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Hello and some advice please

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foobaamagic 

New Bee
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Feb 13, 2010
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Location
Shepton Mallet, Somerset
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
5
Hello from a new member I am Ben.
I have had a little experience helping my Grandfather with his hives when I was younger, I am no longer younger and my grandfather is sadly no longer here to ask questions of so I have a few questions, some of which may seem a little silly, I apologise in advance if they are.
I inherited my Grandfathers 5 hives and spares 7 years ago, unfortunately they were stolen before I had a chance to have a go myself.
This set me back a few years and now finally I am ready to begin again.
I inherited enough new frames and foundation for two commercial brood boxes and 4 national supers.
I have built the brood boxes and supers, varroa floors, stands and roofs no problem and have built them to use top bee space design, only because I remember my Grandfather had taken a lot of time to convert his equipment to top bee space.

My first question is do you think this is a suitable size hive ? Is the brood box going to be to big ?
Have I made any obvious major mistakes already :)

I have heard that new keepers find the short lugs of the commercial frames a problem to manipulate, does anyone have any input on this ?

My second question really relates to what to do next ?

What is my best route to get a hive established this year ?

I have seen swarms local to my house the last few years and was planning to try and find on this year, are there things I should be aware of with a swarm from an unknown source ?

Anyway I am sure I will be back with many more questions in the months to come.

Thanks for any help in advance it will be appreciated.
 

Hombre 

Queen Bee
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Short lugs not a problem, it's largely what you become accustomed to.

Working with Langstroths and then Nationals, the long lugs of the Nationals seemed strange.
If your are adaptable, then you will have no problems whatsoever.
 

foobaamagic 

New Bee
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excellent thanks for your input Hombre, that is what i had thought about the short lugs, I just didn't know if I was missing anything obvious.
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
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Oct 1, 2009
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London N10
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Hello from a new member I am Ben.
I have had a little experience helping my Grandfather with his hives when I was younger, Ie.

My first question is do you think this is a suitable size hive ? Is the brood box going to be to big ?
Have I made any obvious major mistakes already :)

I have heard that new keepers find the short lugs of the commercial frames a problem to manipulate, does anyone have any input on this ?

My second question really relates to what to do next ?

What is my best route to get a hive established this year ?

I have seen swarms local to my house the last few years and was planning to try and find on this year, are there things I should be aware of with a swarm from an unknown source ?

Anyway I am sure I will be back with many more questions in the months to come.

Thanks for any help in advance it will be appreciated.
welcome..never be afraid to ask

commercial are ok for size, but it depends on the bee, forage and weather...in my area it could be too small for carnalion bees


what to do next---join a a BKA and get on a course, you will need the BBKA insurance at least

if you feel able, then you could set up one commercial to collect a swarm (about a 20% chance) ..put in three frames of foundation or one of old comb and two of foundation, four drops of lemon grass oil, dark floor with varroa board in and hope...hope a lot :) run a hairdryer over the foundation just to melt the surface, as it will have become stale (all your fondation may need that)


or buy a 5 frame nuc of Bees ( cheaper via your BKA???) 190 -250 from a shop, £130-180 on here and 80-90 from a friend/BKA

but your nuc will most likly be on on national frames..so you need to either to do shake swarm in into the commercial or use the two supers as an emergency national brood with you Nuc frames in to get them to move up to a commmercail on top of them ( baillie change) but never done it with a commercial so others might explain how they did it
 
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sherwood 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
309
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1
Location
herts/bucks/midx border
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
20+National,commercial langstroth
Hello from a new member I am Ben.
I have had a little experience helping my Grandfather with his hives when I was younger, I am no longer younger and my grandfather is sadly no longer here to ask questions of so I have a few questions, some of which may seem a little silly, I apologise in advance if they are.
I inherited my Grandfathers 5 hives and spares 7 years ago, unfortunately they were stolen before I had a chance to have a go myself.
This set me back a few years and now finally I am ready to begin again.
I inherited enough new frames and foundation for two commercial brood boxes and 4 national supers.
I have built the brood boxes and supers, varroa floors, stands and roofs no problem and have built them to use top bee space design, only because I remember my Grandfather had taken a lot of time to convert his equipment to top bee space.

My first question is do you think this is a suitable size hive ? Is the brood box going to be to big ?
Have I made any obvious major mistakes already :)

I have heard that new keepers find the short lugs of the commercial frames a problem to manipulate, does anyone have any input on this ?

My second question really relates to what to do next ?

What is my best route to get a hive established this year ?

I have seen swarms local to my house the last few years and was planning to try and find on this year, are there things I should be aware of with a swarm from an unknown source ?

Anyway I am sure I will be back with many more questions in the months to come.

Thanks for any help in advance it will be appreciated.
Firstly you may find that with making the commercial box a top space box that you have made the the frames more difficult to manipulate by recessing the short lugsby a further 7-9mm deeper in the box making the levering up of the frames and their handling more awkward.
Secondly you may wish to add to the height of your floor walls a further 7-9mm to compensate for their loss of head room on the floor this will of course be a descretionary alteration.
As to the size of the commercial hive and its suitablity for use I have 13 commercial hives and 4 national and would always recommend the Commercial as the more practical hive, the exception being where it is being used by the fairer sex who can find it's size and weight an issue. It also has the benifit of being far easier to make than a National 4 peices of wood as opposed to 8
 
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foobaamagic 

New Bee
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Feb 13, 2010
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Location
Shepton Mallet, Somerset
Hive Type
commercial
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thanks for the input MuswellMetro, I had thought it may be difficult to get a nuc on commercial frames so was wondering about how to move the nuc across from national to commercial frames.
I have just finished three 5 frame nuc boxes which I was going to set up to try and catch a swarm, I don't think there is any harm in trying, but it does seem my best way is going to be joining my local BKA and getting a nuc this way.
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
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Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
Welcome.

Firstly moving bees from any frame to any frame is not diff at all. The bees will do it for you with some bribery of a drop of syrup.

More importantly if you want to attract a swarm then nucs are not the way to go as they are too small.

Set out your big hive with foundation in it and see if you can beg an old disease free comb too, again size is not that important so long as it goes inside the hive.

PH
 

foobaamagic 

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I had not thought of the problem of manipulating the frames the extra depth of the recess in the top bee space design generates sherwood, it is a good point.
Nothing it set in stone yet so I might have a rethink on the plan to go top bee space. The alterations I would have to make are not the end of the world.
I had altered the hight of the floor walls to mimic the space below the combs in a bottom bee space design, giving me 16mm between the mesh floor and the bottom of the frames in the brood box.
I had read that some may find the wait of the commercial a problem, but I don't think I will struggle for a few years yet :)
and yes the commercial is also a lot quicker to build and I think with the box joints a lot more satisfying when finished, that is after the two or three hours it took me to set the saw up correctly to cut the joints !
thanks for your thoughts sherwood
 

foobaamagic 

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thanks for the welcome Poly Hive :)
Good to hear the bees will do it for me, I am always open to a touch of bribery !
Shame the nucs are to small for that, at least they will look nice on the shelf until I need them.
I will be setting up the big hive to try, I was just looking for a more portable idea so I could leave a few dotted around and increase my odds at bit.
thanks for you help
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
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Lincolnshire
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14x12
foobaamagic,

Firstly welcome.

Now to your woodwork.

My first question is do you think this is a suitable size hive ?

A simple division board can easily be made to reduce the size if you think they are too big.

new keepers find the short lugs of the commercial frames a problem

I would not worry about top space with short lugs. There have been millions of Langstroth hives used without problem, around the world. You will not be a new beekeeper for long, so that problem will, at most, be transient!

Top space is, IMO, the better of the two options.

Floor space? The solid floors on Nationals were often a reversible one, or 'turnoverable' with different entrance widths and therefore different floor space. A few millimetres will make no odds, provided it is not excessive.

You seem to have enough already for 4 bait hives. How many do you want? Temporary floors and roofs for bait hives need not be anything special;the bees will not notice that. A thick board and a heavy concrete block will keep them together. Just need some bits of old comb, preferably.

I have tried the swarm lures and they may well be a good way to entice any local swarm to your beetainers. One can never be sure how well they work unless one has a whole string of them in pairs, and even then how much better! All I can say is they seem to work.

What is my best route to get a hive established this year ?

Your best way to get a colony established this year is to buy one! Waiting for a gift or a swarm is always a lottery - there may be very few this year, who knows!

Have I made any obvious major mistakes already :)

Just the one. You have waited those seven years! Go to it!

Regards, RAB
 

foobaamagic 

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Thanks for the welcome RAB
A very good point about the division board, I had not got that far in my thinking as yet, but yes of course I can have any size hive I want within the box.

I had looked at the Langstroth design in working out various dimensions for the floors I have built, and now I look at the plans again I see the top bee space and shorts lugs, so I think I will just persevere as I am. as you pointed out hopefully I won't be a newbie for two long.

As for ending up with 3 nucs, the first was a proto-type and it ended up a little wider than I wanted, so then I made a pair that are the same size as one commercial broad box when stood side by side. I am sure I can re-manufacture the first one into something else as time goes one.

I cover a lot of ground for work each day so have four or five good looking spots for a bait hive so, I was just going to try my luck with swarm lures.

But yes buying some bees is definitely on the horizon for me this year.
 

oliver90owner 

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I didn't mention your nucs at all. Too small.

I was counting your two broods and 4 supers.

You will not need supers until you have bees. Might as well use them in pairs for bait hives. Shouldn't say 'wake up, think outside the box', but think 'two boxes'!

Regards, RAB
 
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