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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,320

    Default i) Hive design, what type?

    For discussion of the various types of hives; Langstroth, Top Bar, etc., and how to do an initial setup. Things to consider, pros and cons, such as future extracting issues and supering. Frame and foundation types.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-02-2009 at 01:50 PM.
    Regards, Barry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

    Default 8 frame vs. 10 frame equipment

    Unsure if this topic belongs, but you may want to consider getting and starting out on 8 frame equipment, and stick with it.

    I use 10 frame, but I'm fairly young (43) and in great shape, no bad back or knees. A lot of older beeks advocate the 8 frame medium super, and build the brood hive 3 boxes tall.

    8-frame mediums are supposedly far easier to lift and manipulate than 10 frame. Something to consider.
    "...the most populous colonies ...are provided by queens ...in the year following their birth." Brother Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    berkley county, WV
    Posts
    429

    Default

    for a beginner I would advise langstroth hives over top bar hives. I think they are easier to manipulate without damaging the comb. start small ( 2 hives) you will grow faster than you think. be ready for anything to give you more bees. Initial setup would be close to home, easy access, level ground to start with. build everything you can, ( just to understand what it takes to make it). consider your health age and strength when deciding on brood box size, (deep vs medium, 8 frame vs 10 frame); your patience level and finances when deciding on foundation,(wax, wired wax, duraguilt, pierco, foundationless); your comfort with bees for your basic equiptment ( gloves and veil vs full bee suit). beginners have a year before a serious honey crop, so they should have an idea if they want to continue before they need to consider honey supers. by the time they are getting ready for that, they need to consider what they are going to do for them. again consider age, health, strength, and access to the hives (shallow =35 lbs, med = 50 lbs, deeps = 90 lbs). cut comb and crush and strain use no foundation, ross rounds need a different frame, extractors are hard on unsupported wax. I know I am missing a ton of other things they need to consider, but i think this is the high lights

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fatscher View Post
    I use 10 frame, but I'm fairly young (43) and in great shape, no bad back or knees. A lot of older beeks advocate the 8 frame medium super, and build the brood hive 3 boxes tall.

    8-frame mediums are supposedly far easier to lift and manipulate than 10 frame. Something to consider.
    8-frame equipment is also good if you want to include younger kids. The 10-frame equipment is too big and heavy for most pre-teens to manage.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    635

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    For discussion of the various types of hives; Langstroth, Top Bar, etc., and how to do an initial setup. Things to consider, pros and cons, such as future extracting issues and supering. Frame and foundation types.
    I would stay with the standard 10 frame Langstroth hive. maintainance of the thes hives are easier. shallow supers for honey super can be used for ease. It easier to sell this equipment if the time comes.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Paw Paw, IL
    Posts
    75

    Default

    I have enjoyed using all mediums. It's been very nice to be able to move frames and boxes from top to bottom without having to think about it.

    For those of you who are good with a saw and measurement. I started off by buying 2 medium 10 frame boxes. After making sure that they were exactly the same. I assembled one and used the other one to size up parts. I switched the type of joint on the end to rabbit joints and used tightbond 2 and screws. With the value wood at menards and a table saw I was able to make a medium for 2 dollars. After you make a box you should check it with the store bought assembled one and also put 10 frames in it to see if they fit just as good. For a hand hold I use two small wood chunks. I've really enjoyed making my own boxes and painting them all sorts of colors.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Default

    What's standard in your area? I use bottom space Nationals since everyone else round here does. Bottom space isn't ideal, but when I get secondhand gear, it's compaible with what I already have.
    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,709

    Default

    I like the standard 10 frame. I think most like the finger cut or finger-lock corners the most. Does anyone like Rabbeted Hive Bodies rather than the finger-lock corners?

    Still trying to work on making my own hives, but having problems with the handles.
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default

    The box joint is far superior as long as you glue all the surfaces. They'll weather much better and have a lot less problems with expansion/contraction over their lifetime.

    Just use cleats (1" x 2") fastened to the outside for handles. Far easier than trying to cut handles into the sides.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Middlesex NC
    Posts
    75

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eaglerock View Post
    I like the standard 10 frame. I think most like the finger cut or finger-lock corners the most. Does anyone like Rabbeted Hive Bodies rather than the finger-lock corners?

    Still trying to work on making my own hives, but having problems with the handles.
    I like the rabbeted better, less end grain to rot and with todays glue you don't have to worry about them falling apart. I know that if you keep them painted one joint will last as long as another IMO however by some of the photos I've seen of a lot of hives painting seems to be the last thing on the agenda. I also like the 8 frame hive with deep bodies and medium supers, how often are you going to be lifting the brood chambers and as to selling 8 frame equipment I didn't get into this to resell it later if thats your thinking maybe you should reconsider BeeKeeping as a hobby! Just my opinion!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,709

    Default

    [QUOTE=NashBeek;398003]I like the rabbeted better, less end grain to rot and with todays glue you don't have to worry about them falling apart. I know that if you keep them painted one joint will last as long as another IMO however by some of the photos I've seen of a lot of hives painting seems to be the last thing on the agenda. QUOTE]

    I think I like the finger joint, but I do have some that are rabbeted and I keep mine well painted... always have even when I started back in the 60's. I like them to look nice as well asn keep them from rottttttt. I never have used glue, ever. I like it as safe and natural for them. I don't like using plastic. After all, plastic is Petroleum, and that is not healthy for anyone. They are now showing that water in plastic is not as healthy as tap water....because of the plastic bottles. I use to buy if by the case too...
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Default

    Hi Eaglerock, you mention some joints that I am not familiar with. The traditionals are finger joints. I have used half bling dovetails and liked them because I don't like end wood exposed. Now I am using Miter Lock joints that have no end wood exposure at all and seem to me to be the strongest. I use TiteBondIII glue and find there is very little exposure of the glue to areas where the bees can get to. Finger Joints on the table saw are a bit dangerous to me and if there is just a little variation in the spacing the corners don't match up. But then again, it's just my opinion. Take care and have fun

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
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    1,709

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Cantacuzene View Post
    Hi Eaglerock, you mention some joints that I am not familiar with. The traditionals are finger joints. I have used half bling dovetails and liked them because I don't like end wood exposed. Now I am using Miter Lock joints that have no end wood exposure at all and seem to me to be the strongest. I use TiteBondIII glue and find there is very little exposure of the glue to areas where the bees can get to. Finger Joints on the table saw are a bit dangerous to me and if there is just a little variation in the spacing the corners don't match up. But then again, it's just my opinion. Take care and have fun
    http://www.millerbeesupply.com/Page8 This is the rabbeted joine I was talking about. Finger joints are easily done on a table saw by making a jig.
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Spartanburg South Carolina
    Posts
    144

    Default hive design what type

    I too make all my own Hives I perfere the box joints it is easy to square up
    and for cutting hand holes in the box that is not a problem just make a mark on the saw fence in line with arbor and make marks on the inside of hive in center with small square then place a mark on each side of center then set hive on saw with first mark with mark on saw fence and push to end marks and lift off all cut are madewith dado blade if slot is not big enough just move fence on way or the other after all cut have been made one time

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    746

    Default

    I'm using all 10 frame equipment, when I get older or sore,I will put a piece of1 inch high density styrofoam in place of the #1 and #10 frames, even a little extra insulation. In our club everyone uses 10 frame , boxes are donated to the club , covers bottoms , its all 10 frame..
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Shelby, TN, USA
    Posts
    41

    Default

    So if you are starting out is it better to learn on a TBH or Langstroth?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,863

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Templar Ben View Post
    So if you are starting out is it better to learn on a TBH or Langstroth?
    {Cutting and pasting a reply I wrote earlier today on a farming forum to another excited newbe planning to start beekeeping with a TB hive:]

    I worked (minimally) with bees many years ago and am getting back into it this year. I'm in the middle of a 12 week beekeeping course run by the Western Maine Beekeeper's association and strongly recommend such a course for other new beekeepers.

    I am also interested in the simplicity of top bar hives but I'll be starting again with one Langstroth hive. There are a number of reasons for this. I have a little experience with that type. The course I'm taking revolves around it. The members of the association are all using those hives and those are the folks I will need to help me out in a pinch. That hive can be a source of bees for a new top bar hive. And the Langstroth is a reliable type of hive for over-wintering in the frigid north.

    In short, I need to get myself back up to speed in the usual method of beekeeping before I decide another method is "better for the bees" as you say.

    There are beekeepers using top bar hives successfully in the north. There are also beeks using top bars in Langstroth hives, a method I will be trying also. Also small-cell foundation in frames. There are many ways to keep bees naturally and I would be mistaken if I thought I had the knowledge to say which one is better for the bees without having the experience of trying them all or a means of comparison. (I've read a lot about TB hives and a lot makes good sense to me but before I commit to any "ideology," I need a bit experience to determine its suitability.)

    The hive I am starting this Spring from a nuc could possibly be split later to start a top bar hive. Or I might be lucky enough to capture a swarm. In any case, I'll have a top bar hive ready to try.

    {end of cut/paste}

    Just my opinion. Subject to change.

    Wayne
    Last edited by waynesgarden; 02-28-2009 at 09:57 AM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Shelby, TN, USA
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Fair enough. I am a bit further south but it does get cold here. How is extraction done with TBH or is it all pretty much comb for sale?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,863

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Templar Ben View Post
    Fair enough. I am a bit further south but it does get cold here. How is extraction done with TBH or is it all pretty much comb for sale?
    Crushing and straining is the method that I've read about.

    Wayne

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    York County, Maine, USA
    Posts
    40

    Question 2 deeps or 3 mediums to start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by danameric View Post
    I have enjoyed using all mediums. It's been very nice to be able to move frames and boxes from top to bottom without having to think about it.
    i am trying to decide between 2 deeps or 3 mediums for my first hives.

    while i certainly see the advantages of the mediums (weight and interchangeability) i wonder what people think about how to deal with getting nucs - as they seem to be primarily raised in deeps.

    are there other equipment issues that i will run into if i have no deeps in my hives? things like "drone frames" or anything else that might only come in deep?

    i have even seen it setups of 1 deep sandwiched between 2 mediums (in the Ross Conrad book Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture)

    thanks in advance for any thoughts

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