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  1. #1
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    Default jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    I have standardized on all medium hive bodies in my 10 hive backyard apiary. That is, 3 mediums for the brood chamber, and all mediums for the honey supers. One size for everything is nice. But, just for fun, I would like to try running a brood chamber larger than the standard deep.

    I know Dadant used to sell a "Jumbo" size hive body. I don't see that size in their current catalog, though.

    Anyone know a source for extra-large hive bodies, frames and foundation?

    TIA

    --shinbone
    --shinbone
    (6th year, 10 hives, Zone 5b, 5506')

  2. #2
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    I have not seen Jumbo frames for sale in years, I make my own sidebars and use factory top bars for the half dozen I still have. A PM to odfrank may get you some information or advice, he still has a few in operation.
    38 years - 25 colonies, 32 Nucs - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  3. #3
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    50,911

    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    The only commercial suppliers I know of are in Europe where the Dadant-Blatt hive is popular. Western Bee Supply USED to have frames, but they changed their equipment now. Occasionally someone on here offers to make them... Boxes, you will have to make or import from Europe (cheaper to make) and since they are 11 5/8" and a one by twelve is 11 1/4" you will have to add something to a one by twelve or make the bottom board deeper to make up for it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 41y 200h 38yTF

  4. #4
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    Jul 2010
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    moravia,ny
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    biggest problem with jumbos is nobody can pick one up. lol

  5. #5
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    Jan 2015
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    Liberty Hill, Texas
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    299

    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    Quote Originally Posted by beeware10 View Post
    biggest problem with jumbos is nobody can pick one up. lol
    That can be a positive. unlikely someone is going to steal your bees. If they are stolen you got a better shot at knowing who's the thief.

  6. #6
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    5,878

    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    Anyone know a source for extra-large hive bodies, frames and foundation?
    TIA--shinbone
    Rossman had the frames a few years back and Dadant has always had the foundation. Factory square boxes would have to ordered from Europe or make you own. Making 16 1/4" X 19 7/8" X 9 5/8" deep boxes is easy. Just saw the additional 2+ inches off a box and screw it on to the deep box. Or saw two mediums to the right height, or a medium and a shallow.
    This picture shows a brown Lang size jumbo depth box on the left built with two mediums, and the box on the right with extra depth added at the bottom.


  7. #7
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    Aug 2006
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    The frames are super easy to make if you have the right equipment. You need a joiner/planer, bandsaw, tablesaw and drum sander. They can be completely cut out of 2x4s. Once everything is set two guys can make a few hundred in just a few hrs. Dnichols and I did it a few years ago.

    Here is a pic of the frames we made compared to a standard deep IPM frame. The comb is natural size without foundation.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    odfrank - Thanks for the suggestion on making extra deep boxes by grafting together sections of standard size equipment. With the modern miracle of Titebond III, that sounds like it wouldn't be too hard to do.

    Bluegrass - Nice work you've done there, but you have more skills and woodworking tools than I do.

    Maybe the best solution for frames is to put the Dadant long foundation in deep frames sans-bottom-bar. Maybe run a piece of steel wielding rod in place of the bottom bar to add some extra support at the end of that long piece of comb. Once the bees have built out the comb, it should be strong enough for the occasional inspection. Maybe run a piece of steel wielding rod in place of the bottom bar to add some extra support at the end of that long piece of comb. This would be for the brood chamber only, so no need for the frames to survive honey extraction.
    --shinbone
    (6th year, 10 hives, Zone 5b, 5506')

  9. #9
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    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    Use the sheets of plastic foundation made for use with wooden frames. A full 8 inch sheet with a strip cut to fill the gap should work, this is what I am trying this coming spring. I marked the center line of the end bars and tacked small pieces of wood to hold the foundation on the center line.
    38 years - 25 colonies, 32 Nucs - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  10. #10
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    I made a few 8 frame jumbo depth bait hives this week using old junk boxes. Cut bad tops off half and bad bottoms off the other ones and grafted them together with titebond and three inch drives screws on an angle.

  11. #11
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    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    Od, I added 3.5 inch skirts to a few boxes just using the glue and I think they will hold OK. They stay at my home yard so there should not be that much stress put on them. What is the greatest depth frame you have used, and what depth do you prefer?
    38 years - 25 colonies, 32 Nucs - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  12. #12
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    Jun 2008
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    Yuba County, California, USA
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    Quote Originally Posted by beeware10 View Post
    biggest problem with jumbos is nobody can pick one up. lol
    The jumbo's were not meant to be picked up and moved around. They were considered to be brood nest with stores and left in place. The supers were stacked up on top for honey harvesting. Perhaps Michael Bush has a link to the old writings stating the reasons/theories for using them. I think I remember that they were over wintered in the single jumbo Dadant boxes, being large enough for the winter cluster with stores.
    Live life with gusto, having no regrets, being thankful every day, and cherish each moment as it happens.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    C. P. Dadant wrote an article in the November, 1918 issue of the American Bee Journal, page 367, Advantages of Large Hives. This article outlined how his father, Charles Dadant, decided on the frame length and depth for the Dadant Hive.

    The old issues of ABJ and Gleanings in Bee Culture can be found by searching the Internet Archive Digital Library. They have issues and books from the 1860's up to 1922.
    38 years - 25 colonies, 32 Nucs - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  14. #14
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    A full 8 inch sheet with a strip cut to fill the gap should work, this is what I am trying this coming spring. I marked the center line of the end bars and tacked small pieces of wood to hold the foundation on the center line.
    I am not following . . . got a photo to share?
    --shinbone
    (6th year, 10 hives, Zone 5b, 5506')

  15. #15
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    Yuba County, California, USA
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    The Dadant System of Beekeeping, 1920, is available from Google Books at this link as a PDF file...

    https://books.google.com/books?id=4-...EGD2oQ6AEIHDAA

    Chapter two covers hive sizes with good reasons for what size to use and why.
    Live life with gusto, having no regrets, being thankful every day, and cherish each moment as it happens.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    Ray - thanks for the link!
    --shinbone
    (6th year, 10 hives, Zone 5b, 5506')

  17. #17
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    Unfortunately, I don't have the time or tools to make hive bodies from scratch. I am thinking assemble standard deep and medium boxes, then glue the two together to form one continuous box the combined height of a deep+medium (like what odfrank suggested).

    For frames, assemble a deep frame with no bottom bar, install plastic foundation in the deep frame, using plastic support pins thorugh the side bars to hold the foundation centered between the side bars. Then attach a piece of medium plastic foundation to the bottom of the deep foundation, making it sure hangs straight below the deep foundation. Once the bees build out the comb, it should be strong enough for careful brood box use.

    Add honey supers to the top as you would normally do.

    This would provide the queen with comb about 15" tall for a huge continuous laying area.
    --shinbone
    (6th year, 10 hives, Zone 5b, 5506')

  18. #18
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    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    No photos, I am not computer literate.

    Cut the end bars, mark the top to bottom center line of the bars so the foundation will be standing vertical in the frame. Use grooved bottom bars, put a full sheet of plastic foundation in the frame, and on both sided of the foundation tack a short strip of wood on the end bars so the sheet stands along the top to bottom center line. The foundation is about 8 inches deep. Let the short piece of wood extend slightly above the full sheet of foundation so the next piece of foundation is supported on the end bar center line.

    Cut a piece of plastic foundation to fit the space above the full sheet to fill the frame. This piece meets the full sheet and will be resting on top of it. Nail in the wedge to hold the top piece, or slip it in the grove if you use grooved top bars. I used pieces cut from old frames the wax moths had removed the comb from for this top section of the frame. Add a little wax to the plastic, especially the joint where the two pieces meet. I used an old blade on my radial arm saw to cut the plastic foundation.

    When you do one frame you will have the measurements and then you can use stop blocks or jigs to cut all pieces the same. I will try to get my granddaughters to show me how to put on photos, they may even take the pictures for me since I don't have a camera.
    38 years - 25 colonies, 32 Nucs - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  19. #19
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    Aug 2006
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    C. P. Dadant wrote an article in the November, 1918 issue of the American Bee Journal, page 367, Advantages of Large Hives. This article outlined how his father, Charles Dadant, decided on the frame length and depth for the Dadant Hive.
    As far as I can tell the decline in Dadant depth hives in this country corresponds with the standardization of lumber. Once the 1x12 became the national standard max width for a sawn board the dadant hive could no longer be made from a single piece of wood, which made it uneconomical to produce en-mass.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Hampton, Georgia
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    317

    Default Re: jumbo or extra-large hive bodies - source?

    Give Rossman a call and ask for Fred. Last I spoke to him he said he would gladly do a run of jumbo frames for me if I wanted. He doesn't keep any on hand or catalog them but he will do small runs if you ask.
    Now as for foundation dadant was the last source I know of and not sure if they would do a small run. If you want it bad enough Thorne's in the UK will ship to the US.

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