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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Rifle, Colorado
    Posts
    117

    Default Supers vs Deeps!

    What are the pros and cons for using only 6 5/8 supers instead of 9 5/8 deeps for your hives? I see commercial beeks using only what looks like medium supers.
    "How do you expect to get by in life if you're not precision!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Dayton, OH USA
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Supers vs Deeps!

    I would expect that the biggest reason people use mediums versus deeps is weight. A deep full of honey can weigh somewhere around 90 pounds. Throwing a bunch of those around will take its toll on your back.

    Many others have gone to all mediums also for the flexibility of moving them around as honey supers or brood chambers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Rifle, Colorado
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Supers vs Deeps!

    So would that mean you need 3 or 4 mediums for the hive to survive the winter?
    "How do you expect to get by in life if you're not precision!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Cedar Grove, WI
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Supers vs Deeps!

    Here in Wisconsin, I winter with either 2 deeps or 3 mediums.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Dayton, OH USA
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Supers vs Deeps!

    I'm thinking that most people would be going with 3...don't go by my word though. I am still on deeps for the brood chambers. You have longer winters than I do too so you would need to talk to somebody near you who is doing it to see what you need for overwintering if that's something you're considering.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Supers vs Deeps!

    Depending on your location but yes.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,276

    Default Re: Supers vs Deeps!

    Quote Originally Posted by beecron View Post
    A deep full of honey can weigh somewhere around 90 pounds.
    No it doesn't. Nine combs yielding about 5 lbs each is 45 lbs of honey. The wax and wood don't weigh 45 lbs. Fifeteen, maybe.

    Deeps are supers. Supers come in various sizes, by depth. I know no commercial beekeeper who uses mediums for brood supers. Mediums are commonly used for honey supers, as are deeps. I would rather heft full mediums all day than I would deeps, but deeps fill the pallet faster. If one sorts combs in the field, mediums are easier to handle.

    It's a matter of preference. And what one can get their help to do.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Napoleon, OH
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Supers vs Deeps!

    I use all 10-frame mediums on my hives because 1) they are lighter than a full deep, and 2) all of my equipment is one standard size. It makes it really easy to manipulate frames and shift boxes around.

    I prefer to overwinter in 4 mediums, but that's probably just me being overly cautious. Really I just end up using whatever number is appropriate for each hive, depending on its size heading into winter. Last winter I used anywhere from 1 medium (late summer nucs that I overwintered) to 4.

    The only real con I've found to using mediums is that when I make a nuc, it's much smaller than one taken from a hive using deeps for the brood chamber. I have to be really conscious to add a lot of bees, plus it takes these a little longer to build up than a deep nuc, so I have to plan ahead a little bit more. Really though, this is just a minor irritation; not a big deal.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Supers vs Deeps!

    My winter config is now two deeps and a medium. I have stacks of mediums and shallows that I use for honey supers. The only reason I have shallows is that I bought a big stack of unused ones from a beek who was moving. The price was too good to pass up. They are cute at least!

    Bees seem to be happier with deeps in the broodnest but that is just my humble opinion.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

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