typical arguments against mediums:
1) cost.
Valid to some extent, but the extra cost is not enough to cover your back surgery.<

 From the supply I use boxes,frames And foundation as less then $1.00 per box.


>Not, against it. To each their own, but I dont like them. 2 deeps equals 20 frames - 4 mediums equals 40.<

 :?  :? As at 3  boxes  mediums frames 30  :? :? equals 2 deeps 20 frames :? :?  on 10 frames boxes :? :?



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« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 07:38:31 AM by Jim 134 »
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Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2011, 09:02:45 AM »
:?  :? As at 3  boxes  mediums frames 30  :? :? equals 2 deeps 20 frames :? :?  on 10 frames boxes :? :?


   BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)


So, my math is a little off . I did, after all, post an 'Apple Pie Moonshine' recipe last night :) Its still 20 frames versus 30. Like I said, to each their own, but for me, I dont like all mediums. If everyone else loves them, then I'm tickled pink :)

Offline JackM

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2011, 11:07:08 AM »
As a hobbyist, the math is not an issue, heck, I made all my boxes, just bought the frames and had fun in the process.  But as an old fart, all 8 frame supers for me.  I will learn how to make it work.
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Offline Jim 134

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2011, 12:42:51 PM »
As a hobbyist, the math is not an issue, heck, I made all my boxes, just bought the frames and had fun in the process.  But as an old fart, all 8 frame supers for me.  I will learn how to make it work.

This is on mediums
 
 On 8 frames boxes you need 4 boxes for the brood 32 frames and about 9" tall then a 10 frames 3 boxes set up 30  frames for the brood  Just my $0.02


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« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 05:15:37 PM by Jim 134 »
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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Offline Adam Foster Collins

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2011, 12:56:58 PM »
I'm having a really hard time deciding.

I can easily see the benefit of a single size, in terms of flexibility. But there are three key issues that make it hard:

1 - Deeps are the norm for brood. That means buyers and sellers are usually in deeps - and that means a compatibility issue somewhere.

2 - I do believe that bees are going to do a little better with that larger comb in the brood area - more honey/pollen and brood space per comb. Not a huge issue - but a consideration.

3 - I have 11 deep boxes piled up outside which I came upon easily through other beekeepers, and I see deeps more commonly than others. And that ties to cost. I can get a lot more bee space for my money. And money is tight.

I'm totally in on the 8 frame thing. So my decision lies between all medium 8's or deep/medium 8's. I'm also in on the narrow frames in the brood nest. So if I use deeps - they will be narrow deeps.

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Offline L Daxon

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2011, 07:27:23 PM »
I've done it both ways and am now sold on all 8 frame mediums.  I see the interchangeabilty issue as key.  One size fits all, and that means all.  Can pull any frame from any box in any hive and it works in any other box/hive. 

Yes, deeps may be better for brood laying, but I think 8 frame mediums winter better, so it's a wash.

I have bought 8 frame medium nucs.  They are out there.

If someone gave me a deep box(s) I could either cut them down or use them to cover my top pail feeders, when needed.
linda d

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2011, 09:48:16 PM »
1 - Deeps are the norm for brood. That means buyers and sellers are usually in deeps - and that means a compatibility issue somewhere.

If you are buying, it's not a problem.  It's pretty easy to place deep frames in medium boxes (stacked 2 deep) while the bees establish themselves on the interspersed medium frames.  As soon as possible, you remove the deep frames.  Alternatively, you just cut off the bottoms of the deep frames and place them in medium boxes.

If you are selling, the buyer can place medium frames in a deep box.  There will be some unsupported comb on the bottom of the frame but that's not much of a problem.
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Offline T Beek

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2011, 04:22:13 PM »
I love using all mediums.  I've read that some have even used all shallows w/ great success.  Having interchangeable frames is a luxury.  The small increase in price is worth it IMO.

I use all mediums with my LANGS and Long Hives. 

I use my old Deeps for feeding, swarm catching, honey and brood transferring.

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Offline AllenF

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2011, 07:15:40 PM »
One thing to remember with all meds is that you need to keep your honey supers separate from your brood supers if you medicate your bees.   I don't think anyone has brought that point up yet.

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2011, 08:13:11 PM »
One thing to remember with all meds is that you need to keep your honey supers separate from your brood supers if you medicate your bees.   I don't think anyone has brought that point up yet.

I don't think that works anyway.  If you treat your hive with chemicals, they will be in the honey.  So for me that would not be a reason to use different size frames.
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Offline woodchopper

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2011, 07:00:03 AM »
1 - Deeps are the norm for brood. That means buyers and sellers are usually in deeps - and that means a compatibility issue somewhere.

2 - I do believe that bees are going to do a little better with that larger comb in the brood area - more honey/pollen and brood space per comb. Not a huge issue - but a consideration.

3 - I have 11 deep boxes piled up outside which I came upon easily through other beekeepers, and I see deeps more commonly than others. And that ties to cost. I can get a lot more bee space for my money. And money is tight.
1] I read in a recent ABJ or Bee Culture mediums have been in use since the 1860's. Quite a few beeks are now using all mediums and sellers have figured out if they want to keep their market share they must provide for their customers who use all mediums. I'm going back to buying packages so what I decide to use for equipment is a non issue.
 2] I've seen no difference between 2 deeps or 3 mediums in 10 frame equipment. Initially the cost for mediums is slightly higher but that is only for the first year. Because I buy in bulk my supers, frames, and foundation becomes cheaper per unit and my process of rotating out old comb becomes cheaper because I typically use frames from my honey supers to replace old ones in my brood chambers.. As my apiary grows and my back gets older the $20-$26 more I spend on each hive gets paid back in the sale of 2-3 bottles of honey. If you choose to use all mediums you'll never look back.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2011, 08:19:49 AM »
>If you treat your hive with chemicals, they will be in the honey.

Not as long as you only put it in the no peeing section of the pool. ;)

Seriously, you are right.  Bees move honey around all the time.  If it's in the hive it will get in the honey.
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Offline jaseemtp

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2011, 02:48:33 PM »
Ok, this is a from a first year beek.  I am in all 8 frame mediums and it has worked out fantastic for me.  As noted it can be a challenge when purchasing nucs, but just use two boxes and ur good to go.  My reasons for going with mediums is the weight which as some point will matter, and if you already have back troubles mediums make more sense.  Having all the same size equipment offers alot of versality to me that was very appealing.
I think we worry to much about what the bees want in a hive.  I have seen them in old tires, water meter boxes, under mobil homes, in an old ice chest and the list goes on.
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Offline ScoobyDoBee

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2011, 11:19:30 PM »
In my 2 hives, bottom deep and the rest are mediums - 8fr. Bought the deeps because of the nucs coming in. Didn't have anyone to suggest using 2 mediums; a simple solve! Will work the deeps out this spring. I struggle as it is with a full 8fr med. Cant even imagine a 10 frame med, much less a deep. 99% of the folks use deeps around here, mostly because "that's the way it's done." They get real quiet when I talk about all 8s. :)
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Offline rail

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2011, 02:40:46 PM »
1: Who is "nadiring" with all mediums?

2: If not, how do you manage the comb in the brood nest; do you rotate out old comb and how often?

3: Does anyone use 7 5/8" supers instead of 6 5/8"?

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Offline JWChesnut

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2011, 03:49:11 PM »
If you build your own boxes from dimension lumber, 6 5/8  (out of a nominal 8") is far less waste than 9 5/8 (out of a nominal 12").  Furthermore 8 inch lumber can be scrapped out or purchased on loss leader sale far more frequently than premium 12 inch boards.

That said, I have both deeps and mediums.  My biggest frustration with 8 frame equipment is the extra 1/4 inch in box width, and this leaves the new 8 frame equipment sloppy and likely to get bur comb all over the sides or double comb if you space the frames in brood boxes.

In a 10 frame box - interior dimension is 14 3/4 or 1 inch over 10 x 1 3/8
In a 8 frame box of "standard size" - interior dimension is 12 1/4 or 1 1/4 inch over 8 x 1 3/8.

The extra 1/4 in design dimension has never been explained to my satisfaction.  I have shaved a frame edge and added a 9th frame to early brood boxes.

That extra 1/4 inch does cause spacing issues.  Especially since the 1 inch in 10 frame boxes is distributed over 11 spacings and in 8 frame the 1 1/4 only over 9.

Offline ScoobyDoBee

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2011, 10:51:50 AM »
In a 10 frame box - interior dimension is 14 3/4 or 1 inch over 10 x 1 3/8. In a 8 frame box of "standard size" - interior dimension is 12 1/4 or 1 1/4 inch over 8 x 1 3/8....Especially since the 1 inch in 10 frame boxes is distributed over 11 spacings and in 8 frame the 1 1/4 only over 9.
JW, I have contemplated shaving frames to add a 9th frame.  Using your measurements, I just need to shave off 1/8 in total if I wanted all 9 frames to fit very snuggly in the box...is that math correct?  (9x1.375=12.375 less id of box at 12.25=.125?). And then, I really wouldn't want them to be that snug would I - so just shave a smidge extra off here n there? Or does it matter how close the top bar is to the sides? I understand "bee space" but I have never really been sure from where that was measured. (I have no carpentry experience nor am I good at math! :o)
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2011, 11:16:18 AM »
Take 1/16" off each side of the end bars.
Michael Bush
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Offline ScoobyDoBee

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2011, 11:48:18 AM »
Oh, I love simplicity! Thanks Michael.
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Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2011, 01:42:25 PM »
But if we are cramming 9 frames into a 8 frame box why don't we just stay at 10? Frame inspections can be a little hairy at times with 10 in a 10, in particular if you are trying to save queen cells-with 9 in an 8 it would be almost impossible I would think.

Offline Vance G

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2011, 02:38:43 PM »
Mediums or deeps with shaved closely spaced frames are something I am currently experimenting with.  I think my first move in the spring will be a follower board on the shade side so I can create some space for manipulation.

Offline T Beek

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2011, 02:43:45 PM »
Agreed.  I love follower boards and use them for many reasons, just one being the luxury of having one box that can be manipulated in many ways, from NUC to full hive, with 2,3,4, or 8 frames, 9 frames or 10, if one so chooses.

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Offline Poppi

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2011, 05:36:38 PM »
If you use follower boards...  how should they be cut to fit in the hive if you want to make them yourself?
Do you want to prevent the bees access to the opposite side of the follower board between it and the hive body?

John

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2011, 06:03:44 PM »
If you use follower boards...  how should they be cut to fit in the hive if you want to make them yourself?
Do you want to prevent the bees access to the opposite side of the follower board between it and the hive body?

John

We try to make the follower impassable, but you never do it perfectly.  We have screened bottoms which flex as bit, so a few bees can always get through.   But the bees seem to treat the space on the far side of the follower as "outside" the hive. They dump dead bee carcasses there.  I think that's fine.  You just don't want them to start drawing comb on the wrong side of the follower.  We haven't seen that yet.
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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2011, 10:37:33 AM »
If you use follower boards...  how should they be cut to fit in the hive if you want to make them yourself?
Do you want to prevent the bees access to the opposite side of the follower board between it and the hive body?

John

We try to make the follower impassable, but you never do it perfectly.  We have screened bottoms which flex as bit, so a few bees can always get through.   But the bees seem to treat the space on the far side of the follower as "outside" the hive. They dump dead bee carcasses there.  I think that's fine.  You just don't want them to start drawing comb on the wrong side of the follower.  We haven't seen that yet.

Any issues with SHB sneaking into the dead space?  Into the slight space between the edges of the follower boards and the sides of the hive boxes?  Being the newbee in south Alabama I'm paranoid of giving the moving black spots a place to hide...I've already grown to hate'em  :-x

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Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2011, 06:29:17 PM »
We don't seem to have an SHB problem in one of our yards (on red clay).  The other yard on sandier soil does have SHB.... and yes, they can hide just about anywhere.  I like SHB traps that use oil as the trap with vinegar/sugar/banana peel as an attractant.  If you really have that much of a problem, I would put in some traps.   But to answer your question,  I don't think a follower will make the problem any worse.
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

Offline tillie

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Re: What's your take on All Mediums?
« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2011, 12:20:37 PM »
Just chiming in for the sake of being one of the participants in this discussion - I LOVE all mediums - the 8 frames - the weight issue, ability to move frames between boxes, overall consistency - and I can't wait to "deal the boxes" in making a split next spring the way Michael described much earlier in this thread.

Linda T in Atlanta
http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com
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"You never can tell with bees" - Winnie the Pooh


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