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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to build more hive boxes, and a buddy gave me the idea of building all mediums and using them for anything/everything. For brood chamber, use 3 mediums instead of two deeps. This way in the spring a "super" could be a "brood chamber" for a split or a captured swarm, never have to worry about having enough of the right size frames to match up with boxes, etc. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
 

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You can check out Michael Bush's Practical Beekeeping which is available online and frequently linked to on Beesource, or Kim Flottum's book Backyard Beekeepers. Both recommend 8 frame mediums. 10 frame mediums will be as you said, and let you use any 10 frame tops, bottoms, feeders, etc.
I lifted a 10 frame deep with honey once and knew I had made the right decision with 8 frame mediums.
 

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I tried this year, my first and let me say I really know nothing about beekeeping except when trying to find medium frame nucs, they weren't as available. I do know people remedy this but thats a different thread. For me and availability in my area there were none. Next year I hope to build my own.
 

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The deep nuc frames can be hived into 2 stacked medium boxes with medium frames added for expansion and transition into medium frames; next spring sell the deep frames and bees to someone else as a nuc. There are different simple ways of dealing with odd bee space under the original deep frames.

In five years my back has gone from being "OK with deeps" to definitely needing to do workarounds when they start getting full of honey.
 

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I agree. Having all the same size boxes makes it much easier the work in the bee yard and you always have the right size box and frames.
 

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I am experimenting with mediums for brood chambers and I don't love it. It costs at least a third more to house your bees. It takes at least a third longer to go thru your brood chamber and work all those frames. If I only had a few hives it might be OK but I am running enough that I don't have all the time in the world. As long as the brood chambers are not moved from site to site, it is not that hard to manage them. I did just cut down 16 deep boxes and fill them with medium frames for supers but I still run some deep supers to drawn new brood comb. Of course I extract them first. It also takes a third less time at least to extract if your honey is in deep boxes. It is not all one way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am experimenting with mediums for brood chambers and I don't love it. It costs at least a third more to house your bees. It takes at least a third longer to go thru your brood chamber and work all those frames. If I only had a few hives it might be OK but I am running enough that I don't have all the time in the world. As long as the brood chambers are not moved from site to site, it is not that hard to manage them. I did just cut down 16 deep boxes and fill them with medium frames for supers but I still run some deep supers to drawn new brood comb. Of course I extract them first. It also takes a third less time at least to extract if your honey is in deep boxes. It is not all one way.
Vance, that is a good point, I had not thought of that. Once scaled up, I can see it would take longer to do hive inspections, etc. I'm still a small-time, so not an issue for me, but I can see if running a lot of hives it would definitely add up.
 

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Before you go all deeps, grab a full deep, either brood box or honey super. Simply too heavy for me. I could do one if I had to. I took all my deeps and moved them to the bottom brood box, where you rarely ever have to move the whole box. Heading for all mediums. Mediums cost more to house the same amount of bees or honey, but 50 vs 90lbs at chest height was what I needed. Lots of places sell medium nucs now.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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