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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
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    257

    Question Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    I am pretty strong for a woman, but at 55 with budding arthritis in one thumb, I found the 10 frame large Langstroth supers too heavy to easily move around, and did notice that the bees were very reluctant to use the outside frames anyway.

    So I am thinking of making all my new hives from here on in 8 frame medium box based. I have one top bar hive to try out for 2013 as well.

    But I would like to hear back from beekeepers who have made the switch to 8 frame medium. How is that going for you? Tips/tricks/advice???

    Regards,
    Janet

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    Not a tip or trick, just an observation. They are ofc lighter but to get to the same size as a double deep you are going to need 4 boxes. So, price is somewhat higher and you will have 32 frames to go thru instead of 20 to inspect the whole broodnest area. Also your supers will be higher off the ground as the bottom of the first super will be 26.5 incehs plus however high your stand is off the ground.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
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    2,270

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    You could use 10 frame supers, but just go to 8 frames once the foundation is drawn. Also, on deeps, maybe try ML's 1.5 gallon feeders. They take the place of 2 frames and you are rarely moving deeps when the feeders are full (thus just handling 8 frames)

    My .02
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox OA Vaporizer,
    "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    Quote Originally Posted by oblib View Post
    Not a tip or trick, just an observation. They are ofc lighter but to get to the same size as a double deep you are going to need 4 boxes. So, price is somewhat higher and you will have 32 frames to go thru instead of 20 to inspect the whole broodnest area. Also your supers will be higher off the ground as the bottom of the first super will be 26.5 incehs plus however high your stand is off the ground.
    I'm not a big time beekeeper, but I switched to 8 frame mediums. I have around 45 hives at the moment.

    Your primary concerns with mediums will be an increased component cost, incompatibility with standard purchased nucs, and overall height of a full hive.

    Your concern with 8 frame vs 10 frame is compatibility with new baubles, but 8 frames are getting pretty popular. What I mean by bauble is the new excluders, feeders, hive stands, etc...

    When I started, I did the 1 deep and 1 medium ten frame setup on my hives. This worked fine, but I found it annoying that all of my frames weren't the same size. So, I switched to 10 frame mediums and phased out my deep frames. I found this much more to my liking, since any frame could go in any hive. Additionally, I'm a young guy in decent shape. I did not enjoy moving a full deep box.

    As you stated in your originally post, I noticed that the bees would not use the 1 and 10 frame very often. However, in my hives placed in the shade. I noticed that the bees would build on the side closest to the southern exposure and leave frames 9 and 10 open. Now that I have the majority of my hives in 8 frames, I notice that the bees tend to fill the entire space.

    I would caution that you need to watch your bees more often or provide them space to grow. I'm in the south and I don't give my bees too much space due to SHB and I've had a bit more queen cells that I did previously. This could be in my head or the bees I'm running. I tend to watch my bees every 7-9 days during the spring. If I see more than 4-6 frames pulled in the top box. I add another super.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,404

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    I saw the benefits of 8 frame medium equipment after I had started with 10 frame. It was important enough to me to cut down all my hives to 8's. They're much easier to move and handle, I can transport more hives at a time, I can move frames up and down the hive boxes to keep the brood nest open and my bees just seem to do better with a slightly smaller box.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Chester Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    MeridithI find 3 8-frame boxes are approximate to 2 deeps. It is great to be able to lift the full boxes and still beable to lift my patients the next day!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    I have not made the switch because I started with 8 frame mediums. But I have worked 10 frame deeps before, and Im glad I started the way I did. Do it you wont regret it. The cost difference is not that big of a deal. And I would rather work with a medium frame instead of a deep frame, they can also be a little ackward when you are trying to flip them around without smashing bees and getting stung. It just makes working your hives alot more pleasant. We are backyard beekeepers, not comercial, no need to make a job out of it if you dont have to. Steve
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,911

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    If you are just starting out, and you go with 8 frame mediums, keep in mind that there are very few mediums out there when compared to deeps and shallows. Also keep in mind that 8 frame equipment is also minimal. If you take this route. you will basically buy everything new if you expand, because 8 frame and 10 frame bottom boards, inner covers, tops, honey supers will not interchange, so, buying anything used to expand will be minimal.

    The weight difference between an eight frame and a ten frame setup, depending on what is in those two other frames is not that much. Also the hobby beekeeper does not handle them that much anyway, and commercial beekeepers have equipment to move them.

    I would think long and hard before going 8 frame or all mediums.

    cchoganjr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,685

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    I started with all 8-frame mediums. I have two beekeeping friends in my area; one has all 8-frame mediums, the other regrets having 10-frame deeps when inspecting brood nests that are heavy with honey.

    This winter will be my fifth with bees. Seven of my eight hives came through last winter. Several of those were triple 5-frame medium boxes. I have 10 five frame hives this year, and six 8-frame medium hives.

    WesternWilson,

    Perhaps you can find someone who sorely regrets buying 8-frame equipment, and you could swap...
    Good luck finding that person. I have never read a single posting of someone interested in switching from 8 to 10 frame equipment.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bentonville, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    I thought ong and hard before starting. All manufacturers sell plenty of 8 frame equipment now. I have gone 8 frame medium and love it. Going 10 frame just because used equipment is out there is not a good idea!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,911

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    BeeCurious..Others...... There is some good discussion on switching from 8 to 10 on your post on the Forum Page.

    There are dvantages and disadvantages to each . I suggest everyone do what they like to do. I have started switching over to square hives, (13 frames). I really like the advantage of inspections and splitting, in the brood chamber without moving any boxes. BUT, most of my hives (115 starting into Winter), are single body, (13 frames) because I sell bees.

    cchoganjr

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    As to the number of frames, I've spend many a day looking for queens on deeps and many a day doing it on mediums. It takes a fourth as long to search a medium frame as I can take it all in one left to right sweep. Since I can't do that on a deep I have to repeat several times to cover where a queen may have moved up or down. So I end up doing at least four left to right (one on the top, then on the bottom, then back on the top and then back on the bottom) in order to make up for that.

    The equipment is more, yes. But I seriously doubt anyone will be spending more than their back surgery will cost...

    They winter better. The cluster fits the box better. The mediums have a gap that the cluster usually spans allowing them to contract the cluster better and not leave bees trapped on the outside frames with a wall of comb in the way...

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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,976

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    I've got 8 frame deeps and mediums, and am happy enough with that. I am building more of that gear this winter. In our area, 8 frame gear is not easy to come by, but I will just make it anyway.

    Adam

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    I am going with all 8 Frame Mediums. Michael Bush convinced me. Everything is the same size. If I want the equivalent of a deep I use 2 mediums. If I want a super I use a medium. If I want a nuc, I use one medium. If I want queen castles I split one medium. You can manage the whole box rather than individual frames. I make my own boxes and buy frames, which are cheaper than deep frames. The cost is a little higher but the added convenience of everything being compatible is great, and the weight difference is more than just the weight, since the weight is closer to your body you have a better leverage advantage. I like it.

    Ted

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,911

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    The biggest problem that I see with going all 8 frame mediums is you wind up with very tall hives in the Spring during a good honey flow. You will have 3 to 4 mediums for a good brood chamber population, then start adding mediums for honey supers. Those 8 frame mediums full of honey will get very heavy when they are 2 feet over your head.

    cchoganjr

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    Has anybody tried adding side handles on each hive box and using hive lifts? There are different designs of lifts to choose from. See this link. http://warre.biobees.com/lift.htm

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,270

    Default Re: Wanted: Reviews and feedback on 8 frame medium super setup!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
    Has anybody tried adding side handles on each hive box and using hive lifts?
    I use cleats (side handles as you call them) on the short sides of all my supers. I've not used a hive lift so I can't comment on them. If the brood boxes and supers are too heavy to handle, try removing frames from them to another box until you get them to a manageable weight......that's what I do........ Once you've had a back problem, you manage differently.....
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox OA Vaporizer,
    "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

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