First hive headache.

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Newbeeneil 

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I know of a local BKA that has managed to persuade (perhaps order) members to run on 14x12.

When a new member revealed she was running standard deeps, it did not go down well.

Tin-pot dictators don't like dissenting ideas.
We all know that Eric, but original post gave a reason for my comment which you conveniently left out.
With experience one can make much more informed decisions. 😀
 

Poly Hive 

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If I were to start over again and I effectively did a few years ago my choice would be the best local bee I could find, and poly hives. Arguably the best bees will be found being run by the biggest commercial operation local to you. They want bees that are good bees as time is money. Bees just perform better in poly as they so love being warm.

PH
 

Big ears 

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Thanks for all the comments. Please keep them coming.
I went away from Poly for two reasons. Firstly I would rather reduce my plastic use and would look towards sustainable wood products. The second is that I live in Cornwall on the south coast and we get maybe half a dozen frosts a year so thought that the need for insulation would be less needed.
I looked at the Rose system. I think I would be worried running this with no experience and am concerned re swarming. I did wonder if the principle of adding boxes between the brood as a way of expansion could be used still underneath a QE with honey supers above?
 

gmonag 

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If you are worried about going a bit off-piste from the start, then I would go totally conventional initially, i.e. BS Nationals run the "standard" way. If you still want to try the Rose Hive Method later it is easy to do, as all the equipment, other than the actual boxes and frames, is BS National.
 

Allotment Pete 

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I started with Langstroth and did it the conventional way, i.e Brood boxes and supers with a QE. But after reading Tim Rowes book I decided to try it on a couple of hives so removed the QE and have swapped to shallow Dadant frames as they fit the Langstroth boxes, well after you cut a bit off the bottom of the brood boxes. (I also found these off cut's can be screwed and glued to the supers so they can take shallow Dadant frames too :)). I now have frames mid way between a Langstroth super and brood i.e. 146mm deep all the way through the hive. So it is a sort of Rose hive but with Lanstroth outside diameter and not a National diameter. The girls seem to like it and I tend to get brood up the middle 4-6 frames with pollen and honey on the outer ones.
The thing I like is that you can use frames from anywhere in the hive to consolidate the hive to two or three full boxes of pollen and stores for the winter (or even remove old frames) as they are all the same size right throughout the hive.
 

gmonag 

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I started with Langstroth and did it the conventional way, i.e Brood boxes and supers with a QE. But after reading Tim Rowes book I decided to try it on a couple of hives so removed the QE and have swapped to shallow Dadant frames as they fit the Langstroth boxes, well after you cut a bit off the bottom of the brood boxes. (I also found these off cut's can be screwed and glued to the supers so they can take shallow Dadant frames too :)). I now have frames mid way between a Langstroth super and brood i.e. 146mm deep all the way through the hive. So it is a sort of Rose hive but with Lanstroth outside diameter and not a National diameter. The girls seem to like it and I tend to get brood up the middle 4-6 frames with pollen and honey on the outer ones.
The thing I like is that you can use frames from anywhere in the hive to consolidate the hive to two or three full boxes of pollen and stores for the winter (or even remove old frames) as they are all the same size right throughout the hive.
Well done.
As I have said before, the Method is not about the box. Virtually any hive box will work.
 

ericbeaumont 

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would rather reduce my plastic use and would look towards sustainable wood products
This aspect is not clear-cut: I thought paper bags were more sustainable than plastic, but I was wrong. Here's a sample: it takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper.

Transport of WRC from US forests leaves a not insignificant carbon footprint, and cutting and dragging and machining English cedar must also reduce sustainability.

Perhaps poly hives have less of an environmental impact? Perhaps leaving cedar to grow and absorb CO2 is a better option? Certainly, at the end of its life poly can be recycled entirely.

half a dozen frosts a year so thought that the need for insulation would be less needed.
Bees aim to maintain a level of warmth and humidity and any variation will require work to return the nest to that ideal. For this reason insulation is useful all year round.

Bear in mind that extremes of temperature and a poorly insulated hive will oblige bees to work: when cold, stores must be eaten to produce heat, or when hot, flight to collect water to dress the nest to improve humidity or lower temps, in addition to the work of fanning the air about; work ages bees. A thick tree trunk offers ideal insulation; how does 17mm timber compare?

I would be worried running this with no experience and am concerned re swarming
It is easier to run the Rose hive system than a hive with two sizes of box and a QX because commonality of parts simplifies the job: one size of box and no QX replicates a natural nest that allows the queen free run of all boxes which will reduce swarming significantly.

We use the one-box system at the honey company where I work; it was the route to reducing costs and is the closest to a tree trunk format you can get, apart from a Warré. We use National deeps only unless making comb honey, when supers (or shallows) are used above a QX. Deeps are a bit heavy, but manageable; to save the back we usually use nuc boxes to cart honey to the van.

the principle of adding boxes between the brood as a way of expansion could be used still underneath a QE with honey supers above?
Yes, this is what I do: two, three or four deeps below the QX with supers above the QX as usual. The QX can be put under all but the bottom deep when the main flow is on and as the brood recedes down the stack, and deeps can either be extracted (giving good combs for the following season) or stored (to be given to other colonies or nucs).
 

Wilco 

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The tree front is even more complex... At risk of this leading to the cupboard under the stairs...

Trees tend to do most of their carbon capture when first growing. As they get older the rate of carbon sequestration drops and there is some evidence showing they also reduce soil carbon. At the end of life when they rot, a lot of the carbon they stored is re-release as CO2 rather than being permanently stored. Likewise you need to consider what happens to the wooden hive and how long it lasts... Is it going to be burned (and how soon), will it keep going most of the user's life, passed on...

On the poly front there's also the question of whether it's actually recycled, what it's recycled into, what happens to it after, and general persistence of the material. Also what happens to it if there's a FB outbreak.

Minefield! :D
 

Poly Hive 

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There is a protocol in place for treating poly in the event of a foul brood outbreak and it has been there for several years now.

It's odd how the initial serious look at single use plastic has spread to all plastics are bad. Thought about your car?

PH
 

Murox 

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The amount of plastics used in the average car is gobsmacking and it will continue to increase
as its lighter than steel. These ones are commonly used: Poly-Vinyl Chloride, Polypropylene, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, Polyamide, Polystyrene, Polyoxymethylene, Polycarbonate and Polyethylene.
 

gmonag 

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Trees and the use of wood are irrelevant with regard to carbon footprint. CO2 is collected from the air when the tree is growing and is released again when the tree dies (or the wood is burned or returned to the earth). It is a natural cycle and has no impact on global carbon levels in the long term.
Plastics are made from fossil fuel and their use does increase global carbon levels.

Fossil fuel vs natural life cycles
 

Murox 

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Trees and the use of wood are irrelevant with regard to carbon footprint. CO2 is collected from the air when the tree is growing and is released again when the tree dies (or the wood is burned or returned to the earth). It is a natural cycle and has no impact on global carbon levels in the long term.
Plastics are made from fossil fuel and their use does increase global carbon levels.
Fossil fuel vs natural life cycles
That will be thousands of years in the future, even your great grand children will be long dead by then.
 

ericbeaumont 

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Trees and the use of wood are irrelevant with regard to carbon footprint. CO2 is collected from the air when the tree is growing and is released again when the tree dies (or the wood is burned or returned to the earth). It is a natural cycle and has no impact on global carbon levels in the long term.
Plastics are made from fossil fuel and their use does increase global carbon levels.

Fossil fuel vs natural life cycles
It's the production trail that must also be taken into account. Wood or poly: which is leanest in CO2 output and energy consumption?
 

madasafish 

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...

On the poly front there's also the question of whether it's actually recycled, what it's recycled into, what happens to it after, and general persistence of the material. Also what happens to it if there's a FB outbreak.

Minefield! :D

Immerse poly hive in a strong bleach solution for 20 minutes sterilises FB. ( Clothes storage boxes are ideal for this).
Practical experience:eek:

Lot easier and probably safer and more effective then flaming wood.
 

Gower Beekeeper 

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The most difficult way to keep bees is having one colony - start with two if you can afford it. That way, you have your own resources if something goes wrong eg going queenless. After 8 years I started using deep brood but this has not been an overnight success.
 

Wilco 

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Immerse poly hive in a strong bleach solution for 20 minutes sterilises FB. ( Clothes storage boxes are ideal for this).
Practical experience:eek:

Lot easier and probably safer and more effective then flaming wood.
Hadn't realised that was an approved option. Thanks.
 

Poly Hive 

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It's been on beebase years now.

Returning to the warmth issue though I wonder if the OP has many days in sunny Cornwall over 34C? This is the brood nest temperature and obviously, it takes work and fuel to maintain. The more help we can give the bees to achieve this the better surely? Insulation is then a no brainer surely?

PH
 
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Beebe 

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Somehow it's escalated to seven.
Immerse poly hive in a strong bleach solution for 20 minutes sterilises FB. ( Clothes storage boxes are ideal for this).
Practical experience:eek:

Lot easier and probably safer and more effective then flaming wood.
...and scorching wood releases carbon dioxide from fossil fuel.
 

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