Beehaus just arrived! - first impressions

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Hombre 

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Hombre

The reason I said it is not correx is becuase it is not!

It is actualy Kaysersberg:coolgleamA::willy_nilly:


http://www.correx.com/

An what if it is made of Kaysersberg sheets? Its what you do with them not what they are.

Thats like saying a cedar hiver is just a plank of wood!
Well, I'm glad that I got that sorted out . . . :)
 

SER 

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Essexgary said:
but I have learned that this is probably also not the best place for new beekeepers.. Which is a shame as you all have so much experience. Gary
Gary, I started with my first bees last year and I can honestly say I don't think you'll find a better place for new beekeepers, there is so much combined experience on here that people are willing to share.

Please hang around here for a bit longer, you'll be amazed how much you will learn and what I nice bunch they really are!

Cheers Si.
 

admin 

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but I have learned that this is probably also not the best place for new beekeepers.. Which is a shame as you all have so much experience. Gary
You are a little tease Gary..
 

Essexgary 

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bees arriving on Saturday!

The day has finally come, bees arriving on Saturday. A couple of questions for you guys.

1) we have a couple of wasps nests in the vacinity - I know the nuc will be fairly weak and I'll have the wasp-guard on the beehaus.. but any special precautions I should be taking? given the fact that they'll be lots of syrup in da'haus!

2) I'm off on vacation for 2 weeks in a couple of weeks time. I'll have someone who can keep an eye on things - but again, anything special I should do before I go? The bees will have been in-situ about 2 weeks by the time I go.

Thanks as usual!
Gary
 

Queens59 

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5...2 wooden National, 2 poly Nat & 1 poly nuc...bursting at the seams
CONGRATULATIONS...no idea what you should be doing, but hope you enjoy your girls.
 

Essexgary 

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CONGRATULATIONS...no idea what you should be doing, but hope you enjoy your girls.
thanks! nice photos by the way - loving the suit! I've done my course, read every book under the sun, created the best home I can for the girls - and am looking foward to it - allbeit that I'm now feeling I know nothing! I think they call it nervous anticipation!

Gary:willy_nilly:
 

Black Comb 

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I saw one at a show on Saturday.
Looked a bit flimsy in parts.
The guy selling them said they were developed for people keeping bees on roofs, not for the likes of me who sometimes want to move the hives.

From memory the price of a wooden Dartington (from R Dartington himself) at Stoneleigh was £300. I'm sure a DIY one is a lot cheaper.The Omlet is £465 with some frames and foundation.

I can't really comment on whether this is a "good" hive design as I've never used one but remember that most of my life when objects have started to be made in plastic or polystyrene then nearly always they are cheaper then the conventional product. Poly S hives are certainly cheaper than cedar ones.

So from a cost point of view it's off my radar.

Now if it was £150 I might give it a go.
 

thorn 

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Throughout this thread there's a lot about the high price of the Beehaus. Having just enjoyed a 2 day course organised by my local society, I'm spent this week looking at the price of hives. A National costs about £240 ready assembled. If the Beehaus can truly be used as 2 hives then the cost is about the same as two Nationals. Okay, it's a lot cheaper if you can assemble your own Nationals, but hammers, screwdrivers etc and I just don't mix. I've destroyed more Ikea furniture than I've successfully put together.
I'll probably start with one National and get another as my confidence and competence grows, but I do get the impression that a lot of the Beehaus's critics are just looking for a peg to hang their prejudices on.
 

oliver90owner 

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thorn,

looking for a peg to hang their prejudices on

You are quite right in that an awful lot of beekeepers are very conservative in their ways - very resistant to change of any kind!

However, this particular plastic beetainer was heralded as a totally new concept in beekeeping and promptly climbed on the 'bees need help' bandwagon.

It was certainly not a new concept, just a different material of construction.

It was adequate as a beetainer but not brilliant as the sales hype suggested.

It got a lot of stick for the very reason that it was nigh-on five hundred quid for the hive, when a similar polystyrene could have been a mere fraction of that cost. Wood in 'flat pack budget' from one of the most expensive national suppliers was still far cheaper, as a starting point.

The hive was (and still is) being advertised as a two colony hive, which for a beginner could easily end up as a disaster. I use my Dartingtons (the wooden original from which the beehaus was developed) in a similar way to the copy-right holder. The hive is a single colony hive with built-in swarming control.

To put that plainly, for every colony that has a strong foraging force in spring one runs the risk of it swarming. Normally, if you have one colony you need a spare hive of some sort to absorb the temporary increase which always occurs if a colony decides to reproduce (unless allowed to do so, which may be anti-social and, at the very least, result in a reduced crop for that season). Therfore taking that to it's logical conclusion, if you have two colonies in a beehaus you need another for swarm control.

Being sensible it would be so much easier to have one colony in each and artifically swarm them in situ - as they were designed to be done in the Dartington hive concept of some thirty years ago. Back to a single -colony hive!

Now, I made my first Dartington and it was easy enough but a lot of bits to cut to size (some precisely) and square. The second was a doodle, after the first and cost me a deal less than my original, as I did not make up all the extras at the time (as they were not all needed in duplicate). The beehaus does not include some of these useful extras, BTW. I reckon materials were in the order of a hundred pounds, frames extra (but these were sourced as winter sales items at a saving of close to 50%).

My wooden versions, IMO, are superior to my plastic version (yes, I have one). It needed several modifications to bring it up to an acceptable standard for my operation. I may be OTT, when it comes to detail, but a lot of the items on my list of initial observations, which I sent to omlet, have been improved on, or before, the latest version.

There are still aspects of the beehaus which are, frankly, a joke. But it does work as a beetainer, albeit an expensive one. There are ways to improve it and make it more suitable for purpose.

Please understand that, even with a single colony, extra kit is required for the unexpected (well unexpected by new poorly informed beeks). Please understand that the beehaus is not an expensive way to buy into perfect beekeeping. Expensive? Yes. Perfect? No.

There is no single perfect hive, just some very good well tried and tested formats with acceptable limitations. The Dartington(and therefore the beehaus) has several 'down-sides' - compared to a 'conventional' hive. I live with those as I have both types and each complements the other.

Happy beekeeping, when you get started.

Regards, RAB
 

m100 

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A National costs about £240 ready assembled
From a 'big supplier' it might, but a Beehaus requires assembly too.

A quick word with one of our local association members and you could have a brand new fully assembled national hive in cedar for under 100 quid.
 

denise14562 

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I plan on getting one now that they are shipping to the states. Yellow! We have 100 degree farenheit days in the summer (lost a huge portion of my hive this year due to the prolonged heat, drought, pollen dearth, wasp invasion, etc.), and very snowy, cold, windy winters. Strange summer weather, hopefully a mild winter. The insulation, height, ease of use for females, and colors make the omlet very attractive to me. I will evaluate it alongside my Langstroh hive.
 

oliver90owner 

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Very hot? very sunny? I would be careful and await further trial results.

Some appear to have had 'leaky' hives, in that somehow bees are getting behind the divider and not managing to return, so ending up dead. Certainly on my example there was a small gap beside the divider when I checked (I had a small colony confined to an area close to the entrance/exit) I found a gap after I re-housed the colony, for removal to another site (the colony, not the hive).

I have not checked further, since then, but intend to as I wish to over-winter a colony in my 'modified' beetainer. I have found it not quite so 'user-friendly', as a practical hive, as they might have you believe. This is compared to my wooden Dartingtons (the design from which the beehaus was developed).

The newer models do have some improvements over the older version.

I suspect, but have not yet observed, it may be due to one of a couple of possible causes, if not there before I colonised it. It may be that the hive is 'distorting' in the heat - either due to: 1) uneven terrain causing a continual torsional force on the structure, or 2) differential expansion from one side to the other. in either case allowing the divider to no longer seal as effectively as it should.

It may only manifest itself as a problem when the divider is moved part-way along the hive. To add a little extra, the newest models appear to have a divider which will only fit at the centre line, thus (if this is the case, and in my view) making the hive far less useful as a horizontal hive, compared to it's orginal design concept, The Dartington Long Deep Hive.

See my thread 'Quick appraisal of the 'improved' beehaus'. Here is a link:

http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6088

Regards, RAB
 

Onge 

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Denise14526

If temperature is such a problem. I would highly recommend you look into Styrofoam hives of a good quality as these protect against extreme heat and and cold.

I am running 3/4 medium langstroth styrofoam hives from Swintey and so far I think there excellent.

They are an excellent company and deliver all over the world at very good rates, I cannot praise them enough.

Good luck :)
 

oliver90owner 

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Onge,

styrofoam hives from Swintey

Please can you give more details. Nothing on google for swintey and never come across styrofoam hives (unless Apimaye are filled this way).

Maybe you mean Swienty and polystyrene? Subtle difference; same compound, entirely different manufacturing process (expanding for polystryrene and extrude for styrofoam).

Regards, RAB
 
T

Tom Bick 

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I think in the US Rab what we call Polystyrene they refer to it as Styrofoam or I may be wrong.
 

Onge 

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Oh come on! oliver90owner

I was referring to an American beekeeper.

They don't know what you are on about if you say poly. sorry denise14562 (I'm sure your UK savy) they always refer to Styrofoam in the US

Yes im sorry it is Swienty (Bow)

But you know what I mean Swienty polystyrene hives. In my opinion are superior.

:p
 

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