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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Michael Bush states that if he were starting over he would have only one size - Medium Supers. I have four hives started this year. All of them have a deep hive body as the brood box? How should I proceed to convert to mediums?

I must be the absent minded, I keep trying to exchange frames from my medium to my deeps and figure out what I've done when I try to put the deeps back in the medium. Then I have to move frames around and out, put the old ones back in. What a pain? Guess where I am new, I concentrate so much on the bees, I get lost.
 

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I did it in the spring. When I went to reverse the hive bodies I replaced the deep with 2 mediums. I took those deep frames and cut them down to the size of mediums. Cut the side bars with a hack saw and the comb with a razor knife. Then nailed on a solid bottom bar. Saved a bunch of drawn comb that way. Guess you could do the same thing any time of year but it could be more of a mess with frames that have stores and brood in them.

Good luck!
Pete0
 

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As Pete0 did is probably the easiest and simplest. You could probably also start putting mediums in your deep. In other words, pull combs of honey out and crush and strain or let the bees rob it or whatever. Then put a medium frame in. Later you can just cut the comb off of the bottom of the frame when you want to put the frame in a medium. You can also catch the queen and put her above an excluder in the medium (preferably with a little brood). And wait until all the bees emerge from the deep frames. You can cut a frame of brood out of a deep and tie it in a medium, or you can just saw the end bars on the medium and cut the comb across the bottom and leave it without a bottom bar or cut it and put a bottom bar in that fits between the end bars.

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/DeepCutToMedium2.JPG

There are a lot of things that work. The most brute force and instantly effective is to treat it as a cut out and cut all the brood out of the deeps and tie into frames or use swarm catching frames.

It depends on how quickly you want to make it happen and how much you want to stress the bees.
 

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Scott, you may not want to destroy your deep equipment. If you ever want to buy or sell nucs they will be deeps.

I'm right now converting the long way. I have mediums on top of the two deeps. As they move up I will exclude and wait for the brood to hatch out. Then cull the deep frames. Save them for later. Wrap in plastic trash bags and freeze. It'll work for me. Mediums are sure cheaper to make.

Hawk
 

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i think the real idea is to not use shallows, ever.

(unless you're handicap and you need that extra lightness)

*hugs and kisses*
 

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Micheal;
What are "swarm catching frames"?

how many Mediums do you use for a brood chamber and for over wintering?

Other then the weight, is there an advantage to this?

thanks

tom
 

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Another question for "all Medium beekeepers. Do you keep the brood frames seperate from honey frames or are all interchangeable? Would the brood rearing debris effect honey quality in any way?
 

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I usually use black plastic (some are Pierrco and some are Brushy Mt. super frames), in the brood boxes,just because the eggs stand out better against a black background. I do have the option to use the white frames from my supers with drawn comb in the brood box if something comes up and I want to switch some out. I like all medium boxes just for that reason. I personally never use frames from the brood box in honey supers because I have used medications such as apistan.
 

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Too hot to work the bees today.

> Do you keep the brood frames seperate from honey
> frames

Yes

> or are all interchangeable?

No

> Would the brood rearing debris effect honey
> quality in any way?

Yes. Any treatment applied to brood chambers
makes the comb questionable, by definition.

So, drawn comb from honey supers can be
"demoted" to brood comb, but brood comb can
never be "promoted" to honey-super comb.

It is easy to see that comb has been used for
brood, as even a single use tends to create
a darker area, easy to see. Honey super comb
stays whiter.
 

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>What are "swarm catching frames"?

http://www.beesource.com/plans/swarmframe.htm

>how many Mediums do you use for a brood chamber and for over wintering?

Typically three. If the cluster is small, two. If the cluster is very large sometimes four.

>Other then the weight, is there an advantage to this?

Interchangability.

>Another question for "all Medium beekeepers. Do you keep the brood frames seperate from honey frames

If you use chemicals, yes. I do not use chemicals and I do not keep them seperate.

>are all interchangeable?

For me, yes.

> Would the brood rearing debris effect honey quality in any way?

No. But chemicals like fumidil, terramycin, checkmite and apistan do.
 

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Correct me if I'm mistaken, but...when nectar is collected it is first deposited in brood combs. Then it's moved up into super combs.
What difference would it make, then, whether surplus was stored in combs that had been used for brood, or (gasp) ones that had been exposed to a miticide, such as Apistan? (Fluvalinate in the form used in Apistan isn't water soluble anyway.)

The nectar/honey *is* coming in contact with brood combs and you can't exactly prevent it, no matter where the combs are located in the hive. If you have never used miticides then great, and it is a moot point, but probably most of us are using combs which have had Apistan or Coumaphos exposure at some point. It would be nice to replace them all but it is not always expedient to get entire new sets of combs drawn in marginal areas.
 

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>> Would the brood rearing debris effect honey
>> quality in any way?

> No...

Clearly, this is a new and highly speculative
interpretation of the term "honey quality",
one to which we have hitherto not been exposed.


Brood-stained and cocoon-filed comb is going to
result in slightly darker honey, and is going to
assure a much higher amount of moldy old pollen
and other "gunk" in the filtering stream from the
extractor, not all of which can be filtered out
unless one is doing a pressurized and/or heated
filtration step with a very fine filter.

Worst of all, using brood comb in honey supers
implies that one has not implemented even a
minimal box-tracking system to assure that AFB
and other brood diseases do not spread via
supering if they were to crop up.

The trick is to put supers back onto the same
hives from which they were pulled for cleaning
or refilling. Keeping brood comb out of honey
supers is also a good way to assure that supers
don't spread other brood diseases.

They call them "brood diseases" for a reason.


> when nectar is collected it is first deposited
> in brood combs

This can happen early in the season if the
broodnest is running low on supplies, but by
the time one puts supers on, many people are
more worried about being "honey bound" in the
broodnest, so the most common scenario is that
the bees have stocked the broodnest well.
(Weak hives would be the exception to this rule,
as they simply don't have the forager force to
get ahead of the game, and are constantly raising
brood with today's foraging.)

If one sets out a dish of sugar water dyed
faintly with food coloring, one can track where
the nectar goes, and verify that if the broodnest
is not "running on empty", the nectar is going
straight into the supers. Sure, the bees may
move some of it down to the broodnest later, but
if you look at the supers and broodnest the same
day that you put out the dish, you will see where
the nectar was first deposited.

The bees that offload foragers are not the same
bees that feed brood. The bees that feed brood
are the ones that re-stock the broodnest when
it is out of nectar, and those bees are going to
go up to the supers to get the nectar for the
broodnest.

Sure, if you shuffle the frames around like a
Vegas dealer, you can force the bees into doing
a major re-organization of the entire hive, and
anything could be moved anywhere as a result,
but there is no default process of:

forager -> house bee -> broodnest -> house bee -> honey supers

it is much more often:

forager -> house bee -> supers -> nurse bee -> broodnest -> nurse bee 2 -> brood

Of course, one can help things along on this deal
by providing upper entrances or shims between
supers, and get the loading dock away from the nursery.

> The nectar/honey *is* coming in contact with
> brood combs

One cannot guarantee that this is not the case
for some fraction of the total nectar, but
nectar in the brood nest is much more likely to
be consumed than it is to sit around and then
get moved up to the supers and end up in the
harvested honey. Think about it - why bother
to fetch nectar from the supers, and then take
it back to the supers later? The demands of
the brood are going to consume resources quickly,
so the supplies movement would tend to be one-way,
with no reason at all to ever take supplies back
out of the broodnest once delivered.

So, I think it would be more accurate to say that
it CAN (or COULD, or MIGHT) happen, rather than it
is certain to happen for any significant fraction
of the nectar coming in the door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, this is a lot of information to digest. I am very grateful for your input. Wish I had read Michaels post before starting this year. I agree with post else where. Michael - where's the book? Jim seems like a world of knowledge too.
 

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I was trying to stay out of this one but technically there is another reason to keep brood frames out of the honey super. Brood Diseases. I like knowing that my honey doesn't have any in it. Not really important. I know I can't catch African Foulbrood or something.

Hawk
 

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I've heard the opinion that honey from brood cells is darker. It LOOKS darker in the comb. In my experience, it is not darker when you extract it nor does it taste any different.

The only downside, IMO, is that you can't judge the color of they honey very well.
 
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