Which Hive is Best?

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tberni 

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Lots of new beekeepers starting this year and this looks likely to continue for many years to come. I was just wondering today, if I was starting out for the first time what hive would I choose, as its probably best to really have 1 type.

I have different hives. Nationals, Commercials, 14 x 12s and I even have a couple of Dartingtons which are nice hives for a garden - provided that you have a removable floor or the winter bees can clogg up the entrance.

I think I would personally go for the 14x12s. They are lovely hives. Lots of brood space, lovely frames to pick up - wheras commercials are more finger tip handling for both frames and the hive. The 14 x 12s hive itself, are very user friendly to pick up and move as externally they are same as a National design.
 

Brosville 

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TBH or Warré for a thousand reasons, not least because they put the bees first! (if you have a dodgy back, the tbh wins hands down (pun!) :coolgleamA:
 

Moonglow 

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There is no correct answer to what hive is best ,only what is best for you,there are definitly advantages in having the same frame size for all your hives ,but one factor I took into consideration was what type other local beekeepers had(14 X12 Nationals ) this has helped me more than once by loaning equipment
 

oliver90owner 

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tberni,

or the winter bees can clogg up the entrance.

I really don't know where you are coming from with that statement. Just simply not true unless your method of using your Dartingtons is seriously flawed, or you are not actually using them. The bees should be no where near the entrance during wintering! Streets ahead/better than any National with entrance block and/or mouseguard

Regards, RAB
 

Onge 

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Poly Langstroth.
 

MuswellMetro 

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14x12
Poly Langstroth.
Poly Nationals....maybe, only one out of eighty of our BKA members use langstoths . the rest use a mixed of 14x12s ( national, dartington, beehaus and one hedgecoe) and others are BS nationals on brood and half

Nats may not be easiest to use but there are a lot of them ...in that i mean excluding scotland and the rest of the world
 

Poly Hive 

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Lots of Nationals in Scotland in fact.

I know this is banging the drum but poly is the future. One country has stopped selling timber hives... Denmark I think.

PH
 

Rosti 

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For me and my kind of keeping 14x12. Reasoning being,

better brood space
more sustainable over wintering without resorting to brood and 1/2
Can buy second hand kit (std national) but easy to 'extend to 14x12 - cheap B&Q sourced pine but can get the size in cedar as well.

I started on std national and I am converting at the moment (just taking a rape crop before I do)
 

tberni 

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Maybe I'll have to have a look at a poly langstroth.

Further to my original comment, in a Dartington the bees can clogg up some of the entrance during winter time just like they can in all hives, despite them clustering in the middle - but the Dartingtons not as user friendly to quickly sweep out dead bees. Bee inspector I spoke to last summer of 20 years said the same thing and I think he knows what hes talking about.

I do agree though that the Dartington is slightly better for a hobbyist starting out than a National - provided of course that its not the middle of the season and you need to move it to another part of your garden, as with 3 supers on - your talking a total of 200 pounds plus. But, I do use my 2 Dartingtons. I have 4 very strong hives of bees in them and they make good table top hives.
 

oliver90owner 

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but the Dartingtons not as user friendly to quickly sweep out dead bees.

I don't sweep out dead bees during the winter. I simply sweep them to the back of the hive, when doing the spring clean, and clean them out from there at my leisure after the brood has been closed up. No sweat. Battery operated vacuum cleaner would be a luxury.

The end top cover can be easily removed for checking, if one wanted to, during the winter as it affects not a thing, with regard to the cluster. With a 370mm wide entrance slot, there is little to worry about, in my experience.

Dartingtons have their drawbacks, but overwintering is definitely not one of them.

Regards, RAB
 

ENZO 

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I think a poly 14x12 would be the answer for me, will just have to wait until someone makes one.

Enzo
 

MuswellMetro 

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I think a poly 14x12 would be the answer for me, will just have to wait until someone makes one.

Enzo
well, just been thinking the same

14x12 frames are 304mm...top space +1mm, bottom space + 7mm/9mm that give 312mm/314mm

supers are 150 and floors normally are +21mm

so two poly super plus floor should give 321mm

so thinking of using two poly supers as a 14X12 brood box

any veiws if it would work?...one size box system
 
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