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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,794

    Default looking for strategies - moving from deeps to mediums

    The traditional hive in Maine uses two deeps for a brood chamber and shallows as honey supers.

    Where I am the flow is such that I'm very happy if the bees fill a shallow for me. When I'm not experimenting I run good bees - I saw a picture of a close relation of my bees today with six supers on. So if the nectar is there, I'm confident I've the bees to collect it.

    What I'm not so confident about is my ability to deal with deeps full of winter stores say, five years from now. So if I want to transition to using three mediums for a brood chamber, what is the best way to go about it? As much as the notion of 8 frame equipment is interesting, I do not want to replace all my bottom boards and covers. I've equipment for about 45 hives.

    I hear about people cutting down frames - is that so they can save drawn comb? Cutting down deep boxes seems fairly straight forward - and I've already got the table saw. Getting all those medium frames drawn out is what scares me most. I'll probably continue using shallows as honey supers if only because th investment in getting them drawn out is so large.

    What think the great minds of the board?
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: looking for strategies - moving from deeps to mediums

    You can cut the frames down. Or I would cutout the combs the size of a medium frame and rubberband it to the medium frame. The bees will secure the combs in a day or less. Chew the rubberband and take it out the hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: looking for strategies - moving from deeps to mediums

    Despite our best planning and actions we all have deadouts in spring. Take those deadout deeps and cut the boxes and frames down to mediums and rotate them back into your apiary. In five years you should be done.

    I personally am going to stay with deeps in my brood nest till the day I die. I winter on two deeps and a medium now.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,794

    Default Re: looking for strategies - moving from deeps to mediums

    @ Keth (I could have sworn your name was Keith) - what size box do you use for honey supers?
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,050

    Thumbs Up Re: looking for strategies - moving from deeps to mediums

    Michael Bush has a blurb on modifying ten frame to eight frame boxes. Seems to me that keeping the deep frames and going to 8 frame equipment is less work than modifying the frames (a ten to one ratio).
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: looking for strategies - moving from deeps to mediums

    Andrew,
    I use mediums for honey mostly. I have a small stack of shallows that I use as well only because I got them for basically nothing. When I build more they will be mediums.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    481

    Default Re: looking for strategies - moving from deeps to mediums

    One thing I have been thinking about as I gain some experience and knowledge is keeping one deep on the bottom for a brood chamber. In my limited experience so far it seems that I do not need to move or lift the bottom brood chamber. Yes having one deep defeats the idea of having all the same equipment and interchangable frames, but if you already have the deeps, I would think keeping a few spare deep frames would not be bad. Also, in my thinking, having a deep is more beneficial and outweighs any negatives I can think of. If you do need to move the bottom deep on occassion maybe for those few times you could remove a few frames to an empty box. I am considering this exact scenario and think I will do this spring 2013. I need some deep frames though (hint hint). Comments on this idea are welcome.

    In re-reading the original post, it sounds as though you have 10 frame and are thinking of switching to 8 frame. What about chopping your 10 frame deeps to 10 frame mediums?. You would not have to change your bottom board size, nor your covers going with 10 frame mediums. You could also put in a feeder and have 9 frame equipment. Something to think about.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,876

    Default Re: looking for strategies - moving from deeps to mediums

    I would simply start putting mediums on your bottom boards in the spring with no pneumonia hole SBB and the bees will move down. You can hasten this by early feeding. Between this an as was already said, removing deadouts you will soon be there. Turn the broodless deeps and their honey upside down over an inner cover and the bees will move down the stores and dry them out if given room below. When they are robbed out and dry, run frames thru a table saw and allow room for the bottom wooden strip you will nail on. It is something I should do myself if I weren't so cheap.

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