Why is everyone moving to mediums?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    florence, sc usa
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    Default Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    why is it that everyone seems to be going to all medium boxes? If it is the weight I thought the bottom two boxes pretty much stayed in place and ou harvest the top super or is it just to be able to buy one size frame? I am using two deep and then medium.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Medford, Oregon
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    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    Personally, I want all frames to be the same size for interchangeability sake. Thus far, that has meant all deeps. Deeps are heavy. So I'm switching to mediums.

    Any box can be moved anywhere. It's only convention that says any box should be in any position, not necessity.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Lititz, PA, USA
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    912

    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    I haven't been doing this long enough for my opinion to count for much, but when I was starting I heard many long-time beeks say, "If I was just starting I'd go all mediums." This is what convinced me. I started w/all mediums and I haven't yet said to myself, "I wish I had deeps on the bottom." I really like being able to just move frames from any box to any other box without even thinking about it. I think this advantage is *really* valuable. The only drawback, and one that hasn't yet made me say I wish I had deeps, is that if you're going through all the frames in an entire hive, there are more frames, so it's more to pick up and look at and put back. That'd certainly be a detriment in a commercial operation where time is money, but for me in my backyard, not so much.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    Some of it is probably fad driven. But mostly what I have heard is not being able to lift a super full of honey or brood and honey like one would find in larger supers. And there are those who want to be able to move combs around wishing for them to be all the same size.

    I wonder why more people aren't running all shallows?
    Mark Berninghausen

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I wonder why more people aren't running all shallows?
    Because Honey Super Cell and Mann Lake small cell plastic frames aren't available in shallows...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
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    983

    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    I have a couple all medium hives just to try it. The wieght and interchagability are great......even better when you only have a couple hives.

    I have a few dozen hives and if they were all mediums the added time needed for inspections would not be feasable. Pulling 30 frames compared to 20 is a big difference. To some that is not a big deal but to me it is.

    Plus there is something to be said for a larger uninterupted brood area.
    Check out our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pearlcityapiary

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    CAMARILLO, California, USA
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    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    Re:
    Shallows and mediums.
    It's a cost factor. Check out the bee suppliers pricing.
    You could use 8 frame deeps to make a super easier to lift.
    And of course, deeps look better in a pollination contract.
    There are a lot of hives currently located in the California almonds and you will see a lot of 10 frame deeps with a medium.
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Albans, Vermont
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    2,273

    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    I think the strongest draw is perceived simplicity, and less weight to lift.

    I considered it long an hard, but decided against it, in favor of deeps and mediums for a couple of reasons:

    1 - Cost is higher per square inch of comb with all mediums.

    2 - I'm using narrow frames in the brood nest. That means in order to maintain true compatibility, I have to cut all of my frames down, and that adds to the work - and thus adds cost.

    3 - I'm using 8 frame boxes, which already reduces the weight to a certain extent

    4 - I have more and easier access to low-cost deeps. They are the norm in my region, so I was able to get a very good price on un-used, second hand frames.

    Adam

  10. #9
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    I am goign with deep brood boxes. I know why I chose them for the brood box and that has to do with the interruption of the brood chamber issue. I also chose med supers for the honey. I only have one reason that I made that choice and that is the upper body strength of those that will be helping me with the bees.

    Deep bodies for brood chamber also means fewer frames to remove when inspecting the brood chamber. fewer frames means less time and less disturbance where it really counts.

    I am also aware of all the complaints about having different size frames to deal with. I only have one hive so far so can switch to any set up I like with time. This is still experimental stage for me so having both will let me know first hand what I think of the different sizes. If I do go with all one size I suspect it will be all med.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Barry, TX USA
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    859

    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    Cause they wanna be like Mike!

    I haven't taken the plunge because I already have so many deeps around here. I also use 5 frame deep nucs for swarm traps and that makes it easier to move frames from traps to hives. Swam trapping is my prime source of new bees. If I were starting all over I might consider it but I have too much deep equipment IMO to change it now.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, CA
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    125

    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    I find myself wondering if mediums have a slightly better overwintering ability, as the breaks would facilitate lateral movement.

    Any thoughts?

  13. #12
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    Feb 2012
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    East Peoria, IL
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    395

    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    I'm completely new at this starting with my first hives this year but I'm starting with a single deep on each hive because it's easier to find nucs in deeps. I'm planning to stack mediums from there up. I'll probably allow for two mediums to stay for brood. If they keep the brood in just the single deep and first super than come spring they'll either have extra honey stores in March to feed from or I'll have a few frames of honey to harvest in the spring.

  14. #13
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    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    I started out using all mediums. My sole reason was having all the same equipment. I didn’t want to have to lug around deep and medium boxes, frames, ect. I also didn’t want to place an order with the supplier and get my part numbers mixed up or something and get in deep frames when I needed mediums, ect.. Small chance of that happening but there is always the human error factor. All mediums have worked well for me. I also put out my extra mediums as swarm traps and the swarms seem to like the medium size just fine.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  15. #14
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metropropolis View Post
    I find myself wondering if mediums have a slightly better overwintering ability, as the breaks would facilitate lateral movement.

    Any thoughts?
    Possibly. Theoretically plausible.
    Mark Berninghausen

  16. #15
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    Feb 2012
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    Hartford, CT
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    639

    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Because Honey Super Cell and Mann Lake small cell plastic frames aren't available in shallows...
    yeah Booyah!!! Except I did Peirco frames.

    I'm totally into dodads and Beeking sure does seem to have a ton.

    Living in New England it seems from what I read double deeps do better in our climate. Also too you only need to rotate 2 max 3 times a season and the Deeps aren't full of honey then either. I think people just assume the deep weights it's maximum all the time when in fact it's only 90lbs when it's the fall.

  17. #16
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    I shied away from mediums for honey supers mainly because of the extra cost when young. A medium frame costs just about the same to put together as a deep and with the deep you get a lot more area as has been pointed out. I am going to try some medium hives now because I am old and fat and a dilletante who can afford the luxury of lighter weight boxes. I am not migratory and will never be, so the inconvienience of two size boxes wil be less of a concern. And yes indeed! We all wanna be like Mike!

  18. #17
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    Nov 2007
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    Barry, TX USA
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    859

    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    I'm probably just a back tweak away from changing my mind. I often think about how I will continue to keep bees in my twilight years. Of all the things I do on my place, beekeeping is my favorite with cattle second.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  19. #18
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    May 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    3,158

    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    I did it for my back. I'm old.
    My opinions are based on a decade of beekeeping, book learning and watching YouTube videos.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Santa Rosa County, Florida
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    575

    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    Quote Originally Posted by thomasj View Post
    why is it that everyone seems to be going to all medium boxes? .
    We are all getting older,fatter and weaker.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Bellingham, WA
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    82

    Default Re: Why is everyone moving to mediums?

    Starting out I went with mediums because Michael Bush recommended it. His site is one of my main resources for beekeeping knowledge.

    Now, a year in, I like them because:
    1. Less equipment to store. I use them for hive bodies, supers, nucs and queen castles.
    2. For hive manipulations they are nicely interchangable.

    The two detractors I've seen are that the extra gaps between supers allow rain to seep inside and it took some mickey mousing to combine a queenless hive with a deep nuc given to me by another beekeeper. I wound up placing the 5 deep frames in 2 mediums, placing the queen in the hive below an excluder with the deeps on top. Once the brood was all hatched out I set the 5 frames ouside the hive and the bees cleaned them thoroughly.
    Learning beekeeping one mistake at a time.

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