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Thread: Lifting boxes

  1. #1
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    Aug 2002
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    I'm curious what the consensus is out there. I've had a discussion on the organicbeekeeping board about using mediums so can lift 60 pound full boxes and I don't have to lift those 90 to 100 pound deeps and some people are of the opinion that you never lift a full box. You move everything one frame at a time. This seems very cumbersome to me and I have a hard time picturing doing it in order to check a brood nest. I wouldn't mind it for harvest since I often brush the bees off anyway, but frankly, even then I set the boxes on a triangular bee escape for a day or so and then brush each frame so I still move all the supers a box at a time.

    Seems like moving things a frame at a time would be a major disruption to the hive not to mention a lot of tedious work.

    What is the consensus out there? Do all y'all lift boxes or just move frames?

  2. #2
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    Apr 2004
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    Gillett, Pennsylvania, USA
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    I have the deep supers, so i take out frames, i check the weight first though if i can lift i do, i back up the pickup for the tallest ones and kind-of slide them over. Course i only had 3 hives to tend to last fall, this fall i'll have 7, not sure what i'll do now
    i'm pretty rugged "for a girl" but those full supers sure are heavy!!
    i wouldnt mind a better (but cheap) way to do it if anyone has any ideas. I do most of it by myself, as my dad is allergic-keeps an epikpen nearby, and my hubby doesnt have a suite & and at least use to be allergic - just got stung by two on friday and no real bad reaction, Maybe he's just been trying to get out of helping?? That'll teach him to be a by-stander instead of helping me

  3. #3
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    My "method" is to use all medium boxes. I can lift 60 pounds ok, although when it's stuck to the box below it weighs a lot more.

    But I was curious if there were people doing other things. Someone (Clay or Clint?) uses the bipod that lifts them.

  4. #4
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    Danbury,Ct. USA
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    Mike,
    I'm throwing around the boxes. I think it's a rare medium that weighs 60#. I went to 1 deep and 1 or 2 mediums for a basic hive. I had so much honey left after the winter, that's going to be a definite 1 medium. It was a sort of a mess when I came to reverse them but I did it. The deep frame brood box isn't bad to lift if it's only got brood in it. I'm going to all mediums on some of the hives. All this to cut down on weight. Opps, I know why your mediums are heavy. It's all that waxed permacomb you have in them!

    Dickm

  5. #5
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    It is true. The PermaComb adds about 10 pounds, but I think a full medium with PermaComb may run closer to 70 pounds or at least 65.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2003
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    Bartonville, TX USA
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    I stayed with one deep + one medium. They winter well here in Texas with that combination. I like having a larger unbroken broodnest. Have had good early spring buildup. The queens seemed to prefer laying in the deep during the winter. By dandelion bloom in February the hives were boiling out the top with bees.

    There is research that shows breaking up the brood nest does reduces hive population.

    It wasn't until March that they moved up and started laying in the mediums. May have been related to where they used up the honey stores first.

    Lifting a deep never has been a problem when they are full of brood. I don't find myself lifting them in the fall when they are packed with stores. If I was migratory it would be a moot point - I'd go with a forklift and pallets. I move a lot of things around the farm with a 2 wheel dolly. It has large pneumatic wheels and works as well in the pasture as in the barn. Haul sacks of feed around all the time. Two 80lb bags of concrete will lay on it and are easy to push around even in the grass.

    [This message has been edited by wfarler (edited April 28, 2004).]

    [This message has been edited by wfarler (edited April 28, 2004).]

  7. #7
    jfischer Guest

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    The trick is to lift weights all year, and
    stay in shape for lifting supers.

    A frame at a time is fine for someone with
    two hives, but it clearly does not "scale"
    very far beyond a dozen hives.

    I weigh 130, and I have benched 240 every
    day for decades. No reason to go any
    higher, but the key is regular workouts
    with more weight than you ever need to lift
    in beekeeping.

    That said, I don't own a single deep.
    That said, I can lift 'em all day, and
    end up merely dead-tired rather than dead.

    One of these days, maybe an Easy-Lifter.
    Not getting any younger, and my prototype
    anti-gravity machine does nothing but create
    annoying wormholes to another dimension and
    run up my electricity bill.

  8. #8
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    I use a bipod called a "back saver" it is advertised in ABJ a lot. I tried it 3 years ago and found that it helped a lot.
    I manage 505 hives. 5 at home experimental and 500 we take on the road for pollonation contracts. All the hives on the road are all large boxes but the 5 at home have 3 brood chambers and 3 Illinois suppers each.
    We have 2 back savers on the road and I have 1 at home that I use quite often. I have found that it only adds about 5 minutes per hive on inspections and I see the Dr. less often with back problems.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    I use a bipod called a "back saver" it is advertised in ABJ a lot. I tried it 3 years ago and found that it helped a lot.
    I manage 505 hives. 5 at home experimental and 500 we take on the road for pollonation contracts. All the hives on the road are all large boxes but the 5 at home have 3 brood chambers and 3 Illinois suppers each.
    We have 2 back savers on the road and I have 1 at home that I use quite often. I have found that it only adds about 5 minutes per hive on inspections and I see the Dr. less often with back problems.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  10. #10
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    "...a full medium with PermaComb may run closer to 70 pounds or at least 65.".

    You won't believe it but every year they are going to get heavier.

    Jim,
    How do you get into position to press a super? Anyway, I'm certain nobody will kick sand in your face while you do it.

    Dickm

  11. #11
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    Williston, NC, USA
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    That's why I'm going to mediums! Those deeps are soooooo heavy (and I don't use Permacomb). I would hate to have to move boxes one frame at a time--besides, I don't like to tear up their work--they build a lot of burr comb and I just leave it alone and let them set up the box to their own design because they know best and besides, I'm afraid in the effort of pulling them apart I'll hurt them or worse yet, roll the queen. So I move the boxes intact. It was a dickens when I converted my most populous hive to a two-queener. The second box is chest high (I'm 5'll") and I had quite a time lifting that deep that high and placing it on top without crushing lots of bees, but I did it. It's staying there 'til harvest--no more inspections--and when I disassemble & split, I'm going to get one of my beekeeper friends to help me get that second deep off the stack!

  12. #12
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    >You won't believe it but every year they are going to get heavier

    They have every year so far, so I think they will continue.

    Maybe I should have used all shallows?



  13. #13
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    May 2003
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    Sandhills NC
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    Or you can do like I did and marry someone who is 6'6" and weighs 300lbs! :~) He does most of my lifting even though I can lift them--I agree they will just keep getting heavier!

  14. #14
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    Thumbs down

    >Or you can do like I did and marry someone who is 6'6" and weighs 300lbs!

    I'm afraid she wouldn't be my type...

  15. #15
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    I have always had cleats on all of my boxes, and that makes hefting deeps much easier. My twelve frame deep jumbos give me a bit of a problem though, get help for those. My best trick was moving most of my hives about twenty feet away from my honey extracting room, and making moving dolly pallets. Off the hive, onto the blower table, onto the pallet, not to be lifted full again.

  16. #16
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    I think the best thing I did for may back was to build a "horse". It's an open framework with 4 legs, a little bigger than bottomboard.(Picture a table without a top, and with slanty legs) It's waist high and light enough to carry with one hand. I simply stack up whatever I'm taking off the hive, on top of it. Very little bending and lifting.

    Dickm

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