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Blue Spinnaker 

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Please excuse the daft question - I'm another newbee at this.

I'm getting a national hive, but I have been warned about how heavy supers can get when they are full. At Stoneleigh I saw the 'half-sized' supers on the Dartington, and I'm wondering whether you can fit two of those on a national, and whether this would be a problem. Being quite small, this may be an issue for me! I am hoping to have a trial with a friend's hive to see if I can lift them, and I'm booked on a training course, but I wondered if this was an option.

Thanks for any advice.

Blue
 
T

Tom Bick 

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The full super on a national hive are 40lb +- when full and are heavy they can have 30lb of honey in them.
The problem is putting them back on the hive if you have to without banging the hive in a controlled manor thats the hard bit.
You can fit half supers to national hives as I have made them myself you have to respect the beespace between the two halves depending on top or bottom beespace and this is a subject all of its own.
I dont know what you have opted for but one thing this forum has informed me of is that most beekeepers given a preference and a choice having worked both top and bottom beespace prefer top beespace.
 

ian 

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Hi Blue


If you are worried about heavy supers simply remove a few frames before lifting.

Can't help wondering what you intend to do when you have to move a brood though.................................


Regards Ian
 

Mike a 

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Please excuse the daft question - I'm another newbee at this.

I'm getting a national hive, but I have been warned about how heavy supers can get when they are full. At Stoneleigh I saw the 'half-sized' supers on the Dartington, and I'm wondering whether you can fit two of those on a national, and whether this would be a problem. Being quite small, this may be an issue for me! I am hoping to have a trial with a friend's hive to see if I can lift them, and I'm booked on a training course, but I wondered if this was an option.

Thanks for any advice.

Blue
My friend is uncomfortable lifting heavy weights so he just takes 5 frames at a time and places them in an empty box in the car then goes back to collect the next 5. It does mean more trips back and forth to the car but this method suits him.
 

Black Comb 

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From "Sixty Years with Bees" by Donald Sims

Easier beekeeping :-

- get a parnter - beekeeping is a 2 man job
- equipment - standardise

etc etc
 

Poly Hive 

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Someone mentioned this years ago but women fret about weights, then turn round and hoist a three or four stone child onto their hip. 42 to 56lbs without thinking about it whilst worrying about 30lb of honey.

Life is odd.

PH
 

Adam 

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I also have back problems (bulged disc) and so take frames one at a time. In fact that suits me as I shake the bees off.

Having half width supers sounds like a recipe for propolis disaster to me!

Harvesting honey is a good time to call in friends & relatives. I get two beekeeping buddies to help me and it's still an exhausting day.

Regards ,

Adam
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Both women and men who have no disability have no problems with lifting 40lb but if you have a problem its not a joke or to be dismissed and the problem can be resolved with planning and a bit of ingenuity on the individuals behalf.

I think Blue Spinnaker is doing it right she she may have a problem with weights as plenty of beekeepers have bad backs and is thinking how to make life easier for herself as others do the same.

Adam sorry that you have a bad back but can I ask you how do you deal with inspections when say the supers are 3/4 full I know that to most people half supers appear to be a mad idea but I have always thought in the right situation they must be a help.

Just as long as I dont start thinking that plastic will be a good material to make them from.
 

Blue Spinnaker 

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Thank you for the replies and advice.
PH I take your point about the children - I'm completely guilty!! Tom - I have opted for top bee space.
I will probably just have to experiment and make mistakes, but if anyone has tried the half supers I'd be interested to know if they have had propolis problems.

Blue
 

ENZO 

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What about a Top Bar Hive or a Beehaus? Extreems I know but still a viable option.

Enzo
 

Poly Hive 

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Blue?

There is really no need to go to special supers. As already suggested it will be just as easy to manipulate the combs to suit.

Inventing half supers is not really the way to go as apart from anything else it will reduce the capacity.

With a full super, take out half the combs, remove the half full super, place on the new super, put on your clearer board, put half full sup on top, fill with rest of combs and job done.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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I have Dartingtons and made the small honey boxes (1/2 supers) as the plans directed.
I find them a pain in use and often use National supers instead. The problem is not really one of propolis, but of squashing bees, and having to get everything aligned more carefully is another point (but there are 4 in a row on the Dartington).

With regards to weight of a full super, you just need to work around it. I find carrying them to and from the car is a bear, but just lifting them off and on for inspections may be challenging at times.

An alternative, as Poly Hive points out, is taking frames out and putting them into a 'honey box' for transporting, or simply to lighten the weight to be lifted.

Another alternative is having a spare stand (and boxes?), at the right height, for almost, 'sliding' the super across during inspections. Not quite so much help when more than one tier is in situ.

An important thing to consider is the correct height of the hive for your convenience, so lifting can be kept to a minimum and done with a straight back!

Regards, RAB
 

Blue Spinnaker 

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Thank you for your suggestions - here's hoping I have full enough supers for it to be an issue! I will make sure I have the hive at the correct height though.
 

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