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Author Topic: Beekeeping with only shallow frames.  (Read 2316 times)
OPAVP
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« on: November 12, 2012, 05:37:40 PM »

Hi folks, Got a question for you .
Do any of you keep bees in shallow boxes only?  Will queens go up into 2nd/3rd
broodchambers and lay solid patterns? I had triple bypass surgery a few weeks ago and want to downsize the equipment. Shallow honey chambers are quite a bit lighter than the deeps.
 Am not sure how the shallows work.

Then I have another question: you who work with factory made foam boxes,can you tell me how they perform? Correct size ,strong enough,etc. Which makes have you used?

Look forward to hear from you.

Opa VP.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 06:35:17 PM »

Hi OPAVP, there is more than one way to lighten up bee keeping.  Here’s an approach I tried this summer for my jumbo hives.  You could make this system even lighter if you put 4 frame medium boxes (supers) over a deep brood box.  I don’t move my brood boxes so their weight is not an issue to me.



I haven’t tried making hive out of just shallow frames yet, but I have come close.  I use ½ wide medium frames for my mating nucs and I need to get them combed up and populated for rearing queens.  I do that in hives that hold 13 of these mating frames per layer.  I layer these up to 3 stories before breaking them apart and moving frames into mini mating nucs.  The queen will go up at least 3 layers on small combs, I know that for sure.  

A hive made of mini frames definitely works, but there is a reason I go with Jumbo framed hives for honey.  In my bee yard, the bigger the brood comb size, the more populous the hives have been.  My jumbo frames are by far my biggest colonies; followed by deeps, then mediums, then mating frames.  I run hives with deep brood frames and others with medium brood frames.  

That said, one must put one’s own goals in perspective too.  If the most important goal is keeping the weight low, then my experience/input would be about anything will work.  The bees are very flexible.  I don’t believe small frames results in maximum honey, but sometimes your health is more important than maximizing honey production.  The bees DEFINITELY do make honey even in hives with small frames.  BTW, I don’t use excluders; I can’t say what effect they might have using small frames.
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salvo
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 06:39:04 PM »

Hi Opavp,

Second year beek here.

I, too, have been interested in poly. boxes. I've read about those available to Finski. They seem to be tecnologically superior to what is available in the US. It would seem those foam nucs are far superior to wood for over wintering. From what I've read, they last well. I'm concerned about the corners, and the hive tool.

I turned down a used poly. deep a few month ago. It was very light when empty. No one in our club took it. It's still in a corner at our club house. I'm going to offer the treasurer a "fin" for it next meeting.

Thanks for the question.

Salvo
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Salvo
BlueBee
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 06:49:06 PM »

Most of my hives are poly hives because I live in a cold climate and they are more forgiving of my mistakes.  However mine are homemade and kind of a pain in the butt to make!  I am using wood supers in the photo above.  The brood box is 1.5” thick (38mm) thick foam.

Wood is obviously much more mechanically forgiving than foam!  I also have some posts on here someplace where I used to use foam “shells” over inner wood hives (photo below) to get the best of both worlds.  The only major downside with the shells is the extra cost and a little extra time for an inspection.  Would probably not be worth the effort for areas south of Ohio, but in Canada, the foam shell approach might be a good solution if you can’t find good commercial foam hives.

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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 07:10:36 PM »

I use shallows only for honey supers.  But if you want to lighten up loads, I have been known to break deeps apart and move them several frames at a time in different boxes.   Just pull 3 or 4 frames and place into an empty to move around.   Takes 3 moves per box, but it helped with a hurt back. 
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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 01:51:50 AM »

Hi folks, Got a question for you .
Do any of you keep bees in shallow boxes only?  Will queens go up into 2nd/3rd

There are lots of professional guys which do so. For example a professional  hurted his back in beekeeping work and he was surgered at the age of 35. Since then he has used only mediums. Now he is 75 y-
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BlueBee
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 02:05:20 AM »

Finski, by "shallows" I think the original poster was talking about frames that are only about 12cm deep.  In my photo I am using "medium" supers which are about 16cm deep.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 06:58:12 AM »

OPAVP..........
 
These are the standard size in the USA

Is this size you talking about Huh Shallow 5 3/4" or 5 11/16"

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

Standard 10 Frame boxes

Name(s) Depth Weight full of honey Uses

Jumbo, Dadant Deep 11 5/8" 100 - 110 pounds Brood
Deep, Langstroth Deep 9 5/8" 80 - 90 pounds Brood & Ext
Western Bee Supply 7 5/8" 70 - 80 pounds Brood & Ext
Medium, Illinois, 3/4 6 5/8" 60 - 70 pounds Brood & Ext & Comb
Shallow 5 ¾" or 5 11/16" 50 - 60 pounds Comb
Extra Shallow, ½ 4 ¾" or 4 11/16" 40 - 50 pounds Comb


8 frame boxes:
Jumbo, Dadant Deep 11 5/8" 80-88 lbs
Deep 9 5/8" 64-72 lbs
Western Bee Supply 7 5/8" 56-64 lbs
Medium, Illinois 6 5/8" 48-56 lbs
Shallow 5 3/4" or 5 11/16" 40-48 lbs
Extra Shallow 4 ¾" or 4 11/16" 32-40 lbs


                     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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T Beek
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 08:21:24 AM »

After spending the last 5 years converting from deeps to mediums I wish I'd gone to all shallows (I also live w/ issues related to lifting).

That said I can offer these thoughts;

1.  Go ahead and do it.  I've found since my own conversion that there are many beeks keeping bees successfully in shallows.  The bees don't seem to care one bit.

2.  Build yourself a LONG HIVE, basically a box designed to fit anywhere from 10-40 frames of your choosing.  For this use I like using deep frames because in my part of the world my bees often suffered due to the lack of vertical space when using medium frames.  Although they survive our winters in mediums they've done better in the Deep.  LONG HIVES are exceptionally easy to manipulate and you only 'move one frame at a time and NO boxes' to move.  I completely enjoy both methods (standard Langs, in my case all mediums, and a couple LONG Hives) for keeping bees and plan to "keep on beekeeping on" with both  Smiley for as long as I keep bees.

As for insulation I have to hand it to BlueBee (and sometimes Finski  Wink) who always sends us some great pics along w/ concise data and explanation whenever talking about foam insulation.  I'm just beginning to adopt some of his methods and recommend his advise as a starting point at minimum.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 08:39:50 AM by T Beek » Logged

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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 08:22:44 AM »

Finski, by "shallows" I think the original poster was talking about frames that are only about 12cm deep.  In my photo I am using "medium" supers which are about 16cm deep.

That is too low for brood frames.

Our shallow is same as you say medium. In Langstroth we have American dimensions too.

That medium full of honey  and I may extract frpom it 15 kg / 30 pounds.
So 2 mediums may have 25 kg winter food. It is same as 10 fat langstroth frames.
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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2012, 08:28:51 AM »

.
One lady  has 30 hives. She had allways used one  Langstroth as brood box and others are mediums.

Langstroth with brood is not heavy.
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OPAVP
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2012, 09:25:04 AM »

Hi guys,Thanks for the conversations.  Yes I would use American shallows(5 3/4 "deep). My original thought was if the queen would lay in the 2nd and 3rd shallow box,so as to get the same brood area as two standard deep boxes(More or less the same). After all ,a good queen needs mere tham a single shallow!.

Nice to talk to you all.
Finsky,I like your comments. I live 90 km's north of the 49th parallel,90 Kilometer east of the Rocky Mountains. We had minus 27 C here two days ago. And then we get a warm wind coming accross the mountains and the temp. shoots up 30C degrees. It is called a Chinook wind.
Have aa nice day you"all.
Cor Van Pelt.
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Finski
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2012, 09:34:13 AM »

. We had minus 27 C here two days ago. And then we get a warm wind coming accross the mountains and the temp. shoots up 30C degrees.

That is odd!

But what ever you do, you may shange it again. Nothing is final.

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T Beek
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« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2012, 10:37:17 AM »

Typically my bees make 2 mediums into their broodspace, sometimes more, sometimes less. 

I "try" to have them strong enough to go into winter w/ 4 mediums, 2 brood, 2 honey, but have successfully overwintered bees in just one medium (topped w/ a medium of honey of course), by definition a NUC colony.

With shallows one would think 3 would be enough for brood, depending on colony size and time of year.  The queen will move around as necessary throughout.
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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2012, 10:42:36 AM »

.
No idea what it means to the colony in practice. The brood area is very compact. Now the frame sticks and the gap make quite a big empty area inside the brood.

Actually I do not see any reason to use shallow brood frames.
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T Beek
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« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2012, 10:47:51 AM »

And many see no reason not to  cool
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Finski
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2012, 01:01:01 PM »

And many see no reason not to  cool

Good yes

Beekeepers tend to see 5 times more ghosts than facts.

I do not pay much attention what "most" do or what is collective opinion. I follow facts and not others' opinions.


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T Beek
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2012, 01:23:19 PM »

Alright, I guess we do have something in common besides beekeeping  grin
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BlueBee
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2012, 01:33:24 PM »

If I had weight limitations, I would try a long hive like T Beek and Frameshift have used; but insulate the heck out of it.  As T Beek says, the bees seem to store more honey above their heads on the deep frames than the mediums and hence should be more likely to survive on a single layer of those frames in a cold climate.  I have not tried a long hive yet.  Something I may build next summer.
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T Beek
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2012, 01:43:33 PM »

I insulate the top and bottoms w/ 2" and the sides w/ 1"

They do better in my DEEP LONG HIVE compared to the MEDIUM I still run.
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