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I see a lot of forum members use large brood chambers and I am interested to know how you all get on with them. Do you find that they are too big and the bees struggle to fill them. I'm thinking with the change in climate that the colony might not become big enough to put much honey into the supers. I know some people will have a prolific strain of bee but surely, over a few seasons the strain will be breed out and give way to the local gene pool. Am I making sense?
 

jon 

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over a few seasons the strain will be breed out and give way to the local gene pool. Am I making sense?
A lot of people buy in new queens every year.
The local gene pool can have quite a mix of bee types depending upon where you live.
You are likely to have a mix of Buckfast, Carnica and native type dark bees in many areas.
I think there are surprisingly few people actively breeding and selecting queens for specific traits such as being non prolific.
 

Finman 

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Local genepool what is that? It is like village dogs on street. Running and barking. Who knows why.


Good queens are the basic of pleasant beekeeping.
 

jon 

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Finman.
My bees don't bark but I admit I have one colony which runs on the combs.
 

jon 

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I think it's crazy to spend that sort of money when you can rear your own.
It's different for the commercial guys who need hundreds but if you just need half a dozen spare queens it's not that hard to rear them.
I made the comment based on what I have read on this site and the BBKA site. When people get into difficulties they tend to think that buying in a new queen is the answer.

Often, there is a virgin in residence and the new queen gets balled.
 
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hedgerow pete 

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hawklord the main problems that you are describing is very simply put
all beekeeping books are re hashes of the older books and as such mainly full of good information on techquines but are completly full of dribble when it comes to modern bee types and there breeds.
as a prime exsample we will use mike 's bees from easy bee
top quality bees from new zealand, these girls will exspand so quickly that there are no longer able to live in an ordinary hive unless you double the amount of brrod space, if you look at the bee books there is never ever one book that says the dadant hive and its 90,000 cell spaces is to small, but with modern breeds this is the case now. we will see next year to two new bigger hives being designed
 

Finman 

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If you are satisfied with all creatures, which look like queen, don't then ask it lay 2 deep brood boxes. It won't do that.
 
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The problem with importing bees is the risk of disease, don't get me wrong I'm not knocking mikesbees. Also whatever strain of bee you introduce to an area will eventually have it's genes diluted with the local strain. Bees adapt (become acclimatised) to the area in which they live, they need to to be able to cope with different forage and climates. The reason I asked about the size of the brood box was because I've heard so many people say they never did any good with the 14"x12".
 

Polyanwood 

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I am planning to experiment with Jumbo Langstroths. I have prolific NZ bees and also local mongrels. The genetic make up of my queens is my responsibility to control (and you yours I think). If I don't care about the traits of my bees, then I would let them breed as they will without my interference. But why would I sacrifice yield, temper, disease resistance and let them do their own thing?
 

hedgerow pete 

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may i suggest that you first decide on what type of bee you want to keep, if you choose a modern hybrid you will need to have either dadant brood boxes or largstroffs 12by 14 are to small, think of animals like cows we are either talking small house cow or super milk tanker type, if you choose a small brood type, ie an older type of say a local bee, no slurr in tended you can use a 10 frame wbc brood box if you want , there is loads of arguements either way about who is the most productive but i have yet to see people start posting there exact breed type and there yeilds so normal people like me came make comparassens
 

Poly Hive 

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hawklord the main problems that you are describing is very simply put
all beekeeping books are re hashes of the older books and as such mainly full of good information on techquines but are completly full of dribble when it comes to modern bee types and there breeds.
as a prime exsample we will use mike 's bees from easy bee
top quality bees from new zealand, these girls will exspand so quickly that there are no longer able to live in an ordinary hive unless you double the amount of brrod space, if you look at the bee books there is never ever one book that says the dadant hive and its 90,000 cell spaces is to small, but with modern breeds this is the case now. we will see next year to two new bigger hives being designed
I am going to disagree here with your Hedgerow Pete.

Firstly because as far as I know Mikes queens are not from NZ but from an Australian strain, and no they are not the same at all as I have had both.

2nd as they are able in my experience so far, of filling 20 frames of brood and then thinking of swarming. Despite having room. So I am taking it that they are climatically challenged to a point.

3dly in hotter continental countries bees are able to work 4+ Langstrogh brood chambers why cannot bees here do it? My take on that again is our weather.

4th AMM from a Langstroth single brood box can produce 100lb + and I have seen over 300 lbs.

I personally would be much happier running AMM but as I have posted often, sourcing them is proving very difficult and BIBBA are not at all helping matters here. I have said as much to them directly in other correspondence.

PH
 

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I cannot imagine what advantage you get with jumbo. It only makes nursing complex because you cannot arrange frames with other boxes.
In many hives i use 3 brood boxes, and it is inportant to change places between boxes.
 

grizzly 

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I am planning to experiment with Jumbo Langstroths.
Hi Polyanwood
The only thing i will say about jumbo langstroth, it can be very difficult to lift frames out on those short lugs, particularly if a frame is full of stores. (very heavy)

I do keep 3 Jumbo, the rest are Std Langstroth, big frames, and when the brood is full its pretty impressive, i have yet to keep a bee that has failed to fill a Lang Jumbo.

Give it a go.
 

Crg 

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That seems quite an expense at £20-£30 per queen. Do you manage to re-coup that in honey sales or do you run at a loss?
£20-£30 for a good queen saves you money and time.

To be honest, from your comment it seems you need to source a good queen.

You shouldn't even have to think about whether you can recoup £20-£30 though honey sales, how little honey are you expecting to get/sell each year?
 
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... how little honey are you expecting to get/sell each year?
Depends on the weather really. I think I'll probably start with the local mongrels. As for hives it's a toss up between the national and the 14x12 as I don't like the short lug frames, unless there's another hive that takes the long lug frames?
 

honeyman 

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The 14x12 is a nice size with prolific queens. I prefer a large brood box so that the bees have plenty of food for over wintering. Keeping on brood and a half is fine for one or two hives but a real pain for many more.
 

Poly Hive 

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When you get used to the short lug you my experience is that people actually prefer them to the National style. But each to their own.

PH
 

Finman 

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I just looked my hives, most of them use now 2,5 langstrot box for brood. Hives have now 4-5 stores. They are expanding.
 

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