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Author Topic: Half height or Ideal?  (Read 317 times)
Wombat2
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« on: February 12, 2014, 12:21:48 AM »

Due to advancing years and dropping strength I decided to use full depth brood boxes and half height supers. Just purchased my 2nd and 3rd hives and looking to stock up on more frames (make my own supers) and find only one supplier stocks half height but all have Ideal.

Am I bucking a trend or is there something I should know as a newbie?
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David L
yantabulla
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 02:54:23 AM »

David, 

I can sympathise with you when it comes to lifting heavy supers.

The problem that I can see with having a full depth brood box & half depth supers is that you can't easily lift brood frames up out of the brood box to manage swarming and replace old brood comb.  The ability to swap brood combs out to the brood box is a good management tool that you would not want to loose.

I lift two to three brood combs up above the queen excluder every year and replace them with foundation/drawn comb/foundationless frames.

You could also achieve the same thing by starting a few nucleus hives every year I suppose so your proposed method can still work for you.

If you want to have shallow supers you could try having a brood box and a full depth super then your shallows on top of that.

Others will suggest that you just have shallows all the way including the brood box which allows you to swap frames throughout the hive in the same way as if everything was full depth.

Uniformity keeps things simple particularly when you start building your hive numbers up.

This subject is discussed pretty regularly on the forum if you do a search.

Yanta


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Simon
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 11:04:54 PM »

You could just use all ideals if you like ...or all half height if that's what you want.  I'd go for ideal size if I was the one deciding because it means that frames and boxes are readily available off the shelf new as well as second hand.  Plenty of people are doing just that and it means that your full boxes will be lighter but some will be a bit closer to the ground and you'll have a few more frames to go through (probably want three ideals for brood, maybe four half height??)  Also, all your frames etc will be interchangeable and it becomes much simpler to cycle out the old ones like Yanta explained.  The main problem is changing your existing full depth hive parts over to the smaller size, but I think that could be achieved in time by moving your full depth boxes up until they becomes a full honey supers ready to extract.  Oh, yeah, get yourself a low stool to sit on while you go through the bottom box.

Simon
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