Take a standard dadant brood box and copy it in plywood, EXCEPT, you add another frame and make it 20"x20" (508x508mm), to take 12 frames.
THEN, as well you increase the depth to 18" (460)mm.
Here is the result. 140,000 cells - same as double brood 14x12, nearly 3x national deep.
AND you can use standard frames (nearly). - just take a standard dadant brood frame and lenthen the sides by grafting on the side from a dadant super frame. Then - you can use standard foundation by making up your big brood frames with a sheet of dadant brood wax with a sheet of dadant super wax fixed to it (melt the edges together)
All from stock size stuff except you need to glue-graft the side bars to make them longer. Probably Thornes, or someone, would make them longer to order anyway.
Dadant Hive Dimensions and statistics
External dimension – 20” x18 ½”
Brood body depth – 11 ¾”
The brood area is 3740 sq. ins.
No. of worker cells 85,000
Foundation size:16 ¾” x 10 ¾”
Langstroth Hive Dimensions and statistics
External dimension – 20” x 16 ¼”
Jumbo brood body depth 11 ¾”
The brood area is 2750 sq. ins.
No. of worker cells 61,400
Foundation size: 16 ¾” x 10 ¾”
Something is wrong with these worker cell numbers dont add up when you devide by frame count.
Anyway im going to start playing with these hives. I should be acquiring some dadant deeps. Im just wondering if you folks find that they are truely big enough for the queen to lay in. I have two standard langstroth deeps and my queens will lay in 16 of these frames and even move into the next box up some times, actually quite often. I would like some opinions from you guys over there across the big pond that use this stuff. Not many here do anymore. I even have thought about brother adams boxes, but I have my doubts on weather the bees readily use the outside frames.
By the way hedgerow pete, if you the nut case with the vids on you tube, how do ya do. I like the videos. I have suggested folks in cities keep bees in their garages when law forbids it. I know one guy who is now and has his bees coming out behind a big bush and the folks around have no idea.
"I should be acquiring some dadant deeps. Im just wondering if you folks find that they are truely big enough for the queen to lay in. I have two standard langstroth deeps and my queens will lay in 16 of these frames and even move into the next box up some times, actually quite often. I would like some opinions from you guys over there across the big pond that use this stuff."
I have modified dadants, and I keep Carnies, Greeks, Danish, and UK Yamahondukis (mongrels) amongst others.
They work just fine, and the Carnies don't swarm. The Carnie queens lay at a prodigious rate during flows, then slow down during lower flows or when the temp. drops.
One of things you have to do apart from having big brood boxes is to keep working the brood box, and keep the brood nest open. I also don't always give them frames full of foundation when "checkerboarding", occasionally I will just put a starter strip in the frame to keep them busy.
Are you saying you use 2 x Lang deeps as a single hive, ie double brood?
fairly common practice for people abroad to use double (or more) LS brood boxes - and the same boxes for supers. Finman talks of 2-3 boxes i seem to recall.
presume brother adam went for 12 frames in his hives as that is a common dadant variant on the continent - in italy for example the choice is between 500x435 10 frame Dadant Blatts - most common - and 500x500 12 framers (both available either a plain box for fixed beekeeping - stanziale - or with porch and side handles for moving between crops - nomadismo).
Remember that if you use Poly langstroth boxes (either deeps or Jumbos) you will get brood on outer frames.
"Are you saying you use 2 x Lang deeps as a single hive, ie double brood?"
I use mostly all deeps (standard US langstroth) all the way up. I have been making splits from my best laying queens and am getting queens that go bonkers into the third deep. I have just started playing with checkerboarding. I actually had a colony reverse swarming impulse by doing this to my complete astonishment. I seen queen cells with small larva, checkerboarded, came back to make splits, and low and behold they gave up swarming. Never seen that happen ever.
Keeping an open brood nest is not a new idea. I have read lots of methods. I think everyone develops their own in time. Like I said, I just started with this checkerboard idea. Once the honey dome starts they will swarm soon in most cases from my experience. I just take and empty box with foundation, and set it aside the hive, then go to honey domed box and start pulling frames of brood, and switch them with frames of foundation. Keep foundation above drawn comb so its checkerboarded. Drawn comb would be better of course but I dont have it laying around cause im always expanding. Being they are on flow when they get swarmy, they will draw foundation between brood combs very fast and fill with brood. In the third deep the queen will even lay in new drawn foundation and they slowly backfill drawn combs you already brought up. These combs I just keep moving up into fourth or fifth box so they will completely fill them with honey as bees hatch. I expect to actually keep my heavyset laying queens from swarming next season and making me some serious honey. I cant wait to work through a whole season this way. I envision some serious monster colonies, lol. One thing I did learn is its better to checkerboard before the brood boxes are packed or you may already be to late.
that description must be scaring the pants off all the UK beeks who are still sticking with the old teaching that brood nests must never be split. Many struggle to accept the concept of splitting the brood with even a single frame - as preached by PH here - never mind the full checkerboard approach you describe!!!!
It's interesting too how you do it as i'd previously only read about checkerboarding taking the form of alternating foundation and comb in super frames above the brood to keep the bees busy BUT leaving the broodnest intact.
BTW do you bruise honey arch on frames left in the lower box to encourage remodelling of the nest?