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Author Topic: Hive Box sizes  (Read 1230 times)
MsCarol
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« on: November 21, 2013, 10:41:24 AM »

While reading a thread or two on hive box building, again mention/recommendation was made to start with medium frame boxes preferably 8 frame because of the weight issues as we age. Oddly enough I started just that way for just those reasons. Although I am a strong gal, there may come a time when hoisting anything heavy may become an issue. I took that into account when I first ordered my first hives.

I note that many Beeks are essentially baby boomers. And many are women these days. Add in that sadly many of the youth are sorely out of condition make me wonder why more emphasis isn't made to begin with the smaller box sizes as well as the modular aspect?  huh Tradition? Sure there is equipment to move large heavy objects, but most beginners don't have access to it.

As a still floundering new-bee, I wish when talking about brood size and all that I could keep my head wrapped around what size equals what size. Is there a cheat sheet anywhere? Something simple? I think MB had something on his web site, but.....well I have lost it.  embarassed


It gets confusing for this fuzzy brain to sort out deeps vs medium frames and what it means in the big picture when trying to determine if a hive is "strong " or "weak". Add in the differences in numbers of frames within the different size boxes. Just a bit lost here. I haven't found a local mentor here to show me that has much more experience then I. The blind leading the blind issue.
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D Coates
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 11:56:10 AM »

Hang in there.  Read all you can, and don't be afraid to ask questions.  2 deeps is roughly equal to 3 supers.  The same is relatively true whether your talking about 8 or 10 frame boxes, respectively.
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OldMech
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2013, 01:04:15 PM »

Dont really know of a cheat sheet.. could print something off on your computer and paste it on the wall or desk...   LANGSTROTH Deeps or mediums usually refer to the size, be they 8 frame boxes or ten.
   Mediums are 6 5/8 with 6 1/4 inch frames. Deeps are three inches bigger. Not many people use shallows, I believe they are about an inch shallower than the mediums..
   Medium frames from my ten frame boxes will work splendidly in your 8 frame boxes, no difference there, which makes it a bit easier to understand.. Same holds true with the deeps..   I use all medium frames, no deeps at all.. I use medium frames in my traps and in my nuc's so everything is interchangeable.. just a personal preference like you using 8 frame boxes..    As time passes, you will become used to it and not have to think about it anymore.. when someone says deeps or mediums you will know.. have patience. Keep reading and thinking, it will become second nature.
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danno
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 03:33:44 PM »

I have one of those old Dadant gigantic hive bodies with drawn frames.  I could not imagine having to lift it.   
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sterling
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 06:23:16 PM »

if what you are talking about is what equals what.

1 ten frame deep = 2 eight frame mediums
1 five frame deep nuc = 1 eight frame medium
4 eight frame mediums = 2  ten frame deeps
3 ten frame mediums = 2 ten frame deeps

These is not exact measurements but are close enough for you to judge the strength of a colony. Like hive one has five deep frames full of bees and hive two has fight medium frames full of bees. they are about the same strength.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 06:54:12 AM »

>Tradition?

Yes.

As far as a chart, Sterling got it.

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MsCarol
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 08:57:44 AM »

Thank You Sterling,  th_thumbsupup

That was exactly what I needed. I will memorize that and extrapolate from there.

Yes OldMech, I realize it all will eventually become second nature, but right now it feels a bit like that first year in Algebra.  Wink

I chose 8 frame because of the weight issues. I really do like the idea of all medium depths in any case.

I do have one new standard 10 frame deep hive body (plus top and bottom). I goofed (likely was distracted) when I ordered. As I didn't open the box until 2 months after its arrival, it was too late to return it. Was given a few 10 frame mediums (used) by my next door neighbor who used to keep bees until "life happened" about 10+ years ago and then he got sick. Very likely the bees I have now are descendents of his hives.

One reason for my volumetric question was I wish to create some swarm traps for next spring. I don't want them too small as to not be attractive to the swarm scouts. Nor do I want them too big as I have to move them.  Wink I have 3 different locations already in mind. I know the "parent" colony of one of my hives was still very active this fall. I have a tip on a location of another colony on/near a friends farm. Plus the farm where my second swarm was found.
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OldMech
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2013, 10:21:42 AM »

Algebra.....    "shudders"

   I actually LIKE the 8 frame medium for swarm boxes (trap) and it is what i build specifically for the purpose..



   I have tried 5 frame deep boxes with deep frames, medium frames and no frames, as well as ten frame deep and medium boxes.  I have JUST as much luck with the 8 frame medium box as I do the 5 frame deep and ten frame medium.. I have yet to catch anything in a ten frame deep.. I am sure I will eventually...   the 8 frame medium is easier to handle and has a bit more room than the 5 frame medium, but its not overwhelmingly large or heavy if I need to put it up on a tree or barn..   I also seem to have as much, or better luck putting them up at about head height as opposed to everyone recommendation to put then 12 feet up in a tree....
   I tried that, and its a pain!!!!
   In doing cut outs..  I often notice that the bees CHOOSE places of availability.. an old combine tire, using the valve stem hole as entrance, or gash in the side of the tire. Tool box from a truck laying on the ground with a hole rusted in the bottom side. Old car bodies, old farm equipment.... none of which is 12 feet off the ground.. so I stopped climbing ladders...
   Would be interesting though to see it thoroughly tested...    However... I have enough luck at head height that I doubt I would go back to ladders even if it was proven to be a better location.

   I hope your luck is GREAT! That your bees all Flourish! That your swarm traps are always full!
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Moots
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2013, 02:42:12 PM »

if what you are talking about is what equals what.

1 ten frame deep = 2 eight frame mediums
1 five frame deep nuc = 1 eight frame medium
4 eight frame mediums = 2  ten frame deeps
3 ten frame mediums = 2 ten frame deeps

These is not exact measurements but are close enough for you to judge the strength of a colony. Like hive one has five deep frames full of bees and hive two has fight medium frames full of bees. they are about the same strength.


Carol,
As Sterling points out, the above is plenty sufficient for general comparisons.  However, it's a Friday afternoon at work and I'm dead in the water waiting for someone to return my phone call...so I decided to play with Excel a little and see exactly what the numbers look like.  For my purposes, I decided to look at it as total square inches of comb, using 19 X 6.25 for mediums and 19 X 9.125 for Deeps, I figured a single medium frame has 237 1/2 square inches of comb, whereas a single Deep is 346 3/4 .

 

I highlighted the comparisons from Sterlings post.

1 ten frame deep = 2 eight frame mediums
** Here, the 2 eight frame mediums technically give you the equivalent of nearly 1 and 1/2 more medium frames, 1.4 to be exact.  OR, nearly a full extra Deep frame (.96 of  a deep)
1 five frame deep nuc = 1 eight frame medium
** Here, the 8 frame medium gives you nearly 3/4 of a medium frame extra...(.70)
4 eight frame mediums = 2  ten frame deeps
** Here, the 4 eight frame mediums  give you 2.8 more medium frames, OR almost two full Deeps (1.92)
3 ten frame mediums = 2 ten frame deeps
** Here the 3 ten frame mediums give you a little over 3/4ths of a Medium extra (.80)

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Royall
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2013, 03:09:58 PM »

That's way cool Moots!! Glad you're not having to work too hard on an Aloha Friday!! Fridays are bigger here I think than on the mainland! LOL Here is the Friday theme song for the Islands!!

Kimo Kahoano & Paul Natto "Aloha Friday No Work Till Monday!"


May have to know little pigeon!!!

BTW... did I mention it is 10:00 in the morning, sunny skies, 83*, and light trade winds blowing?  grin
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sterling
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2013, 06:48:22 PM »

Hey Moots, the only problem with your math is you used the wrong measurement for the area that the bees use on a frame.
Deep foundation which fits inside a deep frame according to WT Kelly is 16 3/4 x8 3/8.
Medium foundation is 16 3/4 x 5 5/8.
Don't know if that matters or not math wise but the bees just use the area inside the frames to raise worker brood.
And I said it wasn't exact but close enough to compare colony strength.
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Moots
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2013, 07:05:48 PM »

Hey Moots, the only problem with your math is you used the wrong measurement for the area that the bees use on a frame.
Deep foundation which fits inside a deep frame according to WT Kelly is 16 3/4 x8 3/8.
Medium foundation is 16 3/4 x 5 5/8.
Don't know if that matters or not math wise but the bees just use the area inside the frames to raise worker brood.
And I said it wasn't exact but close enough to compare colony strength.

**emphasis added
Sterling...Yeah...thought I kind of acknowledged that with my opening sentence of;
"As Sterling points out, the above is plenty sufficient for general comparisons."

Wasn't trying to ding anyone...just ran some quick numbers and thought I would share them in case anyone was interested.  As for me using the frame size, I knew it wouldn't be exact, but figured the amount it was off would be pretty relative either way.  Smiley
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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sterling
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2013, 07:15:18 PM »

As my Dad used to say six of one and a half dozen of the other.
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JPinMO
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2013, 09:18:30 PM »

BTW... did I mention it is 10:00 in the morning, sunny skies, 83*, and light trade winds blowing?  grin

Uh, Royall, you do realize that them's fightin' words for those of us who are grateful if it's above freezing right now? Good thing you're a looooong way from us.  evil
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Royall
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2013, 11:04:26 PM »


[/quote]Uh, Royall, you do realize that them's fightin' words for those of us who are grateful if it's above freezing right now? Good thing you're a looooong way from us.  evil
[/quote]

Oop...... did I say something wrong JP??  Wink  I have many friends here that say how much they miss the 4 seasons! Hell, I'm already looking forward to summer !!! The blood tends to run a bit thin after a few years. In the next few months, the night time temps will dip into the mid and upper 50's.... Not so cold if you have a thermostat on the wall to turn up... No heat in 90% of the homes here. Only time I see a chimney is up in Volcano Village on top of the Kilauea volcano. That's 4000 ft elevation. As you can see in my avatar, we do get snow here too! Come sky Hawai'i! LOL grin
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Joe D
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2013, 12:10:14 AM »

Royall, that's OK, it was in the upper 50's last night with high today in mid 70's.

I know it would be great to use one size box for every thing.  I haven't got there yet.  I am still using 10 frame deep(2) for brood chambers, and 10 frame mediums and shallows for supers.  I haven't tried to figure out the difference in a 10 frame shallow and a 8 frame medium.   I have a few extra deeps, several mediums and shallows ready to go.  Good luck to you and your bees which ever box you use.



Joe
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MsCarol
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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2013, 11:44:49 AM »

Quote
I also seem to have as much, or better luck putting them up at about head height as opposed to everyone recommendation to put then 12 feet up in a tree....
   I tried that, and its a pain!!!!

Thanks OldMech,

You have verified my plan to use medium 8 size as swarm traps. AND made me feel better about "hanging height". I don't DO ladders!!!

What is the best method of hanging the boxes so a frisky squirrel (We have those big fox squirrels) or a fat raccoon don't tear it off/down by bouncing on the top? I would think it should have some stout support. Especially once it gets an active healthy swarm building.
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