If you’re new to beekeeping there’s a number of terms that are probably confusing.  “Supers” has to be one of the more confusing terms.  Why so confusing?  Because we usually hear that word to mean that something is great, not used as a noun to describe a wooden box!  The other issue with the term is that supers are also called other things, hive bodies, westerns, shallows, boxes.  With all of these terms getting to know what people are talking about is VERY confusing.

With that in mind we’ll talk about the different supers available, what they’re used for and what they might also be called.

Today we’ll start with the Deep Hive Body.  Not usually a super (as supers usually refer to a box bees use to keep honey stores) this box is the deepest and biggest box in most beehives.  It can be called a super if someone chooses to use it as a top honey box.  However do to the huge size most people avoid using these big boxes as top boxes for bees to store honey.

In general the deep supers or deep hive bodies are used as the area where the queen lays eggs and the worker bees raise brood (aka other bees!).  There are ten frames kept in most hive body boxes.

While honey weighs more than brood these boxes are still quite heavy when you have a healthy hive and some people forgo using deep boxes for their brood bodies due to concerns about heavy lifting.  We’ll talk more about other options in upcoming blog posts.

Do you use deep boxes or supers?  Have you ever used one for collecting honey?  Let us know in the comments below.

Photo by Jessica Dally

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