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the best hive?

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peteinwilts 

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Hi Guys

I have been scouting around for hive design and have seen there is a massive variety of hives.

I 'presume' (?) the best hive is the one most compatible..?

Thoughts on what is the best hive, and why would be greatly appreciated...

... blueprints would be a bonus!!

:thanks:
Pete (the newbie!)
 

beeboybee 

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some good hive plans on the Scottish Bee keepers website
and obviously Dave cushman as well, should be links to both on this forum already, if you dont find them let me know... got to tidy before she who must be obeyed gets home!:cheers2:
 

Poly Hive 

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FenBee is out on a bit of a limb.

the most common hive is the National and the best version of the National is the polystyrene one.

The most common version is the wooden one, which works fine enough though the poly version works that much better.

I have no axe to grind, just the experience to say what I know, and can demonstrate the superiority so.

I looked in a poly nuc yesterday that had brood on the outer side of the outer comb as it is the warmest place. In a timber nuc that would normally be pollen or stores.

However lest you be persuaded to opt for an unusual hive type/material let me remind you that the most common hive in the UK is the National in timber.

PH
 

admin 

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PH do you not think our bees are getting a little strong for Nationals ?
I realise you can go brood and a half etc but it is not very convenient.

I would of thought the Langstroth is a much better hive including less parts if you go down the diy route.

Personally I only run one Langstroth and hate the thing,I only run it so I can offer new beeks at my association Nucs on Lang frames if thats what they want.

I just feel at home using a National.
 

Geoff 

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I went for commercial because I wanted a larger brood area than the national but it fits in with all the national parts such as floor, roof, etc. For supers I can use nationals or choose commercial supers if I wish. I am also told by the DIYers that the commercial is easier to make.
A lot of the beekeepers I know are moving off national brood boxes cause they think they are too small. Most are going for 14*12 which again fits with the national hive . The commercial and 14*12 have similar brood area sizes and are a bit bigger than the Langstroth and much bigger than than both the national and WBC .
So I would go for a bigger brood box - gives you more bees and more honey I hope.
 

Hombre 

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Poly Hive,
You mention the polystyrene National. Is that a single part in high density polystyrene in a similar fashion/quality to the Langstroth polyhives by Swienty?
I am particularly interested in something of that quality in a National 14 x 12 size.
I understand Murray is the man for Langstroth polyhives, but haven't looked past making my own boxes from plywood as yet. I work with poly Langstroth boxes and am more than sufficiently impressed, but wish to remain at National 14 x 12 size. Are you able to point me in an appropriate direction at all please?
 

bombus 

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Hi PH, how are you homeing your new Carnies?

bombus
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
Geoff - are you suggesting that you can simply buy a commercial brood box (with commercial frames) and replace it with a standard box for a National if you want more space?

Thanks



I went for commercial because I wanted a larger brood area than the national but it fits in with all the national parts such as floor, roof, etc. For supers I can use nationals or choose commercial supers if I wish. I am also told by the DIYers that the commercial is easier to make.
A lot of the beekeepers I know are moving off national brood boxes cause they think they are too small. Most are going for 14*12 which again fits with the national hive . The commercial and 14*12 have similar brood area sizes and are a bit bigger than the Langstroth and much bigger than than both the national and WBC .
So I would go for a bigger brood box - gives you more bees and more honey I hope.
 

MJBee 

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Don't think so.
I have both National and Commercial brood boxes. The outside dimensions are the same BUT the frames are NOT interchangeable (without major modification).
If you have a Thornes catalogue have a look at the table on page 8 it compares sizes and approx worker cell capacity of all the hives they stop.
Regards Mike
 

Poly Hive 

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You mention the polystyrene National. Is that a single part in high density polystyrene in a similar fashion/quality to the Langstroth polyhives by Swienty?
I am particularly interested in something of that quality in a National 14 x 12 size.
I understand Murray is the man for Langstroth polyhives, but haven't looked past making my own boxes from plywood as yet. I work with poly Langstroth boxes and am more than sufficiently impressed, but wish to remain at National 14 x 12 size. Are you able to point me in an appropriate direction at all please?

Yes they are high density and in fact made by Swienty. However they are only available is these configurations: Langstroth, smith and National and a 10 frame National at that. Murray McGregor at Denrosa apiaries has these.

Hamish Robertson at Struan Apiaries also has Langstroth poly for sale.

Yes Admin they are too small. I always thought the National too small but the reality in the UK is that the most common size is National. To be honest Langstroth is not that much bigger and so double broods are required. I ha having to use that system myself for the first time. Damn nuisance but there it is.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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If you allready have standard national brood box's,and want to use commercial frames, you can very easily use commercial frames in them,with a simple convertor.
 

hedgerow pete 

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pete in wilts welcome , you have just stumbled apon the main topic of any bee keeprs argument. the whole issue of brood box singulare or double is no that has been going for years with more to come, the whole condensed points are these

1. do you want a polyhive or wood
poly hives you buy but are of much better quality than a wooden one you will make but if you buy a proper ceder one it is the same ( life time use ect,) but polyhives are warmer to the bees than wood

2, once decided on material decide on size of frames not hive style more to follow
once all that is sorted the hive is forced upon you end of
there is only one exception and that is the wbc hive, if you speek to any one who keeps bees they will all slag it off , it has many many reasons to do so as well, but still own two and have built three this year for my newbee's, because if you are to have just one hive they brilliant any where and look fanstastic, a bit of an astin martin on a desert island beautiful but impractical, but i will always have one going, now that i have put the cat amongst the birds lets realy upset evryone with the next message and i will explain the two brood box bits
 

hedgerow pete 

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most of the below was taken from the book , Practical bee keeping by Clive de Bruyn, one of the better books to learn from

If one works on the princible that an average queen can lay 2000 eggs per day. Some strain will lay less and a few a little more but 2000 eggs in a day is a standard figure that most will not be able to match, so we now go to the following simple agrement that after egg has been laid the worker will occupy the cell for 21 days, so we need 2000 cells per day and 21 days long thats 42,000 cells needed before she can reuse the old and first cell again, if we also allow for drone cells 500 and honey stores 10,000 and some pollen 10,000 and lets have some unused or unwanted cells 9,500,
we now have to supply in a brood box at least 72,000 cells for the girls to use roughly
has that made your head hurt yet, well theres more

now lets talk cell sizes each cell is 5mm so thats for cells to a square centimetre and a standard british brood frame can hold 5,200 so we now have what the girls want size wise and what we can supply, where have i heard that conversation before ??

so lets see what we have for the ladies
National size brood box of 11 frame will have around 57,100 cells so that is a bit cramped and with todays super ? bees far to small
we could use the extra deep like the ones i have and will always use 12 x 14 frames will give us 78,550 cells so thats 5,000 more than needed still enough for a normal bee but maybe a little tight for our so called super bees, we could add a half frame or a hony super to the brood box but that will only add 35,000 more cells to our brood
wbc is tiny only haveing 52,000 very cramped!!
smith hive will give use a brood of 57,000 cells but the scotish are always tight and never give the ladies what they realy want ( only jokeing)
how about a commercial hive she will give us 74,250 cells for the ladies so thats around 2,000 more but with our new super bees maybe not enough
langstroth hive is used the world over and will produce 72,250 cells a lovely fit but maybe a little small for our modern bee perhaps so we are left with brother adams dadant hive , easily producing 93,700 cells without evan trying,
so why have we not all burnt our hives and run out to get dadants
instead ??? simple the bees i have are able to live very happily in my simple 78,550 cell home and have done for years ago and to come, there is alot of new? bee strains and breeds coming into the market and these new bees start earlier and breed quicker and do everything differant than the hives of old, that is also why we keep getting new hive designs from every where, but i have noticed they are mainly from the uk not europe, now does that realy cofuse you or what, now sit back and watch the arguements start about double drood boxes and all sorts of other junk, from someone who has looked at bee keeping from a commercial point of view time is money etc, think of this why double the amount of work you have to do from looking at 10 or 12 frames to 20 to 24 frames and having to shift another box and causing alsorts of problems for the ladies when we can do it with one
 

admin 

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I also run one WBC,it even has the solid floor.

I moved the bees over to a national about 6 weeks ago so I could give the boxes a good burn and a scrub.

Dad has finished sanding down and painting the outer lifts and she is ready for action again.
 

peteinwilts 

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I am struggling to find pictures of poly hives. I presume they are polystyrene lined hives??
You also say poly hives are warmer in winter which leads to another question. All the pictures of hives I have seen are on a low stand.
I have a couple of birds of prey and the very basics of birdkeeping (which I DO understand!) suggests that bird perches should be a minimum of four feet from the ground to stop them being affected by frost.

don't bees suffer with the same problem? (hence poly hives are better (?) )
 

Finman 

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I hould be a minimum of four feet from the ground to stop them being affected by frost.
My hivestands are one feet high and we have -20C or even -30C frost.

If bees have sugar in their hives, they generate their heat there.

Hive on ground makes moisture problems.
 

Poly Hive 

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Classic error. Poly hives are injection moulded poly which is extremely strong. When I took beginners classes I used to jump on one to show the density.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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The poly hives i've seen on some german film have flush fitting roofs held on by clips,does the roof on these in the pictures have clips somewhere?
 

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