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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hartwell, GA
    Posts
    183

    Default One and a quarter

    I can understand why commercial, large operations, would want to standardize on specificly expensive Items. If we, and I'm certainly a novice, but if we attempt to standardize on equipment for our benefit rather than give the bees what they prefer, are we not creating our own delima. As an example, if the bees are left to their own devices and nest in a confined space what determines how they build comb, how they space it, what cell size for various purposes and where do they raise brood and store pollen and honey ?

    There are several references in the old text of Bee Keepers and researchers, to the use 1 1/4 in wide frames in the brood chamber and from what I can asscertain, It makes very good sense to me. Reducing the space between combs in the brood chamber to1/4 inch only allows for the bees to be one layer deep when covering the frame for temperature control, brood comb is shorter so mites have less opportunity to infest the cell, as a rule, and doesn't require as much space as stores, you should be able to squeeze one more frame in a 8 frame hive, the bees will use more of it for brood and store their honey in the larger 1 3/8 frames. Looks to me like it would make management of the brood chamber much more effieient if the stores were all above it in a medium. or just use 1 1/4 in the center four or six frames and let them build upwards.

    I'm gonna give it a go next spring and see what the results are. If they build comb faster, raise more brood, have fewer mite problems,and will overwinter better, it can't hurt to try it. I suppose I will then Standardize on narrow brood frames and have to keep yet another set of spare frames. HUMMMMM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,288

    Default Re: One and a quarter

    Divide your colonies in two groups. One group keep on the standard 1 3/8 inch center to center spacing and in 10 frame equipment. In the other group work your plan. Keep careful records of the time spent modifying equipment and the time spent working the colonies. Record the number of supers of honey each group produces and any health issues they develop. Treat both groups of colonies for varroa with the same treatment, on the same day and use sticky boards to collect and count the drop. At the end of the season you will know whether you wish to convert the other group the following year.

    For what it is worth, the 1 3/8 inch center to center was the average measurement of several hundred colonies that made their own combs in skeps and in wild colonies. This was determined by A. I. Root and two other men whose names I can' remember in the late 1870's. The 1 1/4 inch was used by a very few beekeepers, but it was used successfully. The spacing of wild comb will vary and will be between 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 inches. Charles Dadant believed that the 1 1/2 inches center to center spacing of combs helped in swarm control and provided better ventilation. I have tried all three and I believe it's not worth the trouble to deviate from the standard 1 3/8 inches, although bees will prosper on any of the three.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: One and a quarter

    I have some nuc boxes that have 1 1/4 frames and I hate pulling frames out of them, too easy to roll the queen.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hartwell, GA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: One and a quarter

    Sounds like good advice, thanks AR Beekeeper. it appears you've been down this road already and know where it ends as well. If you were making your own frames, would you plane a few down to 1 1/4 just for the brood boxes ? Or is it so insignificant it would be a waste of time ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,288

    Default Re: One and a quarter

    If you enjoy trying new things it can be fun to experiment but don't expect to have the results some of the posts say you will have. It is my experience that success in beekeeping is mostly following good beekeeping practices and not relying on some variation in hive configuration. You did not say how many colonies you were managing but I would only have "fun" with a few. My trouble was I always went in up to the eyebrows and then wasted a season or two getting back on track.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Default Re: One and a quarter

    >I suppose I will then Standardize on narrow brood frames and have to keep yet another set of spare frames.

    Or make ALL of them 1 1/4" or just don't worry about it and mix them as needed.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hartwell, GA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: One and a quarter

    Actually, as a hobby with some small income potertial, maybe, if I'm lucky, or not, I like the Idea of one and a quarter in the brood box on deep frames. I understand the reasoning Michael uses as to recommend all mediums. I think that in this area, hot, humid, dry, ( Oxymoron, No rain but the humidity is horrible) I'll stick with one deep and go all mediums from there up. I started with NUCs from Don the Fatbeeman, all small cell foundation. I didn't know any difference until he pointed out that I had bought the wrong foundation, so I use it on the outside two frames and they seem content to fill them with honey but the queen hasn't even sniffed them. The queens in the two strongest hives, 2 of 4, have moved up and are laying in the Mediums, also small cell, one small honey super on top and I'll probably use relegate those to use as extra space during feeding.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hartwell, GA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: One and a quarter

    I do so enjoy trying new things and or some of the old ways. It's all interesting, except maybe dealing with the pest and vermin. I started with four hives, two too many I suppose but I have managed to build two more up to full 8 frame boxes, having four gave me the resources. Had a Nuc started, knew I didn't have time to raise a queen so I ordered one, they got robbed out and most of them killed before I saw what was happening. Must be prime robbing time, I had to close all the hives down to 1/4" X 1" entrance. that stopped it only because the hives are strong enough to defend such a small opening. Oh Yea, I was notified that the queen shipped yesterday. I'm gonna start another, I know it's late, but it's either that or ?

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