Quantcast

BB size advice please...

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Hampton_Pete 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 2, 2010
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampton, Middx
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
OK folks, hello, I am new here and this is my first thread.

I would be grateful to receive some advice on the size of brood box I should get set up with as I am now beginning to collect equipment and hopefully buy my first National hive(s) within the next few months (pre the vat increase day!!!)

Reading so far has led me to understand that the 14x12 size brood box is likely to be the better long term option for this region of the country (Hampton, Middlesex) as this better accommodates expected colony sizes.

This is fine, but I am anticipating that this means I would have to search for a 14x12 nuc from a supplier/breeder in my part of the world ie within sensible collection distance. I am not sure if this will be an contraint of not.

I have read about the standard brood box option, and learnt that a 'brood and a half' set up is viable and so too is a double brood box if the space needed dictates. I imagine that these options could be better and more adaptable for a wider range of situations.

So, the specific question is: Will starting out with a 14x12 configuration be a good thing, or are there other limiting factors I should be aware of?

(If the answer lies within a previous post that I have yet to find - a link will be appreciated).

Many thanks

Pete
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,374
Reaction score
0
Location
Dartmoor edge, uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
5...2 wooden National, 2 poly Nat & 1 poly nuc...bursting at the seams
You can buy/make a conversion kit to turn normal BB frames into 14x12 until you can swop the bees onto the frames you want to use - I think I saw them on **ornes (a rather prickly website) Might be worth a look?

By the way welcome, hope you find the forum as useful as I have this year. I started with WBC, so otherwise can't really help...Good Luck though
 

taff.. 

Field Bee
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
800
Reaction score
0
Location
By that there Forest
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
you shouldn't worry too much about having to find a 14x12 nuc, a nuc that comes on national frames will be just fine, you'll just need to work those frames out of the broodbox over time.
 

Hampton_Pete 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 2, 2010
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampton, Middx
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Thanks Queens59 and taff..

Now seen the (Burnett) conversion kit you refer to, good to know that this permutation is available.
Of course the DIY option does too, I will have to refresh my carpentry skills - which is no bad thing either.
Please to know that 14x12 nucs will be out there...
 
Last edited:

Hombre 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
0
Location
West Midlands
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
Ten
Welcome to the forum Pete. The conversion kits are perhaps good for fitting to empty frames, but not for frames with bees on them, so please save your money.

Getting a 14x12 nuc will be the best solution, but a Standard National one will be just fine.
When you put the SN frames into a 14x12 hive, you just fill the rest of the box with 14x12 frames and foundation, the bees you will find will probably build comb onto the bottom of the SN frames and happily lay it up as drone, worker or both as they see fit. Mark the SN frames on one of the lugs, because it may not be obvious what you are fulling out and sometimes you might have to look twice as the bees will make a very good job of extending the frames.

The down side is that if you are searching for queen cells at a later date, there may be more places for the bees to hide them in an extended comb, which needs a little more care when handling.

My recomendation: use 14x12, get 14x12 nuc if available, else use Standard National nuc. Best not to get Carniolans; as you will need a lot of boxes to contain their swarming tendency. Good luck.
 

Hampton_Pete 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 2, 2010
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampton, Middx
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
My recomendation: use 14x12, get 14x12 nuc if available, else use Standard National nuc. Best not to get Carniolans; as you will need a lot of boxes to contain their swarming tendency. Good luck.
Hombre, thanks for the welcome and for the advice.

It's all being added to my growing library of information. The first bit of beekeeping advice I was given was 'there is a lot of advice!' The good thing is there is more than one way to do things...so long as one is aware of the considerations necessary further down the road after taking a certain route. So all of this type of advice from experienced keepers is what I am seeking.

Your remark on Carniolans being prone to swarming, was probably going to be the basis of another thread I was considering...good nuc v bad nuc, good v poor for beginners etc....so if you see me posing those questions (after some research so I don't ask a numpty question) please add your advice...

Thanks Pete
 

PaleoPerson 

Field Bee
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
706
Reaction score
0
Location
Essex
Hive Type
14x12
When you put the SN frames into a 14x12 hive, you just fill the rest of the box with 14x12 frames and foundation, the bees you will find will probably build comb onto the bottom of the SN frames and happily lay it up as drone, worker or both as they see fit. Mark the SN frames on one of the lugs, because it may not be obvious what you are fulling out and sometimes you might have to look twice as the bees will make a very good job of extending the frames.
SN Frames??

They should be on DN frames.

The adapters to adapt from Standard National Deep to 14 x 12 seem good in theory and I have used them this year, but they do have a BIG disadvantage.

I found that the adapter reduces the beespace on the sides of the frame and the bees propolise this to the side of the broodbox. This can result in the bottom portion of the adapter being pulled off when you remove the frame or a bugger of a job removing frames around it to unstick it in order to get it out of the BB.

I will not be using these again unless I absolutly have to.:beatdeadhorse5:
 

tonybloke 

Queen Bee
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Messages
3,480
Reaction score
0
Location
Gorleston-on-sea, Norfolk
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
3 Commercial hives with National supers, Top Bee Space. + 2 Nucs
why 'faff' around with nats or 14 x 12? go for 'commercial' size broods! (16 x 10)
read 'guide to bees and honey, By Ted Hooper' it gives easy to follow (I did it) instructions on how to convert national brood frames to fit commercial brood box size.

there you go, another different response!!;)
 

Hampton_Pete 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 2, 2010
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampton, Middx
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Thanks Tony
Me FAFF - never! I am working my way through the Hooper book, learning along the way.

As for all these 'flavours' of hive...although new territory to me, the banter is very familiar. I come from the world of cycling where there are 'forum wars' acted out over the Campagnolo v Shimano arguement....

So thanks for the 'different' response.....
 

Hombre 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
0
Location
West Midlands
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
Ten
Hello PaleoPerson,

You are correct of course the frames are "DN" and you won't be inclined to believe me when I say that I was the victim of my own laziness as I said SN meaning Standard National. My brain wasn't fully meshed in gear at the time obviously, or I might have realised the unintended connection.

Well spotted.

Carniolans: Started the season with four colonies thinking of increasing to eight, but hit 13 just keeping up with their swarming. A couple got away. The splits and shook swarms swarmed later on in the season.
 

Marvin 

New Bee
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
93
Reaction score
0
Location
Near Ampthill, Bedfordshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
The adapters to adapt from Standard National Deep to 14 x 12 seem good in theory and I have used them this year, but they do have a BIG disadvantage.

I found that the adapter reduces the beespace on the sides of the frame and the bees propolise this to the side of the broodbox. This can result in the bottom portion of the adapter being pulled off when you remove the frame or a bugger of a job removing frames around it to unstick it in order to get it out of the BB.

I will not be using these again unless I absolutly have to.
This reflects my experience almost exactly. I am now trying to move them all to the outsides so that I can remove them completely. I wish I had bought enough deep frames in the first place: making do has cost me more in the long run.
 

Hampton_Pete 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 2, 2010
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampton, Middx
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Hello PaleoPerson,
....Carniolans: Started the season with four colonies thinking of increasing to eight, but hit 13 just keeping up with their swarming. A couple got away.....
Hombre,

Although this sounds like a mighty challenge, is it not also a sign of healthy colony expansion? Whether you've kept them, passed them on to other keepers or they are out there for someone else to retrieve is all good, or no?

Hoping I have not missed the point.
 

Hombre 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
0
Location
West Midlands
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
Ten
To get a good crop you need to be able to keep the bees in the box. Basically with seven frames of brood in a 14x12 they decide that it's time to make swarm cells.

This is natural and healthy, but the splits got to the same size and decided to swarm again.

The outcome was that I have lots of bees but less honey than anticipated.

Of the supers of honey, approx 100lb this largely came from two colonies. The vast majority from a colony shook swarmed in early to mid April, which decided to swarm in early July . . . I thought that I was safe and missed an inspection.

Good producers are normally colonies that have a large foraging force that is able to collect a surplus of stores. My experience was that we were building up just fine then it went critical.

The 2011 plan is to introduce Buckfast queens, more shook swarms and supering much earlier and more often.
 
T

Tom Bick 

Guest
why 'faff' around with nats or 14 x 12? go for 'commercial' size broods! (16 x 10)
read 'guide to bees and honey, By Ted Hooper' it gives easy to follow (I did it) instructions on how to convert national brood frames to fit commercial brood box size.

there you go, another different response!!;)
Have been wondering why 14x10 is not more common. National BB with the depth of Commercial.
 

tonybloke 

Queen Bee
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Messages
3,480
Reaction score
0
Location
Gorleston-on-sea, Norfolk
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
3 Commercial hives with National supers, Top Bee Space. + 2 Nucs
Have been wondering why 14x10 is not more common. National BB with the depth of Commercial.

I like the shorter lugs of the commercial(don't get in the way) as I was taught to hold the frames by the side bars during inspections.
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,519
Reaction score
23
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
OK folks, hello, I am new here and this is my first thread.

I would be grateful to receive some advice on the size of brood box I should get set up : Will starting out with a 14x12 configuration be a good thing, or are there other limiting factors I should be aware of?

(If the answer lies within a previous post that I have yet to find - a link will be appreciated).

Many thanks

Pete

PM Tom Bick, he makes hives and i located in Housnslow next to west Bus Yard in spring Grove Road off the A4, i think his own hives are in feltham

i use 14x12, you will get less honey than a national in the first year but less likely to swarm in the second year and subsequent years
 

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
Hombre: To get a good crop you need to be able to keep the bees in the box. Basically with seven frames of brood in a 14x12 they decide that it's time to make swarm cells.

i use 14x12, you will get less honey than a national in the first year but less likely to swarm in the second year and subsequent years
I started reading this thread to cross-check the decision I thought I'd made- now I'm thoroughly confused. :willy_nilly:

Just supposing my bees make it through the winter in spite of my care, it's been my intention a) to split them, but b) to get them from standard national BB to 14 x 12, on the basis that most people seem to think the standard BB is too small for a colony, and that you need lots of bees to make lots of honey. Now Hombre seems to suggest that it is too big a space for a queen to keep content. I'm not sure if MM is saying that they will or won't do better in 2nd and subsequent years in 14 x 12, or that there is no advantage. Could you elucidate, for the hard of thinking?

Cheers
 

Mike a 

Drone Bee
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
1,789
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
Between 17-20
Sorry long post but I hope it helps.

IMHO it doesn't matter which hive type you go for just be aware some of the modern imported queens like to build up very quickly others take their time and only lay large amounts of eggs if conditions suit and there is plenty of forage to be collected, just be ready to keep up with the colony and have enough spare equipment ready to expand the hive before they need it.


One factor that makes a massive difference when deciding which hive type to use is the queen but until you have a chance to monitor her performance its difficult to gauge. Some queens lay a staggering 2000-3000 eggs a day whilst others may only max out at about 1500-2000.

If you consider the maths and of course this is only a rough estimate.

Queen A - 1500 eggs / day over 21 days = 31500 free cells required

Queen B - 3000 eggs / day over 21 days = 63000 free cells required

Add to that all the cells required to hold enough pollen and nectar to raise the bees.



As you can see some hive sizes would soon become to small to house a prolific queen in constant lay without adding supers or second brood boxes.

Then again this is a very rough estimate and optimum conditions. If you say a bee lives for 6 weeks and none of them died the total number of bees from each queen would be approximately

Queen A (1500 * 42 days or 6 weeks) = 63000

Queen B (3000 * 42 days or 6 weeks) = 126000

If you say half the colony would leave the hive on collection duties and there was an abundance of forage around its easy to see how a super or two could be filled in a week.

I was given a colony in late March and the first time I opened them up was early April and was a little surprised to see they had been over wintered on double national brood chambers and both brood chambers were full of bees even though it was a lovely day and large proportion of the colony were out foraging.

 
Last edited:

FenBee 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 25, 2009
Messages
213
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6
Hi Mike. useful table. However, some corrections for the Rose Hive, see below:

Number of Frames = 12 per box
Frame size is approximately 14" x 7"
Total Number of cells is approximately 50,000

I think the full super weight is closer to 40lbs, having picked up a box full of honey the other day. :)
 

mbc 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
5,804
Reaction score
26
Location
bestest wales
Hive Type
national
most people seem to think the standard BB is too small for a colony, and that you need lots of bees to make lots of honey. Now Hombre seems to suggest that it is too big a space for a queen to keep content. I'm not sure if MM is saying that they will or won't do better in 2nd and subsequent years in 14 x 12, or that there is no advantage. Could you elucidate, for the hard of thinking?

Cheers
check out the overwintering configuration post and most people like to use a single national box - rose and 14x12 are two different ends of the spectrum and standard national is a happy medium proven for over a hundred years and by the majority of british beekeepers over that time to be perfectly adequate for our climate and our bees
 

Latest posts

Top