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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    I'm going to try another two queen hive this year, if I get time. It will be a medium depth hive three boxes wide with a long bottom board that opens on the long side. In other words the openings are on the same side as a regular hive. A groove cut at the spots that a standard 10 frame box will land will have a queen excluder cut to fit in the groove and down to the bottom. That leaves an open compartment seperated into three by queen excluders. Each of the compartments opens the same direction. You can block the entrances on the two outside boxes and just let the bees into the center. The center is the "super" area and the outsides are the queen compartments. You can add a medium box to either end to give more brood area, and stack up the supers in the middle. Each brood area is accessable without removing any supers. If you NEED to bait supers you could put a queen excluder on the queen areas and put supers on them. Each of the three stacks would have migratory coves on them. This is the best design I've come up with for a two queen hive. It would look something like this:
    ....._____
    .___|___|___
    |Q__.___.__Q|

    and build up to this:
    ....._____
    .....|___|
    .___|___|___
    |___|___|___|
    |Q__.___.__Q|

    (sorry about the leading periods. The spaces get removed)

    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited December 12, 2003).]

    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited December 12, 2003).]

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    I built some 5 frame nuc boxes that have served various functions. The next idea I had for them was to add 5 frame deep supers over them and put excluders over that. That creates 2 10 frame brood boxes 5 over 5. With a couple of strips of wood I can put standard 10 frame supers over that. (and pile them up to the sky) At least this experiment would not require much special equipment and I could make it a standard 1 queen hive in an hour. Comments?

    Dick Marron

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    I did something similar by making a 12 frame box with a divider and a queen on each side. It worked fine. The principle would be the same. It was a pain though, mostly because I had the strongest hive I'd ever dealt with, stacked up to the sky (as you say) and to get to the brood chamber to see what was going on required a lot of work and disruption with a very strong hive. I was a newbie at the time and it was frightening, not mention a lot of work.

    It would be a fun experiment. My goal was to simplify the work involved. Your goal is to simplify the equipment involved. I was going to build the hive anyway for queen rearing activities.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    770

    Question

    Michael,
    This sounds like an interesting experiment for next season. What are the overall dimensions of the long bottom box? I'm guessing 48 3/4" (3 X standard box width), but then the queen excluder would be ~1" from the last frame in a brood chamber (or do you add an extra frame?). Also, do you cut down a standard plastic queen excluder to fit?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    >This sounds like an interesting experiment for next season. What are the overall dimensions of the long bottom box? I'm guessing 48 3/4" (3 X standard box width),

    Correct.

    >but then the queen excluder would be ~1" from the last frame in a brood chamber (or do you add an extra frame?).

    I add an extra frame. If you crowd the frames together (and I always do) and start the first one 1/4" from the outside you can get an extra one in easily.

    >Also, do you cut down a standard plastic queen excluder to fit?

    I haven't done the excluder yet, but I was going to cut down a metal one so it would be stiff. Probably one of the wood bound ones that the binding came off of. It should be short enough in length to fit in the slot and only need to be cut for width. Some of the newer plastic ones might be stiff enough, or I could cut a piece of 1/4" ply with a hole on the middle and staple and/or glue a plastic excluder to that.

    I'm thinking, since I have some deeps frames around and I wanted to start some Dadant deep hives, I'll build three of these. One in medium (6 5/8") one in deep (9 5/8") and one in Dadant deep (11 5/8").

    The other thing is, if you have some solid partitions you can use this to raise queens and change from a queenless portion (for cell starter) to a queenright hive by pulling the partition.

    Also you could do a "cut down split" ala Taylor or Killion by dividing up the hive with solid partitions and opening the "brood" side to the back and leaving the "comb honey" side open to the front. The field bees will all return to the "comb honey" side.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    770

    Post

    I'll probably use standard deep frames for the bottom box sitting on a sectioned screened bottom board. The 2nd layer and middle stack would be 6 5/8 PC supers. How do you populate a hive like this so that the bees don't fight when they meet in the center? In NC I'd need to have the bees installed and the queen laying by March 1 in order to make the mid-April Tulip Poplar honey flow - so most likely I would need to combine two existing colonies (feral bees from about Sept of this year assuming they survive the winter).

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    Way's I've set up two queen hives:

    Combine (as you say). Just put a piece of newspaper between the two colonies you put on the outsides of the three box horizontal.

    A virgin queen. Put a virgin queen in one side and the queen in the other. Block all entrances except the side that has the virgin so the mated queen doesn't come back to the wrong side.

    Two new queens. If you kill the old queen and put a cage in each side and wait until they are acting accepting and then release both queens (each on their side).

    Temorary queenlessness (forced supercedure). Put some new eggs on the side that is queenless and put in a partition to get it to be queenless. After the queen cells are started put in the queen excluder instead of the partition. Again you need something to keep the returning virgin from going to the wrong side, so just block the center and the queenright side.

    The one way that I don't think will work is a new laying queen on one side and the old laying queen on the other.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    770

    Post

    I'm about ready to try the 2-queen 3-box horizontal experiment. The hive is a 48 3/4 X 19 7/8 deep with screened bottom board and cut-down queen excluders to divide it into 3 sections. Where's the best place to put a drone exit/entry for each brood chamber?
    I think a top entrance on each end would work, but then the drones may attempt to return via the main (middle section) entrance. Does it matter if they can't get back into the brood chamber?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    >I'm about ready to try the 2-queen 3-box horizontal experiment. The hive is a 48 3/4 X 19 7/8 deep with screened bottom board and cut-down queen excluders to divide it into 3 sections.

    Cool!

    >Where's the best place to put a drone exit/entry for each brood chamber?
    I think a top entrance on each end would work,

    That is what I would do.

    >but then the drones may attempt to return via the main (middle section) entrance. Does it matter if they can't get back into the brood chamber?

    No. It doesn't matter. Just so they aren't trapped in the brood chamber. Most will get back the way they left. And even if some don't who cares?

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