I like this idea of "all medium boxes".
Not that I am a little feller but as the years go by GRAVITY has gotten a lot stronger. Things that used to be light weight now are heavy.
Now for the problem. ??HOW DO I SWITCH TO ALL MEDIUMS?? I now have 3 deeps for brood and 3 or more supers on top. I only have 2 hives. I don't suppose I can change now. ?Fall? spring??
Well I use all deep but that is because it is the most universal frame. If you by nucs you almost always get deep frames, ect. Same if you sell nucs most want deep frames. But to convert to mediums is good as I like the standardization and flexibility even though I do this with deeps.
I now have 3 deeps for brood and 3 or more supers on top.
Well I'd take 2 supers (meds) and place them in the third position and place the deep on top. Extract the deep and the one super(I assume its a medium). When the bees work up into the mediums over winter. Reverse in the spring taking away the empty deep, both if possible. Once both are gone add the mediums. Or shakedown in the spring would work.
I am contemplating this too, here is what I was thinking.
First, after you finish extracting this fall, depending on how full your hives are, put one or two empty mediums on top for the winter. Last fall, when I put mine on for them to clean out, they filled them again. Feeding would encourage that.
I would also do a full hive inspection, if there are frames in the deeps that are almost empty, maybe you could pull out a few deep frames here and there, and reduce the three deeps to two. Then, going into the winter, you would have two deeps and one or two mediums. Then, next spring, when they have moved up, the bottom deep will probably be empty. Remove it and add another medium or two on top. This should give you one deep and 2 or 3 mediums above it. Make sure the queen it in one of the mediums, then put the deep on top, with a queen excluder under it. If it gets done before any major honey flows, you should be able to pull the last deep off after another week or two. Then just add mediums.
I would hesitate to do a shakedown, by the time we can inspect hives in the spring, the good ones are full of brood, and a shakedown would lose a lot of that advantage.
Howdy Been --
Good suggestions so far, but nothing mentioned about salvaging or converting the deeps you have.
As soon as combs are empty, run them over
the table saw to reduce depth to proper size,
then add a solid bottom bar. Just saw through frame, comb and all. The boxed can
be reduced to 6 5/8" easily.
All of these are possibilities. Part of the question is how big of a hurry are you in? How much trauma are you willing to cause for the bees?
If it was me and I have two or three deeps, I'd move anything without brood above an excluder for now, Sort out all of the brood and put it in one deep (if it will fit) below the excluder. Add a couple of mediums over the deep. If the bees don't get the mediums filled out for winter then you can put the deeps back on but if they fill the mediums before winter and you leave them on, come spring they will have moved up into them and left the deep behind. Then you can easily remove it. That would probably be my plan.
If you're in a bigger hurry you can do a shakedown.
I am i no hurry to switch to all mediums.
Basswood is in bloom and I sure don't want any disturbance now.
I will use one of the overwinter methods.
Anybody else got different ideas. I am listning - reading.
I can't do anything in early spring as I won't get back to MN untill mid April.