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Discussion Starter #1
Im trying to pick out a langStroth hive and my head is spinning. I don't know what to get. All I know is I want medium frames and I think medium/ deep supers. I am about to give up for today on picking something.
 

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Im trying to pick out a langStroth hive and my head is spinning. I don't know what to get. All I know is I want medium frames and I think medium/ deep supers. I am about to give up for today on picking something.
Frames have to match the bodies. I would suggest get all medium equipment. As Mr. Bush suggests. I didn't, grabbed my first deep at chest hight and decided I SHOULD have listened. They are about 90lbs. I'm now moving my deeps to bottom brood boxes only and all new equipment are mediums... So hive bodies and supers are all the same size and you can move frames from any box to any other box in the yard. You are in the right place, read besource every chance you get.
 

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most run 2 deeps or 3 mediums for just the brood boxes. then the honey supers on top of that.
if you want to go all mediums the question is do you want 8 frame or 10 frames?
weight of a full box that has to be moved , is the deciding factor.
 

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You must use deep frames with deep supers. Same for medium and shallow. Most beekeepers seem to use 2 deeps as the hive and shallows or mediums above that as what we beekeepers take as our part of the honey. (With or without an excluder in between to keep the queen from laying brood in our part of the honey). Some use 3 mediums as the hive. Some use a deep and 2 shallows. Much of it depends on how strong the hive is.

If I could start all over again, I'd probably use only mediums for both the hive and for honey.

Frames and foundation can be very confusing. Get wired foundation for the hive and probably unwired for the medium or shallows that you plan to take as your honey. (Assuming you will be using the crush and strain method). If you get bees in a month or so, they probably won't be able to make any excess honey at all this year. Their efforts will go into drawing the wax out and building up the hive to survive the winter.

Brushy Mtn's website does a good job of explaining it.
 

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Components needed for a basic Lang hive:

Telescoping Top Cover
Inner Cover
1 Deep or 2 Medium brood boxes
1 Bottom Board
Feeder
8-10 frames per box (8 in an 8 frame box, 10 in a 10 frame, or you could get 9 in a 10 frame with spacer)
 

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most run 2 deeps or 3 mediums for just the brood boxes. then the honey supers on top of that.
if you want to go all mediums the question is do you want 8 frame or 10 frames?
weight of a full box that has to be moved , is the deciding factor.
But if you go with 8 frame, you may need 4 mediums for the brood box and the hive will start to get pretty high.

Will you be buying a package, nuc or full established hive?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think I'm going to go with all medium. 2 for the brood boxes(bottom)and 2 medium supers for the excess honey also I am going to do foundationless and regular frames with a small cell. Then just all the other accessories. Does that sound good??
 

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In this area, people use 3 mediums for the brood box. 3 mediums is approximately the same size as 2 deeps. That is probably what you want for a brood chamber. If it's too small, the bees will be crowded and more likely to swarm and/or not be large enough to make as much excess honey.
If foundationless, the bees will draw out the cells the size they want. They may or may not be small cells. I have read that if the bees were raised on "standard" size cell, they will start out drawing mostly "standard" size and gradually regress to the natural small cells. You will probaly want a narrow strip of foundation at the top of the frame as a starter to get them to draw comb inside the frames. If they draw comb across the frames, you will have a real mess.
 

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I am running 10 frame equipment because that is what I have and I have a lot of it, but if I was just getting started I would run all 8 frame equipment. I would use all 8 frame deeps for brood, and mediums for honey supers.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for info. I am probably going to go with 3 med boxes( brood) or 2 deep depending whatever is smaller( height wise). And 3 med for supers. Also I take heaflaws' advice for a starter on the frames. Now I need to decide where to purchase the stuff.
 

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I surely understand being confused. This is my first spring to have over wintered bees. I'm confused about a whole lot of things. Reversing brood chamber, or not. Splitting, or not. Doing this or doing that, or doing nothing... or not. Make you feel any better? LOL I can help with what to start with, because I messed up from the get go.

I have 5 hives and I started with 2 deeps for brood and mediums for supers. You said you were going to make your own boxes. I didn't pick up whether that was from lumber or from a kit. I make my own boxes from clear pine lumber. I wish I had started with all mediums. It's cheap and easy to make mediums out of 1x8 lumber but it's hard to make deeps unless you can find good quality 1x12 lumber or join it together with glue and biscuits. Just starting my second year I can't swap out to all mediums because I have very little drawn comb. I will have to continue to make deeps to use to expand my colony until I get enough drawn out medium frames to start using to make splits, etc...
 

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...Just starting my second year I can't swap out to all mediums because I have very little drawn comb. I will have to continue to make deeps to use to expand my colony until I get enough drawn out medium frames to start using to make splits, etc...
@Brad Bee
Actually, going from deeps to mediums is not THAT hard. You can cut down your boxes and frames to mediums. Even the comb can be cut down. (It's going from mediums to deeps that is more complicated.) For the frames, knock off the bottoms, cut them down, and renail the bottoms back on. Instant mediums! The bees will fix any rough comb for you. Also spring is the time to get foundation drawn out. They draw like crazy this early in the season. If you really want to go all mediums, do it now before you have tons invested in the wrong size!

JMO

Rusty
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@Brad Bee. I'm gonna build from a kit cause I really don't have that much free time. With the kit some of the work is done for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I surely understand being confused. This is my first spring to have over wintered bees. I'm confused about a whole lot of things. Reversing brood chamber, or not. Splitting, or not. Doing this or doing that, or doing nothing... or not. Make you feel any better? LOL I can help with what to start with, because I messed up from the get go.

I have 5 hives and I started with 2 deeps for brood and mediums for supers. You said you were going to make your own boxes. I didn't pick up whether that was from lumber or from a kit. I make my own boxes from clear pine lumber. I wish I had started with all mediums. It's cheap and easy to make mediums out of 1x8 lumber but it's hard to make deeps unless you can find good quality 1x12 lumber or join it together with glue and biscuits. Just starting my second year I can't swap out to all mediums because I have very little drawn comb. I will have to continue to make deeps to use to expand my colony until I get enough drawn out medium frames to start using to make splits, etc...
Why would you want to switch from deeps to mediums? Is there any benefits for that change? From 2 deeps to changing to mediums is there a height difference.
 

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Why would you want to switch from deeps to mediums? Is there any benefits for that change? From 2 deeps to changing to mediums is there a height difference.
Weight is the biggie. A fully drawn and filled 10-frame deep can weigh 80-90 lbs--quite an armful for your average person. And when it is sitting at the top of a stack, it can be a real back killer. Yes, an equivalent stack of mediums is taller than an equal (space-wise) amount of deeps, but the individual mediums will be lighter and, thus, easier on the back.

Personally I use all deeps but I've been doing this for over 20 years, so I'm used to it. Newbies just starting out are wise to consider going all mediums. Your back will appreciate it.

JMO

Rusty
 

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Thanks for info. I am probably going to go with 3 med boxes( brood) or 2 deep depending whatever is smaller( height wise). And 3 med for supers.
A medium is 6 5/8 inches tall so three of them equal 19 7/8 inches tall.
Deeps are 9 5/8 inches tall so two of them 4 equal 19 1/8 inches tall.

I use deeps and mediums but will readily admit it complicates things at times. I will put a medium frame in a deep box if necessary. But you cannot put a deep frame in a medium box. Depending on certain manipulations or management methods it can make it difficult. nothing I have not been able to overcome but probably more thought and effort than the average back yard keeper would want to deal with. When I made my queen castles i made them all deep. this way any frame in my apiary can be put in one.

I use a deep and a medium brood box but we have mild winters. So far they have done just fine after two winters. I use only mediums for honey though. I have lifted one deep full of honey. that was all I needed to convince me to let the bees keep deeps of honey.
 

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I am also a beginner, going with all mediums. On a related issue, shipping, I ordered my initial bodies and frames from Mann Lake because they have a good reputation and free shipping, which I was told would result in an overall lower cost. I have subsequently ordered over $100 of similar equipment from Honey Run to be able to run 2 hives and found upon final calculation the overall cost with shipping was about the same. Point: Examine identical purchases with cost and shipping together from several suppliers. You may find that 'free shipping' is not really that much better. They have to pay for it somehow.
 

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I would suggest get all medium equipment. As Mr. Bush suggests. ....grabbed my first deep at chest hight and decided I SHOULD have listened. They are about 90lbs.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-MEN!

I wish I had all 8-frame mediums. All boxes and frames the same size gives you the most flexibility. There will be times when you will want to pull a frame out of the bottom (brood) box, and swap it with an empty frame from an upper box. With DIFFERENT size boxes, you cannot do that.

I have 8-frame deeps, and since I am not particularly strong, I have to pull out a couple of frames so I can securely lift them.

Phil
 
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