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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lazy Mountain, Alaska, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Deep to Super Deep Supers

    I have noticed a recent trend in beeks switching from deep supers to medium supers with better wintering and brood rearing results, here on this forum. I agree, in that I have been able to winter colonies in two deep supers and a medium full of winter stores (USA Langstroth 8 & 10 frame hive design).

    What has worked better for me though, is following a European 'super' design (philosophy) of supers that are 12-1/4" (300 mm) in depth (height) with an 8 frame width. My colonies, with an 8-frame super deep super of 12 1/4", have a better survival rate. My bottom board is actually a 3" mini super. With integral storage for winter die off, mite observation; the extra air space aids in winter "insulation" and condensation removal. Entrance is 2" wide. My bees adapt and form a line.

    I have several winter colonies that are now 2 super deep supers and a medium super. I am also foundationless frames. Yes it sucks to have non-standard equipment, but for me this is what works and keeps my bees happy. The other draw back is it takes extra time for the hive to build the extra 1 1/2" of comb.

    It works so do not change .... So how much of this is superstition?

    Cheers,
    My bees can hold it !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Deep to Super Deep Supers

    I tried a hive with all mediums. Some drawn frames, some foundation. Seemed like the smaller frames created a break that the bees did not like. Maybe superstition on my part as I have talked to folks that have had no problems with Meds. Hive did not survive this winter. More than one reason. Anyway,,,,,,,Your post comes as I have been thinking out of the box(agin or still, not sure LOL) ( I hear an ooooweeee oooo.) I have some left over parts of frames. I am also an 8 framer fan. I was thinking, of creating a double deep frame that would fit in two deep 8 frames boxes. Standard BB, inner cover, and top. (think I just felt a stone hit me) The pluses would be,,,,,,
    satisfies my need to be different LOL Probably are some as it would be like a tree or wall cavity the bees seem to like. The big concern, is getting a monster like that out of the box intact. After it is out, the potential weight with honey. Would use a standard box on top of that for honey though. (see, I'm not totally nuts)
    So, yurs are 12 1/4,,,,,mine would be 20 ish. Aside from the physical downsides, what would ya'll think of these from the bees point of view.
    Nerf stones only please
    Rick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Deep to Super Deep Supers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick 1456 View Post
    So, yurs are 12 1/4,,,,,mine would be 20 ish. Aside from the physical downsides, what would ya'll think of these from the bees point of view.
    Nerf stones only please
    Rick
    I would be interested in hearing how this works for you. I would think that you may want to consider a method to support the weight of a comb of honey, especially if it is not drawn all the way to the bottom bar. Hot weather may prove problematic for that much weight.

    Is comb in natural hive that deep? Maybe. 20 inches sounds like an about the max you might see in a "wild" hive.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coopersville, Michigan
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Deep to Super Deep Supers

    I would worry about getting straight enough comb along a 20 inch frame if you went foundationless. You could put support bars across it in a couple of spots, but I would definately make it out of heavier wood. You might want to consider some foundation then too to keep the combs straight. Just a couple thoughts.

    I cut a hive out of a barn that had angled 4-5 foot combs continuos all the way down the wall so 20 inches isn't out of line for natural, bees fill the space. Warre hives follow the same principal. The issue is being able to manipulate them. I can tell you a 2foot section of comb full of honey is pretty messy and extremely heavy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Deep to Super Deep Supers

    All good points.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Deep to Super Deep Supers

    Just went through a hive. A good reminder of how strong propolis is. Double deep might not be worth the effort. Just a thought

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Deep to Super Deep Supers

    I do a lot of removals or cut-outs. Combs that are 38 to 50 inches long are quite normal between wall studs where the comb is supported on the sides by the studs.

    20 inch deep frames were common back in the early 1900's for the same reasons you're proposing - bees do better on larger, more contiguous combs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Deep to Super Deep Supers

    M65804,
    Now I'm encouraged again. Hybrid, do you think 20s would serve you better in Alaska?
    Rick
    edit: Found this http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekee...e-deep-frames/
    Last edited by Rick 1456; 03-15-2013 at 07:41 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Default Re: Deep to Super Deep Supers

    You often get the same results with opposite methods. In my experience the worst size of frame is a deep. The queen hesitates to leave it and move to the next box. A Dadant deep is deep enough she never hesitates and she never leaves the extra deep frame. But with mediums she doesn't hesitate either and simply lays in three or four or even five boxes without any hesitation to move from box to box, because the frames are small enough to leave no indecision. Also when wintering they tend to span two boxes with the cluster without hesitating, where they do hesitate with a deep to span more than one box.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Deep to Super Deep Supers

    It has been suggested that hives have/develop "individual" tendencies. We could make a long list of things that could contribute to this. Would this be considered one of those things ? Some do, and some don't ? (have frame issues)
    Rick

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lazy Mountain, Alaska, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Deep to Super Deep Supers

    Rick,

    I agree in that bees adapt to the present conditions. I understand your observations, and the same to Mr. Bush. I see some Swedish beeks like the medium depth supers as per Mr. Bush observations. My observations have been the deeper the better, so a 20" frame is not unrealistic. Many of my Baltic and Black Sea beeks use a 42-46 cm tall frame (16 inches). Wood dowels are used for frame / comb guides. All foundatinonless. My Ukrainian Beemaster likes the 300 mm tall frames. (Which just happens to be USA standard lumber sizes). And yes the 300 mm works, funny my bias.

    I have Langstroth standard 8 & 10 frame hives, the 300 mm variation of an 8-frame Langstroth and Warre hives (best suited for feral swarm traps in my area).
    My bees can hold it !

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    fentress, tn, usa
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Deep to Super Deep Supers

    I did a cut out last year where the combs were around 40 inches with no support other than the top. They did have some connections between comb though. got pics to prove it too

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...e-hive-cut-out

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