Newbee still more questions

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New Bee
Nov 14, 2009
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Hive Type
What do you mean by keeping everything the same size? Can you purchase medium hive bodies just like the medium supers?

What is the difference between commercial grade , Select, and standard wood?

Is it better to by complete kits or get everything separate.

Are wax frames better the plastic.

I have read several books and just like the internet they all say something a little different

Everyone thanks for your help so far.
Hi Brooklyn

Boxes come in several sizes, some would use mediums for both brood and supers. Whilst others would use Jumbo's for brood and smaller supers for honey. It's all personal choice and may also depend on your extractor or how you intend to process your honey.

As to grades of wood speak to the suppler, simply put the more expensive the better quality/grade of timber.

In the Uk plastic frames are not used a huge amount, this is mainly down to the nature of our weather and flows, being often poor and unpredictable. Plastic requires a decent flow to get the bees to draw them out. If I was you I would stick with wax.

I really do suggest you check out a local club, getting some hands on will help you make some more informed decisions. You may even find some are made for you if the bloke selling the hives has them on a particular format or equipment on the go.

Regards Ian
Dear Brooklyn,

With more than a few years of reading Bee Culture, and the ABJ I would respectfully suggest that the advice you may receive on here might be inappropriate for your conditions.

Colonies in the UK are not the same as those in the USA and yours achieve significantly larger size, reflected in the price per pound achieved for honey.

The basics are of course the same but the devil as ever is in the details.

ian is right on the button there i have three national hives each one is slightly differant and thats before we start talking about differant styles of hive , langstroff and nationals and commercials and wbc's so as you can see it gets very very confusing, best way to go is to keep it simple if you have fixed apone one hive type, lets say nationals for an exsample we can buy them from many differant suppliers and each will fit each other but some time better than others so what we do is tell people to settle on a hive type and then buy the boxs from only one supplier for your first hive.

if your a woody you can make your own or you can buy them from people on this forum, these people do top top quality work which is far beyond my wood butchery standards and they also do a great service to you as well
Given the USA on the profile I think Brookylyn will be using Langstroth of one variety or another.?

Not sure Pete,I know they sell Eglu's and Cube's in the states.
They could but probably are not yet. I think they are testing it out, here, first.

Regards, RAB
plastic frames are a great idea but very hard to use in practise, most beeks that use then usual have to dip them into melted wax first so the bees will take to them first but any thing is posible. do you only use langs or are you looking at something new/ differant. or have you seen that most lang's are set up with only one style of box say standard brood and these are then used as the honey supers aswell
Hello You are lucky to be in the states or Canada, when it comes to buying hives. The equipment there will be standardised and 99% of beekeepers use Langstroth hives. These are supplied through many outlets: Kelly’s or Dadant are two of the famous ones but there are many suppliers. Most US beekeepers don’t bother using the shallow supers, but use the brood chamber size boxes for honey storage too. This is what I have been told by one of my work colleagues who was a foreman on a bee farm in Alberta Canada. I like looking through the catalogues he gave me the Kelly and Dadant equipment is much cheaper over there too as wood is cheaper I suppose.
In the UK it’s a real pain in proverbial to get equipment to fit together especially if buying secondhand (as I found out when trying to increase stocks on the cheap) as there are soooo many variations of type designed specifically to confuse people it would seem.