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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Bowdoinham, Maine, USA


    I have made the decision to go to all medium boxes, hive bodies and honey supers. Mainly due to the weight of hive bodies in the fall when I am putting my meds in, some of my boxes this year were backbreaking, good for the bees, bad for the beekeeper. Also it would standardize my frame and foundation needs, buy and build one size, seems to me that would make thing just that much simpler. I realize that I will need three mediums to equate to a full size hive, but I don't have a problem with that.

    Now, my question is; does anyone already do this, and how do you like it?? Also, can anyone think of reasons why this might not be a good idea??

    Any advice or suggestions would be graetly appreciated. Thank you.


    Maine-ly Bees
    David Wallace and Family
    Bowdoinham, ME

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    smethport, pa usa


    using 9-5/8 hive bodies are your best bet supers are your choice, the reason for deep hive bodies are simply ease of inspections, manipulations. and of course less hive bodies, less foudation and less frames one or two hive its not a big deal but 10 or twenty hive and the number of frames and foundation really multiply,its your choice. joel

    [This message has been edited by Admin (edited December 29, 2001).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    DuPage County, Illinois USA


    Hi David -

    I personally switched over to all mediums (6-5/8") this year. So glad I did too. I find it much easier to work the hives.

    I include a portion of text from a paper titled, "Productive Management of Honey-Bee Colonies" by C. L. Farrar.

    "Experiments dealing with two-queen colony management at the Bee Culture Laboratory at Madison, Wisconsin, established that standard 10-frame equipment was unsatisfactory for two-queen colonies. Tests were made to determine whether use of several 11-frame Modified Dadant supers as brood chambers (6-1/4 inch frames) would permit queens to develop as populous colonies as obtained in deeper brood chambers. It was found that brood rearing was not curtailed by the depth of frames, it being limited only by the amount of comb space, its position, the food supply, and the queen's capacity to lay eggs. The 6-1/4 inch frame was chosen as the only shallow frame suitable for brood rearing that was commonly available from all manufacturers. Special-cut square hive bodies taking 12 of these frames were adopted to provide hive capacity for two-queen colonies at a height 18 inches less than the minimum required with standard-depth equipment. This equipment proved so satisfactory for both two-queen and single-queen colony management that all standard 10-frame equipment at the Laboratory has since been cut down to the shallow dimensions.

    Shallow equipment permits greater colony control through manipulation of hive bodies and requires less handling of individual frames than is necessary with standard or deeper equipment. Shallow equipment is lighter to handle than standard equipment, and shallow supers will be finished and ready for removal 7 to 10 days sooner than standard-depth supers.

    Eight shallow hive bodies, either 10-, 11-, or 12-frames, are desirable for the management of full-strength single-queen colonies. The 10-frame equipment is satisfactory for single-queen colonies, but the 12-frame square equipment is preferable in two-queen colony management. The 11-frame equipment can be used with either type of colony but, 13 hive bodies should be available when used for two queens compared with 12 of the square. Four shallow brood chambers provide the required space for brood rearing and reserve food storage in single-queen colonies. Four shallow supers meet their surplus honey storage requirements. The more rapid finishing of the shallow supers permits their earlier removal, extraction, and return to the colonies for refilling. Thus, the total amount of hive space required is less than with standard equipment. Initial cost of shallow equipment is slightly greater because more hive bodies and frames are required to provide the necessary hive space. The cost of milling the wooden hive parts and their assembly is the same for shallow as for the deep frames. However, this higher cost is more than offset by better colony control and the lighter weight equipment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Texarkana, TX


    Howdy David --

    Glad to hear you are into Mediums only.
    I have used this system since 1936 and have
    only good to say for it. Maybe a tad more
    cost per hive, but I make all my equipment,
    even frames (often from salvaged lumber).



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