What hive?

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Sep 13, 2011
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Hive Type
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I have kept bees for a long time and have my own ideas BUT my nephew has asked as a beginner (moving to Cornwall) what hive he should use. I find it a bit difficult to give a definitive answer and know the advantages and disadvantages of the different types. In retrospect - what would the more mature experienced beekeepers choose if they were starting all over again. Langstroth, national, wood or poly etc Look forward to your opinions.
I've only used nationals, though have helped out with a top-bar.
Partly due to the positioning of my hives (some are close together) I prefer to examine them from behind. I then find the frames much easier to handle if they are "warm ways", so personally I wouldn't choose a hive that wouldn't allow that configuration.
I started with topbar hives, switched to Langstroth jumbos and now run those for honey and Nationals for nucs to sell.

My personal view:
If you are a semi competent DIYer and know you way around beekeeping, Langstroth are simpler and easier. BUT incompatible to some extent with nationals, (which can be remedied to some extent with woodwork)

If you don't DIY or are a beginner and not very competent, Nationals are easier.. (But double brood and brood and a half are horrible workarounds for a too small brood box and involve more work).
For 90% of people, I would suggest Nationals..if you only want 4 hives...

I find it hard to recommend topbar hives.
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