A list of beehive sizes and dimensions.

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irishguy 

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National Beehive Dimensions and statistics
External dimension - 18 1/8" square
Brood body depth - 8 7/8"
14” x 12” brood body depth -

r.

Do I buy 9x1 timber for the brood box or 10x1. In saying that, I don't think I can buy the timber in 10x1. How much room is a bee suppose to need above the frame to the other frame
 

pargyle 

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Do I buy 9x1 timber for the brood box or 10x1. In saying that, I don't think I can buy the timber in 10x1. How much room is a bee suppose to need above the frame to the other frame
Depends on whether you are doing top bee space or bottom bee space .. remember the previous thread about bee space ... if you leave less than 6.5mm they will propolise it ... more than 9.5mm and they will fill it with free comb.

So ... you have a crown board above the frames and if you are doing top bee space you need to leave bee space between the top of the frames and the underside of the crown board. If you are putting a super on top of the brood box then your frames in the super will also have to respect the bee space.
 

REDWOOD 

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You can buy 18mm redwood off the shelf in most building suppliers but the width off board is usually under 9 inches so you will need to join them together
 

pargyle 

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You can buy 18mm redwood off the shelf in most building suppliers but the width off board is usually under 9 inches so you will need to join them together
That's the best set of drawings I've seen for a National Hive... great thanks.
 

irishguy 

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Do I buy 9x1 timber for the brood box or 10x1. In saying that, I don't think I can buy the timber in 10x1. How much room is a bee suppose to need above the frame to the other frame
Perfect , exactly what I need. So going by your plans, it's 3/4 timber I need for the hives instead of inch.
 

irishguy 

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You can buy 18mm redwood off the shelf in most building suppliers but the width off board is usually under 9 inches so you will need to join them together


We question about those plans. On page 2 it shows 7mm right at the end of the timber. How far do I cut into the timber. I'm thinking this is for the hand rail to sit on
 

REDWOOD 

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We question about those plans. On page 2 it shows 7mm right at the end of the timber. How far do I cut into the timber. I'm thinking this is for the hand rail to sit on
7mm to be cut off if you use your own frame rails, if not just chamfer the top, page 26 shows the chamfer
 

irishguy 

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7mm to be cut off if you use your own frame rails, if not just chamfer the top, page 26 shows the chamfer

What do you mean when you say if I use "my own" frame rail. As for the chamfer cut, why the need for this instead of a straight cut
 

REDWOOD 

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What do you mean when you say if I use "my own" frame rail. As for the chamfer cut, why the need for this instead of a straight cut
You can buy metal frame rails for national hives, the idea is bees don't propolise them as much and frames can be moved easier, this applies to the chamfer as well, the smaller the contact between frame and hive the less likely of propolis.
see picture below of metal frame rail
 

Barrys Bees 

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You can buy 18mm redwood off the shelf in most building suppliers but the width off board is usually under 9 inches so you will need to join them together
Hi there,
Any chance you could send that PDF file again I would like the plans to build a hive but the PDF won't open.
Kind regards and thanks Barry
 

Fusion_power 

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Understanding the concepts behind hive design:

There are hundreds of variations of hive designs proposed over the years. I'm going to attempt to describe these designs in terms of common design and use features. From this information, a beekeeper can make choices of hive type and management required.


Skep type hives, box hives, clay tube hives, and bee gums (chunk of hollow log with top and bottom added) all share the same basic structure and method of management. Bees are housed in a cavity with enough room for brood and surplus honey. These type hives are labor intensive for harvesting honey but relatively low maintenance otherwise. Skeps are harvested by removing the bees either by driving them from the skep or by killing them with sulfur. Box hives and bee gums can be opened from the top and honey harvested from above the cross-sticks. Clay tube hives as used in Egypt are harvested by opening the back of the hive and cutting out combs of honey. These type hives are least common denominator in terms of cost to build and operate. They are commonly used in subsistence agriculture. It is difficult to achieve significant honey production with these type hives.

Top bar hives are oriented horizontally so the bees will make moveable combs. The first truly moveable comb hive was arguably the Greek inverted cone straw hive which is a moveable frame type hive with topbars from which combs are built. This hive dates back a few thousand years and counts as the first moveable comb hive. The defining characteristic of top bar hives is that the combs can't be extracted. They have support only from the top bar and don't stand up very well to being spun for extraction. Top bar hives can be made from wood, half a 55 gallon drum, plastic containers, or other available materials. Honey is collected by cutting combs from topbars, squeezing, and straining. The primary advantage of topbar hives is that hives can be split, inspected, re-queened, etc. The disadvantages revolve around primitive methods of harvesting honey.

Box hives with frames are the next general category. These hives are usually oriented horizontally and do not have separate boxes for honey storage. Box hives are a step up from top bar hives because the frames can be extracted. These type hives are relatively labor intensive because the beekeeper has to be there to remove frames full of honey, extract, then return the frames to the hive to be re-filled. The Layens hive common in Spain and various horizontal frame hives such as are used in large parts of Russia and Ukraine are examples of this type. These hives have all the advantages of modern hives but are relatively labor intensive for honey collection and require more management by the beekeeper.

Frame hives with separate honey storage are industry standard. These hives are exemplified by Langstroth and modified Dadant designs. One or more boxes is dedicated for brood and winter stores while more boxes are used for surplus honey. Moveable frames with bee space are used throughout. The advantages include ease of splitting, re-queening, producing queens, collecting honey, etc. The disadvantages are primarily that common hive designs are inherently flawed but because they are standard and widely used, there is no incentive to change. Langstroth hives have a flaw that one box does not provide enough brood space for a prolific queen. Dadant hives have room for a prolific queen but are very heavy when full. British Nationals are even more confining than Langstroths. Frame spacing varies from 31 to 40 mm center to center with 35 being most common. The most important disadvantage is that these hives are relatively expensive compared to the others. This precludes use in many 3rd world economies.
 

Herbalist 

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No there is not because the standard is an external dimension. You can work the internal dimension out from the length of the top bar of your frame. For BNS that is 17" (432mm) Add 2mm clearance each side you go up to 436mm Subtract - say 10mm each side for the lugs to sit on the side-rails you come back down to 416mm. I am not sure how much use this calculation/metric is. The National Standard is a very inefficient design and wasteful of space as the walls are inset from the gross external dimension. Therefore - although being only 5mm smaller externally (460mm) compared to a Commercial box (465mm) it only has 50,000 worker cells per brood box compared to 70,300 of a Commercial which is also a much simpler construction than the BNS. I do not really understand why people use BNS. If you put a modern prolific strain of bee (like a Buckfast or Italian) in a BNS brood box, you will have to quickly add another brood box or risk overcrowding and a possible loss of the queen and half the bees to swarming. (I speak from bitter experience). From my perspective the BNS is an outdated standard.
 
B

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The National Standard is a very inefficient design and wasteful of space as the walls are inset from the gross external dimension.
Worth remembering the Original National hive was an attempt to standardize beehives and its size was able to happily cope with the demands of the "local bees" in use at the time, and also with many of today's local bee colonies. It was modified to its current design (Improved National) due to wood shortages in the war, hence slightly thinner wood was used and instead of a double wall at one end the rebate was introduced to save even more wood. The original had a small scalloped ingress hand hold...I have one it's much heavier.
Alas I went too far down the National route with prolific bees and am trying to slowly retreat, Dadants or Langstroths...that is question....currently I think Dadants are much better size for prolific bees....ohh but is it going to be expensive to retool to a different hive type. I may never do it and just live with BN imperfections which I've learnt to deal with. A stepladder being a necessity in times of good flows.
 

Fusion_power 

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I kept bees in Langstroths 47 years and then decided to do a bulk change to square Dadant. The reasons to change were enough to justify spending about $7000 U.S. for new equipment. I'm very happy with the results. My bees are in new cypress boxes with all new drawn combs.

If considering putting bees into new equipment, the hive types I think worth looking at are:

Dadant (particularly the square 12 frame Dadant)
Langstroth (industry standard and widely available)
Warre (still has some advantages worth considering)
Layens (decent performance for a horizontal hive)
Perone (for subsistence agriculture)
Jackson Horizontal Hive (tropical agriculture with african bee types)
Bienenkiste (very basic crush and strain beekeeping)
 

Finman 

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Who needs all those types?


Variation only tells that bees live in many kind of boxes and wall gaps. How handy they are to nurse, it is different question.

That Dadant is odd question. It really does not give any advantage compared to Langstroth.

Many professionals here use only medium boxes. They do not want to lift heavy langstroths. As brood boxes they use 3 mediums.

When you look frame dimensions %, they often do not have real differencies.

.
 

madasafish 

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6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
I run Langstroth jumbos: big enough for most bees - 80,000 cells. In UK National terms that is 17x12..

Modiifed Dadant is the same frame size..
 

Finman 

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I run Langstroth jumbos: big enough for most bees - 80,000 cells. In UK National terms that is 17x12..

Modiifed Dadant is the same frame size..
I use 3 langstroths as brood boxes, and if it is not enough, the queen can go to next box.


Guys here put excluder into hives at the beginning of July. So they see, how much each Queen needs brood area.
 

Finman 

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Langstroth box full of honey is heavy enough to lift from eye level. Thanks, but no more cells.
 

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