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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Louisa VA, USA
    Posts
    28

    Post

    I am planning on adding 5 hives to my apiary next year and am working out what needs to be purchased. I have read many of Dee's articles on small cell beekeeping, and would like to start all of the hives on small cell from dadant. Buckeye Bee in Ohio says they have package bees that were raised on small cell. My question is really this: should I purchase only deep supers, and buy small cell for all of them? Does anyone else do this? One obvious advantage i can think of is that you will have lots of small cell comb to raise other colonies on, and all of your frames would be interchangable. Is it necessary to use small cell in the honey supers? I only have 1 hive so far, so I would like to start now using the organic - drug free beekeeping methods. If i should only use two deeps, and buy medium or shallow supers, should I still use deeps so I can split my 5 hives with 4 deeps to 10 hives with 2 deeps the second year - and just purchase honey supers the second year? I will try to regress my 1 hive, just for the learning experience. It is a DE hive from David Eyre at www.beeworks.com. I was also thinking about using his Langstroth modification kits for my 5 hives.

    Thanks from a newbee,

    Chris Williams

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Post

    >I have read many of Dee's articles on small cell beekeeping, and would like to start all of the hives on small cell from dadant.

    I think that's a good plan.

    >Buckeye Bee in Ohio says they have package bees that were raised on small cell.

    A good start.

    > My question is really this: should I purchase only deep supers, and buy small cell for all of them? Does anyone else do this?

    Whatever you use I would use all the same size frames. Personally, I went for mediums. I know the foundation only comes in deep, but when I use it, I just cut it in half and leave a gap at the bottom. Dee uses all deeps but she also leaves a gap at the bottom of the foundation. Many SC beekepers are using all deeps. My problem is that a deep full of honey weighs 90 to 100 pounds and a medium weighs about 60. I've lifted too many full deeps in my time.

    As far as the small cell in the supers, the main advantage, if the bees draw it small, is you don't have to use an excluder and you don't care if the queen lays in the supers. Which, to me, is an unlimited brood nest.

    > One obvious advantage i can think of is that you will have lots of small cell comb to raise other colonies on, and all of your frames would be interchangable.

    It's hard to get good 4.9mm drawn in the honey storage areas so they may not end up interchangable, but I think that is the goal and is what Dee tries to have.

    > Is it necessary to use small cell in the honey supers?

    Not everyone does, but I think it simplyfies life. Especially if you can get it all drawn small.

    >If i should only use two deeps, and buy medium or shallow supers, should I still use deeps so I can split my 5 hives with 4 deeps to 10 hives with 2 deeps the second year - and just purchase honey supers the second year?

    As I said, I think you should only use one size frame. It will simplify your managment tremendously. And since I don't like lifting 100 pound boxes, I use all mediums. But whatever you do, go with all one size. If you want to follow Dee's example of an unlimited brood nest (which I've been doing for 30 years) then you NEED to use all the same size frames to do it easily and well.

    Some other options if you really want to do all deeps is to move them a frame at a time (too time consuming for me). Or buy eight frame deep boxes. A full eight frame deep weighs only about 60 pounds, the same as a 10 frame medium. But to be honest, I'm only buying eigh frame mediums now which weigh about 48 pounds full. And the weight in an eight frame box feels a bit lighter because the two frames you got rid of were the two the furthest from your body, with the most leverage, when you carry the box.

    > I will try to regress my 1 hive, just for the learning experience. It is a DE hive from David Eyre at www.beeworks.com.

    I have four of them. Except for being non-standard, they are a very nice hive design.

    > I was also thinking about using his Langstroth modification kits for my 5 hives.

    I like them. They aren't cheap but they are very nice. Of course if you are buying them up front you'll have the bottom and tops so you only need to buy the boxes and frames.

    Personally, I like the SBB (Screened Bottom Boards), which David does not. I've also moved to top entrances to deal with the skunks, opossums and mice.

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