Commercial v 14x12

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Monsieur Abeille 

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I'm intending to move to larger BBs next year, and am pondering the relative merits of Commercial v 14x12 (will stick National supers on either).

Apart from being able to adapt my existing National BBs to 14x12s by the addition of ekes, and the ability to possibly reuse some of the frames, I'd be interested to hear of any significant advantages of either?

Thanks

Steve
 

Midland Beek 

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I am a user of neither, but would suggest that the differences are minimal.

I know it's only a minor point, but the Commercial box is not the same size as the National box. Stick National supers on a Commercial brood box and their is an annoying size diference.
 

MJBee 

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Bit of duff gen there Midland Beek I run commercial brood and National supers both 46.5cm square (external)
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
If you want to go the poly hive route then you won't be able to use either size I don't believe (I'd quite like a poly Commercial brood box or two!)
 

m100 

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18 1/8" vs 18 5/16", next to bugger all difference
 

Heather 

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I have used both and have dumped the Commercial as I don't like the short lugs. Makes it a bit more vulnerable to hold and examine and I twice dropped a frame as it seemed to slip from my grip!
I like the 14x12:cheers2:
 

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You can get a Hamilton Converter to allow your existing National hives to take Commercial frames though you only get 10 frames in as opposed to 11 in the proper Commercial brood box. I am going down the poly route -you can still get the hives at present and they are cheaper than wood. You cannot get them in commercial. They are available in National, Langstroth and Langstroth Jumbo. As both National and Langstroth are smaller than my Commercial boxes I am going with Langstroth Jumbo. Some of the bees I have do like their elbow room and a big colony can really shift the nectar on a good flow.
 

the naked beekeeper 

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14 x 12 for me.

I had this exact dilema this year.
I am going for 14 x 12 because I also don't like the short lugs of commecials, when you have a heavy frame it is pretty awkward IMO to handle and I think it raises the possibility of accidentally dropping one. That and I find it cumbersome to remove heavily propolised short lug commercial frames...more disturbance for the bees.

Also with an eke, you can always have the option open of what format you want to go for.
 

Hivemaker. 

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If i had to make a choice i would choose the the commercial every time over the 14x12...but i prefer standard national on double brood,or single, depending on the strain of bee.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Bit of duff gen there Midland Beek I run commercial brood and National supers both 46.5cm square (external)
then your super are not to BS National dimension, the old 1970 standard is 18 and 1/8 in for naqtional which is 460mm not 465mm

Commercail are 18 and 5/16 inches



minimal 3/16 yes, but annoying and can form a ledge on a commercial brood that lets dribbles of water in...but i never get nationals to stack dead centre anyway
 
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Hivemaker. 

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but i never get nationals to stack dead centre anyway

Don't you.....why's that then.
 

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If i had to make a choice i would choose the the commercial every time over the 14x12...but i prefer standard national on double brood,or single, depending on the strain of bee.
I've got Commericals and have had good yields from them and am quite happy with them.

However, I'm thinking about getting some more hives (a fair few...) and have thought about 14x12's but only because people on this forum keep going on about how wonderful they are.

Hivemaker: as I've never used a 14x12, please could explain why you think that commercials are better than 14x12's...
 

Hivemaker. 

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Well athough not of any benefit to the bee's the commercial is a very easy hive to construct.....four sides and a rebate..thats it, plus i find the frames much easier to handle,remove ect, and examine, with less chance of sagging in hot weather...plus if you wanted to use all one size box's then you can much more easily extract from commercial frames than 14x12,very much the same as using all bs national box's.
So these are just a few of my own views on the two.
 

OXFORDBEE 

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Hmm ...

Well athough not of any benefit to the bee's...
Don't quite get this one... Are you saying that double broods are better for the bees?

I get the points about sagging and extracting... I've extracted from 16*10 frames in a Thornes Universal extractor with screens. I can appreciate the points about handling removing and examination....

I'm interested in the top comment and wonder what the meaning is behind these words? Is there any chance you can expain a bit more.. I am interested...!
 

Hivemaker. 

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Yes Steve,i mean the commercial hive's are much much more easy to construct for the person doing it.....which is of no real benefit for the bee's....but would be very much easier for you to make your own box's than constructing national box's......sorry if i did not make this clear.
 

OXFORDBEE 

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Thanks for the reply. I wondered if you might have an angle I had not thought about.

I prefer commercials to double broods as I have to go down to a single national deep to make sure the bees go through the winter without loss. I have lost several strong double broods which always seem to die of starvation even though they have a box packed full of stores above the box the queen is laying in. Cold snaps toward the end of February/early March seem to do this...The commercial hives don't suffer from this starvation problem...

I'm thinking about 16"*10" because they are a handy size box and I can move one of these with two supers on single handed! 14"*12" are of possible interest but I have to go on other peoples suggestions about them.

I want to get hives for honey and therefore frame size is not that important. However, I do have a requirement for a single box for the queen to lay in (I do get fed up going through 22 frames to find elusive queens!) and being able to use Manley framed 16"*6" supers as I don't need so many of them as National supers for the same volume of honey.

I do need a fair few so at this point it is worth considering several options. It is also very important (bearing in mind how many I want to get) that I make the right decision!
 

MuswellMetro 

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but i never get nationals to stack dead centre anyway

Don't you.....why's that then.

just cack handed ........one of those untidy people who pictures are never straight
, towel in bathroom never matching.....and often has odd socks on
 

Midland Beek 

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I have lost several strong double broods which always seem to die of starvation even though they have a box packed full of stores above the box the queen is laying in.
That gap comprising top bar - bee space - bottom bar in a double box system is plain bad, and the bees will often starve rather than move across it in a prolonged spell of cold weather.

I think the Commercial is an excellent hive. It hasn't got top bee space, but then you can use a framed queen excluder. Oh, they don't do framed queen excluders in Commercial size ... You have to use an ill fittin National one.
 

Rosti 

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That gap comprising top bar - bee space - bottom bar in a double box system is plain bad, and the bees will often starve rather than move across it in a prolonged spell of cold weather.

I think the Commercial is an excellent hive. It hasn't got top bee space, but then you can use a framed queen excluder. Oh, they don't do framed queen excluders in Commercial size ... You have to use an ill fittin National one.
You are a tease! not sure why that goes against commerials? :reddevil:
I bet 95% of us on here are on btm bees space irrespective of hive design (no, not inviting a pol :beatdeadhorse5:) - and have to add 6d mm/ 18w mm battens to the underside of slotted QE's etc - comes to mind because I made 3 new ones up yesterday
 

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