I’ve been converting all my hives to medium supers since last year. I wish I’d done it from the start. It’s so much easier to lift a medium than a deep and (so far) it doesn’t seem to have any negative effect on my beekeeping.
Beekeeping is a big draw for retired people. If I was retired and thinking about getting into it, I would go with medium supers, but even better if I could get them, I’d consider going with shallow supers because they’re even lighter. Beekeeping doesn’t have to be an arduous affair.
8-frame supers are also a thing, though I’m not sure how common they are.
The photo included in this post shows a hive with two medium supers. It will eventually have three supers when it’s complete, maybe four.
Some might think having more supers to inspect might add to the work, but it hasn’t for me because, except for early in the year when setting the hives up for the season, I rarely inspect the bottom super, even with deeps. It also doesn’t take a long to inspect smaller medium frames, so it all evens out.
The hive in this photo is also painted black. That’s something I started last year because I keep my bees in probably one of the least hospitable places on the island of Newfoundland, right next to a very cold body of water (the North Atlantic Ocean ) — and my bees are always fighting against the cold. And for a double whammy, my hives aren’t in full sun all day. When the hives do get the sun, I want to them heat up fast and stay warm as long as possible. So I’ve painted them black to give them what I hope is a fighting chance. That’s a work in progress.
But anyway, medium supers. I wish I’d done it from the start.
By the way, I may soon have stacks of deeps, deep frames, deep foundation, and deep drawn comb available for trade (for mediums), if anyone is interested.