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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    I have two hives that I have been moving toward using mediums. The queens are up in the medium with a queen excluder between the deep and medium. The old deep super has duragilt foundation which I don't want to continue with.

    1. How do I decommission the old deep? After any brood in them hatch out, will the bees fill the comb back up with honey/stores?
    2. Should I cut the duragilt to medium frame size and keep any honey stores for this winter? Both of these are from spring swarms caught this spring. I am heading toward foundationless....already using in the mediums.
    3. I have a new top entrance (shimmed migratory top) but I have been hesitant to close off the lower entrance (half-open). So the bees are all going in the bottom through the old brood super, up through the excluder, to get to the mediums. Is it harmful to close off the bottom entrance? Should I leave a small (3/8") opening in the lower for any drones?
    4. It seems if I can get the bees to use the upper entrance I will have a lot fewer bees in the old deep..is that so?
    Do I shake/brush the bees off the frames of the deep when doing the removal or do I use some kind of bee escape?

    Thanks, Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    Why rush it? Just throw three or four mediums on top of the deep, overwinter, and next spring the deep will be empty.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Brookshire, Texas
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    I suppose you could take the old deeps, saw the right amount off the bottoms, and make them into mediums. The deep frames could be taken apart, new shorter sides put on, and made into mediums. Then again you may be able to trade with someone local for all medium stuff.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    You could uncap them and leave them out in the open to be robbed out. You'd be risking the home hive being robbed out, but you could drastically reduce the entrance for a few days to cut down on that.

    Cutting down the boxes to medium size is a good idea, but cutting down the frames is a bit harder. I've been slowly selling my deep frames as nucs. It's going to take a while, I've got 600 or more.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,589

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    Jimbe,

    Come up with a queen, and sell her with the deep ....
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Santa Fe, TX, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    Hello. I know this is absolutely NOT the place to ask this question, but.....how do I post an introductory post? I cannot seem to recognize any links on this forum for "start new thread" or something similar. I read the rules, of course, and am trying to comply by introducing myself as a newBEE. Thanks for your help, and I apologize for the hijack!

    Susan in Texas - First Time Beekeeper With One Hive

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    >how do I post an introductory post?

    If you go to a forum (say "Beekeeping 101" or in your case "Welcome Forum") and go to the bottom of the list of posts there is a button that says "+ Post New Thread"
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    Hey Jim, out of curiosity, why are you switching over to mediums?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    I am switching to mediums because of the need to only have one size super and frames and thus everthing is interchangeable. Also because of the weight, although that brings up a question...How often does one have to actually lift off the deep hive bodies? I have read where the ten frame deep is closer to a ideal brood size, but I don't know how that was figured. Any thoughts?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Augusta County, VA, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    I've considered doing the same. One complication is that it's nice to be able to pull brood frames and put them directly into 5nucs. And those are typically deeps :-/ Does anyone run med depth nucs? I suppose you could forego nuc boxes and just treat a medium as a nuc...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Brookshire, Texas
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    Even if you don't have to move the deeps very often for those of us with bad backs all mediums appears to be the way to go. Brood chambers tend to move up in Winter so moving them back down near the bottom of the hive in Spring tends to be easier with the mediums. Switching individual frames works ok but when you can move a whole box at one time the girls don't appear to get as angry.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,844

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    I have sen a fair amount of discussion of Med nucs this year. Hopefully suppliers are listening and over time they will become more common. For now it seems some provide them some don't. I simply found someone that woudl make up whatever it was I wanted.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    >Does anyone run med depth nucs? I suppose you could forego nuc boxes and just treat a medium as a nuc...

    I have about fifty or more five frame medium nucs. About 200 two frame medium nucs. A few three and a few four frame medium nucs. But since I run all eight frame mediums and that is the same volume as a five frame deep they do work fine for a larger nuc...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Switching from deeps to medium: what to do with old deep and frames

    I sell both deep and med nucs and starter colony set ups (complete wooden ware).
    I have been talking to the newbie hobbyist customers and trying to convince them to go with all one size box (meds.) and the advantages of doing so.
    I sure wish some one told me to go with one size box when I first started!
    Personally for my own pollination/honey production bees they are getting switched over to all 10 frame 7-5/8" boxes, but my nuc/queen yard will be deeps and meds b/c that is what everybody uses.
    Hugus Creek Honey Farm: St. Maries, ID / Lewiston, ID
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