Has anyone tried using medium supers for brood boxes? I have read about this method in a few places. I'm wondering how it works, and how many supers one would have to use for the brood nest. The advantages to this system are obvious, but I'm wondering if there is any disadvantages.
Hi Rick -
I'm sold on the mediums. It took me a season to convert over to all mediums, but I don't regret it at all. I have over wintered bees on 2, 3 and 4 mediums. I shoot for 3-4 mediums as brood chambers. Now I'm also on small cell comb so you might want to figure more for the brood due to less cells on the bigger comb if that is what you are using.
I no longer have to deal with such back breaking sizes as deeps.
I've tried it. The only reason I'm not doing it now is, I'm moving them into something more horizontal and if you're rasing them on one level, which I'm trying to do, you need them deep. If the Dadant deeps were readily availabe I'd be using them.
But If I was doing the high rise thing, I'd use the mediums. You can keep your equipment all the same, eliminate lifting those deeps to get to the brood. The only disadvantage is really a theoretical one, and that is that the queen tends to lay a cirular patter and more boxes means she lays a smaller cirle in each. I haven't noticed that much difference. The other disadvantage is more boxes to look through to find the queen. I don't think the bees care one way or the other.
I'm collecting money now from my first honey crop, and I'm tickled to death. We had no locust flow this year, and the poplar was so little that I let the bees keep it all. That's probably just as well. The sourwood flow was great this year. I've already bottled and sold one medium super, and I'm getting ready to take off another. The honey is fantastic, and sold fast. I guess I'm off the topic here. I'm going to use my honey money to buy more hives and bees, and I think I'll try the mediums. My hive stand is pretty high off the ground, and that second deep hive body filled with honey is not easy to take on and off. Many people in my area use one deep for brood and one shallow for winter feed. Therefore I think I can get away with 3 mediums for the brood-boxes.
Starting 10 years into beekeeping, and now for twenty years, I have been going the other way, converting my brood chambers to Dadant deep frames, 11 1/4" deep. Some of my hives are square, 20" X 20" with twelve frames. This size brood chamber is big enough to use as a single. Have one 400 lb. crop hive on this size brood chamber this year.I am not migratory, so I never have to lift them. I have this year for the first time tryed Langstroth size brood chambers with Deep frames. I use medium depth for supers. I should run a comparison using mediums for brood.