Deeps & Supers
This is where the bees spend their time when they're not out foraging for pollen and nectar. The queen lays eggs here, and the bees pack in the pollen to feed the brood, and nectar to produce yummy honey. 

Deeps: Usually used as brood boxes, and for over-wintering your hive. Our Deeps are made from solid  wood boards - we don't use any edge-glued or laminated pieces. We use rabbet joints for extra surface area, and assemble with exterior wood glue and coated deck screws to provide extra weather protection. Boxes are made level and square to within 1/16" - you won't see those tolerances on mass-produced equipment! $50 / $60 (Cedar)

Honey Supers: These are basically identical to deeps, but shallower to fit 6 1/8" honey frames (this is primarily done to make them lighter - a honey super full of honey can weigh nearly 100 lbs!). We use the same quality rabbet joints, exterior wood glue and coated deck screws as in the deeps, and the same tight tolerances ensure a perfect fit with your honey frames and other equipment. $30 / $45 (Cedar)

One of our backyard hives, finished with a light gel stain and a few coats of Tung Oil. 100% Bee Furniture!
Confused with all these names?

Don't be. There are basically two sizes of boxes used today: deeps and mediums. Unfortunately, there are lots of different names thrown around by beekeepers. 

Deep boxes are also called Deep Supers, Brood Boxes, Deeps etc.

Honey Supers are also called Mediums, Honey Supers, Supers, Honey Boxes, Dadants, and sometimes even Shallows (which isn't quite correct; see below).

Technically, there is a third size of box, called a Shallow. These are most often used in commercial operations and are becoming increasingly rare these days. The chances of seeing new shallow boxes (5 11/16" high) for sale locally is almost nil... although some suppliers mistakenly refer to honey supers and frames as 'shallow' or 'narrow' boxes and frames. If in doubt, ask - honey supers should be 6 5/8" high and accept frames which are 6 1/8" to 6 1/4" high. 

One other note about sizes: the bees really don't care what size boxes and frames you use (so long as you have the right size frames for the box - deep frames won't fit in medium boxes, for example). Although most hives consist of both deep and medium boxes, it's perfectly acceptable to use only one size or the other. Many beekeepers prefer to use all medium boxes, to reduce some of the heavy-lifting, and there is no problem with that. You'll probably just need a few more boxes to give the bees all the room they need.

Nanaimo, BC Canada
Tel: (250) 802-3991