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My first year with 8 frame mediums

2205 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  rniles
This year I switched over to all 8 frame medium equipment with top entrances. In the past, I ran two 10-frame deep boxes for brood, and then added shallow supers for surplus honey to extract. My understanding is that it takes four 8-frame medium supers for the brood chamber to be equivalent to the two 10-frame deeps like I used in the past.

A couple of days ago I had a hive swarm--it was started from a swarm I caught this spring. They had just recently filled their third super with honey, and are just now drawing out the foundation in the fourth box. It seems to me that would equate to having a single deep full of brood and honey, and the second deep about half full. I really wasn't expecting them to swarm. I did plan to check for swarm cells a few days ago, but this hive has gotten so mean I wasn't able to get all the way through it. So I'm wondering if maybe three 8-frame mediums would be more realistic for me in southern Missouri--the Ozarks (USDA zone 6).

I did catch the swarm, and it was rather small. I put it in a single medium, and added three frames of honey and capped brood from the hive from which it swarmed. For the hive that swarmed, I put in three frames of foundation alternated with full frames in the box second from the bottom. One thing about this hive that I've never seen, the frames in that second box were half brood and half honey, but they were side by side, rather than honey on each side and some at the top. The front half of each frame was brood, top to bottom, and the back half was all honey.

Sorry for the long post, but I guess what I'm asking is if three 8-frame mediums that the bees used in their entirety would be sufficient going into winter in an area where I have run two 10-frame deeps, but those deeps usually were not fully utilized? With the deeps, I would often not have much of anything on the two outer frames, so in essence it seems I was often running 8 frame deeps. Has anyone here in USDA zones 5 or 6 run all 8-frame mediums? If so, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.
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I don't have any 8 frame mediums but I overwinter some hives in single deep 10 frame every year with no problems.
I overwinter some hives in single deep 10 frame every year with no problems.
Thanks, that's good to know. Maybe I won't have to worry if some of my hives don't get four mediums drawn out.
zone 5 here, my mentor overwinters 8 frame medium singles with carnis and sells them as overwintered nucs the next spring they literally explode in the spring.
I do all 8 frame mediums and overwinter from 1 to 3 box configurations. 2 is my favorite but they all do fine. BTW I use 3 boxes for brood during honey season.

One of the best things about it is that a single makes a fine nuc without any need for non standard equipment.
I run 8 framers inside the city limits, overwintered two of them in single 8 frame equipment last year. Both of the hives mentioned will be overwintered in 3 deep 8 frame boxes this year. Most overwinter in 2 or 3 - 8 frame boxes. I too use 3 for brood boxes during the season. All my 8 frame equipment is deep, for the record.
What I leave for winter depends on the size of the cluster. Mine winter in something from one to six eight frame medium boxes depending on the size of the cluster.
Yup. I use only 8 frame mediums. I over wintered one hive in 3 boxes, the other hive in 5 boxes. Both survived our long, cool, damp Pacific Northwest weather.
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