Looking for thoughts and input from anyone with experience with the D.E. ventilated hives as found on www.beeworks.com.
The claims are astounding in regard to production, lack of fungus, etc.
Anyone use them?? Are there plans available??
I am starting new next spring and these sure sound like the only way to go!
Do a search on this site for DE. Or search for my posts, there is one I posted asking about DE. Michael Bush responded with 7/8 links.
I'm going to try one of the modification kits. I would like to know about the frames they use though. The claim about no propolis is interesting.
I did a search and read back a year or so.
The only reference to DE hives is the cover and bottom.
The DE hive site claims the supers, frames, etc. are far better as well with less propolis, etc.
I just have to believe that someone has plans for the total hive. I wish I could afford to buy a complete hive from them and copy it...... unscrupulous I know but I am but a mere serf.
Michael Bush is the only one I remember who says he has some of these hives. He usually answers by now. If he hasn't answered by tomorrow, I'd repost in the 101 forum where he usually hangs out. Mention that you've posted here and the specific questions you have.
On their website, under the queen rearing section you'll see some pictures of a frame from a mating nuc. I think these are the frames. You just can't see much. The hive body looks a bit like the National Hive used in England.
I posted quite a few replies on just the DE hive as well as the vent kits.
Here are a couple of discussions of the DE Hives.
Here's what I like about the DE hive:
o It has good ventilation (but you can use the Lanstroth kit to provide this for your Lanstroth)
o It has the frames running so you can stand behind it to work it. (but you can get this in a Lanstroth by using the kit)
o It has a system that almost eliminates having to break frames loose. This keeps the bees calmer, especially when working the brood chamber. (this you cannot get by using the Lanstroth kit)
o It is nice dimensions from the bee's perspective. It's a square box and has 11 frames that the queens fills out nicely. (this you cannot get from a standard Lanstroth hive)
o The frame design is very light, very strong and very good at keeping the foundation straight in the frame. I wish I could get such well designed frames for a Langstroth.
o The DE frames are really light to handle.
o The DE frames are dimisions such that you almost never have to use a capping scratcher.
o The long end bars are really nice for handling the frames, especially when you're extracting but also when you're working a hive.
What I don't like about the DE hive:
o My biggest irritaion is that it is not a standard size. This is no end of frustration when you see something really useful, but it won't work with them. Like a nice triangular bee escape or a top feeder or a bound queen excluder. I get around it a lot by building things that are universal. e.g. a bottom board with 1 1/2" edges instead of 3/4" that is sized long enough for a Lang. I can put either a Lanstroth or a DE on it. I built several adapters and often mix the DE supers and Lanstroths. Also since it's not standard I can't buy stuff already assembled when I'm short of supers or hives and don't have time to build them.
o There's this space around the ends of the top bars, that the bees can't get to when the hive is closed. The purpose is to keep the bees from popolizing the ends of the bars. My problem with them is the bees run into them when I have the hive open and I can't get them out. Shades of the Arizona, they get trapped in there when I put the covers back on or a super on.
o I did have to modify my extractor to fit them. Maybe some wouldn't but the top part of the rack was spaced too far, so I had to get three threaded rods and replace the ones that came with the extractor. Now it works for either DE's or Lanstroths.
o The long end bars (which are so nice to handle) stick down more so you can't have as much honey in the tank before they hit the honey and bog down the motor.
o It takes practice to not knock off the little plastic spacers on the ends of the bars when you're uncapping. It's kind of frustrating to be looking through a bunch of cappings for missing ones.
As you can see there's more I like than don't, but the big problem is the non-standard size.
Oh... I remember another thing I like. The frames have grooves in the side bars to help hold the foundation straight.
My aim is to go commercial as quickly as practical (or perhaps immpractical).
Am I right in assuming you would go with Lang's with the DE mod?? This presumes getting some Langs at a reasonable cost...
DE's are nice, but I think they are too expensive for a commercial operation. The DE Vent kit is also expensive. I have several of them and like them a lot.
But what I am buying/building is either standard Lanstroth equipment, (all medium depth) standard 8 frame equipment (lighter to lift) and long hives (less lifting all together). What I have for ventilation is a SBB with the entrance nailed shut and a migratory cover with a shim the runs the width of the hive on each end to make a top entrance (the "warm" way, like the DE Vent kit). Between the SBB letting the air in and the top entrance letting the air out, I've had good luck with it. I haven't overwintered in this arrangement yet, but I don't forsee any problems with it other than I will have to reduce the entrance.
You just can't beat the price and convienice of having standard frames and standard equipment.
I have one too. I agree with what Michael said. Also you have to make sure you slide your hive tool across the tops of all of the frames and pry upward before lifting the boxes off. The frames in the lower box will be stuck to the ones in the upper box by burr comb or propolis so when you lift off the box several frames from below will come with it otherwise.
i read about the DE hives mod-kit ,never seen one though , my question is do the bees build in that 8" space above the inter cover ?
>I read about the DE hives mod-kit ,never seen one though , my question is do the bees build in that 8" space above the inter cover ?
The inner cover has three holes in it. Two of the the normal size and one round one in the middle. ALL of them are covered with screen, so the bees can't GET to the ventilation space in the "attic".
The DE hive has very thin bars. They are light and easy to handle, but the down side of thin top bars is burr comb between the boxes. I did have to change my habits when managing them to make sure I didn't pick a frame from the box below up with the box I'm removing.