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Moving from standard National deep to 14x12

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ericbeaumont 

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14x12 it’s in effect brood and half and is still not large enough for prolific queens and far less versatile in terms of how you use or manipulate boxes.
Spot on.

I convinced myself years ago that 14x12 was the route to more space and less swarming but experience taught me that I was wrong, and that multiple, more manageable boxes give great flexibility. One advantage: a 14x12 holds sufficient winter stores; apart from that, not much comes to mind.

This season I cut down the frames on the last colonies and put them into Abelo deeps. The 14x12 boxes are very useful as market display tables, with clearer boards (another redundant tool) as table tops.

Ask yourself this, Guy: if 14x12 turns out to be insufficient for a prolific queen, where would you go? Double brood, with all that weight?
 

ericbeaumont 

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I find the standard deep too small and hard to control during quick expansion and on a single brood.
Aiming to run a modern colony on single brood is asking for trouble; Roger Patterson does it by selecting for non-prolific queens but that takes time and dedication. Most of us have prolific queens and even double is often not enough; I triple brood often.

Space is the key to reducing swarming and smaller boxes give greater flexibility; Rose hive is ideal; some use supers only throughout. In this context 14x12 is an inflexible size which may not give the dream answer you imagined.
 
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Aiming to run a modern colony on single brood is asking for trouble; Roger Patterson does it by selecting for non-prolific queens but that takes time and dedication. Most of us have prolific queens and even double is often not enough; I triple brood often.

Space is the key to reducing swarming and smaller boxes give greater flexibility; Rose hive is ideal; some use supers only throughout. In this context 14x12 is an inflexible size which may not give the dream answer you imagined.
But it's more than just space that promotes swarming ... an abundance of forage, the genes of the colony, the weather they also play a part. I would accept that if a queen does not have sufficient room to lay then it is one of the major contributory factors but a 14 x 12 box is a big box and it's unlikely any queen will reach her full capacity before May in my neck of the woods (we don't get much rape where I am so they tend not to fill the brood box with stores in spring) and in any case, I don't use queen excluders and so once a super goes on there is always the option for her to move up and lay in the super.

14 x 12 may not be the panacea for all beekeeping ills but it's whole lot better than nationals and a brood and a half ... double brood - yes - but that's a juggling act and two boxes to inspect every time and more disruption of the colony.

Pays yer money and makes yer choice ? I know which I would choose.
 

Apple 

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But it's more than just space that promotes swarming ... an abundance of forage, the genes of the colony, the weather they also play a part. I would accept that if a queen does not have sufficient room to lay then it is one of the major contributory factors but a 14 x 12 box is a big box and it's unlikely any queen will reach her full capacity before May in my neck of the woods (we don't get much rape where I am so they tend not to fill the brood box with stores in spring) and in any case, I don't use queen excluders and so once a super goes on there is always the option for her to move up and lay in the super.

14 x 12 may not be the panacea for all beekeeping ills but it's whole lot better than nationals and a brood and a half ... double brood - yes - but that's a juggling act and two boxes to inspect every time and more disruption of the colony.

Pays yer money and makes yer choice ? I know which I would choose.
I have to disagree.
I have tried 14 x 12 and they just do not fit in with my beekeeping management.
Another frame size is a nuisance, as it does not allow the flexibility of moving up to double brood... I have never ever managed to get bees to occupy two 14 x 12 boxes... two standard brood yes!
I have one apiary where I run OSB, but that works for me because I can make myself quarantine the breeder queens without the temptation to take frames to other sites I know another beekeeper who runs Langstroth boxes for the same reasons.

For honey production sites the brood + 1/2 system works well with or without a QX above!!!

Chons da
 

hemo 

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14 x 12 for me started to cause me back ache as overall frames are just heavier, also having std deeps I used eke converters. In the end I found the faff not worth it and reverted back to deeps. Double brood or B&H I have no issue with and are systems that work, I just adjust each one depending on the prolificy.
 
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Spinney 

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To refer to the original question by GuyNir. A friend took my bees to look after for me while I was receiving chemo last year. Two of my colonies were in a Beehaus = 14x12 frames (I started keeping bees when our son in law bought us a surprise Christmas present.) On their return I had to transfer them back into my 14x12s. I was advised to put the nationals at one side of the brood box and gradually remove them as the brood emerged. However, Queen kept laying in them. I put the National brood box and a queen excluder on top of my 14x12 brood box containing the queen, some drawn comb so that Queen could lay and the rest new foundation. All the brood emerged safely. I was left with a few frames containing nectar so I laid those on top of the crown board, having taken away the national box, and the bees emptied them.
 

GuyNir 

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To refer to the original question by GuyNir. A friend took my bees to look after for me while I was receiving chemo last year. Two of my colonies were in a Beehaus = 14x12 frames (I started keeping bees when our son in law bought us a surprise Christmas present.) On their return I had to transfer them back into my 14x12s. I was advised to put the nationals at one side of the brood box and gradually remove them as the brood emerged. However, Queen kept laying in them. I put the National brood box and a queen excluder on top of my 14x12 brood box containing the queen, some drawn comb so that Queen could lay and the rest new foundation. All the brood emerged safely. I was left with a few frames containing nectar so I laid those on top of the crown board, having taken away the national box, and the bees emptied them.
Thanks and hope you’re doing well 🤞
 

AubMar 

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Great thread for me to learn from, I have three national nucs which are now three BB's high (18 frames) and all have prolific queens and stuffed with bees.
When the new season comes around I'll have to move/transfer them into full hives and was looking at all the options.
Up to now I have mainly used a single Paynes National BB and they seemed adequate for most colony's (doubles on a couple) but I had more swarms leaving me than I expected.
In my research I noted the National BB is not large enough for a good prolific queen and swarm mode can triggered as soon as she runs out of space.
I was contemplating using the 14x12 BB but from all the discussion and advice in this thread I think a double brood may be a better option.
For a double brood I already have everything I need but maybe a couple of new boxes and frames but without the inconvenience of a third sized frame and box.
A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this chat and to let you know that you reach many more than you think.
 

Ian123 

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Great thread for me to learn from, I have three national nucs which are now three BB's high (18 frames) and all have prolific queens and stuffed with bees.
When the new season comes around I'll have to move/transfer them into full hives and was looking at all the options.
Up to now I have mainly used a single Paynes National BB and they seemed adequate for most colony's (doubles on a couple) but I had more swarms leaving me than I expected.
In my research I noted the National BB is not large enough for a good prolific queen and swarm mode can triggered as soon as she runs out of space.
I was contemplating using the 14x12 BB but from all the discussion and advice in this thread I think a double brood may be a better option.
For a double brood I already have everything I need but maybe a couple of new boxes and frames but without the inconvenience of a third sized frame and box.
A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this chat and to let you know that you reach many more than you think.
Make sure if you require more kit you get it in the winter sales for a fraction of the price!! In terms of management you can also keep a spare box of deeps on top of 1 hive in the apiary and simply remove any honey clogged frames from other hives. I use deeps as supers on a bigger scale to achieve the same.
 
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AubMar 

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Buy ten boxes, buy 150 frames! You'll need them. :)
If wood is your choice, Maisemore sale is on until 31 November.
Poly is a mixed bag: I use Abelo boxes; they have flash sales during winter, but you have to check regularly.
Many thanks Eric,
Yes I'm using all polys - Will watch out for the sales - Maismore is good because its flatpack.
I have to shop around a bit because was caught before with shipping charges to Ireland from the UK which ended up more than the goods value! My own fault!
And now with the added issues with brexit who knows where it will go - a dreadful situation all round!
Thank you again.
 

ericbeaumont 

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Many thanks Eric,
Yes I'm using all polys - Will watch out for the sales - Maismore is good because its flatpack.
I have to shop around a bit because was caught before with shipping charges to Ireland from the UK which ended up more than the goods value! My own fault!
And now with the added issues with brexit who knows where it will go - a dreadful situation all round!
Thank you again.
Which make of poly do you use? Donegal Bees stock Abelo hives and other kit; maybe they'd bring in boxes for you. Maisemore (as you probably know) have a larger footprint than a standard National; Dingle Beekeeping (aka irishbeehives.com) stock Maisemore boxes.
 

maddydog 

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Spot on.

I convinced myself years ago that 14x12 was the route to more space and less swarming but experience taught me that I was wrong, and that multiple, more manageable boxes give great flexibility. One advantage: a 14x12 holds sufficient winter stores; apart from that, not much comes to mind.
Having just bought 50 14*12 boxes one advantage is that it's cheaper than 100 standard :) (plus wax and frames)
I also run double nationals and haven't noticed any difference in swarming.
One full 14*12 poly box is plenty for the winter and in the spring I'm often taking away full frames of stores for nucs.
I do get the occasional queen that's too prolific for one box but it's easy enough to take a nuc and/or add a couple of supers.
In short, each to their own
 

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