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learner 

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Does anyone use the dartington hive? Or know about managetment of it?bee-smillie as the internet is scant on information let alone drawings/plans?
 

ian 

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Hi Learner

For Dartington just read the Beehaus thread, they are one in the same.
The Dartington being a wooden version used to be sold by Stanfordham.


Regards Ian
 

oliver90owner 

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I will re-postwhat I said on your last thread:

Dartingtons?

14 x 12 frames, top bee space, horrid (IMO) little half-supers, but a competent design - if that is what you want. Some find 14 x 12 frames too heavy to remove from the side of the hive; I don't. Easy for artificial swarming and good for over-wintering. Space consuming and too heavy, really, for moving around (migratory beekeeping. Some might have unused ones available (as they found them difficult to manage?). Simple to make, but first one is time consuming (like all but the simplest of items) to get it all cut square and to correct tolerances. Quite important all is square but not all the bits (in the plans) are necessary to have initial 'lift-off' (easier, when machining, to make the similar sections all at the same time, of course).

You can now buy the plastic version for the best part of half a grand (omlette beehaus).

I have two (self-built from plans) and a plastic version. I like the Dartingtons (or wouldn't have made a second) and I am yet to colonise the plastic beetainer.

Plans are available from Robin Dartington (he has the copyright). I can help if you have the basics. Stamfordham have some parts left (they used to supply the kits or built hives) and there are a couple fellows who will supply under license.

Questions? Probably easiest to pm me.

Regards, RAB
 

learner 

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Cheers Midgey yes I have seen this link this hive is probably the one for me it seems to combine the good parts of many different hives.:cheers2:
 

taff.. 

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RAB,


would you recommend this hive for a novice or do you consider that a few years experience with nats/langs/smiths/whatever is beneficial
 

oliver90owner 

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The answer is 'yes'. Given the size is acceptable, it is not needed for migratory purposes and the operator is able to remove the frames from the side of the hive, I see no real difference between one of these and a Jumbo National, excepting working height, which can be altered to suit the indivual, and the way it may be operated. No different from a beehaus, for that matter.

Indeed if really a problem with removing frames the colony could be confined to the rear section! Not very efficient but possible.

This type of hive is eminently suited to a beginner. No less, and likely more so, than the beehaus, while at a small fraction of the cost, if self-built.

Not sure where you are coming from - a genuine enquiry or a criticism.

I was not recommending anything - I had said as much in an earlier post. That choice is down to the end-user. My view is still that of keeping two colonies as a starter is best, but what beetainers are used is the user's choice.

Oh, and extracting 14 x 12 frames might be a challenge. Might need to follow the 'scraping' method of extraction.

As far as the hive goes, it could quite easily be operated as a National. Choice of number of frames is down to the user; it can be supered with National supers, rather than those fiddly half-supers - but again down to user choice (legs might need to be shortened for some).

But, at the same time it has the added facility for artificially swarming in the horizontal - a simply superb way to get the job done, IMO.

It has very good over-wintering attributes. The un-used end can be sealed and insulated, the sides of the brood area are easily insulated. More top insulation can be added (I made my roofs deeper to accommodate this). The entrance/exit divider can be effectively sealed along the top and sides to retain heat. Bottom rails can be added as a slide for fitting a false floor during severe weather, (or for fumigation, or for varroa drop checks).

IMO, likely a better choice than a beehaus for a beginner, but I shall be able to make a more definitive comparison if/when I colonise the plastic version of the Dartington.

Spring expansion is simple, too. Add frames of foundation at the front with no need to disturb the brood nest.

I would not personally recommend a hive type, novice or otherwise, because if the user is later dissatisfied with their choice there is no blame to attach to me - it is their choice.

Any details you are not sure of?

Regards, RAB
 

hedgerow pete 

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Rob the guy who invented it has produce several booklets to go with it the main two are construction plans and control meathods both of which i have and are great for using his hives try getting in contact with him for a copy, i made several many years ago one for me and one for a friend and they were very simple and easy to use evan for a beginer but my expeirience helped us along as i knew what was going on. we used to use the five frame super designs which was the greatest part for the other person as she was unable to lift a full 11 frame super and its design it helpfull to her hieght
 

Finman 

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Does anyone use the dartington hive? Or know about managetment of it?bee-smillie as the internet is scant on information let alone drawings/plans?
Yes, I made 3 such 45 years ago and after 2 years I burned them.

They were very popular in Finland 50 years ago but now they are all out.

They were suitable to small mongrel colonies but not to breeded stocks.

Now colonies are 3 fold compared to 50 years ago and the hive is too small.

Horizontal hive is a good idea to work but is swarms more in that position.
Bees cannot handle horizontaly their stores and brood.
 
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hedgerow pete 

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whilst we are on the subject par say what are peoples ideas about a longer brood box?

I have been talking to several beeks on the continant and they are using a 20 framed brood box inside of there bee sheds as this allows more colonies per shed rather than going up wards they have gone side ways allowing a second hive above the first, i personal have never heard untill today that a side ways brood produces more swarms ??
 

taff.. 

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RAB

Thank you for thw full answer.



It was a genuine question, I assure you, I'm not bright or eloquent enough to do veiled criricism. :)
 
T

Tom Bick 

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whilst we are on the subject par say what are peoples ideas about a longer brood box?

I have been talking to several beeks on the continant and they are using a 20 framed brood box inside of there bee sheds as this allows more colonies per shed rather than going up wards they have gone side ways allowing a second hive above the first, i personal have never heard untill today that a side ways brood produces more swarms ??
Sorry Pete but they think it makes more room for hives they develop the hive sideways allowing for a 2nd hive above the first.

Is this not the same as expand the hive upward leaving room for a 2nd hive next to the first.
 

Bcrazy 

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The natural instincts for bees is to build their brood upwards not sideways so these long deep hives are forcing the bees to do something that is contrary to their way of life.
 

oliver90owner 

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Sorry BC,

The natural instincts for bees is to build their brood upwards

That is utter rubbish. Never seen it done yet. Always a first time, but all my frames in the past ten years have been drawn from the top downwards! Horizontal queen excluders are possibly the most unnatural part in a hive.

Regards, RAB
 

Finman 

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Perhaps the basic idea is that tree trunks are vertcal, - unless they are not fallen.

But however, look at the different beehive types. Very few are horizontal even if would be the most easy to beekeeper to handle all frames.
 

admin 

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whilst we are on the subject par say what are peoples ideas about a longer brood box?

I have been talking to several beeks on the continant and they are using a 20 framed brood box inside of there bee sheds as this allows more colonies per shed rather than going up wards they have gone side ways allowing a second hive above the first, i personal have never heard untill today that a side ways brood produces more swarms ??
There are already a few beekeepers in the uk that have 20 frame box's.
I have no idea if it causes them to swarm though as the ones I know of get split well before swarming instincts kick in.
 

Bcrazy 

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RAB,
My apologies I did not phrase that correctly.
What I seem to have failed to explain is the natural building of comb is done from the top downwards but the Queen will try to move upper most when in lay. T only reason she does not do this is because of the queen excluder. What i meant to say was the expansion of brood is up wards I realise she moves from frame to frame laying eggs but in general her disposition is to work up wards. How many thin queens have got through the excluder and we find larvae in the supers?
 

oliver90owner 

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BC,

Glad we got that sorted but it is it is downwards or along (and still downwards, even then!). The QE hass nothing to do with anything natural, other than to prevent her natural instinct! It is simply a man-made adjunct to separate honey from brood.

Nothing we do with a vertical hive from that perspective is 'natural'; we force them to store honey where we want it, away from the brood. It would not happen like that in nature. Brood and stores would be adjacent, Old comb above (as it becomes unuseable for brooding)? No empty super stuffed between brood and food.

Thin queens in nature would still start at the top. TBHs are regarded as a natural way to keep bees are they not? You will fall foul of that group suggesting it is not natural! Warres are possibly the closest of the 'lesser-stream' hives for being natural IMO.

Indeed, what are you doing now, at this time of the year? Expanding horizontally? I think you are. Frames of new foundation should be being introduced in one way or another. So those hives will be operated as 'horizontal' hives until you add a super - and even then that will be 'unnatural' for the bees. Just not a long one.

I think bees are much more adaptable in nature and would naturally construct horizontally downwards rather than vertically downwards if the need were there. Nests between floors comes to mind, where although the bees are feral the nesting site is man-made.

'Forcing' was, in my view, perhaps a poor choice of word; I like to think 'encouraging' is a better way to keep bees. I know the bees in a Dartington will not naturally fill 20 frames or more naturally on the ground floor and that was not the reason for the design. Yes, it is longer brood, potentially, than a National; but the main things are it's suitability to store honey in the ground floor area and also be available for artificially swarming the colony without any need for any heavy lifting. And that includes minimal disturbance to the bees - sliding along a few frames is sooo easy.

It is warming in the sunshine so I shall shortly go and check to see if my Dartingtons need any extra frames of drawn-comb (or foundation, later) adding in front of the brood nest. Gently move the divider/entrance along and add the frame(s), move divider/entrance back to act as the 'new' front wall. Only one of the 2 coverboards (over the nest) will be removed, so minimal heat loss/disturbance. Easy beekeeping. Must be good for the bees.

Regards, RAB
 

vonclatt 

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I have been interested in bees for a long time but not had the space (or time that matter) to do anything about it. That time has now changed and I am now keen to get a hive running. I am a complete novis, I am taking a 10 week beekeeping course in May but at the moment don't have any bees :( just tonnes of research.

I am trying to decide on the type of hive and have read extensively and have come to a conclusion that either a KTBH or a Dartington will be the one for me (back problems from an old motorcycle accident) with minimal capital expenditure. Is it possible to operate the Dartington without frames, kinda top bar style? I realise that the top bars would have to be modified to allow the bees to transfer to the supers but I like the idea of drawn comb. Are there any advantages to this or won't it work, the honey being placed at the back of the brood instead of the supers?

Honey production is not a priority for me, just the ownership (or more accurately guardianship) of bees will be the pleasure. :)
 
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