Don't know about him, but I'm using mediums for brood and supers.
By "all mediums" I mean mediums for both brood and honey supers. From all the reading and discussions on this it seems that is the way to go. I've already blown my cash on all mediums, so for me the choice has been made. For my brood chambers I will be using Ritecell and I won't be putting on honey supers until I have three medium brood boxes per hive fully drawn. I won't be taking any honey crop the first year since I'll be feeding the entire spring, summer, and fall to facilitate the drawing of the comb. Really the question of extraction methods will not arise until year 2.
I am aware that mixing plastic foundation with wax foundation in a hive has some problems. I think, however, that once I have my brood chamber frames fully drawn, putting wired wax and cut comb foundation in the honey supers will work fine.
I think that if I expand past two hives I will do top bar hives and then this whole discussion of extraction and foundation becomes moot. That's the plan, anyways.
Thanks, guys. I'm sorry to ask this in a thread about extracting, but are you using all mediums because of weight, to be able to have only one size super, both, neither, other reasons?
I am because of
>Thanks, guys. I'm sorry to ask this in a thread about extracting, but are you using all mediums because of weight, to be able to have only one size super, both, neither, other reasons?
Same as Bill.
Interchangability of frames and boxes.
Let's take interchangability for a second. You can take honey from supers from strong hives and boost the brood chambers of weak hives. The best thing to get a hive through winter is combs of stores. Now any comb in any hive can be stores. I don't like excluders and if the queen gets up and lays in a super, I can just put the brood back down in the brood chamber.
Weight. 60 pounds is all I want to lift and I don't want a lot less because it would take more boxes to move the same honey. 90 pounds is too much for me to lift, especially from the ground or from up high. Not bad at waist level, but still heavier than I want. Actually 40 pounds would be about right, but I dont' want to raise brood in shallows.
PermaComb is it's own thread, but what can you say about fully drawn comb out of the box?
The topper was when I was going to buy my most recent hives they were only available in medium.
If you are like me and planning to start your first hives in the spring I definately suggest going with medium boxes for your brood chambers for all the reasons stated above. Why make things hard on yourself? Its a bit more expensive but I think its worth it.
Three mediums is equivalent to 2 deeps. The only small dilemma is how many mediums to start your package in, one or two. I will be starting one 3lb package on just one medium and the other on two mediums to see the difference in build up time.
Getting back to the extraction topic, I would be surprised if you couldn't find an extractor to borrow or for rent through your local beekeepers club. Maryland is one of the worst states for beekeeping, in terms of honey crop sizes, but there seem to be a lot of hobbyists here and they have all been very helpful. I received at least 3 offers from beekeepers to borrow their extractor. If you only have a few hives, why not borrow one in exchange for helping them with their crop?
>Three mediums is equivalent to 2 deeps. The only small dilemma is how many mediums to start your package in, one or two. I will be starting one 3lb package on just one medium and the other on two mediums to see the difference in build up time.
My best luck so far, is starting a package in a 5 frame medium nuc. They really took off. I then moved them to an 8 frame box and then a 10 frame box and then two 10 frames boxes.
I'm sure they will do ok regardless, but I think the small space at the begining really helped them care for the brood and keep it warm.
Thanks again, gentlemen. Good points, all.
I next plan to check out the thread on permacomb. Looks pretty massive. May take me a few days to get through it.