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Potential back problems?

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I've just been looking at the Omelet web site and it shows a picture of a keeper lifting frames out. It looks like it may cause some back problems as a keeper will have a twisted spine when reaching over to lift the frame lug furthest away. Wouldn't it be better to lift the frames out from either end, and move the entrance to the side?
 

m100 

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Yes, but despite 25 years of the Dartington, the same design flaws, long acknowledged by the designer, have been carried over to the Beehaus. This is apparently ok by Beehaus owners as 'getting the product to market' faults and all is more important than any other considerations.

You could always stand at the end of the hive and get your back covered in bees, or stand at the other end and fit yourself with some extra long prosthetic arms. There are rumours that Omlet already have these on the drawing board in various tasteful colours...if you are Stevie Wonder.
 

hedgerow pete 

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i have all the plans and methods of use for the darlington, and ask this simple question what back lifting problem,

in the plans i have all the supers are five frames wide not ten as such would wiegh near 10kg max when loaded, if you were realy lucky, i can understand hawklord's and m100 has a point about over reach and streching but the darlinton i have used we used to stand along the long side and there fore never ever over streached any thing.

yes i am mr. heretic and hater of all carni bee's, but will everyone get off this put down of every ones other designs, there is enough knocking of hive design , is it possible that we have start a list of beehus good design points.

yes i know its sounding like hedgerow has gone soft but , i get a little fed up with all the negativity at times, sad and hippy like i know but it does get a little much this down grading of someones very hard work. evan i make an effort i wish more would, i am allways up for a joke and a laugh but the behus thing is getting a little boring lads
 

m100 

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ibut the darlinton i have used we used to stand along the long side and there fore never ever over streached any thing.
I'll admit that the Dartington/Beehaus move the frames to a more suitable height for all but midgets (99% of conventional hive stands I see are way too low) but the location of the entrances in the Dartington/Beehaus is seriously flawed particularly when you can't rotate the hive body on the floor/stand.

Removing brood frames from a conventional hive standing at the back if the frames are the warm way, or standing at either the side if they are the cold way is more natural and much easier than approaching them at 90 degrees.

Lifting a 14x12 frame particularly when it is filled with honey, and keeping it vertical is not that easy at the best of times, designing a hive, or perpetuating a hive design when a complete material change is made that forces frame lifting from the side is daft.
 

oliver90owner 

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If you have a problem lifting 3 1/2 kg at a distance of what, 30cm from your body, should you be keeping bees? A full super of honey to be moved every time you inspect the hive is far heavier. And some of us may sometimes have 3 supers stacked up.

Get a grip and adopt an easy method. Engagement of grey matter tells me that I can lift that brood frame from a distance of about 20cm (reducing the moment by about 1/3). That is easily achievable by using a frame lifter once the frame has been moved sideways (there is normally loads of space for these manoeuvres). Often there is so much room that once actually lifted from the rails the frame can be turned through near 90 degrees so the lift is actually only 1 3/4 kg maximum until you have turned it, before you need to actually lift it up.

Personally I don't find it any harder than bending over any other type. Ideally I would like my Nationals at the same height as I have made my Dartingtons, but with all the stores above the brood in the Nationals, it would not be a very easy proposition to move the top supers every week for inspection. I often use a spare hive stand on which to perch the up-turned roof, onto which I set the supers, so there is less lifting when rebuilding those layers.

To be honest, I never leave 3 supers on any hive for long - my back would not like it, humping all that weight about on a regular basis. If I were to have 2 layers of supers on the Dartington, the full ones are moved to the back. The small 1/2 supers of the Dartington design are easy enough to handle but they have their own shortcomings.......

All hive designs are a compromise. Get used it; it will not change. Use that particular design or choose another, your personal choice. I choose to run 2 Dartingtons and don't expect to make any more (but I never say never) and my others are all jumbo Nationals. The 14 x 12 Nationals are too big for me to be moving them around easily, but I consider that option a far better alternative than standard brood with a shallow brood on top. My choice. I have to be just that much more careful when moving my hives.

In fact I can use the Dartington carry boxes to temporarily split the brood into two for transport if necessary. There is a way around lifting heavy boxes.

The Dartington

Removing frames - see above.

Likewise there is a way around lifting 'heavy' frames all the time. I might ask why you need to keep lifting them? Only needed on the few occasions when something needs checking closely anyway. I rarely want to take out more than 2 or 3 frames at a regular weekly inspection.

Remove dummy at end, move frames along to split the brood nest and inspect a brood frame for eggs, young brood and capped brood. If all appears well, close up. If signs of swarm preparation are evident, artificially swarm. With the Dartingtons, that is simple enough.

Finding the queen is simple enough too.
As an alternative - slot in a queen excluder for three days, splitting the brood nest. She will either be in front or behind. Remove those frames ('behind' or 'in front') to two carry boxes. Very quickly it becomes evident which half is queenless. Search the other frames for the queen.

Artificial swarming - you don't need to lift many frames - plenty of space to slide them along if you can't manage to lift them.

Now if you think you want to run two colonies in a single Dartington, be prepared for some more (a lot more) frame lifting than 'as detailed' above. Have another couple of broods or nucs available for when artificial swarming is required - they will likely both go at the same time! You won't have the space to turn frames through near 90 degrees. You will have another colony at your elbow with supers on, every time you inspect. Just a nightmare way of justifying the large brood area as far as I am concerned!!

Now, I certainly don't follow all of the above all of the time. They are there as simple alternatives to continual 'heavy frame lifting'. If I don't find the queen quickly I adopt an easy method; I have the time. Rarely do I mark a queen.

Now all the above may seem hard work to some of the younger generations. I grew up on a farm where Dad made as few hay bales as possible (less space in the barn, fewer to carry to the cowshed. That meant they were heavy. I used to stack them on the bale sledge, pitch them onto the trailer, pitch them in the barn and carry them to the cowshed. Maybe I have a different outlook on 3 1/2 kg than some.

Regards, RAB
 

Somerford 

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.

Now all the above may seem hard work to some of the younger generations. I grew up on a farm where Dad made as few hay bales as possible (less space in the barn, fewer to carry to the cowshed. That meant they were heavy. I used to stack them on the bale sledge, pitch them onto the trailer, pitch them in the barn and carry them to the cowshed.
Regards, RAB

I recall the best cure for a serious hangover is unloading 3 trailers stacked with hay bales on my own. In this case I was too young to know better when to stop (drinking ) that is. They got heavier the lighter my head got.
 

m100 

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If you have a problem lifting 3 1/2 kg at a distance of what, 30cm from your body, should you be keeping bees?
It's not the weight, it's not the distance. Inspecting a hive where you are square on to a frame you are removing makes for much easier frame manipulation, less chance of crushing or rolling bees, less chance of banging the frame sides on the hive body, better observation into the hive of frames still in position and a whole host of other things such as spinal positioning as mentioned above.
 

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