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  1. #41
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    Odfrank, a 20 x 20 x 11 1/4 super would hold a heckuva lot more honey than 50 lb's. Are you talking about your 1/2 depth supers?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #42
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    It's more than a suggestion.
    If I put 4.9 foundation in my hives will I get 4.9 cells? If I put no foundation in my hive will I get 4.9 cells? Third question, which method will make the regression faster?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    3,178

    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    pascopol, several point you make I question.
    1. where do you come by the information that a cluster is round or that bees want it to be?
    2. assuming that you are correct on number one. Why do you consider anything less than 10 frames to small to get that round shape to the cluster. For example I can place a baseball in a shoebox with plenty of room to spare. In addition I have seen comments a couple of times that a 10 frame box may be to large due to the issue of bees using the #1 and #10 frames. On what information do you make the claim that 10 frame is the right size while 8 frame is ridiculous?
    3. I am not sure I have heard of anyone using 5 frame nucs as permanent hives. they have a purpose and have been designed to suit that purpose. It is not comparing apples to apples in the case of nucs.

    I am very interested in this cluster size and shape issue just not clear on how you come up with the minimum requirements for an average cluster. Or why it is claimed it should be round at all.

    I am also a little confused as to just how a colony rotates from the edges of a cluster to the center when individual layers of bees are separated by sheets of comb. The only way I imagine it happening is that each sheet of bees works this rotation out in that particular layer. still if you imagine a ball cut into slices at least a couple of those slices will be like the end of the potato. there is no center to move to in that case.

    Further thought is if you are in fact correct on all the above. would not a round shape to the hive be more suitable? maybe not a ball shape but a tall cylinder with the outer frames very short and each successive frame being a bit longer.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    There are variations on the cylinder hive. There exists a hexagonal style hive mounted on a pole. It doesn't have movable frames though.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #45
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I am also a little confused as to just how a colony rotates from the edges of a cluster to the center when individual layers of bees are separated by sheets of comb.
    I think they move toward the center not to the center. In other words to a point warmer in the cluster. It might actually be more sideways. The space between the foundation wall can almost be 2 inches. You could pack a lot of bees in a 2 inch space.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #46
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    5,039

    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Odfrank, a 20 x 20 x 11 1/4 super would hold a heckuva lot more honey than 50 lb's. Are you talking about your 1/2 depth supers?
    Yes, the medium depth boxes full weigh about 50 lbs. I have twice drawn out the 11 1/4" frames as a honey super and they probably weigh full of honey around 100lbs. Here are three pictures of that experiment. The honey super to the right of employees' elbow, a full frame and an uncapped frame. They are very fragile in the extractor because of their size even wired two directions. Also the honey was excessively thick.

    http://s156.photobucket.com/albums/t7/odfrank/2009/

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    New Port Richey Fl USA
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    238

    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Depends where you are on the planet and what bees you have. Over here, it's about 5.3.




    .... The dimensions of a lang are a compromise between what the bees like and what suits the beekeeper. Hobby beekeepers make their living from something other than their bees so need not be concerned with productivity, they can use a more natural design if they wish, no issues from me with that. But of course, what's natural? Anything a bee will live in really.
    Secondly, bees left to their own devices do not build a perfect sphere. It will normally be longer in the direction the combs run, than wide. Like a lang.
    Thirdly the length of a lang frame is a good length, that suits the bees, in a strong 2 brood box colony with queen laying fully, the type of colony we want, to produce a good harvest. 12 frames wide would probably work even better. But hey, how many of those would you want to lift around every day. It's a compromise. As a matter of interest I believe Brother Adam designed such a super, from memory, it was a mammoth 20 inches square. But he had teams of monks to help with the labor.

    I know not all that will suit some of the other views expressed, I guess my mind has been polluted from actually having kept bees for more than a few months.
    How rectangular hive is more "productive" than a square hive? Square hive would be easier and cheaper to make, important part of "productivity" or profitability argument.

    Did Rev Langstroth designed his rectangular hive for commercial "productivity" sake or he just used the box he had actually available as is widely believed?

    If that was the case then rectangular Lang hive was not a "compromise" but pure accident.

    There is a reason(s) why some outstanding beekeepers of the past Brother Adam included used square hive. In case of Brother Adam built 20 inch square super cause he had free labor available. He would probably settled with smaller size hive closer to Rev Warre size if he had to lift supers himself. But he proved his point of superior productivity using square hive, harvesting record amounts of honey.

    Apparently bees liked his square hive.

    The Lang hive did not gain much traction anywhere in the World besides English speaking countries. Even Great Brittain beeks stick with their "national' hive.

    Should we assume that beekeepers around the World aren't smart enough not jumping on the Langs hive bandwagon?

    Or beekeepers around the World having much longer beekeeping traditions than US beekeeping industry say "no thanks" to Lang hive for a reason(s).

  8. #48
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by pascopol View Post
    Square hive would be easier and cheaper to make, important part of "productivity" or profitability argument.
    How so?
    As someone who's actually made a few hives I don't see how making a square one would be any easier or harder.

    Quote Originally Posted by pascopol View Post
    Did Rev Langstroth designed his rectangular hive for commercial "productivity" sake or he just used the box he had actually available as is widely believed?
    Widely believed by who?
    He and others spent many years designing the hive trying numerous prototypes along the way. He did not just pick up the nearest box he found and make it into a beehive.
    Nor did Brother Adam.

    But I'm not really interested in debating you over the langstroth vs whatever hive. A discussion of what bees do best in is interesting but this ones likely to go nowhere.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #49
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    5,039

    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    He did not just pick up the nearest box he found and make it into a beehive.
    I had read years ago that he based his prototype on a winebox. Some wine boxes today fit medium frames perfectly, and others are very close. It depends on the variety of wine, because different types use different sizes of bottles.

    I have been catching some nice bait hives in my wine boxes.


  10. #50
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    [QUOTE=pascopol;722401There is a reason(s) why some outstanding beekeepers of the past Brother Adam included used square hive. In case of Brother Adam built 20 inch square super cause he had free labor available. He would probably settled with smaller size hive closer to Rev Warre size if he had to lift supers himself. But he proved his point of superior productivity using square hive, harvesting record amounts of honey.Apparently bees liked his square hive.[/QUOTE]

    If beekeepers would add beveled cleats to all of their hives they would not have to whine so much about their weight. The reason a hive with only handholds is so hard to lift is that only your finger tips are carrying the weight. I locate my cleats flush with their bottom aligned with the top of the handhold.When one has a beveled cleat to grab with 1+" of your finger tip into the handhold, and able to squeeze it with your palm, a box is much easier to handle. Note in the pictures that my square hives have a beveled cleat all the way around.

  11. #51
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    Yes I do know about the winebox.

    I've even been known to use apple crates myself.

    However the hive is not designed just because he thought no further than the shape of the winebox. It's about ergonomics, the winebox was built that shape because of handling, and something around the same size and shape suits the beekeeper as well, for the same reason. Commercial folks anyway, have to have something that suits the bees, but also that they can handle. So there's a compromise solution between the two.

    You are correct about the handles making boxes easier to lift. But again it's about compromise. Commercial beekeepers need to have something that can be stored economically, and also fit snugly together on the truck. Also when working a hive if I have to take several boxes off, I'll put some them on their end on the ground to keep them clean, and keep the bees safe. But if there's a cleat, you can't do that.

    I like your hive design though Odfrank and have followed your honey crops over the years. Also, did you actually weigh that super of honey? My suspicion is the full weight of it, honey, box, and all, would have been around 130 lb's, or more. I wouldn't want to be handling truckloads of them!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    If I put 4.9 foundation in my hives will I get 4.9 cells?
    If the bees are small enough to build them and the time is right, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    If I put no foundation in my hive will I get 4.9 cells?
    I guarantee you'll get at least one, if you can find it. If you read the very first post of this thread, you'll notice that given the opportunity to build on a foundationless frame, my regressed bees will build cells between 4.9mm and 5.2mm. This will be slightly different for each location, but in general, bees will build a range of cell sizes and that range will be generally smaller than the standard sizes available in foundation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Third question, which method will make the regression faster?
    If you use foundation, it will probably be faster. However, that's the only method I've done myself, so that's the only one I really know about.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #53
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    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    5,039

    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Also when working a hive if I have to take several boxes off, I'll put some them on their end on the ground to keep them clean, and keep the bees safe. But if there's a cleat, you can't do that.My suspicion is the full weight of it, honey, box, and all, would have been around 130 lb's, or more. I wouldn't want to be handling truckloads of them!
    I stand my cleated supers on the ground all the time. They lean a bit, no problem.
    I doubt my 12 frame jumbos weigh as much as a double lang. I will try to weigh them empty.

  14. #54
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Size Experiment

    Weigh it full. Be interesting. Remember the honey you get out is not all the honey. Just a full standard lang can weigh more than 100 lb's
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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