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  1. #1
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    I am getting ready to order my first hive components, going with 8 frame boxes. I have looked all over and have been unable to find out the difference between hive boxes and super boxes. Are they the same, defined by where they are in the hive? At one point I thought the hive box had an opening, but it looks like the entrance to the hive is actually in the base. The Mann Lake catalogue does not appear to have a separate listing for each.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Auburntown, TN USA
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    245

    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    They are the same. They come in at least 4 depths and 2 widths. The ones containing the brood nest are often referred to as hive bodies, and the ones mainly containing honey are referred to as supers. All boxes are supers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    southwest colorado
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    137

    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    If your boxes will all be the same size then it is just a matter of position ( like if you were going to use all 8 frame mediums let say ) in the column. If you are wanting to use deep boxes for the brood chamber then you would want to get 1 deep box ( I would think in Tx. that would be sufficient , northern climates usually use two ) for each hive you plan to set up and those would be constant. Then you would have to decide if you wanted to super with mediums , deeps or shallows . Weight , age and your physical shape are determining factors there , an 8 frame deep of honey is not light especially when its over your head . There is a lot to be said for starting out with all the same size equipment , it allows you easy access to all the resources in the bee yard to be used as they need to be like if you need to add some brood to one hive from another hive , you just grab the frames you need and swap them . makes for a much easier time .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    I've never known how the word super came into use, be interesting if someone could explain that.

    When I was a commercial beekeeper the word super was rarely or never used, they were called boxes. It was used for putting boxes on over the queen excluder for honey storage though, which was called "supering up". I think sometimes in any trade, words that are spoken often become the easiest one to say. "Super", is harder to say than "box". "Supering up", is easier to say than "putting on honey boxes".
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    When I was starting out, super was an action verb. When the bees need more room, you super them.

    Super ,from the Latin, above or beyond.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I've never known how the word super came into use, be interesting if someone could explain that.

    When I was a commercial beekeeper the word super was rarely or never used, they were called boxes.
    You superimpose them onto the box below.

    In American beekeeping parlance, a super is any box used in beekeeping which holds frames. A Deep Super, a 9 11/16 inch box, is sometimes called a Brood Box or Brood Super. There are medium supers(6 5/8"), Illinois or Illinois Deeps(7 plus inches), shallow supers(5 11/16 inch), and comb honey supers. They are all boxes, of course.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  7. #7
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    Oh very interesting.

    By the way the word super is used here just as in the US, but mainly by equipment suppliers, and hobbyists. Commercial guys would pretty much only use it if a situation arose where the super had to be differentiated from some different box. My guess is the word super probably originated in the US, along with the Langstroth hive.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    6,714

    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    From the Beesource Glossary:

    Super: A wooden box with frames containing foundation or drawn comb in which honey is to be produced. Named for its position above the brood nest. The same type of box is referred to as a hive body when it is situated below the honey supers and is intended to be used for brood rearing and pollen storage.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...eping-Glossary
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  9. #9
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Oh very interesting.

    By the way the word super is used here just as in the US, but mainly by equipment suppliers, and hobbyists. Commercial guys would pretty much only use it if a situation arose where the super had to be differentiated from some different box. My guess is the word super probably originated in the US, along with the Langstroth hive.
    So what do you say when it's time to go out and put boxes on hives? "It's time to (what?)."
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  10. #10
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    It's time to super up.

    Today we'll go supering up.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bastrop TX USA
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    230

    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    Thanks, everyone, that was my conclusion also, but I was not sure.

    As a beginner I intend to use all 8 frame medium boxes, with two on the bottom as brood boxes. I plan to have 4-5 extras to use as honey supers, realizing that I probably will not need them the first year, but one can always hope, and at least I will be ready for next year.

    There is soooo much to learn.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Fremont County, Colorado, USA
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    128

    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    Super- Where the bees store the superfluous honey.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    carney, maryland, USA
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    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    Quote Originally Posted by marant View Post
    Thanks, everyone, that was my conclusion also, but I was not sure.

    As a beginner I intend to use all 8 frame medium boxes, with two on the bottom as brood boxes. I plan to have 4-5 extras to use as honey supers, realizing that I probably will not need them the first year, but one can always hope, and at least I will be ready for next year.

    There is soooo much to learn.
    I wish I had made your choice of 8-fr med.

    Phil

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Farmington, New Mexico
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    6,763

    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    Here's a nice illustration of the hive components:

    http://westernbee.com/pages/beehive.html
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morris Plains, NJ USA
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    255

    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    As for the opening, that's part of the base, not the box. The bottom edges on all boxes are flat/even. Years from now when you are an experienced beekeeper there will be exceptions but don't give that any thought at this point in time.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    >I am getting ready to order my first hive components, going with 8 frame boxes. I have looked all over and have been unable to find out the difference between hive boxes and super boxes. Are they the same, defined by where they are in the hive?

    Just make sure the measurments are what you want. Some places will call deeps brood boxes and mediums and shallows supers, but in reality, they are whatever you use them for.

    > At one point I thought the hive box had an opening, but it looks like the entrance to the hive is actually in the base.

    Yes, the entrances is in the bottom board.

    > The Mann Lake catalogue does not appear to have a separate listing for each.

    No reason for separate listings unless they are different sizes. My guess is, if there are separate listings they ARE different sizes.

    >I've never known how the word super came into use, be interesting if someone could explain that.

    It's just latin for "above". When Langstroth started off there was only one brood box and everything else was "above" or "super". It was not short for anything. It's only been since "superman" that "super" took on it's Americanized meaning of "better" or "best". When Langstroth coined "nucleus colony" I don't think "nucleus" was in common usage in English... it was just another Latin word...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
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    906

    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    It's time to super up.

    Today we'll go supering up.
    Taking off honey- super down? super off? unsuper?
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  18. #18
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    Weirdly enough, we say taking off honey, where to be consistent I guess we should say supering down.

    The spoken word can be a strange thing.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    Stripping boxes off of hives. Or taking off honey.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Dumb Question: What is the difference between a super box and a hive box?

    Stripping boxes. Interesting.

    So what do you call someone you have employed to help harvest the honey?

    Actually I can add to that. When I started my own bee business from small beginnings I needed a day job and worked for a time in a factory making concrete pipes. The pipes were cast in steel moulds then next day the pipes were stripped out of the moulds, that was what I did and yes the job I did was known as a stripper.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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