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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Boalsburg, PA
    Posts
    73

    Default Super Configuration?!?

    I would like to know what you all prefer....especially more northern located beeks. I have been reading, observing, and thinking about which method I would like to just run completely. And would like you get more thoughts. It is between the following 3...

    2 Deeps....Honey supers all mediums
    1 Deep.....Honey supers all mediums
    1 Deep.....Honey supers all shallows

    I just read in Bee Culture about the last method. That just running 1 deep for the broodnest and then all shallows above worked the best for the author. But would like to get some other opinions. Going to be starting up/buying some new hives/equipment this spring and would like to do one arrangement soley.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    My favorite configuration is all eight frame medium boxes for supers and brood.

    My second favorite configuration is all ten frame mediums boxes for supers and brood.

    My least favorite is a mixture of deeps and shallows or deeps and mediums.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    I believe that # of frames configuration should be based on bee species & location. Drawing out 10 frames for many is difficult, and the bees trying to maintain those outside frames in the winter = wasted space. I would check with local keeps to understand how their particular bee brand, with regard to available foraging resources, determines how their bees fill comb. Up not out, out not up, lots of backfilling of brood nest with nectar late in the year...

    I wish now that I had gone to all the same size boxes - mediums. If you end up having to do any sort of frame manipulation (ie checker boarding, what-ever), the one size fits all makes it possible. You can't fit a deep frame into a medium box or vice-versa. Unless you are prepared to keep expanding the number of hives/colonies you have (with the same configuration), or messing with a lot of frames.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Boalsburg, PA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    Yes planned on doing mostly 8 Frame. And Michael you see no probs when it comes to brood pattern and such with all medium setup?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,660

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    Used to run deep brood boxes years ago. (Everyone did.) Got back into bees last year, best decision I made was to go to all mediums (10 frames.) Three mediums as brood boxes. Only drawback is there are 30 frames to search rather than 20 when looking for the Stealth Queen.

    Wayne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    >And Michael you see no probs when it comes to brood pattern and such with all medium setup?

    No. In fact the queen is more willing to lay in more than one box than with deeps.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,127

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    I run mostly 2 deeps and a medium for my broodnests, with mediums for supers. A large broodnest allows room for brood rearing and honey storage.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    & MP makes a good point here, honey-bound as I am here with my Italian ladies creates its own set of problems, which is why I thought it best to try and understand the nature of your bee species (or lineage) and their 'out-then-up, or up-then-out tendencies.

    These Italians love to make honey - at the expense of the queen and her brood space. If she is reluctant to move up, and her brood area is boxed in by honey, then I want a big, deep, wide box on the bottom to give her a bit more space (and maybe also #2). If she is honey-domed above as well as honey-bound side-to-side --- problem.

    I gave my bees every opportunity to build up, but they liked those 2 bottom deeps, so now I have to try and find them room for spring.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  9. #9

    Lightbulb Re: Super Configuration?!?

    As a second generation honey producer. I only run them in a single deep. But I only work the bees for one season. In the north here you would have to leave about 60 lbs of feed to bring them through winter, which would be another deep. I run a mix of mediums and shallows for honey supers.
    Ron

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,655

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    Twelve frame brood chamber with 11 1/4"frames and medium depth supers.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,655

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    >>>so now I have to try and find them room for spring.

    It's called "extracting".

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,127

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    [QUOTE=hoodswoods;484574
    I gave my bees every opportunity to build up, but they liked those 2 bottom deeps, so now I have to try and find them room for spring.[/QUOTE]

    Put a box of brood combs on the bottom...under what is your honeybound colony.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    The thread was about a recommendation on hive box configuration. My posts were just to be used as an illustration of what my Italians did in their 1st year with 2 deeps and a medium super in surburban Atlanta - I apologize if it became an inquiry about solving my particular situation.

    In my first year (FYI), I had no idea how much to leave them for winter, so I didn't extract any, or replace combs - I left it all. I have no choice now with 20 to 30 nite temps and days not into the 40's, nor a reserve of stores to feed them if I extraced them short.

    I have no idea if my situation is typical within my environment - If it is, I just wanted to use it as such to help someone try to figure out the best solution for theirs.

    odfrank, in his situation (how about that picture?), has seemingly found what works for him in California, located adjacent to one of the richest agricultural areas in the world. My bees have some yard clover, tulip trees and a few home gardens to forage from - different environment seemingly worlds away.

    10 wide & deep is most efficient (do the math) - a waste of space and frame resources, & they get heavy (MB) if that is not how your bees work.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,403

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    Bet if you split the hive in mid April you would have 2 very good hives. Just take the top brood box and place it on a BB and add a IC & OC. Come back in about 7 days and check for eggs in one and queen cells in the other.

    P.S. Add some MegaBee in March and start feeding.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    Large brood nest? I run all 10 frame mediums and an unlimited brood nest. The queen just about always has a place to lay unless the workers cap her off with honey. It's easy to slide another medium under the honey if I think I need to.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Boalsburg, PA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    Thanks guys for all the input. I'm still debating. Yes I would like to run all mediums just so the fact I have the same equipment overall....but I also see how it could be bennefitial to run a 1 deep with either shallows or meds above. I have had expirence with bot setups though not my own. And many of the beeks I know in my area though the campus runs completely mediums...others run 1-2 deeps. I'm going to talk more with local beeks again and see what they are thinking.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Abbotsford B.C. Canada
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Super Configuration?!?

    Check out Walt Wright's thinking in POV (Evil of double deeps). I'm going to try 1 deep with 1 medium below (for pollen) as he suggests, since that seems to be what happens anyways. As well I should rarely have to lift that deep, and want to split anything that needs more room anyways.

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