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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    With hive equipment all being one size box can you just add empty boxes to the bottom of the hive and as the bees fill up the top boxes remove and extract? Is one empty box on the bottom adequate for swarm prevention or should that vary at different times of the year?

    It seems like this would be favored if it would work.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #2

    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Sure it will work. Bees don't care. The big problem with it when running more then a few hives is the extra work and the extra stings of breaking down all those double deeps to under super. But yeah Ace if you just have a few hives it'll work fine!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Yup, crazy.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, NY
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    112

    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Google Warre

  5. #5
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Thanks Mark, I knew I could count on you.

    Dan, I have all mediums but I don't see that as an issue because if I was going to do this I would make a lift to lift the whole stack and place the empty underneath. Thirty second job from the rear so I wouldn't anticipate any stings.

    If Mark was a nice guy he would let me use his bobcat.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,795

    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    If bees naturally work down as so many proclaim on this site, why do my bees always fill the boxes I stack on top and often walk thru the bottom brood chambers leaving it empty? I find this in both early spring and end of summer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,708

    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    It's about foundation. Given a box on top with foundation, the bees will work up into it faster than they would into a box of foundation below.

    But Warré hives are foundationless, so the bees are reluctant to move into an empty box put on top they would have to start comb building from the top bars quite far from the rest of the cluster. So Warré people add the box underneath so the top bars are right under and next to the cluster so the bees can more easily work into it.

    However there is a drawback to supering under the hive. Bees prefer to store honey at the top. So in a Warré, with new boxes added underneath, the brood nest is initially at the top of the hive. When the nectar flow starts, as brood cells hatch, the bees fill the cells with honey, and the queen is forced to lay eggs lower in the hive, so over time, the brood nest moves down. So the bees only have room to store so much honey, as they are waiting for larvae to hatch and the brood nest to move down. If there is a heavy flow, and the brood area is blocking honey storage, the bees simply don't collect it.

    In normal lang practise of adding boxes on top there are no such restrictions, the bees are free to store limitless amounts of honey, long as the beekeeper keeps adding boxes.

    Abbé Ēmile Warré himself, developed his hive in an area that's been described as not having strong honey flows, and in that situation it worked OK. However the Warré hive is still 1/2 the size of a lang, which is another limiting factor. Abbé Ēmile Warré developed his hive for "the people", who he saw as largely not wanting to mess with building frames and using comb foundation, so developed this more simple, stackable top bar hive.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, NY
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    112

    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I would make a lift to lift the whole stack and place the empty underneath
    like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOgCflLWPC4

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    So the bees only have room to store so much honey, as they are waiting for larvae to hatch and the brood nest to move down. If there is a heavy flow, and the brood area is blocking honey storage, the bees simply don't collect it.
    They will stop storing honey even if there are empty frames below? So if there are empty frames above they will store but if they are below they won't store. You could be right but that doesn't make sense to me if bees naturally draw down in a feral hive.

    Zeppelk, I have seen that video before. It accomplishes the task but it is a little
    Rube Goldberg for me.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Why not nadir and super? If you are interesting in nadiring (undersupering), but don't like the idea of waiting for brood to hatch, just do both. In the spring add a box or two underneath and then super before the flow.

  11. #11
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Well I was kinda liking the natural rotation of the boxes where they flow upward, in at the bottom and off at the top. It makes the usage even and gives you all the time in the world to inspect the equipment on an annual basis. In the back of my mind I also thought it would make the bees happy moving like they would normally do.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,708

    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    They will stop storing honey even if there are empty frames below? So if there are empty frames above they will store but if they are below they won't store. You could be right but that doesn't make sense to me if bees naturally draw down in a feral hive.
    The bees do not bother about what makes sense to you.

    They will store some honey below, but they'll always keep some room down there so the queen can move down. I've even seen it touted on this forum, by a Warré expert, as an advantage to Warré hives, that they won't collect too much low grade goldenrod because it comes so fast they can't move the brood down fast enough.

    Not saying I agree, but that's what he said.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,144

    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Thanks Mark, I knew I could count on you.

    Dan, I have all mediums but I don't see that as an issue because if I was going to do this I would make a lift to lift the whole stack and place the empty underneath. Thirty second job from the rear so I wouldn't anticipate any stings.

    If Mark was a nice guy he would let me use his bobcat.
    If you would let me use my Bobcat on your hives you would have nothing to worry about. You wouldn't have any bees either. Heh, heh.

    Actually you stole my thunder. I was thinking you could use Steve10's hive lifter. That would take the back work out of it. You could build it yourself too. If a Veterenarian can build one an extractor building engineer certainly could.

    But, undersupering the whole hive probably wouldn't work and wouldn't keep them from swarming. But, I've never tried it, so what do I know?

    What do I know? I know Diddley and I know Bo. Bo Diddley actually. A great Blues Beekeeper.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    What you are writing about could easily be done by laying the whole hive down on its back and breaking the bottom board off. Then once placed on the stand again, the bottom board could have a super or two placed on it and the individual supers from the original hive could be broken apart from each other and stacked one by one on the hive. Then the full supers could be taken off for extracting.

    Unless one were going to bring the extractor to the hive. heh,heh
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    SQKCRK was right:

    Yup, crazy.

    You do not have to re-invent the wheel. There is a reason that most of the commercial people do things in a similar manner, it is what works best MOST of the time.

    And by the way, "Crazy" is my moniker, and at least I understand I am.

    Crazy Roland

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    8,991

    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Well then it is about time you come up with some crazy ideas because most of them are run of the mill methods. You are letting me down. Let's start living up to that moniker because I am way a head of you.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Actually you stole my thunder. I was thinking you could use Steve10's hive lifter. That would take the back work out of it. You could build it yourself too. If a Veterenarian can build one an extractor building engineer certainly could.
    Mark, don't worry about how I am going to do it. Lifting up a hive and slipping an empty medium under would be a cake walk. Trust me, it won't be with back muscles.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
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    1,163

    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Well, Ace at least you are thinking. Thank god I live in Alabama All of us commercial beekeepers, with the exception of Roland, have done some crazy (normal for Roland) things to bees during our learning curve years. I said "exception of Roland" because he claims to be crazy-(like a fox). Merry Christmas Roland, I hope next year all your basswood sections will be full and I will actually be able to buy a few comb sections from you for my personal use. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    I have some I could send you.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Maybe this is another crazy idea.

    Ted wrote:

    Merry Christmas Roland, I hope next year all your basswood sections will be full and I will actually be able to buy a few comb sections from you for my personal use.

    No basswood honey this year, the sections where out, Rats!!! Next year???

    Acebird - my ideas are not crazy - my predictions are. I earned the "crazy" by predicting that in 10 years there will be no treatment free sideliner or hobbiest beekeeper, due to the large capitol investments needed. My next prediction is that when the honey definition laws get tight, Like Wisconsin's, many of the people that run more than a single deep will have difficulties meeting the standard, if they have a significant amount of feed in the hive when dandelions bloom.

    I am glad I disappointed you.... Also glad you think you are ahead of me, he he he.

    Crazy Roland

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