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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
    Posts
    25

    Default Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    Just made it through my first year and it was rough. Pretty sure I am entering Spring with no bees. Good opportunity for a do-over. I've decided to convert to all 8 frame mediums for this year. Before I cut down all the boxes I was wondering if I could put two follower boards in the brood boxes (effectively converting to 8) but maintain the 10 frame configuration in my supers when a flow is on for more honey production?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    I thought most people go with 8 frame equipment because of the weight issue. What then would using follower boards accomplish? Not that you couldn't do it that way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Gonzales, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbluebee View Post
    Just made it through my first year and it was rough. Pretty sure I am entering Spring with no bees. Good opportunity for a do-over. I've decided to convert to all 8 frame mediums for this year. Before I cut down all the boxes I was wondering if I could put two follower boards in the brood boxes (effectively converting to 8) but maintain the 10 frame configuration in my supers when a flow is on for more honey production?
    BBB,
    Maybe I'm confused, or missing something...I'm just starting my 2nd year myself and have been all 8 frames mediums from the start, a decision I've been pleased with...When you say "cutting down" your boxes, are you talking about making a deep a medium, or a 10 frame box an 8 frame box, or both???

    What are your reasons for wanting to switch to 8 frame? Not sure I see the point of running 8 frames of brood in a 10 frame box with a 10 frame honey super on top....Sounds more like a 10 frame setup to me....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    Weight is not the issue for me (yet). My own observations from my first year was that my colonies did not draw or use frames 1 & 10. The benefits of interchangeable frames became apparent to me quickly as well. Just trying to think of ways to use the 10 frame equipment w/o cutting them all down. It's just a 3 hive backyard operation so any aggravation of adding the followers would be minimal.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    Moots, I would need to cut down a few deeps and then make all of them narrower. I guess my thought was I could have the benefits of an 8 frame in the brood boxes (buildup and wintering) and the benefits of getting more honey by placing 10 drawn frames in a super.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    You need to rotate frames 1 and 10 to the center to get them drawn quicker once all the other frames are drawn. If a first year hive is a bit slow in getting going, they may never draw them out if you leave them in their original position, seen it happen more than a few times.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    624

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbluebee View Post
    Just made it through my first year and it was rough. Pretty sure I am entering Spring with no bees. Good opportunity for a do-over. I've decided to convert to all 8 frame mediums for this year. Before I cut down all the boxes I was wondering if I could put two follower boards in the brood boxes (effectively converting to 8) but maintain the 10 frame configuration in my supers when a flow is on for more honey production?
    We have a mixture of 8-frame deep and 10-frame (deep bottom box/shallow supers), and I formed a strong preference to the 8-frame (though I wish they were mediums). I wonder if you got your bees a little late, and missed part of the nectar flow? We got our bees in mid-April, but in our neighborhood we had a dearth that started the second week of June, so we did not have a particularly good year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    Just keep going with what you got.
    They will get drawn out.
    Think of all the frames that the new bees wont have to draw.
    That energy will be used on the un-drawn.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,751

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    Just run 10 mediums if you want. I would not go through the trouble of cutting down boxes unless the weight was an issue. JMHO

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Gonzales, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    Quote Originally Posted by johng View Post
    Just run 10 mediums if you want. I would not go through the trouble of cutting down boxes unless the weight was an issue. JMHO
    I'd be tempted to go with John's recommendation and run 10 frame mediums. As much as I like my 8 frame mediums, if they were 10's, I can't imagine going through the trouble of narrowing them down to 8's, reducing a deep to a medium seems like a much easier proposition. Your other option would be to go with 10 frame mediums and make all future equipment 8's...You could run your 8's separate from your 10's, or stack 8's on top your existing 10 frame boxes using a small board as a cover on the 10's to cover the difference.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    Thanks for all the input. Maybe I'll just stick with 10 mediums for now and work on better educating myself on frame manipulations/placements. As suggested, I can always go with 8 frame purchases in the future.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    I started with three late Spring swarm-colonies last year. They did OK (considering I was an inept new beekeeper) but they didn't draw out all of the frames in their boxes before winter. (And I live in area with very cold winter weather.) I did exactly as you are suggesting: I removed space from the inside of the hive with solid wood follower boards (which, for sure, weigh less than a filled comb of honey of the same size). I made certain the follower boards (for this special purpose, i.e. reducng hive volume) were exactly the same depth of the boxes, with none of the horizontal bee space that exists between the top and bottom of frames. I wanted to imitate the smooth continuous, vertical walls of hive boxes.

    You have to make the cuts with very close tolerance and very carefully square on the "ear tabs" that sit on the frame rests. They were so closely fitting that when I slid them in, I had to take a hand plane to one or two of the sides.

    Now, for my purposes, I think they worked just great and I intend to keep on using them whenever I want to reduce the space within the hive without changing box sizes.

    For instance I had one colony that in the Fall really was better-suited size-wise to being overwintered in a double stacked nuc. But I used the follower boards to bring the sides inward and filled the empty space outboard of them with foam insulation pieces cut on the same pattern (box dimensions, not frame dimensions). The bees (so far) seem to be doing just fine, and as we get more towards spring I will just steadily remove some of the foam insulation, then, finally, the follower boards when manipulating the frames as they full them. (And hopefully since this year the will be here for the whole Spring they will do better than they did starting from scratch last year.)

    One caveat: since I set this up I have read that bees will sometimes chew on foam - mine have not, perhaps because they have little access to it. It is only exposed underneath the bottom and on the top. Knowing this possibility now, I would take steps in the future to make sure they did not have any access to it at all.

    After setting up the double-nuc-in-a-regular-double-deep for my smallest colony, I liked how it worked so well, that I made follower boards for the other two hives, removing any undrawn frames and along some walls, adding insulation. I knew ahead of time which of hives would be on the outside of their pushed-together row, so I added insulation panels on that side.

    I will be closely watching how this unfolds in the Spring. I think one of the biggest downsides would be using it in an area where there is pressure from small hive beetles as the beetles might be able to slither between the pieces to places where the bees can't reach them. Thankfully, this is not a big problem in my area. If you do, however, have a SHB problem, I would urge a lot of caution in trying any hive modification that might prevent the bees from thoroughly patrolling their entire space.

    Enj.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Auburntown, TN USA
    Posts
    243

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    You're over thinking it. :-)

    Not really, you're just puzzling you're way through like the rest of us. I started with 10 frame mediums and switched to 8 frame mediums. Stick with what you've got for another year and then maybe make the change.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    southwest colorado
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Here is everyone's chance to say I'm overthinking it.

    If you switch to all 8 frame mediums for anything new and cut down your existing 10 frame boxes to medium dimensions then just continue to use them you will still be able to swap out frames from one to the other if needed .

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