3-4 for brood box, if you are optimistic 3-4 for honey.
Another complete hive for the split you'll produce or swarm you'll catch.
Having a little extra equipment gives you options and flexibility, if you can afford it sooner instead of "just in time."
>How many supers should I have on hand for a 3 super 8 frame medium hive? I'm getting ready to order some more equipment but can't figure how much
The first year I would have five boxes on hand for each hive. The second year, eight would be a good plan. Which is about what RudyT said... 4 four brood and 4 for honey. You always need a couple of extras for swarms...
My second year hives last year were stacked 8 high. The first year I only needed 5. This year I have one hive that is doing really well and I am adding the 8th box today. These are 8-frame mediums.
What I did was bought in groups of 5 or 10 (whatever the price break point was). I only assemble what I think I will need but if I misjudge all I have to do is go to the garage and assemble a couple of more. If you misjudge and have to order more from the supplier you are talking about a week or two delay depending on what time of season it is.
I quickly found out; with bees, you never have enough wood...lol.
I now keep at least one complete hive's boxes ready[5 boxes], no matter how many colonies in my small apiary. I also keep a few 'odd-sized' boxes ready for anything, feeders, stored honey frames, traps[deeps]. So, again, you never have enough wood!
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