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roche 

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In the interest of experiment, and to have a bit of a play with other hive types, we tried a Dadant this year. The idea was it would let the colony find it's own size, without any box constraints. We put a swarm into a 6 frame poly Dadant nuc, and it did quite well, so transferred it to a full size broodbox.
All the frames (hoffman) were new, with good fresh wax. (as were those from the nuc).
Around about then things started to go off the rails:

New comb was drawn, but because the frames are so big, they are not planar, and indeed one frame has ended up with a bit of a cave system running through it.

After a while, the colony swarmed. No apparent reason. Caught the swarm, put it in a nuc, doing well. Meanwhile, back in the Dadant, We knocked back to one QC. And waited. After about 6 weeks, there was no queen. So we united with the nuc through newspaper. In spite of the newspaper, fighting took place, but it all settled down. On the next inspection, there was no queen, but a fair few queen cells. So we knocked back to one QC and are now waiting.

Are Dadants difficult to get going? or is it just this colony? Sorry about the long winded post...
 

Onge 

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Just your colony I'm afraid.

I used to run a few of them and they were always packed.

As I do all my beekeeping solo I found them far too heavy. I now run Langstroth medium boxes and the same frame size throughout brood and supers.

Two brood boxes are almost the same brood size as the dadant and a lot easier to move.
 

marcros 

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In the interest of experiment, and to have a bit of a play with other hive types, we tried a Dadant this year. The idea was it would let the colony find it's own size, without any box constraints. We put a swarm into a 6 frame poly Dadant nuc, and it did quite well, so transferred it to a full size broodbox.
All the frames (hoffman) were new, with good fresh wax. (as were those from the nuc).
Around about then things started to go off the rails:

New comb was drawn, but because the frames are so big, they are not planar, and indeed one frame has ended up with a bit of a cave system running through it.

After a while, the colony swarmed. No apparent reason. Caught the swarm, put it in a nuc, doing well. Meanwhile, back in the Dadant, We knocked back to one QC. And waited. After about 6 weeks, there was no queen. So we united with the nuc through newspaper. In spite of the newspaper, fighting took place, but it all settled down. On the next inspection, there was no queen, but a fair few queen cells. So we knocked back to one QC and are now waiting.

Are Dadants difficult to get going? or is it just this colony? Sorry about the long winded post...

I have found that with my 2 dadants, you do have to match the bees pretty well to the hive- more so than with other hive types (or rather the effect is more noticable/exagerated). With smaller hive types, if you pick something that fills boxes too quickly, then you add another. These bees would do well in the Dadant. On the other hand, the black bees are well suited to a single National, yet these same bees would be entirely unsuited to the Dadant. If they are not prolific enough to fill boxes, then the honey just gets stored on the brood frames.
 
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Midland Beek 

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I use MD. Note that normal Dadant, like they use on the Continent, is 10 frame. And not that Bro. Adam used a 12 frame version.

I have never come across bees that are not prolific, but I hear internet stories of nasty, little black bees hopled up in single National brood boxes.

In respect of supers, I would rather lift one heavy super than two not-so-heavy ones.
 

Onge 

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Normal Dadant is 11 frame.

10 frame is called Jumbo Langstroth.
 

Midland Beek 

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Normal Dadant is 11 frame.

10 frame is called Jumbo Langstroth.
Modified Dadant is 11 frame, like we use in the UK, ie. we use a modified version of it.

Normal Dadant, as designed by the Frenchman Pierre dadant, is 10 frame, and is what is not used in the UK.

Langstroth is spaced differently from Dadant.
 
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Onge 

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Yes the frame spacing is narrower on the Jumbo Langstroth.
 

roche 

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It looks like Dadant is about 4mm wider than National hoffman - that probably helps explain why there has been so much "inventive" comb drawing...
I thought bee space was beespace, give or take a mm or so. If you used national width frames, you could get 12 frames in - is that what Bro Adam did?
 

drstitson 

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dadant hives

standard continental (nomadic) dadant blatt hives are 10 frame (500x435-8).

the frames should be wired vertically not horizontally to maintain flat plane.
 

roche 

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I was using pre-wired foundation - do you use that, or wire your frames?
 

Midland Beek 

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In the UK we would use wired foundation and a wired frame - just two cross-wires. On the continent, they use unwired foundation in frames that have been vertically wired.

Dadant is spaced at inch and a half. You can get National brood frames spaced at inch and a half as well.
 

Midland Beek 

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Yes. It is good that the beekeeper actually knows how to use a hive before he/she uses it. Your Dadant frames needed at least a couple of cross wires.
 

wightbees 

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I use dadant shallows only and have not had any probs without using wires. But i have used wired foundation
 

roche 

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I am using wired foundation, but without the horizontals - that must be the trick I missed...
 

Crg 

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It looks like Dadant is about 4mm wider than National hoffman - that probably helps explain why there has been so much "inventive" comb drawing...
I use jumbo Langstroth frames, and with new wired foundation (no cross wires) in I have the frames as close together as possible, then spread to the Dadant spacing once they are drawn out.

I thought bee space was beespace, give or take a mm or so. If you used national width frames, you could get 12 frames in - is that what Bro Adam did?
Br Adam used a custom size which was 20" x 20".
 

Teemore 

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To quote Br Adam (Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey) - "Our final choice, therefore, fell on a brood chamber holding 12 Modified Dadant frames. A brood chamber of this size is square and measures 19 7/ in. x 19 7/8 in. x 11 7/8 in. in depth. The supers are of identical size but only 6 in. deep and hold ten wide shallow frames."
 
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If you were using pre-wired foundation in a Dadant you would have to be sure the foundation was very flat. This may have been where it went wrong for you.
 

rolande 

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Modified Normal Dadant, as designed by the Frenchman Pierre dadant, is 10 frame, and is what is not used in the UK.
No, the hive which the Dadants developed was 11 frame. The ten frame version was a later attempt to match the dadant frame with the (ten frame) Langstroth footprint but to achieve that it was also necessary to adopt the standard Langstroth spacing -otherwise it would be down to a nine comb box.
 
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Pre-wired foundation in Dadant size is always going to be a bit more difficult to use as it so easy to have the foundation bow outwards. Wired frames will hold the foundation much flatter.

Of course bowing of wired foundation can happen in any size of frame but in larger frames it can be more pronounced. The trick is to ensure the foundation is as flat as possible. I had a couple of old Dadant hives from Buckfast Abbey and these had wired foundation drawn out well - so it can be done.
 

Black Comb 

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Wired foundation + 2 horizontal cross wires work fine for me.
had no problems at all with foundation this year.

in my jumbo langstroth with hoffman frames even when the full ten MD are used there is a still a gap at the end which necessitates a dummy board.
 

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