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I was sitting and thinking about how heavy a full ten frame box can get ehen its full of honey. So i was thinking of how to lighten the load some. So i came up with this. Have 1 or 2 bottom brood boxes as 10 frame then make the honey supers 8 frames. We all know the sides will be short and the 10 frame would be open. But if you make some kind of shim that closes off the sides. Or a piece of 3/4 in plywood with a hole cut to fit the 8 frame. Lay the plywood on top of the brood box then the 8 frame on top. I saw that method for nuc boxes used to combine hives. This can be a old idea but i never heard of it. So im wondering if anyone has tried it and how has it worked. Im thinking of doing it to utilize all my boxes. I suppose you could even put a new package / or spit in a ten frame brood box and set nuc size boxes above it for winter warmth when starting late. Theres many box combinations that can be used for whatever situation your are in or want. Just thinking of experimenting with this idea.
 

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Ya, had the same symptoms almost everyday this winter lol. Thinking is sometimes a very slippery slope.
A full medium is approximately 60lb. If that’s a bit much, you can always pull a few frames before you move the box?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Eight frame box on ten frame boxes:
http://bushfarms.com/images/TenFrameToEight.JPG

Eight frame supers on ten frame boxes have been common all through the history of the Langstroth hive. Written about in "Honey in the Comb" by Carl Killion. But why not just use eight frame boxes? Certainly if you have boxes sitting around you can mix them up. I've used dual four frame nuc boxes side by side on top of ten frame boxes to keep the weight down, but then I have a lot of different sized boxes. I've used two five frame boxes side by side on top of 12 frame boxes.
 

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You can take your 10 frame boxes and insert XPS (foam insulation) spacers against the outside walls as a first step to try it out.

I started using 8 frame gear because geezer back, but the single biggest help I found was not the box size so much as it was the handle on the box. I retrofitted cleat handles on my boxes and the difference was huge. The recessed handle forces you to lift the box with your hands and arms extended out away from your body and your center of gravity. A cleat lets you grab the box with your hands positioned ergonomically and work with your center of gravity and lift along your line of strength. Handle cleats are 3/4" x 2" strips that run the full distance of the hive ends, they are secured with five 1-5/8" wood screws (not drywall screws) in predrilled countersunk holes (predrill or you will split your handle). The cleats are fastened 2" down from the top of the box. Apply glue and a bead of caulk to keep water from getting between the handle and the box.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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If a ten frame medium is too heavy, switch to using shallow frames. I hate the idea of a Frankenhive.
 

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I was sitting and thinking about how heavy a full ten frame box can get when its full of honey. So i was thinking of how to lighten the load some. So i came up with this. Have 1 or 2 bottom brood boxes as 10 frame then make the honey supers 8 frames. [...] Just thinking of experimenting with this idea.
Why not make them 4 frames and stack them in pairs (as is done with nucs) ?

Such half-width boxes are not only lighter, but being narrower you can hold the centre of their gravity much closer to your body, thus eliminating stresses on your back.

With Long Hives, 3 or even 4 such reduced-width supers could be used - in the same way as the Dartington Beehive.
LJ
 

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Not only do I have geezer back, but I'm a girl. I try to keep things simple in terms of equipment, though. I have graduated from rolling a wheelbarrow with deep box out to the hives. Now I merely drive the minivan out to the hives, removing deep frames of honey and placing them in the empty deep on an upside-down lid. Then I drive merrily away with my tools and honey. (the smoker I hold outside the door)
 

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I have added 5 frame nuc boxes with a plywood spacer roof as discussed, but only in temporary situations. The potential for the roof to dislodge in inclement weather worries me. I ended up cutting my deep boxes and frames down to medium 10 frames. Everything is one size now, makes swapping resources easier. I run 3 med brood boxes typically in northern IL.
 

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I dislike carrying heavy boxes across uneven ground. I created 5 frame boxes with lids to remove the honey from the yard The lids have a hinge and a hasp to keep it closed. Pull the frames put them in a much smaller box and close it up and carry it away. It is sized for deeps but of course works just fine for mediums too. The boxes also keep the honey safe until I can get them extracted.

Having different sized boxes in a stack would drive me crazy.
 
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