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Author Topic: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes  (Read 764 times)

Offline Seeb

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bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« on: January 07, 2020, 09:39:54 am »
I've not kept bee's in many years due to a back injury and after reading about 8 frame X medium supers for brood boxes, I have invested in the equipment and ordered my bees. My location is in zone 7B.

I'm planning on starting with 2 med supers for my 3 lb package of Italian bees that arrive the end of March, but now am beginning to second guess myself.  Are 2 supers enough to start with, too many?  Any input from my fellow beekeepers will be appreciated.

 
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Offline Acebird

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2020, 09:58:01 am »
One medium is enough to start with.  It is like a 5 frame deep nuc.  If the frames were drawn comb you could start with two mediums.
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Offline jimineycricket

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2020, 10:23:50 am »
Just so I will know for sure,Seeb, You did mean 8 frame medium boxes. Right?
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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2020, 11:40:24 am »
I agree with Ace. One 8 frame medium box will, without drawn comb is more than enough. In the spring, with a good food source, in about 4 weeks you will probably have to add your second box.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2020, 06:01:22 pm »
Thanks everyone, yes cricket 8 frame mediums.
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Offline jvalentour

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2020, 10:24:32 pm »
With a good queen and a good season you might make it to 3 boxes.  I assume you are feeding as well. 
I am in a 6a/b growth zone and my 8 frames routinely make it to three boxes with feeding July to September.
You will like the smaller size and ease of maintenance.  They seem to winter pretty well too.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2020, 07:58:10 am »
Seeb. Also consider a horizontal hive for your bad back. Mine also is bad, so I built a long langstroth hive from the very beginning, which I am really enjoying. I built a 2nd one which I plan to fill this spring. They have space for 32 deep frames sideways like folders in a file cabinet drawer. I never lift anything heavier than a single frame (or a nuc box for carrying away frames of honey) If you only want 10 or less hives, it may be the way to go.

Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2020, 09:24:22 am »
With a good queen and a good season you might make it to 3 boxes.  I assume you are feeding as well. 
I am in a 6a/b growth zone and my 8 frames routinely make it to three boxes with feeding July to September.
You will like the smaller size and ease of maintenance.  They seem to winter pretty well too.


I'm really excited - thanks for the encouragement. 
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Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2020, 09:25:58 am »
what are your thoughts: do you think 3 medium's for brood would be the goal to shoot for [regardless of how long it takes to get there] before adding supers for honey harvest?
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn

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Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2020, 09:28:24 am »
Seeb. Also consider a horizontal hive for your bad back. Mine also is bad, so I built a long langstroth hive from the very beginning, which I am really enjoying. I built a 2nd one which I plan to fill this spring. They have space for 32 deep frames sideways like folders in a file cabinet drawer. I never lift anything heavier than a single frame (or a nuc box for carrying away frames of honey) If you only want 10 or less hives, it may be the way to go.

I'm already invested in this, but if all goes well, I may try other set ups on my purchase.
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn

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Offline cao

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2020, 10:30:24 am »
what are your thoughts: do you think 3 medium's for brood would be the goal to shoot for [regardless of how long it takes to get there] before adding supers for honey harvest?

In my area 3 medium boxes full of bees overwinter just fine without feeding. 

Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2020, 10:45:36 am »
I agree with Ace. One 8 frame medium box will, without drawn comb is more than enough. In the spring, with a good food source, in about 4 weeks you will probably have to add your second box.
Jim Altmiller

Thanks Jim and Ace. I do not have drawn comb, so will start with one as you recommend.  I'll be feeding heavy, and a farmer neighbor 1/2 mile down the road has already planted cover crops for them, and will plant a second crop that will bloom between mid July and into September as well. 
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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2020, 11:28:22 am »
Wow that is nice to have. How many acres is he planting?
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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2020, 01:19:39 pm »
what are your thoughts: do you think 3 medium's for brood would be the goal to shoot for [regardless of how long it takes to get there] before adding supers for honey harvest?

I run all 8 frame mediums (thank you Michael Bush). With your "heavy" feeding, they should be able to draw out 3 boxes in 3-8 weeks. Which means you'll need additional supers for the clover flow. My hives use most of 3 boxes for brood best during peak flows. They will fill 1-4 additional boxes with honey in my area. So you'll need the additional boxes at the ready once your flow starts. In the summer time, my hives get 5 to 7 boxes tall. The bees need more space for storing and drying nectar - than they will later end up using once the honey is dry and capped. I add 2 boxes at a time, and keep an eye on them.
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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2020, 01:57:51 pm »
I run almost all 8-frame mediums.  (I sometimes use shallows for honey because I'm weak, and the mediums full of honey are still quite heavy.)  The advice I was given was to get 6 8-frame mediums per hive to start out.  That way you have plenty of equipment if the hives get big.  You'll certainly end up using the equipment eventually, so I thought that was pretty good advice and that was what I did.  (I'm entering my 3rd spring as a beekeeper, just for reference on my experience level.)  At the summer peak, my healthy hives usually have 2 full mediums of brood and can put on 2-3 mediums of honey.       

what are your thoughts: do you think 3 medium's for brood would be the goal to shoot for [regardless of how long it takes to get there] before adding supers for honey harvest?
Perhaps I'm reading into your specific wording too much, but I think the more important thing to think about is just making sure the bees have enough space when they need to expand.  What they do with the boxes, whether brood or honey is up to them.  The bees know best, as they say.     
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Offline Acebird

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2020, 05:54:04 pm »
I add 2 boxes at a time, and keep an eye on them.
For a new hive?  That could get him in trouble.
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Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2020, 06:08:09 pm »
Wow that is nice to have. How many acres is he planting?
Jim Altmiller

He planted just shy of one acre [wouldn't it be great if it were more] and I have cover crop in my little garden as well.
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Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2020, 06:21:07 pm »
Thanks CoolBees and 15th - good thoughts and just the input I'm looking for.

"I think the more important thing to think about is just making sure the bees have enough space when they need to expand.  What they do with the boxes, whether brood or honey is up to them.  The bees know best, as they say"

So, I'm going to use an excluder on top of my brood, because in my reading, it is my understanding that the SHB is more attracted to the brood, and keeping brood out of honey supers will also cut down on SHB larva in the honey. Has anyone else heard this?
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn

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Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2020, 06:26:27 pm »
and also, I'm only interested in establishing a good hive this year and will try for honey next year.  That being said, if by some chance the honey flow is good, I won't turn it down.
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Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2020, 09:31:59 pm »
Y'all in the 🌞 state rite ?

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2020, 09:32:54 pm »
So, I'm going to use an excluder on top of my brood, because in my reading, it is my understanding that the SHB is more attracted to the brood, and keeping brood out of honey supers will also cut down on SHB larva in the honey. Has anyone else heard this?

I'm too inexperienced to answer this question with confidence, so you should probably to wait for another opinion, but I'll just mention the advice I was given that worked for me.  I was advised against a queen excluder as a beginner, and I have yet to use one.  My queens so far have been really good about not laying up in the supers, and I think in most circumstances the bees will keep the honey and the brood separate without the excluder.  I believe that the SHB are more attracted to the brood comb, but in my experience at least, they are also attracted to comb without a lot of bees, and if the workers are reluctant to cross the excluder, it could leave the honeycomb above unprotected and vulnerable as well.  But again, I'm still a relative newbee, and I have no experience with actually using excluders, so you'd be wise to get another opinion.                         
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Acebird

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2020, 07:36:05 am »
it is my understanding that the SHB is more attracted to the brood, and keeping brood out of honey supers will also cut down on SHB larva in the honey. Has anyone else heard this?
No because it is false.  If you take the colony out of a hive and just leave the honey  the SHB will decimate it.
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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2020, 08:28:45 am »
A queen excluder will not stop the SHBs from hiding in a super. As a mater of fact initially you will have few bees above the excluder and the SHBs will own the super.
The best way to control SHBs it to use a screen bottom board and an oil tray.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2020, 09:41:59 am »
A queen excluder will not stop the SHBs from hiding in a super. As a mater of fact initially you will have few bees above the excluder and the SHBs will own the super.
The best way to control SHBs it to use a screen bottom board and an oil tray.
Jim Altmiller

Got it. I'm sure I can find a different use for my queen excluder. I already have a screened bottom board and oil tray - so I'm ready on that front.
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Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2020, 09:46:37 am »
Y'all in the 🌞 state rite ?

looks like we are neighbors of yours
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn

The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over. ~ Hunter S Thompson

Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2020, 09:55:04 am »
Y'all in the 🌞 state rite ?

looks like we are neighbors of yours
I knew, and thought the world of an apiary inspector from your neck of the woods, Bill Sheppard. Broke a lot of hearts from all over NC when he died.
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The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over. ~ Hunter S Thompson

Offline cao

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2020, 12:16:57 pm »
it is my understanding that the SHB is more attracted to the brood, and keeping brood out of honey supers will also cut down on SHB larva in the honey. Has anyone else heard this?
No because it is false.  If you take the colony out of a hive and just leave the honey  the SHB will decimate it.

They need pollen to lay eggs and for the larva to eat.  So they are attracted to the pollen/bee bread next to the brood.  If you have honey frames that are pure honey the SHB can't raise any larva.  But if there is just one cell that the bees put pollen in, the beetles can have a field day with that frame if no bees are around.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2020, 06:01:05 pm »
4 8-frame mediums = 2 10-frame deeps.
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Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2020, 08:52:25 am »
it is my understanding that the SHB is more attracted to the brood, and keeping brood out of honey supers will also cut down on SHB larva in the honey. Has anyone else heard this?
No because it is false.  If you take the colony out of a hive and just leave the honey  the SHB will decimate it.

They need pollen to lay eggs and for the larva to eat.  So they are attracted to the pollen/bee bread next to the brood.  If you have honey frames that are pure honey the SHB can't raise any larva.  But if there is just one cell that the bees put pollen in, the beetles can have a field day with that frame if no bees are around.

okay - thanks for keeping at it with me, I think I understand now - an excluder will not keep pollen out of the honey.
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Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2020, 09:01:04 am »
4 8-frame mediums = 2 10-frame deeps.

Ah, good information, and thanks to you for your website, it is invaluable.  I stumbled upon it last fall and started reading about 8 frame, mediums, and thought, I can do this.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2020, 09:37:39 am »
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Offline Seeb

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2020, 11:09:00 am »
 :beemaster:
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Offline rgennaro

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2020, 02:51:39 pm »
this post was very timely for me, as usual the wealth of knowledge in this board is so good for newbeeks like me. Here is my question

Last year when I added my medium super on top of the two deep boxes(all 10-frames) the bees never went there and somebody suggested to put a deep super instead and move some of the honey frames up there to encourage them to go. So this year I am thinking of trying that approach.

However I have lots of medium boxes and frames that I still would like to use, so I am considering starting a second hive this year and house them in 10 frames mediums.

Here are my questions:
-- Do people use deep boxes for honey supers? What's your experience?
-- Similarly what's the experience of housing hives in 10-frame mediums? And what's the equivalence ratio? I interpret Mr.Bush's statement as 32 medium frames are equivalent to 20 deep ones, so would you say that 3 10-frame mediums are approx equivalent to 2 10-frame deeps ? The reason I ask is that people here winter their bees in 2 deeps (I successfully did so last year -- though some people leave an additional medium)

thanks!

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2020, 04:25:57 pm »
Rgennaro: to get bees to move up, take a medium frame, drop it into the middle of a deep box till the bees draw it out. Then pull it out, shave off any excess comb under the frame, place it in medium super, and install supper over the deep. This worked for me to get the bees to go up from deeps to mediums (when they didn't want to).

I've read - that Back injuries account for 50% of beeking injuries. Lifting Deeps full of honey is asking for back problems. Fwiw.

I started with 10 frame deeps and mediums and shallows. Not being able to move frames anywhere - was a great frustation. This is why I transitioned to all mediums - to have 1 fame size everywhere.

Also, I looked into the future and found I'm never going to get younger  :cheesy: - so I switched to all 8 frame (medium) equipment. :cheesy: :cheesy:

There really isn't a "wrong" answer with equipment, so I can only tell you what worked for me, and why.
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Offline rgennaro

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2020, 11:07:34 am »
Didn?t think about the weight ... ain?t getting any younger here either  :cheesy: thanks for the advice about the medium

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2020, 06:01:29 pm »
>Here are my questions:
>-- Do people use deep boxes for honey supers?

Yes.

>What's your experience?

They weigh 90 pounds when full and are hard to get loose from the box below when they are pushing back down on the propolis even after you pry them loose.

>-- Similarly what's the experience of housing hives in 10-frame mediums?

It was a big improvement over having  five different size boxes.  But still heavier than I wanted.

>And what's the equivalence ratio?

3 10-frame mediums = 2 10-frame deeps

>I interpret Mr.Bush's statement as 32 medium frames are equivalent to 20 deep ones

Correct

> so would you say that 3 10-frame mediums are approx equivalent to 2 10-frame deeps ?

Yes.

>The reason I ask is that people here winter their bees in 2 deeps (I successfully did so last year -- though some people leave an additional medium)

The equivalent is 3 10-frame mediums.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin