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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lawrenceburg, IN
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    97

    Default Deep Honey Supers?

    I would like to know which is better for commercial opperation. Deep supers or mediums. I want to expand a lot not year but have been using mediums for all my hives so far. But I don't want to jump into abunch more mediums without hearing from anybody who is using deeps (commercially). My first year i used all deeps but i only had 2 hives.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,849

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    I am not commercial but IMHO:
    as long as you are expanding use deeps, because they get beautifully drawn out as a honey super and then can become next years expansion brood comb, or this falls divide filler combs. I never seem to have enough deep brood combs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    go with mediums. These get heavy enough and if you are handling several hundred to a thousand a day you will soon realize that deeps are just too darned heavy. Most commercial operations I know of use mediums...as a matter of fact I don't know any that use deeps.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,849

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    go with mediums. These get heavy enough and if you are handling several hundred to a thousand a day you will soon realize that deeps are just too darned heavy. Most commercial operations I know of use mediums...as a matter of fact I don't know any that use deeps.
    He now has TWO hives, so next year he might handle what? Six full deeps? He can always make mediums once he has his numbers up. I am not suggesting using deeps permanently for annual honey crops, just to speed up increase. If I am working by myself, I bring a few empty boxes and I just remove a few frames before lifting them.
    I draw out deeps every year as honey supers and then use them for increase. Wish I did more. I also make divides in July and use the deep frames full of honey in those nucs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    We throw on deeps for the bees to fill with honey to use on our splits in the spring or to beef up hives going to Calf. But his question was what was better for a commercial operation...that would be mediums IMHO.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    514

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    I did (when I was in the process of expanding) exactly what odfrank describes; I used only deeps for both brood chambers and honey supers, and used the deep honey supers for brood chambers as I needed them. Eventually I got to the point where I'm now at, I run all mediums for honey supers, because as alpha said, deeps are just too heavy when you're handling several hundred a day. Having said that, I do know some commercial outfits that use nothing but deeps for supers; these are usually large commercial operations with several thousand hives, where the hired help are the ones handling the boxes.
    Last edited by Gregg; 10-14-2009 at 02:09 PM. Reason: spelling
    Gregg Stewart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    426

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    In the Canadian prairie provinces deeps are used almost exclusively. You would have a hard time getting rid of mediums up here.

    From a weight perspective, I see the advantage for using mediums. For efficiency in gathering honey and extracting, its hard to beat deeps. If you are planning to expand, using deeps as supers is a great way to get more brood chambers ready before you expand.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Martens View Post
    In the Canadian prairie provinces deeps are used almost exclusively. You would have a hard time getting rid of mediums up here.

    From a weight perspective, I see the advantage for using mediums. For efficiency in gathering honey and extracting, its hard to beat deeps. If you are planning to expand, using deeps as supers is a great way to get more brood chambers ready before you expand.
    The other day I thought, "boy I wish I had used mediums". That said, all bee auctions i have been too, non had mediums. And when it comes time to sell, I might be hard pressed to sell medium supers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Central Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Martens View Post
    In the Canadian prairie provinces deeps are used almost exclusively. You would have a hard time getting rid of mediums up here.

    From a weight perspective, I see the advantage for using mediums. For efficiency in gathering honey and extracting, its hard to beat deeps. If you are planning to expand, using deeps as supers is a great way to get more brood chambers ready before you expand.
    I don't know anyone using mediums here. It is one of those unique differences between U.S. and Canadian beekeepers.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lawrenceburg, IN
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    He now has TWO hives, so next year he might handle what? Six full deeps? He can always make mediums once he has his numbers up. I am not suggesting using deeps permanently for annual honey crops, just to speed up increase. If I am working by myself, I bring a few empty boxes and I just remove a few frames before lifting them.
    I draw out deeps every year as honey supers and then use them for increase. Wish I did more. I also make divides in July and use the deep frames full of honey in those nucs.
    When I started I had 2 hives now i have 5, and next spring I am planning on adding 25-30. Within 5 years I hope to be at 500.

    I like the idea of using some deep supers to put into splits.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lawrenceburg, IN
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    Has anyone noticed the bees filling up the deeps faster than mediums?

    Another thing, do you guys add if they keep filling or being commercial stick with a set amount per hive each year to try to fill. I saw where one guy (don't remember who) uses 2 supers for each hive (1000's) regardless of strong flow.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    I used to work for an operation in eastern SD that uses deeps exclusively. On a very large scale, it made it more convienient to only have to deal with one size of super. It was easier to move frames of brood and honey around between the brood nest and supers and made everything go more efficiently, IMHO. The downside was the fact that everyone that worked there a number of years had bad backs and the comb was always dark. My preference (for my situation anyway) is to stick with deeps for the brood nest and mediums for the honey supers.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    I run 8-frame equipment, deeps mostly with some mediums. I like the deeps because as it has been mentioned I then have brood comb for splits. The deeps are heavy but the 8-frame deeps are not quite as heavy as the 10 when full.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Burke, SD, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    We use almost all deeps. We have some mediums and shallows but only 100 or so. I really do love the efficiency when extracting. We run 8-frame colonies however so the weight is not as bad as a ten frame deep.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,669

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    My son and I use only deeps. Same with my father, and my grandfather. My Great grandfather used a hive that was comprable(sp?) to a deep. I know of NO back problems in the family due to the lifting of supers.

    Roland
    Linden Apiary, Est. 1852

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    my dad does not have any back problems either, he conveniently has to go back to the truck, or stoke the smoker, or find his hive tool when those deeps need to be removed Just kidding dad! He pulls his share of deep and medium supers too but i'm sure he prefers the mediums which is why I think we have them.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    The initial cost for deeps is a little less than for mediums. 2 deeps are cheaper than 3 mediums, but honey storage is comparable.

    When extracting, you only have to extract 2/3 the frames to get equal amounts of honey extracted when using deeps versus mediums, unless your extractor can hold more mediums in a load than deep frames. But even then, you have less handling time with 2/3 the frames by using deeps.

    Either have a good back, or add sufficient supers so the bees will stovepipe the honey, rather than packing each box full. A 10 frame deep box with 6 of the 8 frames full of honey is comparable in weight to a full medium.

    A strong back is still a big asset. Or plenty of good help to do the heavy work for you.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    426

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    I don't like averaging more than 30 lbs of honey per super, so weight really isn't that big an issue. The times I fall behind in supering and the average push up to 45+ lbs--I start rethinking deeps.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Leduc, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    I'm a commercial operator in Alberta, Canada. I run 2000 hives in honey and pollination and we use deeps for everything. Eight frame with spacers for honey supers and no spacers with nine frames in the brood chambers. It is easier to run with all deeps instead of running two different types of boxes or more. I would also rather pull two heavy boxes jammed out than three mediums. And if the boxes are light we will carry two half boxes to the truck instead of one. I grew up in a commercial honey operation, worked for another 5000 hive honey producer for nine years where at the most we only had five but usually four people pulling honey all summer long and I've owned my own business for two years and my back is sound and strong. I know I've lifted milllions of pounds with my back and it still works. Why be afraid of the work, that's what beekeeping is and commercial beekeeping is even more. Sum it all up though, in my opinion, deep boxes are more efficient for a business and efficiency is very important to a commercial operation.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Deep Honey Supers?

    Using deeps really shows an advantage over mediums in the extraction house. When you compare deeps frames vs medium, your handling the same amount of frames per day, but your going to extract more honey in a day using the deep frame. Simply put.

    I see the advantage with mediums, not only being lighter in weight. I can see pulling honey much more efficiently in lower flow areas. Not having to add a deep to fill,
    here where I beekeep, we have real heavy honeyflows, and it takes a matter of weeks to take our crop. On a hive per average I am looking at taking between 5-7 boxes a season of production. As Allen mentioned, they can fill up pretty heavy if not taken soon enough. Handling that extra equipment needed to equal that production in mediums looks like a lot of work to me in the honeyhouse. In my operation, the pace of the honey pull is set by how fast we can turn the boxes over, less boxes and frames to handle with more honey pulled means a faster honey flow,

    Thats just how thing look here anyway,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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