Is 12 x 14 Better

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will 

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Hi Everybody
I am new to this forum and new to bees I have 2 National hives ready for bees in april, what I would like to know is 12 x 14 better as I have read that there is less chance of the bees swarming is that true, Will,
 

Brian Bush 

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Hi Will. I have all my hives on 14X12 now. With some of our more modern mongrels the queens are very prolific. Brood and bees build up rapidly in the Spring. Big colonies mean good honey production hopefully. Overcrowding is one of the stimulii for swarming. Many beekeepers overcome the space problem by going brood and a half on Nationals, this can be 'fussy', others use commercials and langstroths which are a larger box. 14X12 have the largest laying area for brood, someone on this forum dis the calculations when a similar question was asked before. I say go with the 14X12. National supers, excluders, roofs etc all fit perfectly.
Good Luck
 

ian 

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Hi Will

This is one of those questions that there is no wrong or right answer to, I run nationals and go double brood, I find a double brood box to be a good size for my bees and also run brood boxes as supers.

It's all down to personal choice.

Regards Ian
 

oliver90owner 

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Will,

Welcome to the forum.

Many, including me, have added ekes to standard broods. Not many have removed them; as far as I know, none, but there must be a few! I agree with what Brian has posted.

The nest can be as near spherical as possible (which means maximum warmth early in the season and cylindrical-ish later (due to the supering systems most of us use) so close to how the queen would ideally lay up the brood nest naturally.

What you need, IMO, if starting on 14 x 12s, is a couple of good dummies or dividers (one with entrance space) to help the bees form the nest otherwise one can have problems with all the unused space and have wasted foundation if not careful.

I use even bigger boxes on a couple of hives Dartingtons, but they are a little different.

All mine are now on top space 14 x 12s.

Regards, RAB
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
I do the same as Ian as it happens....but I also split all colonies in mid to end of April and re-Queen....helps with the swarming, making it negligible. I also leave them with a full brood box of stores through the winter and it cuts down on feeding syrup come August/September as they fill and cap it themselves. The cluster moves up to the top brood box late in winter and then it's easy to swap them around and change comb if necessary....much simpler than brood and a half and everything is interchangeable.

I will say at this point that the main flow around these parts is clover during June and July and that the main stores over winter come from ivy, which they don't seem to have a problem with.


Hi Will

This is one of those questions that there is no wrong or right answer to, I run nationals and go double brood, I find a double brood box to be a good size for my bees and also run brood boxes as supers.

It's all down to personal choice.

Regards Ian
 
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Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
In fact, to be more precise and for those that might be interested....my standard set-up is thus:

Roof
Crown Board
Top BB with frame feeder (kept in all year), 2 x dummy boards and 10 x DN4 frames
Bottom BB with 12 x DN4 frames
Open Mesh Floor
Hive Stand
 

Poly Hive 

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Welcome to the forum.

YOu may have noticed that none of the answers above addressed your question.

In essence you asked can a hive type control or reduce swarming.

To a point yes a big hive will reduce the restrictions that may push a colony into swarming.

HOWEVER despite the hive size swarming is reproduction and thus a prime urge and bees will want to reproduce.

So what you have to balance is having the main stream equipment, ie Nationals, or less in demand 14 x 12.

Thing about beekeeping is there are lots of choices to be made.

Your best technique for swarm control is learning to find the queen.

PH
 

Somerford 

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I'll be able to say more after this season as am moving over towards 14x12 brood chambers rather than just nationals - the aim being to have 2/3 on 14x12s and 2 on nationals by the seasons end.

I like the idea about using a dummy board (Oliver090) to encourage optimum foundation use -

regards

S
 

darrenperrett 

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I`m swapping to 14x12 this spring hopefully. At the moment I`ve got 1 colony on a standard brood box, 4 0n brood and a half and 1 on double brood box with dummy boards.

I quite like double brood but my bees are not prolific enough and I find brood and a half awkward.


Darren.
 

MrB 

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Hi Will,
Welcome to the forum.
I am in the same position as you with 2 national hives ready for bees in the spring.
I have also considered the possible advantages of 14x12 but have decided to run with standard national brood for the first year. I think it will be good practice for me to keep on top of my hive inspections/swarm prevention techniques. then maybe consider using eke's next year to bring them up to 14x12.
Dont forget, as PH pointed out, swarming is natural and a way for the bees to survive.!
 

darrenperrett 

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I think everyone worries about swarming when they first start, but if you start with Nucs and a new queen you`ll probably be fine the first year anyway as they`ll be busy drawing out all your new foundation.

After the first year swarming is not such a big issue as you`ll be comfortable handling your bees and you`ll know what to look for, and what to do.

Darren.
 

will 

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I wish to thank everybody for the quick response,
I am in the process of joining a local club but yet to meet anyone with bees that can help I also want to do a course shortly many thanks, Will
 

Bcrazy 

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After the first year swarming is not such a big issue as you`ll be comfortable handling your bees and you`ll know what to look for, and what to do.
Have I missed something then?

Regards;
 

darrenperrett 

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Have I missed something then?

Regards;
What I was trying to say was, that as a beginner, and before you have even seen inside a hive, you are bombarded with a lot of information that is hard to understand without any practical experience.

I was worried about my bees swarming before I got them, but once you have your own hive a lot of the information makes sense and you relax a bit.

The only thing I worry about now is not recognizing foulbrood and passing it onto my neighbours apiary.

Regards,

Darren.
 

Bcrazy 

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Sorry darrenperrett

My silly sense of humour.

Regards;
 

darrenperrett 

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No worries Bcrazy. At least I`m gettting faster at typing :cheers2:
 
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