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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to apply Apivar and check the 2 lower deeps ofmy colonies. Thismeans I have to lift the top deep. When I was young this was not a problem, Does any one have a suggestion as to how I can lift the top deep and replace it without braking my back. I can not afford a mechanical device.
 

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Sometimes when I have not brought the Kaparlift along and am in a hurry to get a look inside a hive to inspect, treat, steal a frame of brood, etc. Once I have removed the covers, and supers if any, I break the seal between the deep boxes and just tip the deep box up and gently "walk" the box backwards just a bit going side to side and then tip it up on its end after smoking the bees out of the way. I can usually get what I want done and reverse the process to close the hive up. This is not ideal but it does pretty good in a pinch.
 

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I'm in my 80's and I went to all mediums some years ago. In hind-site it was a good decision. You can always use a table say and cut the bottoms off of the deep boxes and convert them into mediums, and you get the bonus of a bunch of shims. Plus it might be time to retire some of your old black wax deep frames anyway.

Steve
 

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I've switched to 8 frame deeps for that reason, an 8 frame is about 22lbs (10kg) lighter and that makes a big difference. Since you are just putting in strips then don't lift the entire box, just slide it an inch or two and then tilt it back, pivoting the down end on the box below it. I have also switched to using cleat handles instead of the recessed handle. The cleat runs the full width of the box and it allows me to place my hands so I can lift closer to my center of gravity, which also makes a noticeable difference. The cleat handles are 3/4" x 1-1/2 (a 1 x 2 at the hardware store) that are mounted 2" from the top of the box and screwed to the box from the inside in four places with 1-1/4" wood screws. I tapered mine so that water will run off, but if you don't have the tools it is not necessary. I cut them slightly long, glue and screw in place, trim flush with a hand saw. A bead of caulk keeps rain water from getting between the handle and the box.

edit: Paul Kelley provides a good explanation here: https://youtu.be/Emlvx53iOZ4?t=266
 

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This is slow but allows a person to lift off a number of supers or upper box plus supers. With a bit of engineering such as wheels and hives set up to be easily straddled it could allow a person with lifting challenges to manage a few hives.

I had fun building it but there are probably much simpler work a rounds.
 

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Tip #1: 2 inch wide cleat handles, right over the top of the smile handles if your hives have them. I cut mine at a 20 degree parallelogram in cross-section (pointing out and down to shed water), and plane a radius right where my fingers go. I drill the wood screw form drill from the inside to put the flat head screws just barely below flush with the wood, and glue them on with Titebond III.

Tip #2: Feet pointing out at 45 degrees to each side (90 degrees from each other) and just slightly wider than your shoulders apart. Now bend those knees and get your caboose down to the ground. Haul the load in close, lean back and look up, lift that bad boy. Right about that time, people always say "OW! My legs!"

I reply, "Yep! First time you ever lifted with your legs instead of your back!"

You can really feel it in the quadruceps femoris group of muscles in your thighs. Your back should be vertical and straight. If you hurt your back doing it like this, you most likely did not have your gluteus maximus down low enough. It does not have to touch the ground, but if your torso is leaning forward at all, ouchie wah-wah! You win a bad back, herniated disc, degenerative cartilage, etc. It's like sitting on a toilet, only lower.

Tip #3: NEVER TWIST YOUR TORSO WHILE HOLDING A HEAVY OR AWKWARD LOAD!!! Take several small turning steps instead. The spine you save will be the one that belongs to you.

Tip #4: Make a super horse! It is a hybrid sawhorse / table made especially for beekeeping, just wide enough for a hive box, and long enough to hold 2 or 3 supers, but they are AWESOME when lifting 110 lb Jumbo Dadant brood boxes! You can see one in Dr. Harry H. Laidlaw, Jr., and Dr. Robert Page's book titled Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding, or a smart beekeeper can figure it out.

I made mine up as a rectangle to fit MY beehives, tilted at 10 degrees out at the ends and cast off 15 degrees to each side to make a very stable super horse. Cut the legs at those same angles so that the legs are just right for YOU to conveniently set a heavy brood box onto it. I used my #8 Stanley plane to level off the top. Please do not nail these things together, as NOBODY wants a beehive falling down. Use good wood, BOLT it clear through and use stainless nylox nuts & washers. Paint the wood with boiled linseed oil. It should last 30 or 40 years. Diagonal bracing is not a bad idea, but leave room for your feet.

The super horse is wide enough to have it's own carrying handle, so put your's right at the balance point so it does not strain your hand when carrying it.

Tip #5: Re-read Robert Holcombe's post #3 above.
 

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What I've done is take an extra empty deep out to the hives. Pull each frame and stick it in the empty deep, lift off the now empty deep that is on the hive, inspect bottom deep, put empty deep back on hive, and refill with the frames.
 

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I am in your shoes and remember advocating deeps for supers not so teribly long ago. I do not use hive stands and find that one can just tip the brood chambers on their back, split them, set the bottom back up and inspect it, slide the upper back on top and inspect it. This is a lot less lifting but a PITA in other ways. I experiemented with using three mediums for a brood chamber but that is also a ROYAL PITA because now you are having to go thru three boxes instead of two and mediums just aren't that much lighter. My next solution is to decide I can still feel like a real beekeeper with substantially less than my thirty to fifty colonies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Actually, because of my age, this is how I take off honey supers. One frame at a time. it is very consuming but it works. However, for supers, I use a fume board and am not bothered by hundreds of bees.
What I've done is take an extra empty deep out to the hives. Pull each frame and stick it in the empty deep, lift off the now empty deep that is on the hive, inspect bottom deep, put empty deep back on hive, and refill with the frames.
 

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If you are going the route of removing each honey frame individually which is another great way to pull honey for those with a bad back like me, the Hive Butler works really well using this method. They are a bit pricey but worth it in my opinion. I use the Hive Butler not only for pulling small lots of honey frames but for gathering frames of brood and resources to build nucs.

https://hivebutler.com/
 

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If you are going the route of removing each honey frame individually which is another great way to pull honey for those with a bad back like me, the Hive Butler works really well using this method. They are a bit pricey but worth it in my opinion. I use the Hive Butler not only for pulling small lots of honey frames but for gathering frames of brood and resources to build nucs.

https://hivebutler.com/
ouch 75 $ a pop.
well i'll order 10 when I get 7-800 bucks I am not using for other needs. Maybe target 6 NUCs to sell and use those proceeds.

Seems pricey for the cute lid and exact size. maybe I can make the 12$ ones at Walmart work.

I use NUC boxes and move 5 at a time. Take five out and set in the 5 stack, carry the other 5 in the 10 to the 10 stack, next.

Agree fall treatment with full deeps is a PITA.

BTW nice tool Frank. seems to work for you.

GG
 
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