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Hello everyone, I'm looking forward to starting my first season of beekeeping next year! I have some very nu-bee questions, I think I will be purchasing 2 full hives but I'll only be ordering 1 at this time. I think I'll be getting 2 deep brood chambers and 2 deep honey supers. Alot of places I've read say to get medium honey supers because everyone tends to prefer them over deeps. I'm in my twentys so the weight of deeps shouldnt be a problem at all. I'm curious to know what you all would do starting out? I also thought for my second bee hive I would do mediums instead of deeps and then decide in the future what I want to stick with. By the way, I'm in Eastern Ontario so maybe that changes what you guys would do? I will greatly appreciate your thoughts! Thanks all
 

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welcome aboard william!

i added your location to the profile so it will now show up on your posts.

i'll let those closer to your latitude render advice since i am quite a bit farther south.

best of luck to you with the bee adventure!
 

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There are advantages to have both hives on similar arrangements. Easier to compare development and easier to share components. The deeps are cheaper per unit of effective area since there is only pennies difference in price. If I had no lifting limitations I would go with deeps for brood boxes. Fewer boxes to inspect for swarm preparations.

Mediums for honey are easier to handle since you may sometimes have four on top of two deeps. Come fall you may be wondering if they are going to fill that last box in time. Easier to judge with mediums.

If you get complete hives you will have to split or take some pro active swarm prevention measures. It would be easy at that time to start nucs on medium frames. With no drawn comb for honey supers and double deep established colonies you will have to be on your toes or they will swarm on you.

Are you hooked up with a club or an experienced beekeeper? How to you plan to handle varroa mites?
 

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I'm running all 10-frame deeps like you're thinking of doing. It's got its pluses and minuses.

I think two deep brood boxes is a perfectly good setup for overwintering in a northern climate.

But for supers, well... For reference, I'm a 38 year old male, perfectly healthy, but not exactly a gym rat. I would say a full box of honey at head height is just barely manageable for me. Keep in mind that it's not enough to lift the 90 pound box. First you have to tilt it up to apply some smoke. Then you lift it up a bit and notice that some frames from the box below are stuck to it, so you have to unstick those somehow. Then you lift it and walk it to somewhere level to set it down, all while being extremely gentle. And you repeat that several times, with small awkward handholds, in 90+ degree weather, in a bee suit. It's totally doable, but it's real work.

Worst case scenario, you can always wimp out and remove a few honey frames first.

So, overall, I'm not sure if I'm saying "sure go for it" or "maybe go with mediums". It's great that all my frames are interchangeable, but those honey supers are awkward to say the least. My plan right now is to stick with it, but honestly when my arm was in a cast (for other reasons) I was feeling a little bit of regret. ;)
 

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For me it's deeps for brood chambers and mediums for honey supers in most situations. Single brood chamber management is popular in your area, see videos on that from University of Guelph, but it is more management.
 

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Welcome to Bee Source. I compromised and went with eight frame equipment, neither the deeps nor the mediums are as heavy as the ten frame equipment when full of honey. You use more equipment to get the same total number of frames with 8 frame boxes. All deep or all medium boxes has advantages. Interchangeability from super to brood box is good, you don't have to worry about mixing frames in boxes, all the frames are the same. Since weight is not a factor, the deep boxes would work fine.
 

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I have a deep on bottom and then stack mediums on top of that. An 80 lb box is not bad at waist height, but when you have a deep at/above head height, and the bees decide to glue it to the box below with lots of propolis the 50 lb box will be much more appealing. I can barely reach the brick on top of one of my hives right now and getting the top box on/off is tough. I had to use 2 hive tools to pry boxes apart at the last inspection because I was starting to bend the first one.
 

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Outside of the weight issue is extraction. My Maxant 3200 holds 6 medium frames radially, but only three deep frames tangentially. So, it would take a lot longer, about 4x, to spin out the same number of deeps over mediums in my setup. Not an issue when you only have two hives, but can be a pain when you get up over 20 or so. For the record, my initial plan was to only have 6 hives.
 

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I use deeps for brood and mediums for honey. In my area if you are a stationary beekeeper, you can maybe get 1 medium filled in most years. Some years a second. If your area can provide significantly more than that, I would go with all deeps. When you add a box or a frame, you will always have the right one. If you are concerned about the weight, don't worry about it. I am a fairly big guy and I never remove a full box at a time. I will remove 5 frames at a time using a nuc box. It is much less weight but a few more trips. Using all deeps is also much cheaper in the long run.
 

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I'm also new to beekeeping and I opted to get 10 Frame Deeps X 2 for brood and then Mediums for the Supers. I haven't been in a Honey flow yet to know how well it works, but I would expect that it will be fine. If the mediums don't do it for me, I can always use them to convert to feeders later in the year when out of the honey flow. And if I want, I could still use the medium frames in a deep, and the bees will just draw comb on the bottom of the frame. Just be sure to put the medium frame between two deep frames already drawn or else they may get crazy with the comb (as with several mediums next to each other in a deep box).

It sounds like you're not worried about the weight (at least not right now), but if you were, you could always opt for using 8 frame deeps. That would easily knock 20-25 lbs off compared to a 10 frame deep.
 

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I would highly recommend following A Canadian Beekeepers Blog on YouTube. Ian winters indoors in singles and single-doubles before the flow. After he gets the population he wants he pushes the queen back down, puts a queen excluder on and immediately adds supers to capture the flow. Outstanding content as he takes you through his full year of management.

Be sure to get good stock starting out. More important than the equipment are the bees.
 

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All is not lost if you go with deep supers. When, not if, you find them too heavy to deal with you can always, always use the spare deep boxes.
 
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