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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    See the current thread "how to move from deeps to mediums". When you first start out it would make more sense to run all mediums. If you change your mind you can just convert the medium brood comb to honey comb supers and add deep brood chambers.

    On the other hand you cannot as easily switch to mediums from deeps. Not nearly as hard as putting toothpaste back in the tube, but still a lot more complicated than just adding a second size.

    I run all mediums. Three mediums for brood and the bees, everything above the third box is honey. I do not use excluders

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    >what would you say are the downsides of going all mediums ?

    The only downside is cost. The upsides are many. Better wintering in eight frame mediums as the cluster usually spans two boxes. Lighter boxes. Uniform frame size.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,462

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Better wintering in eight frame mediums as the cluster usually spans two boxes.
    I don't understand your reasoning here. What is better about spanning two boxes versus one large box?
    Regards, Barry

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    >I don't understand your reasoning here. What is better about spanning two boxes versus one large box?

    Combs make walls between parts of the cluster. Bees cluster int he "aisles". When they are on large combs and a sudden cold snap causes the cluster to contract, bees often get trapped on the outside edge because they can't leave the cluster and climb all the way around the comb to get to the next "aisle". When the cluster spans two boxes there is a gap through the middle of the cluster allowing them to move from one comb to the next without leaving the cluster.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,462

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    But on larger comb, there is more honey available closer to them (without the void/gap). Has there been any study that tested the two? I can see a benefit in each, but not sure in reality one is any better than the other.
    Regards, Barry

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Amarillo, Texas, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    I will be a first-year bee keeper this spring and couldn't make up my mind on which to use, even with all of the wonderful information on the site. So...I decided to start two hives. One deep with medium supers and one all mediums to see how the two compare for me. The scientist in me can't pass up the opportunity for an experiment...

    ~ Circ

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,012

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    I started with both and currently have built up enough deeps to make up 4 double deep hives. so 8 deep boxes. that was in one season before I had "Made my decision". Nothing that will break the bank. I made all my boxes so that is not an issue. but I purchased all the foundation and some of the frames. I will say there is a bit of regret even at this point at that expense.

    I would still go with both but maybe try to start the bees foundationless to reduce the sting of changing to just one later. maybe 10 sheets of foundation to get the first box and a half going.

    As for my choice. I plan to go all Med. Yes it is more expensive for the same volume but one I do not like lifting a full deep of honey. the person that decided a box should be that big does not like themselves. Just like the guy that figured out how big to make a square bale of hay.

    I also noticed that for me even a full deep frame of honey is on the awkward side. I am not out to set any records. I want to get the job done and when I am done be stress free. Getting ticked off at frames that are so heavy you can't lift them with all the pinch you have in 6 fingers does not fit my profile. Plus it is just to close to being dropped even when I do have a hold of it for me. That may be a minor issue but still the little things add up.

    Finally I have two daughter and my wife tend to like to help with my hives. If I find it umcomfortable to lift a full deep. I obviously cannot expect them to do it. They could team up if necessary.

    In the end I prefer to "Do it right" and I mean right for myself and those helping me. I can cut down all those deep fraems or make up deep nucs and sell them off. In all I do not need to repeat the cost but I may have paid a bit more than I needed to and will have to invest a lot more work than was necessary.

    In the end I would do it this way again just to come up with that for me very clear reason I am choosing what I am. This way every time I have to put together or pay for that extra box. I am perfectly clear on what I am paying for.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Billerica, MA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    I started my original two on 8 frame mediums. It was a little tricky to find nucs to get started but not impossible. Since then I've never looked back. Material costs are slightly higher at first but eventually you'll have to buy more at a whack which lets you get a bigger discount depending on your supplier. I do make my own tops and some bottoms here and there so I save where I can.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,415

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    I started out with the traditional double deep + medium supers set up on all my hives (10-12 colonies is my average). I later ended up switching over to all mediums, and consider it one of the best changes I've made in my beekeeping approach. Being well past my physical prime the weight difference was important to me, but the main benefit I've realized is having standard sized interchangeable frames.

    My biggest headache, and I'm sure many others will agree with this, was not having enough drawn deep comb in the spring when it's needed the most for swarm control. When the early flow kicks in and the bees begin to backfill the brood nest in swarm preparation, what can you do to stop them from swarming? I never seemed to have enough empty deep frames available to "open up" the broodnest. Reversing works to a point but it wasn't always enough to stop them from swarming. Inserting frames with foundation doesn't seem to work during swarm preparation either, it's too early and they just ignore it.

    With all mediums I can switch boxes, move frames around, and control swarming much more effectively. Sure, there is an extra up front cost per colony when using mediums, but by preventing the colony from swarming just one spring I can make up the difference in honey yield by keeping the colony intact, and avoiding swarming or having to split it.

    Larger operations don't have this problem because they typically have enough surplus equipment available, but a beekeeper with just a handful of colonies usually does not have an abundance of extra equipment around. If your bees overwinter well and you have few deadouts then you're faced with a shortage in the spring when you need extra equipment the most.

    So the cost argument loses it's credibility with me for that reason as well. It costs me extra money to have surplus drawn deeps in the shop along with the supers, waiting for spring to arrive. With all mediums I can reduce the amount of extra equipment needed because they can be used for both.

    I know this is not for everyone, but it's just something to consider.
    To everything there is a season....

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,012

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    But on larger comb, there is more honey available closer to them (without the void/gap).
    First there is no more honey in a given area of comb on a large frame than there is on a small frame. X number of bees only cover so much space.
    That there is no gap on a larger frame is exactly what was being mentioned as the difference. The bees use that gap as an access to the cluster or a passage to contract as the temperature drops. bees on larger frames do not have this passage and the cluster is not able to remain as consolidated. That is is how I understand the claim anyway. The gap you say is a problem others say is the solution.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rajshahi, Bangladesh
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    A thing can't bee the same to everyone. It may have some importance to one but no importance to another. matters do works this way. So, it may be what is a solution to you that is a problem to another.
    Hi all..I am Emdad.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,462

    Default Re: should i use all mediums or deeps and mediums ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    First there is no more honey in a given area of comb on a large frame than there is on a small frame. X number of bees only cover so much space.
    Except when there is a gap, a wood top bar, and a wood bottom bar, going through the cluster

    That there is no gap on a larger frame is exactly what was being mentioned as the difference.
    And I'm questioning if this difference really makes a difference in bees overwintering better or worse.

    The bees use that gap as an access to the cluster or a passage to contract as the temperature drops. bees on larger frames do not have this passage and the cluster is not able to remain as consolidated. That is is how I understand the claim anyway.
    I understand this in theory. In my experience, bees still die even with those gaps available. I founf one of my hives dead last week. I use all mediums. The cluster covered three combs, all at the far end. They had "access gaps" above, below, and to the side. They still starved. My point is, I don't think it matters what size comb you have, if it gets so cold that the bees won't break cluster to move, they will eventually run out of stores and starve. Sooner on mediums if the gaps and wood bars take up some of their clustering space.

    The gap you say is a problem others say is the solution.
    It didn't help my bees.
    Regards, Barry

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