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All of my hives have been given to me by a friend (I have some nice friends) he is a beek in Somerset and always had a brood and a half, but he's now moved onto old Gales hives which are apparently much bigger so he only uses 1 brood box, so my question is :- I currently have 3 hives and could probably set up another one, there are plenty of supers. If I wanted to expand would I be better (considering I haven't bought hives) to move into something else - Langstroth seems to be well though of, or stick with Nationals (which are v popular so they must be okay) Does it get too complicated having 2 set ups?

Frisbee
 

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I am using both Nationals and Langstoths.

In my area (Hampshire) a course was run for many years at Sparsholt college.

Because the gent running the course was a Langstroth man many of the new beeks followed suite and purchased the same hives.

I understand that Thornes of Stockbridge(about 4 miles from Sparsholt)sell more Langstroths in the area because of this.

I have found that its ok to run both as long as you have at least 2 or 3 hives the same so you can swap brood etc between them.

Having said that I purchased a hive off a guy who was giving up this summer and it was a WBC,so maybe frame size is more important than hive type.
 

Hivemaker. 

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I used nationals then for several years had quite a few commercials,did no good with them at all,so now only use nationals. These also hold there value well. yes running different types can be a pain,different frames and wax. I also think this makes a difference to what strain of bee's you intend to use.
 
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Hivemaker do you think local bees are better long term rather than importing different strains?
 

Hivemaker. 

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Ive allways done really well with local bee's,but i have no issues about imported bee's either,i think some of the imports or there offsring are more prolific,and the resulting crosses can breed in nasty traits,so you would need to requeen more often with imported queens if you go down that route, to keep the strain pure as poss. But then i'm also not opposed to bee's that are a bit spicy.But that is not good for people who wish for bee's in there gardens.The problem in uk is we have no large scale reliable breeders of local bee's,of good temperament to supply the demand,so most need to get the imports. The unreliable weather is our biggest problem for queen mating on large scale.
 

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Frisbee

I am on Langstroths because when I asked at the LBKA meeting all the people (men) on Nationals said they wished they has started with Langstroths instead. I also thought I would get more honey for my money.:eek:

But they are shockingly heavy Langstroths. Being not very tall doesn't help either... lifting a full super at head height weighing 35lbs plus is a challenge. I fell over once and the bees were soooo cross.
 

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It means much if you keep hives in one place of do you move them annually = migrate with hives from pasture to pasture.

In Langstroth hives we use 2/3 frame (super) . It is in USA medium size. It has 16 kg honey and full Langstroth has 25 kg. Medium is fast to extract. Langstroth use to brake if the comb is white, non brooded.

Wooden Langtroth may weight 40 kg and it is not nice to handle.
Poly box drop weight about 7-9 kg compared to moist wood.
in 2 Store hive, when you move, it makes allready 15 kg more. It is much in migrative nursing.

With migration you may get 2 or 3 fold yield compared that you keep them in one place.
 

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Interesting point Finman that Langstroth empty combs would break.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Do they also make poly 5 frame nuc box's national size bs, i see plenty of full size hives but have not seen nucs.
 

Polyanwood 

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I bought a fantastic poly nuc that has these different inserts so that it will take Nationals, Langstroths... and it has a built in feeder. It also has a floor that you can slide in and out, so I have used it to collect swarms.
 

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Thank you poly,they look good,athough i use lots of wooden nucs,my thought is that in the autumn there are allways some that are a bit weaker than others and they would be better in these,rather than wrap up the the wooden ones,so only a few would be needed,plus if they build up faster in spring this would be good.
 

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So do you use wired foundation or wire your own frames.
I wire my self.
I use in Langstroth 2 wires and in medium too.

Good habit is to boil old combs off and then boil them in 3,5% lye solution.
Old wires will be OK and then I tighten them. It is good job.
 

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I use a burco boiler to boil old frames,if the end lugs are good,i have gaget to wire the wax foundation the same as you buy zig zag,and can wire about 60 an hour,have also wired frames in the past,and used spur embedder. I am sure the wired frames are much stronger. I do not use any wire in small national super frames,it is not needed.
 

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I purchased 4 nat hives during the summer with wired frames.

How the hell do I get the wax on ? I do have a star roller and a heat tool???
 

Polyanwood 

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You put a piece of wood that fits inside the frame. You put the foundation on top of the piece of wood and put it under the wires with the frame round it. (Read this twice... I did it wrongly at first... the wires need to be on top of the foundation)

Then you warm the wires.... not much.....a hair dryer on low will do. The wax becomes slightly shiny, do not melt the wax. Then you run the wheel along the wires and embed them.

If the piece of wood fits and you don't overheat it, it is not too difficult.

Don't let the wheel get all stuck with wax. It needs to run freely. If it get stuck heat it to get it clean.

Good Luck
 

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Thank you!

I think I will get the hang of it after the first 100 or so:D
 

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