I am thinking about switching to all deeps
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  1. #1
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    Default I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    Can those who have used or are using all deeps give a little input on this? I currently run double deep brood boxes and medium supers. I keep running into issues where I run out of deep brood chambers and frames, but staring at a few drawn out mediums that are not in use. I want to standardize but not go to all mediums. I imagine that the weight of the deep "supers" will be the main issue and I think that at this point in my life I can deal with it. I am only 45 and don't have any physical limitations as of yet (maybe switching to all deeps will change that ).

    I figure as I get older or develop some limitations, It shouldn't be too difficult to go back to deep brood and medium supers.

    Can I get some opinions on the pros and cons from those who have actually used all deeps or are currently using all deeps.

    Thank You,

    Todd

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    I add handle cleats to all boxes regardless of size. They definitely help alleviate some of the weight problems with deeps. Using deeps for honey supers gets you the best drawn combs, makes for a stock of combs for expansion, makes for stronger colonies because bees love deeper combs, and makes for bigger crops with less handling. I use both deeps and mediums to get the best of both worlds. No need to always go one way or the other when you can walk on both sides of the street.




  4. #3
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    Some locations with less than stellar flows may result in thin honey frames, half filled honey frames, half filled boxes, etc. My feeling is that
    they are limited to the main bloom in these areas and require impeccable timing in order to harvest nice full frames and a full box of honey.

    Now-a-days an argument for switching to shallows to capture each and every flow could be made as the boxes and frames would be full and fat and give the bees the opportunity to fill the comb and cap it on marginal flows in marginal areas. Just like the old gray mare aint what she used to be, neither are many forage areas.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    Thank You Clyde and Frank,

    I was ordering 10 hive set ups for expansion at the farm yard next year. I WAS going to go with all deep supers but after reading both of your posts decided that I still will go with deeps, just not go "all in". I'll give the deeps a shot on a few hives and see how it goes. if not so well, then they can easily become brood boxes elsewhere. Thank you both for 2 very helpful responses.

  6. #5
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    May 2016
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    It's absolutely a good idea for you to test this in the coming season on just a few colonies so you can be sure that you can handle the weight, etc., effectively. A lot of folks have gone the opposite direction because of that...we're all mediums now except for one colony that refuses to vacate the single deep on the bottom of the stack. But since it's on the bottom...no big deal. My spouse, who is the primary Beek in the house wouldn't be able to lift a deep full of honey for sure and to be honest, I'd be hard pressed to be happy doing it either. Such is life as we age...
    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

  7. #6
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    Such is life as we age...
    come on Jim. I am only 45. I am young and invincible... as I walk up stairs and my knees sound like they are made of gram crackers and saran wrap.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    I run all 10 frame deeps and I'm 65 just saying. Days I'm just not feeling so chipper I pull a couple frames out to lighten it up.

  9. #8
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    Jan 2015
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    Williamsport, PA
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    I switched a few from double deeps to a single deep/medium. I won't have any results until next summer. Heavy doesn't bother me, although my knees sound just like yours and I'm 48. I noticed last summer they were building and filling the 2nd deep at the expense of filling the supers on top. I'm hoping that the single deep/medium will encourage them to store more for me.

  10. #9
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    Apr 2005
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    Salem, Oregon
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    Medium supers FULLY drawn, filled and capped, wall to wall are already too heavy in my opinion.
    The weight isn't the total problem, but rather the load center distance.
    If the weight was a barbell it wouldn't be so bad, but it's not.
    You have to reach out and lift at an awkward distance from your body.
    I helped an older beekeeper pull his honey last year that were all deeps.
    He keeps only 4 hives.
    Absolutely BACK BREAKING, ridiculously heavy lifting. Insane abuse on your body.
    I suggest that you try it on one honey yard.
    On second thought, just a few pallets.
    Common sense will bring you back around to westerns, I'm quite sure.
    Have fun!
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  11. #10
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    When I end up with a deep super, I take a deep 5 frame nuc with a screwed on plywood bottom board, and unload 5 frames into it, and 5 into another, then I move the deep box off (or not, I may just go extract, pop the lid and drop them back in). Last time I lifted a deep full of honey from a height that was above my waist, I could not handle the weight
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, flood and strange weather. The bees are still alive.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    I'm 68 (almost 69) and a "girl" . And I run all 10-frame deeps.

    Like the all-medium enthusiasts here, I like having all one size of box. But I just like the larger boxes.

    My only site is apparently quite productive (I have never had any other, so I have nothing to compare it with) because most of my hives need five deeps on their stacks to feel comfy in the summer. Occasionally one will make do with just four (usually in the last year of a queen's life.) They all are snuggled up in three deeps for the winter. I keep a medium underneath the deep broodboxes for the bees to use as a pollen box, but I rarely do anything with that box - they manage it entirely on their own.

    I can easily manage to lift the deeps up to a bit above waist height. After that, I simply remove frames before lifting the boxes. I keep a deep box on a temp base close at hand when I'm working my bees.

    If I get so I can't handle them (even by removing boxes to move them) I would look at some kind of mechanically-assisted box lifter. Since I only have one yard, and it is reasonably close to 110 v ac power, I'm hoping that will work.

    The biggest problem I have is that stacks this tall require some kind of raised scaffold to work safely. I have taken some nasty spills, bees 'n boxes 'n me, together, when I stumble going up and down my stepladder from the scaffold.

    Nancy

  13. #12
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    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    I don't know about anybody else, but I think odfrank needs more and bigger screws!

    ( but really his stuff always looks good)
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    My brood boxes are all 10 frame deep and operate both mediums and deep honey supers. I think it would be good for you to try a couple of deep honey super configurations and determine if it is for you or not.

    The mediums are really even depth comb and bees do not mess the depth up much when wet combs are returned to the hives. Looks quite nice and easy to uncap with a fork.

    I think one gets more honey with deep frames and not as many frames to handle to get same amount of honey.

    The maximun I run my hives is a total of five deeps, two broods and three honey. During the peak of the flow, this means pulling a honey super every four days. Take the bottom deep honey super and install the wet super on the top. I'll do that over running a hive eight super hive. Never complain about too much honey!

    With medium honey supers, I operate with four honey supers and extract as needed to keep open storage space.
    Last edited by mgolden; 11-18-2018 at 12:47 PM.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  15. #14
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    We have been running only deeps since deeps where invented. Pay no attention to those beekeeping for EXACTLY one year less that us, he he he.

    Crazy Roland
    Linden apiary, est. 1852

  16. #15
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    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    I started out using all deeps and intended to stick with them. As I grew toward working bees for a living, I took a job with a commercial beekeeper in my area to learn more, faster. That first honey harvest had me loading many tons of honey into the extractors, and that was where I decided not to use deeps for honey. They were way harder to handle.

    If I were staying small (less than 20 hives), I think I'd stick with all deeps. But if you want to do a lot of hives, I think the deeps get to be a lot to move around.

    Adam

  17. #16
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    I don't know about anybody else, but I think odfrank needs more and bigger screws!

    ( but really his stuff always looks good)
    I am glad that I built sturdy since I started 48 years ago. If I hadn't, even more would go into the debris box then does today.








  18. #17
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    Mar 2015
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    I'm still trying to hit my stride with this bee thing. Every year its something new thats an issue. I run double deeps and shallow supers. This year i harvested the fall flow as my supers were packed and i was worried about back filling in early September. However the weather turned cold quickly and the bees did not suck down syrup fast enough to fill the deeps to capacity.
    Thought i would have loved to have 3 deeps on and then i could have moved any empties from below or given to other hives that were light and saved the trouble of feeding. can't put shallow frames in a deep. might try keeping the shallows for spring and summer and putting on just deeps for fall flow.
    Terrence

  19. #18
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    Using deeps may be doable now, but the wear and tear on your body may not be worth it. I went all mediums for uniform frames.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  20. #19
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    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    I have been meditating on different methods I may use as a workaround to not lifting deeps any more. A few incidents dealing with the weight of them plus now lining up for hernia surgery is telling me that denial is not going to make the issue go away.

    I did make up a hive lift that will lift off one or more hive bodies or the stack of supers to install an excluder or the blockers for doing OA with the supers on. I mostly use it for changing out a solid bottom board for a screened sticky board without tearing down the stack.

    A major problem with it is that it is slow to set up or move but for a few hives it would enable someone handicapped to manage.

    It was no original thinking on my part since WWW put me up to it and we both made our own renditions of something he picked off a U tube video. The lift comes from a worm gear boat winch which makes it effortless.
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    Frank

  21. #20
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    Default Re: I am thinking about switching to all deeps

    Thank you everyone for your experiences and opinions. I'm glad I put this out there before I went and ordered all new equipment. I am still going ahead with trying deep supers on a few hives but I have a feeling I will not be using them exclusively. Thanks again all!

    todd

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