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Thread: DE Hive

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Julian, NC, USA
    Posts
    252

    Exclamation

    Some pretty awesome claims at http://beeworks.com/ModKitdetails.htm
    Is anyone willing to validate the increase in honey production and decrease in swarming by using the D.E. Hive?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,127

    Post

    When you're running only four DE hives for four years or so it's hard to say with authority how the same bees would have done in other hives. I think the ventilation does help with the production and the swarming. I think the entrance going the other way makes it easier to work. (This is true of the mod kit, which I have several of, and the DE hives). The DE hives have plastic spacers and the hives are designed so the bees can't get to the end bars to propolize them, so the frames come apart very easily without any popping which, as you've probably observed, upsets the bees.

    I've gotten awesome crops from the bees in my DE hives. Whether that is due to the hive, the weather, luck or the Buckfast bees I had in them is hard to say. But I've typically gotten 250 to 300 pounds of honey or more off of a hive.

    I think you can add a vent box to the top of a hive and a slatted rack on a Screened Bottom Board and get most, if not all, of the same effect.

    To make a vent box, take a medium or shallow super and put two holes 3/4" to 1" on each side and cover them with #8 hardware cloth. Put a couple more holes in the inner cover and cover them with #8 hardware cloth. Put the vent box on top of the inner cover with a lid on top of that and you have a vent box.

    The DE Mod kit is very well made, light weight, well designed (the slope of the holes runs any water out the blows in, the two peice top is adjustable for winter and summer etc.) and kind of expensive. I highly recommend them for a hobbiest. They are a bit expensive for a commercial operator.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Julian, NC, USA
    Posts
    252

    Post

    Michael:
    While I understand that the D.E. hives are a little more expensive on the front end, surely reduced swarming and a larger honey crop would repay you in no time.

    "I've gotten awesome crops from the bees in my DE hives. Whether that is due to the hive, the weather, luck or the Buckfast bees I had in them is hard to say. But I've typically gotten 250 to 300 pounds of honey or more off of a hive."

    Would you please comment on the amount of honey you got from other hives that you ran at the same time and in similar locations?
    The way I see it a hobbiest would only have to get an additional 20 lbs of honey to justify the cost of the D.E. mod kit.

    Thanks, Kurt

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,127

    Post

    >While I understand that the D.E. hives are a little more expensive on the front end, surely reduced swarming and a larger honey crop would repay you in no time.

    Theory is a wonderful place. If you spent the money on cheap standard equipment you could probably set up two hives instead of one. On the other hand if you only have room for two hives in your yard, why not have a Lincoln instead of a Chevy?

    >Would you please comment on the amount of honey you got from other hives that you ran at the same time and in similar locations?
    The way I see it a hobbiest would only have to get an additional 20 lbs of honey to justify the cost of the D.E. mod kit.

    At the time I got those yeilds I was running four hives, all DE. I had no other hives in any other location nor in any other equipment, so, as I said, it's hard to say for sure what the cause was, but I certainly think the DE hives helped. These were real DE hives, not the mod kits on Lanstroth hives. Since then I have put Mod kits on Lanstroth hives and have had good results, but I can't say they were as good. But again, I can't say that it's because of the hive, because there was a drought and the DE hives didn't do as well those years either but they still did quite well and, if I remember right, still did a little better than the Lanstroth hives on the mod kits. It's still not a big enough sample to say which is better. I bought the DE's, rather than just the mod kit, because I wanted to try the concept of not having the propolis sticking everything together and the added upset to the hive from popping the frames apart.

    FYI the DE is different in several ways in addition to the ventilation system. The frames are thin and light and not as wide as a Langstroth by 1 1/2". And that's just the top bar. The actual frame is about another inch less wide. The top bars and bottom bars and end bars are thin so there is more comb space for the size of frame. But the thin bars encourages burr between the boxes and you sometimes have to pry on each frame to get it loose from the one above. I've had the same effect with PermaComb and think it gives the queen a bigger virtual comb to lay on because of the continuity between the boxes. So in spite of the inconvenience to me, I think the hive is more productive because of it. The box is 1 1/2" less wide and 1 1/2" longer so the DE box is square and holds 11 frames. I made an adapter by taking four 3/4" boards and making two make up the difference in length for the DE and the other two offset so they make up the difference on width for the Langstroth. It is simple to make and use and I mix the equipment all the time. But a Langsroth cover, innercover, bottom board, queen excluder etc. will not fit without an adapter.

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