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John Russell

Pro's & Con's of FD honey super

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From a commercial operation what honey supers are beeks running with? Weight of a FD being the only drawback I could see. Having less equipment, costs & frames to extract would be beneficial along with uniform hive equipment. I am only a hobbiest but want to run with a few more hives next spring. Presently running FD brood with 3/4 supers.

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I think heath and safety liability should feature high up in your consideration.

 

3/4 boxes are lighter so your exposure to injury is reduced. As a one-man-band that could be very important.

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try and run the same as your brood boxes.

this makes things a whole lot less complicated.

 

commercially i see beeks running 3/4 supers and those running FD. 3/4 can cost more and cost more for extraction but a lot easier to handle.

those who are more mechanized (ie use lifters) use FD only.

 

for a small commercial operation i would get rid of your FD brood boxes and go 3/4 only.

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When I am 35 I will start swapping to 3/4... I originally said 30 but that's getting kinda close now lol

 

I guess the big question is, what is the likely hood of Worksafe putting a max lift amount in place across all industries?

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I dont like 3/4 for brood, we run full depth single brood with an excluder and mostly 3/4 boxes.

We put on around 100 full depth each year to get drawn out for replacement frames.

 

Full depth boxes of honey are a killer

 

I think the best size for brood is a single jumbo, but we dont run them

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I think the best size for brood is a single jumbo, but we dont run them

Yep they are the bees knees,

I'm now working on my second hundred Jumbo brood boxes. Got rid of all my remaining FD boxes last spring, though I seem to have gained a few FD frames into my winter Nuc's (I'll move them on easily enough)

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I like the notion of Jumbo, and have handled a few. The frames are huge compared to full depth. Probably not a commercial option, a lot of wrist strain moving and checking those frames.

 

Agree, Work place health and safety may not like workers moving heavy full depth gear around. Look at most bulky items, compost, cement, potting mix and those bags are often limited to 25kg or so.

 

Full depth broods and 3/4 supers a good combination but you have to always be treating the two differently. Bit of a headache for some. Needing systems like Frazzled referred to. But doable.

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Once you get used to running completely separate brood and honey boxes with different frames it becomes a normal part of your beekeeping.

I exclusively run 32mm wide jumbo frames for my brood.

And 42mm wide 3/4 depth for my honey.

Works for me :)

This winter I'm building an additional 50 jumbo brood boxes and another 250 honey boxes.

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try and run the same as your brood boxes.

this makes things a whole lot less complicated.

 

commercially i see beeks running 3/4 supers and those running FD. 3/4 can cost more and cost more for extraction but a lot easier to handle.

those who are more mechanized (ie use lifters) use FD only.

 

for a small commercial operation i would get rid of your FD brood boxes and go 3/4 only.

 

For more than one reason I am looking for sites with low/poor access. In these places the lifting gear is not very useful. I plan to convert to smaller boxes too.

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For more than one reason I am looking for sites with low/poor access. In these places the lifting gear is not very useful. I plan to convert to smaller boxes too.

That... Sounds slightly insane....

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I dont like 3/4 for brood, we run full depth single brood with an excluder and mostly 3/4 boxes.

We put on around 100 full depth each year to get drawn out for replacement frames.

 

Full depth boxes of honey are a killer

 

I think the best size for brood is a single jumbo, but we dont run them

 

Then you should try the Dadant gear - not sure if any supplier sales them here in NZ. European bkpers who are after mono-floral honey are using Dadant 1/1 for brood and Dadant 1/2 for honey(only 2 boxes for honey) and they extract mostly on site.

 

 

That... Sounds slightly insane....

 

I did not say inaccessible but certainly you can not get to the hives with a truck.(less attractive for the thieves)

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Then you should try the Dadant gear - not sure if any supplier sales them here in NZ. European bkpers who are after mono-floral honey are using Dadant 1/1 for brood and Dadant 1/2 for honey(only 2 boxes for honey) and they extract mostly on site.

 

 

 

I did not say inaccessible but certainly you can not get to the hives with a truck.(less attractive for the thieves)

So my normal then :-)

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Lifting f/d honey boxes will give you killer biceps the ladies will love!

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Lifting f/d honey boxes will give you killer biceps the ladies will love!

but a stuffed back so you can't enjoy the ladies ;) :whistle:

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but a stuffed back so you can't enjoy the ladies ;) :whistle:

 

Did somebody say sponge bath with two naughty nurses!;)

 

But in all seriousness lift what you are capable of and use correct form when lifting, and be conscious of health and safety!

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I think the best size for brood is a single jumbo

 

I'd like to ask why you said that and question and probe about jumbo boxes and depth of brood box to get some understanding.

 

For a vertical format hive, why does it matter about depth of brood boxes? Is this about having a band of stores on the same comb? If it is Jumbo or say 1.5 deep is that any different to two boxes 3/4 deep? Sorry if it sounds silly to ask.

Is it the same for the bees but just easier to manage inspecting the frames in a single box rather than splitting moving two boxes? Plus that you don't often need to lift the bottom box by hand.

 

People run double FD brood box hives, but I've never heard of using three 3/4 boxes (triple) for the brood. But, wouldn't it be necessary to have three 3/4 to get the same brood volume as double FD?

 

the commercial guy who helps me far more than I help him, has 3/4 boxes for everything, but the honey frames are wide Manley 8 to a box. and incompatible with the brood frames Hoffman 10 to a box. So, they don't ever transfer frames despite both being the same depth. Still obviously it is convenient that the boxes themselves are all the same.

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People run double FD brood box hives, but I've never heard of using three 3/4 boxes (triple) for the brood. But, wouldn't it be necessary to have three 3/4 to get the same brood volume as double FD?

Im suprised, I thought it was standard practice when running 3/4 depth gear only to run 3 for spring build up and 2 the rest of the time....

 

the commercial guy who helps me far more than I help him, has 3/4 boxes for everything, but the honey frames are wide Manley 8 to a box. and incompatible with the brood frames Hoffman 10 to a box. So, they don't ever transfer frames despite both being the same depth. Still obviously it is convenient that the boxes themselves are all the same.

You can still mix them a little, it is just very inefficient. With mixed depth you cant even think about it....

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@ChrisM I think a jumbo is pretty much the exact size of a brood nest in the wild or natural state so to me that means its a good thing.

I dont like two 3/4 for brood because it splits the brood nest.

 

Does it make a blind bit of difference?

Probably not,

 

In a perfect world I would run a single jumbo brood box with 3/4 honey supers

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@ChrisM I think a jumbo is pretty much the exact size of a brood nest in the wild or natural state so to me that means its a good thing.

I dont like two 3/4 for brood because it splits the brood nest.

 

Does it make a blind bit of difference?

Probably not,

 

In a perfect world I would run a single jumbo brood box with 3/4 honey supers

 

Here are 3 pics of a nice brood nest, all frames 3/4 and no excluder ...

 

But that's the Easy Bee Keeping method.

brood-nest-top_1760.jpg.d24b3ea8b0194c2ec93fbf50e244be4e.jpg

broodnest-middle_1745.jpg.e10baddb28ad6e432559d5cdfdb4bef0.jpg

broodnest-bottom_1741.jpg.8c50343a4c3e81daaf394e0c4d9a2131.jpg

brood-nest-top_1760.jpg.d24b3ea8b0194c2ec93fbf50e244be4e.jpg

broodnest-middle_1745.jpg.e10baddb28ad6e432559d5cdfdb4bef0.jpg

broodnest-bottom_1741.jpg.8c50343a4c3e81daaf394e0c4d9a2131.jpg

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But seperated by a number of centremetres because of the top and bottom of the bars plus bee space. So not one consolidated/ continuous brood nest.

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But that's the Easy Bee Keeping method.

Why do you say, "but..." rather than simply, "that is..." For those who choose it, your EBK method is sound, full stop. No buts about it ;)

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what is the vertical height of a comb in each 3/4 frame (internal distance between top bar and bottom bar)? What is the vertical height of comb in a Jumbo? It seems to be 203mm (8") in Hoffman FD.

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The jumbo or the Dadant 1/1 brood box will have the advantage when inspecting the brood nest(faster inspection).

However as the early spring built up period will be in advantage for the double FD or the triple 3/4. These two have the advantage to swap the boxes early spring witch is not the same as swapping the frames in a jumbo(in colder areas you can not do that without a risk of failure).

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How I manage spring build up with jumbos and strong hives is to place a second Jumbo brood box with only foundation on top. This gives them heaps of space plus the task of drawing out the frames. As spring progresses towards the main flows I have the ability to either remove brood to form splits or to re-arrange the brood into only one box, I find this time/process useful for increasing hive numbers and culling/recycling poor frames.

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