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Why use supers?

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skydragon 

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I'm currently on holiday on one of the Greek islands and noticed that all the beehives here (and there are lots of them :) ) use the same box size for both the BB and the super(s).

Which makes me think... why in the UK do we not just use brood boxes and brood frames (whether national or commercial size etc) for all parts of the hive?
 

crazy_bull 

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Weight is probably the main reason, however i know of several people who do standardise their frame sizes makes life easier if you need spare parts.
 

skydragon 

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Weight is probably the main reason, however i know of several people who do standardise their frame sizes makes life easier if you need spare parts.
It would also make life easier when using the Demaree method of swarm control, as you can leave the brood to hatch out in the top box and then leave it in place for the bees to fill up with honey as a super.
 

Finman 

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You can do that and use brood boxes in the whole hive or super boxes as brood boxes. It is your choice.
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
I'm currently on holiday on one of the Greek islands and noticed that all the beehives here (and there are lots of them :) ) use the same box size for both the BB and the super(s).

Which makes me think... why in the UK do we not just use brood boxes and brood frames (whether national or commercial size etc) for all parts of the hive?

I do.
 

Poly Hive 

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Full size supers are safe in a climate with consistent weather. USA, Canada, NZ, Aus all use them.

In the UK it is safer to offer the bees smaller frames as there is a high chance (do you need to be told this lol) of the weather breaking.

The boxes are lighter to handle.

Cut comb would suffer badly from travel staining.

So we use smaller supers here.

PH
 

Poly Hive 

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And what do you do with a brood box of half finished and open celled nectar/honey?

PH
 

Haughton Honey 

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And what do you do with a brood box of half finished and open celled nectar/honey?

PH

Not a lot apart from use it to boost stores elsewhere. To be honest I tend not to have too many of them come Autumn, after pre-Winter feeding is done and dusted.

Once capped stores are taken then the QX is removed so that they can go in to Winter on double brood.
 

victor meldrew 

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My mate (god rest his soul) used to use full sized boxes as supers , but kept a weather eye open and gave them a shallow super "Yust to finish off John "

John Wilkinson
 

Onge 

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And what do you do with a brood box of half finished and open celled nectar/honey?

PH
I run all Lang mediums.

Had a double brood box honey bound the other day, moved all the frames of honey above the excluder.

Problem solved, simple.
 

Poly Hive 

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In good weather yes but when it is unsealed heather what then?

My point bieng that by using super frames you reduce your exposure to risk.

If you are "playing" with bees as purely an amateur then yes it is of not so much importance.

If you are looking for a return then the picture is rather different.

Yes I know O. field amongst others used full boxes as supers but in general it is not so common.

PH
 

Haughton Honey 

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In good weather yes but when it is unsealed heather what then?

My point bieng that by using super frames you reduce your exposure to risk.

If you are "playing" with bees as purely an amateur then yes it is of not so much importance.

If you are looking for a return then the picture is rather different.

Yes I know O. field amongst others used full boxes as supers but in general it is not so common.

PH



What about H J Wadey?

I suppose that it is also dependent upon what you're set up to produce..........honey and CC........or nucs and full colonies.
 

Poly Hive 

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sorry never heard of Wavey but in general most use sups for good reason.

PH
 

Peter Cox 

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I run all Lang mediums.

Had a double brood box honey bound the other day, moved all the frames of honey above the excluder.

Problem solved, simple.
Yes, wouldn't want to use full size langstroth boxes for honey, hefting a full one of those (close on 100lbs) of the top of a stack of 3 or 4 would finish your back off real quick.
 

Finman 

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Yes, wouldn't want to use full size langstroth boxes for honey, hefting a full one of those (close on 100lbs) of the top of a stack of 3 or 4 would finish your back off real quick.
Yes it is so, but I prefer to lift 50 kg boxes than 10 kg boxes.

Moses 3:17-19 : " By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread"

.
 
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