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I am curious what you run. Our plan is to start with a deep and add another followed by mediums. Is this a good configuration?

thanks
Kenny
 

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A lot of people run double deeps, deep and a half, or a single deep. In Georgia, I would assume that you should be able to overwinter your hives in single deeps. The doubles might be overkill, but ultimately it doesn't matter much.

There are also people that run all mediums. It really comes down to what you want to do and your goals.

The biggest thing you need to keep in mind with deep boxes is the weight of a full deep and frame incompatibility between deep and medium boxes.

You need to be prepared to pick up 80-110 pound box on a fully loaded hive, where mediums run about half that.
 

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All beekeeping is local. Join a local club (there must be one thereabouts, or up in Macon) and do as the Romans do.

Getting input from folks in Massachusetts, North Dakota, or Canada won't do you much good. While we might need 3-5 mediums here, you might only need one. I have no idea, we're worlds apart.

Tony P.
 

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What ever size you decide to go with make sure there all the same , either all med. or all deep , it makes it so much easier to manipulate frames , what if your low on stores in the fall when taking your honey off you can't take frames from your honey supers to add weight to the brood box if there different and deeps are way to heavy !!!!!
 

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laketrout is right. keep everything interchangable. makes life a lot simpler. we use all med euip and would not change back to deeps. took us 50 yrs to figure it out.
 

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I was weighing all the same options a little over a year ago when I was getting started. Decided to go with all 8 frame mediums...A decision I've been quite happy with and haven't regretted. While technically, I have nothing else to compare it to, I do know one thing...Last summer when I was pulling and hauling full honey supers around, I NEVER once thought, Gee I sure wish these boxes were just a little heavier! LOL! :D

Lots of advantages of some disadvantages can be argued, in my opinion. But basically, the weight savings and ease of handling just makes the hobby a little more enjoyable. Also, as mentioned, the interchangeability of frames between all boxes has huge pluses. Downside, it will increase your equipment cost. So if the bottom line is what it's all about to you, you may not want to go in this direction. Then again, you can buy a whole lot of equipment for what back surgery will cost, not to mention pain and suffering! :D
 

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I model the Jerry Hayes' POV configuration as a starting point.

http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/jerry-hayes/queen-excluder-or-honey-excluder/

I adapted his set up to suit my particular operation as a hobbyist and I believe the set up works well.

Standard/solid bottom board with front entrance reduced to 2” year round. No need to install a drone escape.
A slatted bottom rack (slats parallel to frames) from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm gives the bees more room to congregate without needing to beard.
Two narrow frame brood boxes (11 1-1/4” frames in a 10 frame box)
Three 3/8” holes drilled in the front of each super below the handle is used instead of the 3/8” spacer entrance between the excluder and the first super.

Every year I swap in three frames of foundation to each brood box to keep an "open broodnest" Positioning them between already drawn frames helps them to be drawn straight. Of course the broodnest always stays below the excluder. The hives build up/draw out the bottom deep brood boxes nicely, top to bottom and side to side. The broodnests extend all of the way to the bottom of the innermost frames.
In the High Desert the bees do not have a lot of forage to work with so I have never had to add more than one super to a hive. It takes the bees a couple of weeks to get the idea of using the upper entrance on the supers.

I also install robber screens in the late fall and early spring when forage is low and stores are critical.

The standard inner cover has a 3/8” slot machined into the front edge on the deep side that can be used as an upper entrance. It can be opened or closed by sliding the telescoping outer cover back or forward. In the winter, spring and fall seasons standard inner covers and telescoping outer covers are in service. To maintain minimal bee space between the top bars and the inner cover, the shallow side is down for the spring and fall. The deep side is to provide more room above the top bars while they are typically not making burr comb during the winter, the cluster can have more bee space above the top bars. During the hottest summer months screened inner covers and migratory outer covers are used.

For overwintering, the hives are reduced back down to two deep brood boxes.
 

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I run double deeps. and add supers during the flow. I keep adding as they fill them, when the flow ends I pull the supers. Not a fan of 5 or 6 supers on a hive by October.
 

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I have single ten frame brood chambers, double ten frame brood chambers, single twelve frame jumbo brood chambers, single ten frame jumbo brood chambers, multiple ten frame medium brood chambers and multiple eight frame medium brood chambers, all on which I run medium depth honey supers. I also have two standard Warres, one Modified Warre, an octagon Warre, a hexagon Lang/Warre combination hive and one Topbar with viewing window.
I have all that variety in hives because of my frustration that society only permits me to have one wife and frowns on me having mistresses and girlfriends; and because of my lack of charm that prevents me from having those other women even if society permitted it. Nobody frowns on my having numerous styles of beehives, so I make up the other shortcomings and frustrations by owning many styles of bee boxes. Also, a bee box has never been unfaithful, divorced me or sued me for spousal support.
 

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I started out setting up with 8 frame boxes....1 deep and 1 medium for the brood chamber (overwinter set up) and shallows above for honey.
I am still using this set up on a couple, but I have a hard time handling them (back problems).

I now use 5 frame boxes with a deep and medium for the brood with shallows for honey. I am thinking about putting in some six frame boxes with the same set-up to see how I like those.

If I had it to start over....I would go with all 8 frame shallows....only because of my back. But for someone that does not have back problems, I think all mediums is definitely the way to go!
 

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I run 10 frame double deeps and medium for honey supers. I wish I had all deeps or deep and smalls just because of my extractor. I can spin 6 smalls or three deep or mediums.
 

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I was weighing all the same options a little over a year ago when I was getting started. Decided to go with all 8 frame mediums...A decision I've been quite happy with and haven't regretted. While technically, I have nothing else to compare it to, I do know one thing...Last summer when I was pulling and hauling full honey supers around, I NEVER once thought, Gee I sure wish these boxes were just a little heavier! LOL! :D
CONGRATULATIONS! I wish I had all 8-fr med's.

Phil
 

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All beekeeping is local. Join a local club (there must be one thereabouts, or up in Macon) and do as the Romans do.

Getting input from folks in Massachusetts, North Dakota, or Canada won't do you much good. While we might need 3-5 mediums here, you might only need one. I have no idea, we're worlds apart.

Tony P.
Sounds like excellent advice, and that's what they told us when we started. But the funny part is, then they get to the woodenware class and they showed us all the options, offering good and bad points of each but no clear winner. They even dragged in a top bar hive, which they told us not to use but that we could use them and they would work fine.

Our bottom line was that we left class with all options on the table, but with my wife leaning towards 8-frame due to lighter weight and she's a girl. So the final decision was made at the local bee equipment supplier and was ... wait for it, a pair of deeps for the brood boxes, a pair of mediums for the honey supers (added or removed as needed, of course), plus a few bells and whistles like a screened bottom board with a Freeman trap. There is a lot to say for finding a helpful dealer, but you may get talked into a teensy bit more than you need.

I expect the bottom line is, we'll plunk the nucs in (our choice of deeps was influenced by nucs being more available in this size), and as long as we don't crush the queen, her aroma will fill the hive like an apple-cinnamon air freshener, and in about five minutes the bees will accept it as home sweet home. Especially when they find the feeder in the attic.
 
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