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Murox 

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Niche in the sense that there are relatively few beekeepers in the UK who use one size box. I'm not suggesting it is either a good idea or not a good idea ... but ... the Rose method has been around for quite a long time ... and Warre - which is also a one box system, even longer ... but neither are mainstream in the UK - hence my comments about how long things to catch on or, indeed, if they ever will.

There is little logic in relation to what bees require about most of the beehive box sizes we have available either here in the UK or internationally for that matter. Abbe Warre used champagne crates which were readily available as his basis for his boxes. British nationals came about as a result of the size of timber economically available at a time when timber was a precious resource ...

What the bees wanted does not seem to have come into most considerations ... if they did - what do you think they would ask for ... and then .. how would it be used by beekeepers to econmomically and effectively keep them ?
Eloquent and succinct.

I think bees might ask for deeper frames.:D
 

Amari 

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It does: rain sits on the ledges and can enter more easily on mixed boxes. Storage of standard boxes is more efficient than mix'n'match, transport ditto. Bigger boxes use more natural resources; complicated boxes with vast, unnecessary landing boards take more energy to design and produce; multiple designers sitting in multiple offices resolving similar factors is wasteful.

You may think that such small aspects of one object may not make much of a practical or global difference, but if the design and production of more objects were standardised the cumulative environmental and practical savings would be significant. Alas, we've lost the plot when it comes to UK poly hive manufacture because the interested parties didn't see the bigger picture, pick up the phone and work to pool resources.

The jumble of designs we have now would have made Einstein smile because he understood the principle of decision fatigue: his wardrobe held only five suits and he wore them in rotation, and for good reason: the brain energy needed to decide what to wear was eliminated. Why does Mark Zuckerberg do the same? Why did Steve Jobs? Barack Obama understood the idea and wore the same coloured suit every day. Wearing one design freed them to use the saved energy to make bigger decisions.

This applies to beekeepers as much as world leaders because the use of common equipment prevents decision fatigue. If you're like me then you'll have a ragbag collection of National gear that more or less works. Can I stick that BHS National poly brood onto a sixty year old Steele & Brodie floor? Er, maybe, but it takes fiddling to consider, try it, bung it on and hope that it works. It will, but faffing consumes precious energy and decision fatigue will kick in eventually.

A hive should be like a uniform: standard issue; I dream of such a day.
Admirable sentiments Eric. Let's take a leaf from the German Democratic Republic. Only one design of car was made or available to the populace: the revered Trabant, 1957-1990. Built on the KISS principle: two-stoke 600cc engine, no speedometer, no fuel gauge (dipstick only). What more could one want?
 

Murox 

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Admirable sentiments Eric. Let's take a leaf from the German Democratic Republic. Only one design of car was made or available to the populace: the revered Trabant, 1957-1990. Built on the KISS principle: two-stoke 600cc engine, no speedometer, no fuel gauge (dipstick only). What more could one want?
Lets be a little generous, in 1957 the east german car was not a complete disaster. The duroplast body was an innovation at the time and its front-wheel-drive transmission system and independent suspension were both modern advancements. Maybe beekeepers could learn something, the cars "problem" was that it never really improved/evolved.
 

Apple 

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Lets be a little generous, in 1957 the east german car was not a complete disaster. The duroplast body was an innovation at the time and its front-wheel-drive transmission system and independent suspension were both modern advancements. Maybe beekeepers could learn something, the cars "problem" was that it never really improved/evolved.
If only it had a heated rear windscreen like the Skoda of the time... useful for keeping hands from freezing when pushing it!

Chons da
 

mbc 

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Niche in the sense that there are relatively few beekeepers in the UK who use one size box. I'm not suggesting it is either a good idea or not a good idea ... but ... the Rose method has been around for quite a long time ... and Warre - which is also a one box system, even longer ... but neither are mainstream in the UK - hence my comments about how long things to catch on or, indeed, if they ever will.

There is little logic in relation to what bees require about most of the beehive box sizes we have available either here in the UK or internationally for that matter. Abbe Warre used champagne crates which were readily available as his basis for his boxes. British nationals came about as a result of the size of timber economically available at a time when timber was a precious resource ...

What the bees wanted does not seem to have come into most considerations ... if they did - what do you think they would ask for ... and then .. how would it be used by beekeepers to econmomically and effectively keep them ?
I think the bees would choose something like the warre hive by preference, it's for our convenience as beekeepers we diverge from this sort of basic design.
 

pargyle 

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I think the bees would choose something like the warre hive by preference, it's for our convenience as beekeepers we diverge from this sort of basic design.
Yes ... I think you are probably right ... DerekM's work I think has indicated that a tall, well insulated structure works well. Having said that ... the tall frames and the well insulated construction of the Zest Hive which is a Long Deep Hive also seem to suit the bees.. My own 14 x 12 LDH was very successful for producing big colonies that survived well ... I suppose, at the end of the day, bees have demonstrated that they will live in just about anything and it is just our convenience that moulds them to the shapes we find most convenient at the time ...
 

gmonag 

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...What the bees wanted does not seem to have come into most considerations ... if they did - what do you think they would ask for ... and then .. how would it be used by beekeepers to econmomically and effectively keep them ?
I think bees cope with just about any suitably sized cavity, but one thing I'm sure they would not ask for, is a queen excluder.
 
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Boston Bees 

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I think the bees would choose something like the warre hive by preference, it's for our convenience as beekeepers we diverge from this sort of basic design.
Probably. Maybe a poly warre. Or a 4 high stack of poly nuc brood boxes to chimney in.
 

pargyle 

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Probably. Maybe a poly warre. Or a 4 high stack of poly nuc brood boxes to chimney in.
Yes ... 8 frame Paynes Nucs with 14 x 12 frames stacked three high would work ... perhaps, one day ? I might add that to my list of hives to try ... for the future.
 

Newbeeneil 

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Yes ... 8 frame Paynes Nucs with 14 x 12 frames stacked three high would work ... perhaps, one day ? I might add that to my list of hives to try ... for the future.
I had almost the same though in my bath last night Phillip, but I was only on standard frames. 😂
 

mbc 

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Yes ... I think you are probably right ... DerekM's work I think has indicated that a tall, well insulated structure works well. Having said that ... the tall frames and the well insulated construction of the Zest Hive which is a Long Deep Hive also seem to suit the bees.. My own 14 x 12 LDH was very successful for producing big colonies that survived well ... I suppose, at the end of the day, bees have demonstrated that they will live in just about anything and it is just our convenience that moulds them to the shapes we find most convenient at the time ...
My own experience of long hives on the West Wales coast differs in that bees don't thrive in horizontal arrangements.
Tall and narrow all the way is the message I got from them loud and clear.
 

pargyle 

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I had almost the same though in my bath last night Phillip, but I was only on standard frames. 😂
It would be an interesting stack of boxes ... might need guy ropes as well as a brick or two and hive straps!
 

ericbeaumont 

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I think bees cope with just about any suitably sized cavity, but one thing I'm sure they would not ask for, is a queen excluder.
I've found natural QXs in many wild nests - joists with small gaps, cracks in timber, boxes with compartments. They go through to store but the queen stays behind.
 

Swarm 

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My own experience of long hives on the West Wales coast differs in that bees don't thrive in horizontal arrangements.
Tall and narrow all the way is the message I got from them loud and clear.
That's what my bees have shown me as well, in 2018 I had a colony of Amm in a stack of five Maisemore nuc boxes, a post to strap them to would have been handy. I tend to use dummied double brood so with the aid of my PIR packer boards, I'm considering a few on deeps only reduced to nine frames.
 

derekm 

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It would be an interesting stack of boxes ... might need guy ropes as well as a brick or two and hive straps!
strong guys that are strimmer proof (wire?) attached to very very long pegs.
 

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