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Queens59 

Queen Bee
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Dartmoor edge, uk
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5...2 wooden National, 2 poly Nat & 1 poly nuc...bursting at the seams
As I come from Devon I thought I ought to keep the side up and I saw a Dartington hive on a site and wondered what they are like to use !? Are they heavy/cumbersome? and what frames do they take etc?
Thank-:cheers2:you
 

MuswellMetro 

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As I come from Devon I thought I ought to keep the side up and I saw a Dartington hive on a site and wondered what they are like to use !? Are they heavy/cumbersome? and what frames do they take etc?
Thank-:cheers2:you
ask mr roger Dartington on the Hertfordshire BKA web Site:leaving:... we run a couple at our training apiary, basical a wooden beehaus, or is that visa a versa, using 14x12 frames, think ours are top bee space but i've seen a bottom bee space one as well...good for swarm control...but saying both ours swarmed this year

you would not wish to move them...20 odd frames of brood and stores at 4lbs for a capped store frame
 

Queens59 

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Mmmmm, maybe I'll stick with the idea of trying poly hives then...Thanks for the details
 

oliver90owner 

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They are fab as an alternative to the National and a much cheaper (and better, IMO) option to a plastic beehaus (I have both, and run mainly 14 x 12 Nationals), which is the modern derivative.

You could ask Robin Dartington (buzzworker) on this forum, if he tunes in regularly enough (but checked him out and he was last here about 6 weeks ago).

As MM says, they are not particularly portable! They have some plusses and some down-sides - like all hives. They never caught on as a viable alternative, so never really took off in numbers, so as to speak; more a niche market. So I would think the beehaus will eventually go the same way - apart from the 'plastic everything' fanatics (not including polyhives in that!)

Top bee space, 14 x 12 (but there are several variants), half supers (I rarely use them on the hive apart from supporting the roof - National supers are easier for me), superb for overwintering, but limited regarding moving frames within the hive (fixed brood box, so unable to move brood boxes vertically). Easy to make, if straight and square cuts can be made, but a lot of pieces. I have two and both are in use (except I am relocating one of them at the present time and it's easier when empty).

I like them as a 'complement' to my Nationals.

Regards, RAB
 

Queens59 

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Thanks, I did contact Robin, and he sent me some leaflets which make them sound ideal - as my other half and I are both struggling with the weighty WBC - however, neither of us are DIYers...and whats a straight line??? I'll hunt and see if I can find a kit - I think I could manage that!
 

oliver90owner 

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which make them sound ideal

Has anyone ever come across an 'honest' salesman who is selling a single product?

They are all selling exactly what you require and nothing else comes near!

It's the salesman's job to sell it to you.

Not sure what you are comparing with your WBCs.

When I had WBCs they were easy enough to manipulate regarding weight, just all those extra lifts to come off first. But at least somewhere to stand the boxes - after removing the roof to a safe distance. Not really hard, just more time consuming.

Regards, RAB
 

Moonrocker 

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Dartingtons are ideal for smaller, female, or older people. You don't have to move the hive once it's set up. I'm very pleased with mine.

You can either buy the plans on CD from Robin Dartington, or a ready made hive from one of his licensees. Mine came from www.dartingtonhives.co.uk
 

Queens59 

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Thanks Moonrocker, I'm 5 ft tall, with mobility issues & husband reg. disabled with spinal problems = hard work removing lifts & full size BB & supers. I think either this or polyhives...or maybe eventually both?! Now just need win the lottery!
 

RoofTops 

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The roof is an issue with the Dartingtons I've seen. Our branch apiary had one but it was a two man lift to remove the roof. We sold the hive this year as it didn't have any friends. The roof can be cut in half to lighten the load but for the disabled I would suggest looking at a top bar hive as well before choosing.
 

Brosville 

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Anyone with back or mobility problems really should look at top bar hives - no heavy lifting, no bending, all at a convenient height - can even be worked from a wheelchair! - and if I (a total woodworking klutz) can build one, most people can!
 

susbees 

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Anyone with back or mobility problems really should look at top bar hives - no heavy lifting, no bending, all at a convenient height - can even be worked from a wheelchair! - and if I (a total woodworking klutz) can build one, most people can!
:iagree: I have a friend who works TBH one-armed...the only lifting is the roof, then one 17" frame at a time. Beekeepers' Back is a known condition...
 

Queens59 

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Bit bad when you start with a bad back then!! Could anyone recommend a good site on TBH, so that I can make an informed decision?
 

admin 

Queen Bee
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For top bar hives like Nijal says,it has to be Biobees,if they cant sort you out TBH wise then you have no chance.
 

susbees 

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It's worth joining the forum too for ideas/info. They're often a bit polarized in the opposite direction to the BBKA forum but makes for a varied world :).
 

Hebeegeebee 

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12 on a good day, often more..

Hebeegeebee 

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I won't go on about the daft anti BBKA stuff.

head and brick wall come to mind. :)
 

Queens59 

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Queen59, WBC's look nice but as you say - the lifts. What about the one box hive thing that Thornes sells now? I'm not convinced about them for myself but perhaps worth a look see before you make a decision - it might be worth a look for you.

https://secure.thorne.co.uk/cgi-bin...ge&THISPAGE=page10018.html&ORDER_ID=102556380.

Except they are out of stock!
Yeah - it still seems that everything has to be lifted about - that is the problem we're having.

We love the bees - are totallly fascinated but are finding the manipulations hard work. However, if someone hadn't given us the WBC we wouldn't have afforded to start in the first place so we shouldn't really moan - just bee grateful!
 

wbchive 

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Please bear in mind that Dartingtons use 14 x 12 brood frames and these can be heavy when full of brood/stores and bees. The half size supers are manageable but if you use a queen excluder the bees will store the honey downstairs and it can be a pain removing it from those big frames. If you don't use an excluder the queen will lay in the supers which can also be awkward when harvesting honey. The pitched roof is very heavy to lift on and off and can't be used to rest boxes on like a flat roof. Swarm control is easy and effective. In my experience Dartingtons are excellent for producing bees, not so good for producing honey.

Steve
 
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