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Hello Forum! I'm planning to start beekeeping just outside of Edmonton, AB, Canada this year (2021). We have long cold winters (-40C in February sometimes) and very intense long-light high-nectar flow summers. I like the idea of running 8-frame mediums with no Queen Excluder, as per Michael Bush's recommendations (and others). However, I am a little concerned about two things...

1. Because the flows can get so intense in Alberta, commercial beekeepers here can have up to 6 stacked Langstroth 10-frame deeps. That would mean a potential of 12 8-frame mediums, which seems very very high. I would be worried about them falling over and/or being difficult to manage.

2. As 8-frame mediums are smaller, I worry that in major flows I will need to manage more intensively and more often to prevent swarming when the bees start to grow exponentially. However, as the bee yard is a 20min drive away, I am worried that I will need to drive there quite a bit more than once per week to accomplish this.

Thoughts? Perhaps I just don't aim to produce as much honey as the commercial folks and choose to have smaller hives that don't go over 8 boxes... I've also heard that more splits means better IPM. or perhaps 10-frame mediums might save my back while also keeping the hive a little shorter... Any feedback much appreciated, (especially local knowledge from similar climates (High prairies - AB, SK, MT, ND)) .
 

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I would think that the commercial guys do this for convenience to that they don't have to check their hives as much. You will probably be fine with the 8 frame equipment.
 

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1 trip a week is way more than I do. 1 would think 10-15 day visits would work, I am at 1 a month
can always add 2 mediums at a time.
intense flows are better suited for extracted comb, to allow just storing not building and storing. think about an extractor, and then put 3 comb in the center of each super for faster acceptance.
set 2 side by side and strap them at box 4 and 8 bigger foot print. could even build a double 8F bottom board.
in the same vein make a good level stable surface to set them on.

give it a try, then you will have better data to act on next year.

GG
 

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Perhaps I just don't aim to produce as much honey as the commercial folks and choose to have smaller hives that don't go over 8 boxes
Then think - more of smaller hives.
 
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