Super Size?
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Thread: Super Size?

  1. #1

    Default Super Size?

    If the weight of the full box is not going be an issue, is there still good reason to use medium 10 frame supers over deep supers? I'm looking for the best bang for my buck since there isn't a significant cost difference for my particular hive.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Super Size?

    My opinion is No. If weight truly is not an issue, then I would exclusively use deeps and would never complicate my operation by anything other than one uniform frame size. Weight is a very large consideration for me, and therefore I need to get those honey supers down to mediums. But I sacrifice uniformity of equipment which I think is a big deal.

  4. #3

    Default

    I appreciate the advice. At this point in my life I don't think the added weight will be an issue. I know it will later, but because I'm just starting out and having to make my initial investment in equipment I am trying to make the money go as far as possible. Thanks again!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Northern Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Super Size?

    I dont know how accurate these number are but here are some I found here https://glorybee.com/blog/eight-is-g...use-of-weight/
    "

    Full Deep: 80 lbs.
    Full Medium 50 lbs
    Shallow 40 lbs

    "

    keep in mind that 30 lb is not much different at chest level, but when you are picking it up from low or at/above your head the 30lb may make a lot of a difference.

  6. #5
    Join Date
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    Izard County, AR, USA
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    Default Re: Super Size?

    Old boy here in Arkansas used to only run double deeps....as frames were capped, he'd pull them out, spin them, and put them back same day....never picked up a whole box when it was full......When he was younger he could pick up a full deep, when he was old and retired, he had time to harvest a few frames out of each top box......and he sold a couple thousand pounds of honey every year. He had 100 hives of Russians.
    8 years, 30 colonies, no chemical treatments

  7. #6

    Default

    Well let me ask it this way... If I already have double deeps with brood in both boxes, do you think it would be a mistake to add another deep as a super? Or who would go smaller in this case? Thanks for all the input so far.

  8. #7
    Join Date
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    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Super Size?

    Just depends on your preferences. I used a bunch of deeps for honey this year in order to have more drawn comb for splits next year.

    If you want to try and separate different honeyflows, smaller boxes will be more likely to cater to that.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    I always have an idea what I shouldn't have done after the fact.

  9. #8
    Join Date
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Super Size?

    >If the weight of the full box is not going be an issue, is there still good reason to use medium 10 frame supers over deep supers?

    This may depend on your climate, but in a cold climate I find the cluster usually spans the gap between the boxes and that allows the cluster to grow or shrink better when the temperature changes. In my experience medium boxes overwinter better.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  10. #9

    Default

    I'm in Kansas and it gets cold but nothing like our friends further north. I am trying the Apimaye insulated hive in hopes of having a good winter survival rate. Since my bees were from a cut out in early May I wasn't planning on harvesting any honey but rather hoping to have good stores established before it gets cold. At the rate that the second deep is filling up with brood and stores I think I'm going to need to add a super just for them. But then again I am new and still trying figure most of this out. The tough decision is that the medium an deep super cost the same...

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    Enfield,Ct.
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    558

    Default Re: Super Size?

    Think about what type of extractor you will be using.
    A 9 frame radial will extract 9 med or shallow frame per cycle.To extract deep frames,they are inserted tangentially,only 3 per cycle and have to be flipped half way through.
    Also,deep frames for extraction with wax foundation should be wired with additional horizontal wires,especially if extracted tangentially.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Houston, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Super Size?

    I started with deeps in a long hives. Decided I wanted to use vertical and decided to standardise on 8 frame, so I cut them down. When I did a major purchase I got mediums thinking I'd use them as supers. With a bit of experience I decided I don't like having mixed frame sizes. I get deeps now and then, but move them to mediums when I can.

    Both decisions cost a bit more than just doing 10 frame deeps, but I'm not planning on doing pollination contracts, etc. so it didn't seem critical. Also, 8 frame stuff is less available and less standard.

    If I had it to do over again, I'd probably do 10 frame and maybe all deeps. If I go to a different brood size, it would be double medium, not deep.

    All that being said, we don't know your direction or plans. If 100+ hives is in the plan, get deeps and the could rotate into brood boxes as you grow. If 2 hives is the limit, move to all mediums.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Super Size?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrown1984 View Post
    Well let me ask it this way... If I already have double deeps with brood in both boxes, do you think it would be a mistake to add another deep as a super? Or who would go smaller in this case? Thanks for all the input so far.
    No difference. One thing to consider is keeping honey as clean as possible. so using an old deep with old brood comb will have some debris. In the end you will find you have to use what you have. I ran out of supers this year and just had to put on a deep box as a super as thats what i have on hand. Its hard to lift a full shallow for me. doable but when its chest high and you are lifting up it goes right to all the wrong muscles. I will have to pull frames from the deep to move it for sure.
    Terrence

  14. #13
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    Jun 2014
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    Columbia, MO
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    Default

    I'm running 10 frame on 40 hives deeps and med. Used to also have 8 frame stuff. It is maddening! I'm done with 8 frame stuff, phasing out of deeps going all mediums. Like another said they winter better due to cluster ability to transition up and out where the honey is. Weight and uniformity is reason enough. Having said that. 10 frame deeps are always "best bang for the buck" no question. Do the math by sq. Inches of comb. But I'm extracting from mediums and hate seeing a deep come through the honey house.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Super Size?

    10 frame deeps are definitely the cheapest way to go for supers. When I was younger and strong and expanding, all my equipment was ten frame cause it was cheaper and faster to work thru and this years supers were next years brood combs.

  16. #15
    Join Date
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    Waukesha, WI USA
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    Default

    For me weight is an issue, after two back surgeries including a fusion. But it’s all personal preference. For me uniformity was paramount.

    As a graduate student working at the USDA Bee Lab in Madison, WI way back in the late 1970s, they used ALL 6-5/8” equipment.

    However all the equipment, besides nucs, was 12- frame, which make the boxes perfectly square.

    There were several reason Dr. Farrar and those that followed him used 12-frame equipment One reason was that because they were breeding hybrid queens and a box with six frames on a side could be rotated twice a week (every 3-1/2 days; 3.5 days x 6 frames per side = 21 days - the gestation of a worker bee) it made it easy to manipulate brood all at the same age (the laying queen was contained in two empty center frames with queen excluder material customized into the box, top, bottom & sides).

    Twenty one days later the two outer frames with emerging brood were returned to the queen in the center.

    In the meantime the hives to raise queen cells had the larvae moved out to another hive and moved back after being fed and sealed.

    Thus, the queen cell rearing hive was queen-right, but the bees were in supersedure mode because there were no larvae to feed. The lab also used 12-frame hives for honey production and pollination.

    But I digress. That method of queen rearing is another whole story. That was high level, double grafting research methodology followed by artificial insemination, not what most commercial queen producers use.

    What is most important is to do as you wish. The bees will adapt. Commercial beekeepers use deeps and supers. I NEVER would, and use all 6-5/8 boxes instead. Lighter and universal.

  17. #16
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    Default

    P.S. If cost was a factor I would not be managing bee hives. At my age I figure it’s cheaper than a sailboat or golfing at a country club or most other pursuits.

    I highly recommend reading “Five Acre and Independence” by J.H. Comstock, Copyright 1973, Dover Press.

    The section on beekeeping starts on page 125, but on page 126 the author quotes J.H. Comstock, a famous entomologist and bee-keeper [sic]... “any man that can make $1,500 out of bees has ability to make at least $2,000 out of something else!”

    Kains closes the next paragraph with... “for perhaps in no branch of agriculture is it so important to learn to creep before you try to walk.”

    The book was a bible for the/us “back-to-the-landers” of the 1970s and 1980s, and is still relevant today.

    Five Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0486209741..._DnZcDbFMBE87Z

  18. #17
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    Default

    P.P.S. Author in paragraph two should read M.G.Kains, not Comstock, whom Kains quotes. I don’t know how to edit a post...

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Super Size?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrown1984 View Post
    Well let me ask it this way... If I already have double deeps with brood in both boxes, do you think it would be a mistake to add another deep as a super? Or who would go smaller in this case? Thanks for all the input so far.
    without tooting my own trumpet ive been a body builder for 24 years now and 6 years ago when i started beekeeping i used all deeps ( brood boxes and supers).
    I have changed that idea and am only using medium supers now.
    I lift weights every week and i still find lifting deep supers full of honey very very hard . Its not the first super thats the problem. Its the 10th and so on. By the time you are lifting 80+ lbs boxes at chest /head height for an hour or so your certainly feel it in your back and neck and arms and thighs.
    Sheesh even medium supers full are **** heavy when your are bringing in dozens of them.


    I would advise you to put medium supers on or even shallows for that matter. Its not that you get less honey it just takes more lighter boxes to get the same amount of honey which i think as a beekeeper is more sustainable on your spine over time.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Super Size?

    personal preference, it is up to you. deeps give you the lowest cost per square inch of comb. being able to use this years supers as brood boxes is a big plus. having less total frames to handle is a plus. getting full supers happens easier with shorter boxes. i like deeps with a mixture of deeps and shallows for supers... i have some mediums and try not to have to use them.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Super Size?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrown1984 View Post
    If the weight of the full box is not going be an issue, is there still good reason to use medium 10 frame supers over deep supers? I'm looking for the best bang for my buck since there isn't a significant cost difference for my particular hive.
    If weight is not an issue, IMO go all deeps. The cost of a "frame" is somewhat the same , the deep is 9 5/8 the medium is 6 5/8 so mathematically 2 deeps is very close to the same volume as 3 mediums. However the cost is close to 50% more for the mediums as you have 3 boxes and 30 frames as apposed to 2 boxes and 20 frames. So on a pure cost basis all deeps would be a bit cheaper. Also it is nice to have the same size frames, as you can draw comb in honey flow, extract , then use for increase or more honey. You should consider a radial extractor, deep frames can blow out easier than the mediums.
    However at the end of the day it is your choice.
    GG

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