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14x12 hives versus 16x10 hives

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johna 

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I am currently using standard nationals together with 16x10's . I'm tempted to change from the commercials to the deep nationals for the more prolific queens.Any thoughts - are the frames easier to handle ? etc.etc.
 

wilderness 

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No experience of 16x10 but when I swapped to the Deep National (14x12) from the National, I noticed that the foundation, where it joins to the bottom bars, tended to be nibbled by the bees. This results in the comb flopping when you get it out for inspection. You have to be careful not to hold the comb horizontal. I guess it's the same as when you handle TBH's
 

mbc 

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I like the 16x10 frames. I think they are more user friendly than nat deepswhich are abit unwieldy( I wouldnt want to lift comm supers full of honey though)
 

johna 

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I just use all national bits on the 16x10's.I have only once lifted a 16x10 deep full of honey when the bees filled it up rather than move up from a national.I guess it weighed about 60 lbs.I find that with 16x10 hives the bees will sometimes draw out the middle of the frame and abandon the edges but still draw down to the bottom.They also chew out the corners sometimes , gives a good escape route for the queen when you need to catch her.
 

m100 

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No experience of 16x10 but when I swapped to the Deep National (14x12) from the National, I noticed that the foundation, where it joins to the bottom bars, tended to be nibbled by the bees. This results in the comb flopping when you get it out for inspection. You have to be careful not to hold the comb horizontal. I guess it's the same as when you handle TBH's
After fiddling around trying to move national frames into a 14x12 by various methods with exactly the results you describe (and sometimes worse) the only satisfactory way I've found to get properly drawn 14x12 foundation is to use the box as a super directly over the existing brood box with no queen excluder.

You need to do this when there is a flow on, and in warm weather. Move the frames from the inside to the outside as they get drawn. Once they are fully drawn wall to wall top to bottom and starting to be filled with honey, move the queen in there, put an excluder between the brood boxes and possibly commence supering on top of the 14x12, leave the national brood box underneath and let the brood emerge checking for any emergency queen cells as the queen footprint pheromone will be missing in that box, the bees will clean out the cells in anticipation of the queen laying in them again which she won't be able to, during the day and overnight they might use the cells for nectar storage, if you remove the old brood box early in the morning there will be no temporary nectar stored in there.

Rapid feeding to draw comb might also work, but its no good the 14x12 frames with bare or partially drawn foundation being near 'the floor' as they will in my experience always chew holes in them
 

oliver90owner 

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I have, in the past had incomplete 14 x 12s but the last two years they have all been completely drawn with no real problem - just the one sheet of foundation that was left in, and not required, on one box - and that eventually went crooked and was scrapped. One does need strong colonies though, I think. Most of my foundation was drawn in the Dartingtons where the frames are away from the hive end walls and are warm way. I don't have any colonies on cold way with brood foundation to be drawn and that, I think, makes a difference, even with OMFs.

Re frame size: I have no experience of 16 x 10 but feel that a more square frame is better from the point of nest shape. Ideally the nest would be spherical for minimum surface area per unit volume (minimum heat loss), will go cylindrical because of over-head constraints (gaps between frames or Q/E) and needs a band of feed around the brood. The 14 x 12 emulates this satisfactorily for me, so I am contented with them.

Regards, RAB
 

Midland Beek 

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Note that big frames like 14x12 need a couple of horizontal cross wires in addition to the wires in the foundation. Don't do this and you will get problems when handling these, or other big frames.
 

oliver90owner 

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Never needed any more wires than in the wired foundation. Might, if I want to extract them, though!

Regards, RAB
 

MuswellMetro 

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Never needed any more wires than in the wired foundation. Might, if I want to extract them, though!

Regards, RAB
agree, so long as you remember to keep them upright while inspecting, i have had no problems except:

on a hot 80f+ day had one slump and bulge, but i have that with SN1 made of fresh new wax and full of honey
 

oliver90owner 

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MM,

errr 80f? You mean upper twenties?

How long do you guys (or lasses) keep your frames out of the hive?

The brood temperature will be constant whatever the outside temperature so it will only be a few degrees warmer at the outer edges of the frame. Out, inspect and replace; or simply not inspect, if just too hot; siesta time! Simple, know your operating range.

I rarely remove frames when that hot, at least not that many. Remove end dummy or frame. Shuffle frames along and check out a brood frame for eggs/young larvae and for any signs of problems, then replace and close up. Job done. I avoid part drawn frames for that very reason.

Regards, RAB
 

Black Comb 

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I've been advised by an experienced beek who runs them, to add 2 extra horizontal wires across the brood frames on my Jumbo l/s.

As an aside, on beginners courses the hive is opened up, frames are passed round and good and bad brood patterns etc are discussed. The general impression is that hives can be open for a while. Then I speak and read advise from experienced beeks saying open up as little as possible and keep the time to a minimum - it's one of the lessons I've learnt this year - don't mess with them unless you have to and when you do don't faff about.
 

sherwood 

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I would recommend the commercial over the national deep anytime the frames are less unwieldy than the national deeps. the brood boxes are easier to make and yes the deep nationals are more prone to flop in good weather without careful handling and in my experience more likely to have distorted wax than the commercial.I would add that I only use national supers. The experiences I had with the national deep resulted in me cutting down the deep to a standard box and I now run 5 nationals and 13 commercial well I will when I have restocked my losses this winter and filled the new boxes I have made.
 

johna 

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I think I'll stick to my 16x10s,no convincing arguments in favour of deep nationals.It was just a thought that I could convert a very strong stock into a "bigger" hive which uses the same basic frame top bar as the standard national instead of the hassle of getting them on to commercials.No way will I get into brood and a half or double brood hassle.
 

OXFORDBEE 

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I use 16x10 frames and have had no problems with them. They also fit in my extractor which means I can use them as supers if desperate!

I also use 16*6 supers and prefer them to National ones. A full super contains a bucket of honey and you need fewer of them than National ones for the same amount of honey.

I like saving space!
 

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