Traditionally many people only used two different types of supers, two deep hive bodies for the brood area and shallow honey supers for storing honey. Shallow honey supers are often used because they are easier to lift when full of honey than larger size supers.
Unlike a deep super which weighs close to 90 pounds when full of honey, a shallow super will weigh anywhere from 30-40 pounds when full. This is a significant difference when it comes to lifting, especially if you have a number of supers on any given hive.
Often beekeepers will also remove one frame from these shallow supers so that the super only holds 9 frames. This allows the bees to pull out the comb beyond the frame sides, making it easier for a beekeeper to harvest honey when it comes time to cut off cappings.
In general shallow supers are only used for storing honey as you would need to use far too many of these to use them as the brood area.
What size supers do you use? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo by Jessica Dally