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standard or 14"x12" brood box

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EdNewman 

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Hi all, I'm really getting ahead of myself here as I currently have no experiance (got my name on a bee keeping course in the spring and will be joining in with association activies next month), but I'm hoping to pick to up some bargains in the Th*orne sale in November.

So my question is this: I'm looking to get a couple of WBC hives in the sale (this is purly a hobby and my wife wants the hives to look nice in the garden!), and after doing plenty of reading here I can't decide between

a. Getting a standard brood box and then having to deal with the issues of my bees building between an extra brood super (if they need it), this sounds like a lot of extra work that will probably annoy the bees.

b. Going for a 14"x12" brood box and then having to deal with Nuc's only availalbe in standard sizes (My local beek friend told me that nearly all the local suppliers don't do 14"x12" nuc's).

Ideas, solutions greatfully recived!

Ed.
 

PaleoPerson 

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For me 14x12 without hesitation, esp if you are going WBC (don't forget the extra lift).

But it is all personal choice at the end of the day. the bees will use most anything, even a dog waste bin (in use) as our swarm control officer can confirm (I wonder what the honey was like:puke:).
 

Skyhook 

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Advice all seems to be to go for 14 x 12. I believe nucs can be got in that size, but if not, you can either get clip-on extensions, or just work them out and replace them. Quite a nice opportunity to get them onto all new comb.

If you don't want to do that, you want 1 or 2 standard frames for sacrificial drone brood, so 5 frame nuc into 10-frame box, that only leaves 3 or 4 frames to deal with.
 

barratt_sab 

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We use WBC & Nats with 14x12 BBs.

The WBC do take a bit longer to get into, but with only a few hives, I cannot get too fussed about it.

We could only get Nucs on BS frames, and have just worked them on to 14x12s over the season, moving the BS frames outwards and removing them when empty. We leave one or two in, so we can remove drone comb if we want to.

We also got a 2nd hand WBC hive with a BS brood box, and it has proved useful as a spare for combines etc.

14x12 in WBC works for us, but like everything else in life, isn't for all.
 

margob99 

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It is worthwhile waiting until you're on the course and you are more networked with your Association. I've found our Association has a buying collaborative which focuses mostly on one or two specific hive types. My choice to go 14 x 12 next year means I don't get the benefit of any volume purchase prices the Association gets. I'm on my own, in that sense, and in the sense of not being able to swop frames or whatever if necessary.

Don't rush precipitately into buying hives now, before you've done the course. Wait and learn some more. The reading you might be doing will not tell you the local context.
 

MuswellMetro 

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with modern bees italians, carnies or crosses such as the retail supplier like Thornes or omlet sell , 14x12 ,

with AMM mongrel well maybe standard

a 14x12 hive and a Nucs in standard size is not a problem, it will have four brood standard frames and a stores frame of some suppliers dirty old hive, even if it was 14x12 frames you should rota it all out for new frames by the spring of next year

so just top and tail it with 14x12 they biuld extra comb under the old frames first year, I personally get rid of the old stores frame almost immediately by placing it behind a new 14x12 then removing once the 14x12 ids used as i am feeding but keep an eye on the hive for Honey block

then remove the next two standard over the year by placing them last outside the store frame and removing once brood emerges

in spring i have only two standard frames, out of 11, i remove one as before, leaving the other as a drone culler frame but remove any standard worker wild comb

i do the same if its a 14x12 but replace the last 14x12 frame with a standard brood frame or special biult 14x12 drone frame
 
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mbc 

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I've got national standard brood box's and commercials. With experience I know wish I'd never left national standard equipment as having two different size of frames just confuses things and I find the nationals perfectly adequate and I've not noticed any difference in honey crop or swarming from either size box. I keep native type bees though so maybe with a more prolific strain I'd have had a different experience
 

Rosti 

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EdNewman can I introduce option c)

You pay through the nose for 14x12 brood boxes ..... but, purchase std second grade national brood boxes. Fabricate an interlocking base eke (assumes you are on btm bee space) and bolt on (B&Q wood source and easy to construct). Run as 14x12 but with the flexibility that if you ever needed / wanted to use a national brood on it's own then you can switch back.

Best of both worlds, as I found out when I had to quickly take one of my colonies upto a 14x12 plus a std brood - (2&1/2 brood if you like)
 

*ZhG*StGeorge 

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Like Ed, I'm new to this too and am looking to start early next year. Had my first experience at a Hive on Sunday in Ashford and nothing I have seen or read has put me off wanting to start becoming a beek.

This was one of the questions I asked and I have seen most of the answers I recieved above. I have also read a couple of books and that at least gives me an idea what I need to ask before I get started. can I also add into the question about Brood size wax or Drone size wax and what is the difference?

I also am looking to get kitted before the end of the year but that is simply because I don't want to pay the extra VAT, wether it be on the transport costs or equipment and I can prepare a birthday and Christmas wish list with details for the family so they can buy some of the kit for me!

My last point, if I may, keep it simple for us newbees, got lost completely on one of the replies but thanks for all the information and advice I have read so far.

Alan
 

Mike a 

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Welcome to the forums Alan
 

EdNewman 

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Yes, thanks for all the replies. I love this forum, so many opinions and so many willing to help!

The consesus seems to be to go for 14x12 which was my initial thought.

My main thought about buying the kit early was to make use of the November sale and to give my self plenty of time to build and paint the hives (building things isn't my strong point, but got nothing better to do on the long winter nights). I think I have spent enough time dropping in on my local association and reading bee books that this is something I will stick at. Also the saving on vat will be nice :)
 

mbc 

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you'll needstrong wrists to properly inspect 14x12 frames
 
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can I also add into the question about Brood size wax or Drone size wax and what is the difference?


Alan
Drones are larger than workers, and their cells in a standard frame are consequently larger and will stick out more. You can buy sheets of wax with slightly larger cell footprints which is meant to encourage the building of drone cells - think I'm right in saying that this isn't necessary for normal colony development and is presumably of more interest to breeders.
 

EdNewman 

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barratt_sab 

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I thought anything non-toxic was ok for WBC's as you don't paint anything inside, just the lifts and roof????
I think that's right - but there are some who say that if you buy good quality cedar hives then you don't need to treat them at all.
 

EdNewman 

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I think that's right - but there are some who say that if you buy good quality cedar hives then you don't need to treat them at all.
Yes, that's right, but not if they live with my wife who will only sanction nice white hives in MY veg garden (she just wants the veg garden to look nice, she never goes in there to pick things or pull weeds :( ).
 

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