I am looking at making a number of changes this spring, and am looking for suggestions. I currently have three hives, and I use 2 deeps and then shallows for honey supers. All 10 frame boxes, with bottom entrance. There are things I wanted to change and improve, and I like Michael Bush's ideas--they seem to meet my needs and ideas. I just wonder if I'm trying to do too much at once.
I want to switch over to all foundationless 8 frame mediums with top entrances. I have seen pictured sitting an 8 frame super on top of a 10 frame super, and covering the open space with a board. If my 8 frame super is all foundationless that seems to defy what the bees would do in nature. It seems they would want to go down from the existing comb. Can you put an all foundationless super over a brood box and the bees draw out the empty frames without being confused and building irregular burr comb? I may have some extra deep frames that I can cut down to medium size, but they are in the existing hives right now--I'm just assuming early spring there will be some empty frames in my deeps.
Regarding top entrances, would anything in my new setup effect using them? That is, if I have to put the new mediums under the existing deeps, can I still use top entrances?
The reasons for so many changes are these:
Top entrance: better ventilation, less worry about mice and skunks, no inner cover for SHB to hide, and cheaper to make a migratory cover than make or buy inner covers and telescoping covers.
All 8 frame mediums: standardized, interchangeable equipment and lighter boxes to move around.
Foundationless: less cost (I'm on a pretty tight budget), less work at installing all of that foundation, and not getting foundation with unknown contamination.
I would appreciate all of you opinions on my plans, and suggestions as to what arrangement I should have to transition from the deeps to mediums.