Poly Lang hive

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Mike a

Drone Bee
Feb 13, 2010
Reaction score
Hive Type
Number of Hives
Between 17-20
Just been on a very "modern" :D bee keeping website and seen the variety of options of poly langs.

1 full, 2 mediums
1 jumbo, 2 mediums
3 full
4 mediums

Just wondering which option you guys with langs run and why please?

I'm running all mediums, using 2 for the brood chamber (gives me the same brood space as a dadant).

I can interchange frames anywhere, relieve space if honey bound, make nucs, queen rearing, move honey to nucs if there running short, drawn comb is readily available after first year, no distortion of comb, If there is an excluder error you can simply move all the brood back down, etc etc.

I'm liking it so far.
Don't use poly (yet) but all mine are on 14 x 12 brood and shallow supers above (brood or honey). So you might say mine are jumbo and medium equivalent.

Calling shallows medium is a bit confusing. Most using double brood would be on 2 'full' and then supers to their preference, I would have thought.

B.S. system seems clearer - shallow, deep and jumbo.

Regards, RAB
I am using the same size but wooden versions as Modern website
I use mediums only but this is my first season so can't say how it will go.
The size is Dadant not english langstroth i believe but this is no problem and works out quiet well for what i have in mind. I am hoping to move over to poly thats why i use this size but we will see how it goes :)
I went over to poly's last season and use full depth boxes throughout for exactly the same reasons given by Onge, particularly the flexibility. I have been toying with the idea of using jumbo boxes for the bottom bc as a comparison but doing that rather defeats the consistency issue. May give it a go on one colony as an experiment. The only issue using full depth is the weight when full of honey.
Calling shallows medium is a bit confusing. /QUOTE]

I accept it is a bit confusing and in the UK there are indeed Jumbo, deep and shallow Langtroth frames with the latter being 5.375" deep (137mm approx). However, all the poly hives I know do not use Langstroth shallow but use what in the US are known as Medium or 3/4 Langstroth frames, which are 6.25" (159mm) deep.

Unfortunately, if you ask most UK suppliers for Medium frames they will probably look blank because in the UK to get frames of this depth you have to ask for Dadant Shallow. In theory, Dadant frames will be wider spaced than Langstroth but I have found most are the same spacing as Langstroth, possibly because the manufacturers' machines are set up for this size.

As Onge says, a Dadant shallow frame is almost exactly 50% of the area of a Jumbo Langstroth (or Dadant Brood) frame, so running the colony on two Medium boxes gives the same volume as a Dadant without the weight issue. There are of course more frames to inspect but they are each half the size of a Dadant the so the extra effort is not double.

I only have two seasons experience of running colonies on double Mediums but it is common in some other parts of Europe and also the US which gives me the confidence that it is a viable method of running a colony.
use full depth boxes throughout for exactly the same reasons given by Onge, particularly the flexibility.

I recently bought 1 full and two medium ready for my new Bees, 2 medium as they will allow me to transfer bees from 14x12 frames into a langstroth with the use of an adapter supplied by (MB), i have given some thought to just running full boxes and not bothering with mediums once the bees are in.

If the Poly Test is successful i will in time change all my Cedar hives for Poly, all on full boxes, to eradicate this buggering about we put ourselves through every year.

Just wondered
How do you get on with extraction ? and the weight of a full box loaded with honey. ?
I have one full and two medium because i didn't want the extra frames to inspect and use the mediums for honey so they are not to heavy.
Just wondered
How do you get on with extraction ? and the weight of a full box loaded with honey. ?

Hi Grizzly,
Funny you asked that: when I was using wooden boxe,s lets just say I didn't need to go to a gym for a workout :) They are very heavy. It's another reason I switched to poly to reduce the weight. I also enticed the help of a mate or two!!.
I only moved across to poly late last season so haven't been able to make any comparison yet. Once I got them off the hives the extracting wasn't really an issue.
Its going to be an interesting year. Have fun!

My first poly arrived today.
Made up of 1 full, and 2 mediums.
I chose this as it is the same size as the wooden Hives I have become used to,
and I know I wont have any problems spinning the Honey out either. :cheers2:

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