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Thread: size supers?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Bethlehem CT.
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    Question

    Hello all
    I have a question as to what size supers to buy. This is for a first time purchase and i'd like to start to where all the supers are the same size. Should I purchase shallow supers or Med supers and what type of frames and foundation should I get. The next question is set them up for 9-frames or let them be the full 10 frames?
    If you guys would be so kind to point me in the right direction that would be awsome. My thoughts so far are from what i've read is maybe med. with coated plasta-cell foundation??
    Please if you wouldn't mind which extractor? I was thinking about the dadant little wonder?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Jun 2004
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    Clayton Indiana
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    As far as the super size, that depends on your situation. The main difference is the weight when full of honey. The med is around 45 and the shallow is around 30. I have found the mediums to be real heavy to lift when you get them stacked up over your head on a strong hive. The advantage to the med, besides the capacity is that you can use them for brood boxes. Many beekeepers use 3 med for the main brood nest.

    I use all three sizes and have them painted different colors so I can pick and choose what ever fits the need.

    Spacing to 9 frames just allows the bees to fill out the frame thicker. It makes it easier when uncapping.

    The extractor size depends greatly on how big of operation you have or intend on having. A hand crank works great for 1-10 hives. If you have more than 10 hives your arm will appreciate a motor driven unit.
    Hope that helps
    Todd Zeiner

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    >I have a question as to what size supers to buy. This is for a first time purchase and i'd like to start to where all the supers are the same size.

    I run all mediums for everything. Brood. Cut comb. Extracted. It's nice having all the same size.

    The two advantages to shallows are the normal size for cut comb is the size of the inside of a shallow frame. But then sometimes the bees don't draw it all to the edge and then the medium works better by allowing you a little fudge factor. The other is the shallows are lighter in weight. A full shallow is about 50 pounds of so and a full medium is about 60 pounds or so. BTW a full deep is 90 pounds or so.

    Since I've been converting to all mediums for brood and honey, I wish I had bought more mediums and less shallows.

    >what type of frames and foundation should I get.

    Partly it depends on what you want to do with them. If you want to put plastic foundation in them then you need grooved top and bottoms. If you want to put wax in them you need to decide if you want to use grooved top and bottoms and wax the foundation in with a wax tube fastener, or buy a cleated top and nail it in to hold the top. I think the wax is faster and less frustrating than bending all those little nails.

    Once you've decided on the frames, Walter T. Kelly seems to have the best chart as to what size foundation fits what kindf of frame exactly. You can buy foundation from them or just look it up to figure what size is best. But they have the biggest assortment of sizes, it seems.

    As far as what KIND of foundation, that depends on what you want to have. If you want comb honey, then thin surplus is the ticket. If you want to extract you may want wired wax or plastic. Again this may determine what kind of frame you want.

    > The next question is set them up for 9-frames or let them be the full 10 frames?

    With new foudation, but ten in a box and crowd them to the middle. Once you have DRAWN foundation, space them 9 to a box.

    >If you guys would be so kind to point me in the right direction that would be awsome. My thoughts so far are from what i've read is maybe med. with coated plasta-cell foundation??

    That can work fine.

    >Please if you wouldn't mind which extractor? I was thinking about the dadant little wonder?

    I would either not buy an extractor, which works fine if you just buy the thin surplus foundation and crush and strain.


    Or I'd buy a 9/18 radial and make it worth your while. It's only a few dollars more for a 9/18. Of course if you can find a USED extractor it might be worth the cost of a small one. I kept bees for 25 years without an extractor.

    http://wind.prohosting.com/tbhguy/bee/harve.htm

    Discussions on extractors:

    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum12/HTML/000215.html
    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000906.html
    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000184.html
    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000184.html
    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000267.html
    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000267.html
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Bethlehem CT.
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    Todd/ Michael

    Thanks for the input. I think i'm going to start with some mediums for this year. Still got to figure the eastest foundation cause my plan right now is just extracting. Maybe cut comb a year or two down the line or even 3yrs down the line. I'm starting with 2 hives but will be adding more and more to 10 plus. so just wanted to get headed in the right direction.
    Thanks Michael for the links about extractors i'm off to read those now.
    I know this info comes easy to you guys but a newbie like me it get confusing. I did jion up with a bee club but it meets once a month and i'm a newbie there and this board has been A HUGE WEALTH of info for me. I thank you guys again for the info!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Lake Linden,Michigan USA
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    I started two hives last year (deeps), this year, all mediums. once you start lifting deeps that are full you will wish you had startd with mediums

  6. #6
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    May 2004
    Location
    Milford, MI
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    328

  7. #7
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    >once you start lifting deeps that are full you will wish you had startd with mediums

    Amen.

    >Do I hear a little girl?

    They didn't bother me when I was 20. They didn't bother me much when I was 30. They were ok when I was 40 but I was getting tired of them. Now that I'm 50, I don't want to hurt that much.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
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    Aug 2004
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    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
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    >Do I hear a little girl?

    Ted

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
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    I wish I had started with mediums and I am only 28. Those deeps are danged heavy. Glad I only have three hives and am switching to mediums.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2005
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    North Georgia mountains
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    I use all mediums. A deep brood chamber, topped by a medium for bee's stores, and more mediums for honey harvest.

    I'm thinking about putting 10 colonies to work on Ross Rounds and will use shallows for that if Ross Rounds will fit shallows.

    BubbaBob

  11. #11
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    Well, you can cut a shallow down for Ross Rounds. If I remember right they take an extra shallow.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
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    Jun 2004
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    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
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    Well little girl or not I use mediums for everything even queen rearing. Easy to work with and not all that heavy. At my age 50+, a 60 to 75 lbs supper is a lot to pick up and move hour after hour. Not bad when I was younger and yes stupider but now my back, arms, and fingers can't take that kind of abuse. I like the mediums.
    Dan

  13. #13
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    I'm such a weakling I started buying all 8-frame mediums now. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Lula, Ga. USA
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    Hey, I guess I am weak too. I have just started in Beekeeping and all my equipment is 8 Frame including my deeps, and mediums. I really do think that a 8 frame is the way to go several older beekeepers around here all say go to 8 frame. Not too heavey but still will product some good stores and broods.....

  15. #15
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    I'm trying to get to all 8 frame mediums, forget the deeps. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I really like my long hives too. All horizontal instead of vertical.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    McMinnville, TN, USA
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    Todd Zeiner said:
    The med is around 45 and the shallow is around 30.
    Michael Bush said:
    A full shallow is about 50 pounds of so and a full medium is about 60 pounds or so. BTW a full deep is 90 pounds or so.

    MB is much closer to the truth. I weighed 2 medium supers this summer full of honey. My home made boxes may ad a pound but doubt much more if any than that. One weighed 72 pounds. The other weighed 64 pounds. Why did I take these supers to the scale you may want to know. I have a back fussion with siatic nerve damage and 3 more bulged disk. I am not supose to lift over 50 pounds. A medium super hold about 45 to 55 pounds of honey the rest of the weight is the wax, frames, and box. I wish I had not made so many 10 frame mediums. I think I am going to go all 8 frame mediums but will make a few and try these first. Remember this equipment will last for years(I have a super that my dad kept bees in with 1974 writen on the inside but it was kept in the barn for 16 year out of use). You will get older and if you stay with the bees you will need the lighter boxes in time.

  17. #17
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    >Remember this equipment will last for years

    I have some boxes that are 30 years old. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    An 8 frame medium weighs 48 pounds full of honey.

    If you want to convert to 8 frame boxes, another way to use some of the 10 frame boxes you already have, is as the bottom box of the hive with eight frame boxes on top and a small scrap of wood to cover the gap between the 10 frame box and the eight frame boxes. Or even two 10 frame medium boxes on the bottom and then the eight frame boxes, since the botom two boxes will most likely have a lot of brood they will weigh less and you can still use your old bottom boards.

    Kilian used to do this with two ten frame deeps for brood and eight frame comb honey supers, and then removing one of the deeps for the cutdown split.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
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    I would use different size boxes for the brood chambers and the honey supers, because of the miticides you use in the brood chamber... this way, you won't mix contaminated frames into the honey supers

    justgojumpit

  19. #19
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    I use no mitecides. No antibiotics. No fumidil. And if you believe the bees respect a queen excluder and don't move contaminated honey across it, I have some ocean front property in Western Nebraska I'd like to sell you.

    But if that's your intent, to use chemicals and keep the brood seperate, then I'd use 10 frame mediums for the brood chamber and 8 frame mediums for the supers and mark the brood frames.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Delta,Colorado,USA
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    I use all deeps I kinda like having my knuckles drag the ground at the end of the day.HAHA


    Kirby

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