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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    213

    Default What is your favorite hive configuration?

    Im looking to add a couple hives to my garden in the spring. I only currently have one hive so I just went with one deep and one medium but from what I have read, lots of folks have different configurations and for different reasons. Im open to trying something new for these next two but I'd like to hear about everyone's experiences!

    What is your favorite hive configuration and why do you prefer it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cordova, TN, USA
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    I went to all mediums for very practical purposes. They're lighter than deeps, and I can interchange any frames I wish. I can move brood frames up, honey frames down, etc. if all my frames are the same size. You can't do this if your boxes are different sizes. I always found I had no deep frames to work with.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    636

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    Though I do have one "long lang" hive, a skep, and will be starting a TBH this year, all the rest of my hives are 10-frame deeps. I'm a 32 year old engineer and firefighter in pretty decent shape. I don't mind tossing about bags of concrete at 80#s a piece, so I figured I could do the same with the hives. I get all the same advantages mentioned above with the added bonus of not having to buy/build as many frames and boxes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    5,915

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    Deeps are cheaper to run. I am only sixty four and when I am old I may switch to mediums. I don't like mediums in the brood nest because you have a third more frames to deal with. A third more to inspect and look for a queen or shake out or whatever. And you have a third more equipment to buy with mediums. Your choice is the bottom line, as both work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Weston, WV
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    I sure like your attitude toward age Vance G I feel the same way.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    2,625

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    I like deeps.

    Only experience beek should attempt TBH.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hanover, PA
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    Call me simple, but I have stuck with using deeps and mediums. I do not have a large enough operation to be really worried about the differences in equipment sizes. I make all my own equipment with the exception of frames currently, so I just build what I need when planning for the upcoming season. I adding eight frame equipment to my set up this year (I have only ever ran 10 frame boxes). I have just recently finished making two eight frame hives and I have to say that they are much easier to handle without the bees, so I'm curious to see how I like them once I get some bees in them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    311

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    All eight frame mediums.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Tipton, Missouri
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    I went to all 8 frame mediums 3 years ago, and I've never looked back. They are much easier to handle as I can lift them easily by myself and the bees overwinter just fine in them. I will mention though that if you are doing an inspection and looking for the queen it can take a bit longer as you have more frames to go through, but if you are just a hobby keeper this shouldn't be a big deal as it's not like you are going through 60 or so hives.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Squaw Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    I run two 10 frame deeps for brood boxes and mediums for supers. There will likely be a day when I regret that decision. I would look at all the options including 8 frame gear.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
    Posts
    1,345

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    My brood chambers are double deeps.
    I generally run ten frame boxes for side-by-side nucs, and ten or eight frame boxes for full hives...two tens, or 2-3 eights.

    I super with deeps, as well.

    I prefer eight frame boxes where I ma running a hive for.honey rather than nuc production.

    If I were only going to have a couple hives, they'd be eight framers...they are easier to lift when full of honey, and I think the colony has easier access to winter stores.

    If I wasn't making nucs, and only produced homey, I think I'd be running 8/frame deeps in the brood nest and mediums for honey supers.

    I use full deep frames if honey when making nucs, and that is why I super with them.
    If I t weren't for that I 'd be doing deeps on the brood chamber and mediums for honey.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    8,570

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    My favorite, as you asked, is 3 mediums full of brood and white capped honey piled shoulder high. If I have a helper that I do not mind scaring away the honey supers can be to the sky. While we are dreaming I want fresh queens every six months.
    Reality is it depends on the weather and forage, basically what works best for your area.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mansfield, OH
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    I like 10 frame deeps, my second choice is 5 frame deeps (nucs), however these are hard to stay ahead of! But for some reason they just produce and winter great. I don't even own a medium anymore.

    Edit: The main reason I like 5frames deeps is manipulation, splitting by the box is super easy, and since I sell/overwinter them there no new boxes or moving frames. I mean you could do the same thing with 10 frame equipment... I just find it quicker/easier for them to fill and split 5 frames like this than moving frames.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    Over here in Southern New Jersey my best hives have always been the triple deep 8 frame brood nest with medium honey supers on top. I have more 10 frame double deep hives but the 8 frame triples always out-perform for unknown reasons.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    4,233

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    I like deeps.

    Only experience beek should attempt TBH.
    Why only?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Yamaguchi Ken Japan
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    I am going to all eight frame deeps. I think this is the best set up for the brood nest as well as honey production. Eight frame deep boxes also make good queen castles. The box can be divided so you can put in two or three frames but t also have room for a frame feeder.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Caledonia,michigan
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    I built 2 top bar hives but have not used them,I am thinking of going to 8 frame deeps and mediums but keep on getting deals on 10 frame equipment.
    My mentor wants one of the TBH to play with so I might give him one and I may play with the other one.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    1,237

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    My favorite hive configuration is any properly sized equipment that I can put bees in. I don't worry too much about the config. As long as it is appropriate to the size of the colony.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Ridgeville, SC, USA
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    Read the post titled Walt Wright checkerboarding. ...it opened my eyes....I was running double deeps my first year always wondering if it was best. After reading Bernhards replies and how Ian manipulates his colonies, I saw the light. I switched from double deep brood boxes to one single deep. I put a medium on 3 strongest. Most everyone here does the 1.deep and medium but could not explain why. Robert

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    374

    Default Re: What is your favorite hive configuration?

    I am first year, so not much experience, but here's how I, accidentally, did it this winter.
    I was going to use 10 frame double deeps. When I added a medium honey super, all was fine. THEN, when adding a second med honey super I thought, "Oh, to encourage them to move up and fill that second super w/honey I'll checkerboard, I did not use a Q excluder. Well, I ended up with brood in that first honey super, so I just left it. So this winter I ended up running 2 deeps AND a medium. Which has worked out really well! We have had a mild winter and the bees were pretty active off and on, and they have plenty of stores.
    All 3 hives are booming right now, 2 of Carnies and 1 of Italians.

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