I truly wish I had read Mr Bush's The Practical Beekeeper - Beekeeping Naturally before I got set up for my 1st season as a new beekeeper, as I would have approached things differently. One of which being to standardize on medium hive bodies. I spent last year working with a friend and his hives on my property, which were all in deeps, and I hadn't read enough prior to ordering this season's equipment to know there was a different way to proceed.
In any case, I installed 4 packages into deep bodies within the last 4 weeks. The colonies are all doing well and despite our peculiar Wisconsin spring, 3 of the 4 will be ready for their 2nd brood boxes within the next week or so.
I have 10 deep and 10 medium bodies and 100 deep frames and 100 medium frames in total, so I can go either way, but I would like to start transitioning one colony to mediums, and leave the rest as I'd originally planned - 2 deeps for brood, then medium honey supers (if lucky enough to get there!). By transtioning only 1, I will not be in danger of having to buy more equipment mid-season, and I will hopefully have a chance to get a feel for the all-medium methodology through to next spring.
So, to transition this one colony, this is my plan - Step 5 is where it goes pear-shaped in my head, I feel sure to fail:
1) the first of my colonies to fill (80%) its bottom box will become my Medium Body colony - that's me assuming its my strongest, fastest growing hive.
2) Set up a new bottom board, with 2 Mediums on it, next to the current hive. Place medium frames in top and bottom slots 9 and 10
3) insert the 8 deep frames into the top medium - they will have some empty space below them - so this would be slots 1 through 8
4) replace covers and move hive onto the spot where the original hive was (do I lean that original equipment there for a while, or take it away?)
5) in theory, the bees will make the outermost frame (1) become a full frame of stores - once that happens, remove that frame, shuffle 2-8 into positions 1-7 and drop 2 more medium frames in to the top and bottom boxes next to the other mediums.
6) after some time (maybe not even this year), all the deep frames will have been removed.
So, its step 5 that puzzles me. Does this actually work? I guess it must because I've read about it in Mr Bush's book and here - just worried, I suppose!
Thanks in advance.