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Peaches’ Beekeeping Blog

December 4, 2009

Less Frames, More Honey Weight!

I have recently received information that explains the weight issue on less frames/more honey. You can go to my post that touched on this subject and go to the comment section,  so you can follow a little better.

A shallow honey super weighs about 25.30 lbs.

A medium (Illinois) honey super weighs about 30-50 lbs.

A deep honey super weighs approximately 75-100 lbs.

A deep brood super weighs approximately 60-80lbs with bees, brood, and honey.

Now all this is using a 10 frame set up. If you use 9 frames you can count on adding 10 lbs. to the  shallow, 15-20 lbs to the medium, and 20 to 40 lbs or more to the deep. If you use 8 frames in a 10 frame box then double the extra weight

You need to find out for yourself what the weight is by weighing your honey supers before you extract and after you extract to find the average honey weight is per super. Now I cannot tell you the exact weight of the boxes because of the different wood material used to construct them. Don’t forget the  weight difference between nails, screws, and staples. Frames also are made from different wood material. All this has a bearing on the weight of the full honey supers.

For my own use, I just use the 40#, 60#, and 100# figures as examples when I talk to other beekeepers. This is a side note. I use 10 frames in a brood box and 9 frames in my honey supers which are medium (Illinois) supers. I do not use deep honey supers because I cannot lift them by myself. I have to take 5 frames out and use a nuc to transport them to the truck then go back and get the super and the other 5 honey frames. This is the reason I am thinking of going to all Illinois boxes for the complete hive. All of the equipment will then be interchangeable. I am also thinking of going back to the 10 frame honey supers because of the lesser weight.

I have not ruled out using undersized boxes either. By undersized, I mean cut the width down to fit only 8 frames in a box. That will be even lighter and easier to life and carry by hand. Some women and older men have gone this way already and are really enjoying collecting honey and saving their backs.

There are websites already out there that explains the different sizes and frame configurations if you want to research them. I didn’t intend for this blog to be a training site. I started out just telling what I was doing in my bee business. I have found out that the two are inseparable. So please bear with me.

I hope this help some of you out there that really wants to know.

2 Comment(s)

  1. Lois Merritt | Dec 10, 2009 | Reply

    Hey Peaches,
    I was looking thru ebay @ beekeeping stuff and came upon a guy selling nucs. This is a very good description/reason for using a nuc. I guess I never really ‘got it’ before. Makes a lot of sense, nothing u didn’t already know I’m sure. Just something to add to/for newbies. Lo

    1: HONEY PRODUCTION: Bee hives that are more congested produce surplus honey above the brood chamber faster. Our test show that a double deep 5 frame hive will out produce a single 10 frame hive sitting next to it. Another thought, if you compare two 5 frame hives to one 10 frame hive, you have the same amount of frames being used in the two 5′s as the one ten. However, with the two 5′s you are running two queens verses one queen in the 10 framer. Which do you think will be the more productive situation? Also, it is the bees nature to work upwards rather than side to side. Common sense tells us that in nature when bees build natural hives in a hallow tree, the 5 frame hive is more native for them.

    2. DEFENSE: The 1″ entrance hole we use coupled with a stronger hive makes wax moths and the small hive beetle have a difficult time getting in. The chances of being robbed are reduced as the bees can defend the smaller entrance. Thus allowing them to produce brood and honey rather than fighting with other bees. Again, in nature bees can survive for years in hollow trees with a small finger size entrance hole.

    3. LIFTING SUPERS OR MOVING: Need I say more? A lot of us beekeepers are getting a little age on us. Toting a 5 frame deep or medium super of honey is half the load verses 10 frame equipment. Work smarter, not harder. The same is true when relocating your hives.

    4. OVER WINTERING: A lot of our northern customers have ask how the 5 frame hives will overwinter? Very good question. My answer is this. In the fall of the year about the time the drones get the boot, the queen slows down on brood production. The reduction in brood means that not many new bees will be coming on board. So the entire colony of bees are getting ready for winter. They have what they have as far as numbers go. It is this same group of bees that will form a cluster to keep warm during times of freezing temps. In short, that same cluster of bees becomes a heater. Now lets use some good ole fashion common sense. Which would be better? A large room with a heater placed in the middle of the room? Or a small room with the same heater placed in the middle of the room? I will leave that up to you to decide.

  2. ekpeach | Dec 10, 2009 | Reply

    Thank you,Lois. I will probably, in the future, take your commit and make a post out of it. Good explanation for nucs.

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