Converting to lighter beekeeping equipment

email address

Mediums instead of deeps

My first step in the direction of lighter beekeeping equipment was trying horizontal hives, which I like a lot. But I still had a lot of old equipment around, so I started cutting the deeps down to mediums and quit using deeps and shallows. Then I cut the ten frame boxes to eight frames. If you want to understand why, a ten frame deep full of honey weighs 90 pounds. A ten frame medium weighs 60 pounds. An eight frame medium weighs 48 pounds.

Eight Frame Hive

On the left is a "typical" beekeeping setup as recommended in the books. From bottom to top it is: a bottom board, two deep boxes for the brood, a queen excluder, two shallow supers an inner cover and a telescopic cover. This is NOT what I typically run. A ten frame deep full of honey weighs 90 pounds. A medium full of honey weights 60 pounds. An eight frame medium full of honey weighs 48 pounds. The one on the right is one of my vertical hives. Although I donít do the slatted racks anymore, this one has a slatted rack with some #8 hardware cloth for a bottom, four medium boxes for brood and honey (no excluder) and a migratory top with a shim on both sides to make a top entrance. Using all the same size frames greatly simplifies beekeeping management as any honey can be used for winter feed and any brood found in the supers can be moved back down since the frames are all interchangeable. Leaving out the excluder helps prevent a honey bound brood nest and doesn't restrict the bees working the supers. It also saves having to have a bottom entrance because the drones can get out the top (no excluder to stop them).

Eight Frame Super on Ten Frame Brood Nest Eight Frame Hive Next to Ten Frame Hive

Eight frame instead of ten frame

I'm still tired of heavy beekeeping boxes, so lately I've been buying eight frame boxes. But I still have a lot of tens. Here's a couple of tens for the bottom followed by eights on top. The board on the side covers the crack. The next picture is a ten frame hive between two eight frame hives. Last time I went through the hives I didn't lift a single box because all the clusters were at the top and couldn't figure out why my back hurt when I got done. Then I remembered the concrete blocks. I think I'm going to start wiring the lids on with baling wire and get rid of the blocks. But those 60 mph winds tend to blow the lids off without them and blow the hives over sometimes in spite of them.

Cutting deep frames down to medium

Deep Frame Cut To Medium Deep Frame Cut To Medium

I cut down all my deep beekeeping boxes and frames. The left picture is what I did with the solid bottom bars. The picture on the right is what I did with the broken bottom bars and split bottom bars. I made a new bottom bar from the corner of a one by.

Cutting ten frame boxes down to eight frame

Ten Frame Box Cut Down to Eight Frame Ten Frame Super Cut Down to Eight Frame 10 Frame Super Cut Down to 8 Frame 10 Frame Box Cut Down to 8 Frame 10 Frame Box Cut Down to 8 Frame 10 Frame Box Cut Down to 8 Frame 10 Frame Box Cut Down to 8 Frame 10 Frame Screened Bottom Board Cut Down to 8 Frame 10 Frame Screened Bottom Board Cut Down to 8 Frame 10 Frame Screened Bottom Board Cut Down to 8 Frame 10 Frame Screened Bottom Board Cut Down to 8 Frame 10 Frame Screened Bottom Board Cut Down to 8 Frame

I am now cutting down all my 10 frame medium beekeeping boxes and bottom boards. Here is the sequence of events to make a 10 frame box and Brushy Mountain screened bottom board into an 8 frame. The handsaw cut is to finish the skill saw cut square because of the curve of the blade to make the small ears on the ends.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures,

Michael Bush

email address

Copyright 2006 by Michael Bush

Bush Bees Home