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Author Topic: bee keeping in 8 frame medium brood boxes  (Read 623 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?
jimmy

Offline sawdstmakr

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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.
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.

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. 
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.

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?
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.

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.
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.

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. 
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.

Offline sawdstmakr

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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?
Jim Altmiller

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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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Offline The15thMember

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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.
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.

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?
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.

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.
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.

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 ?