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  1. #81
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Thanks kilocharlie! Good advice.

    I think in a perfect world mediums would be ideal. I just wasn't just if deeps tended to work better of overwintering (fewer air gaps to cross).

    Part of me wants to just run and grab all medium 10 langs.

  2. #82
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelosopher View Post
    Thanks kilocharlie! Good advice.

    I think in a perfect world mediums would be ideal. I just wasn't just if deeps tended to work better of overwintering (fewer air gaps to cross).

    Part of me wants to just run and grab all medium 10 langs.
    The "air gaps" are what allows the bees to cross over to a frame of honey more easily ...

    You asked what size boxes would be nice for a hobbyist. Some hobbyists replied.

    Medium eight frame boxes are popular with a lot of people.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #83
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    The "air gaps" are what allows the bees to cross over to a frame of honey more easily ...

    You asked what size boxes would be nice for a hobbyist. Some hobbyists replied.

    Medium eight frame boxes are popular with a lot of people.
    My concern with the medium 8's is they tend to be less prevalent. I also thought (intuitively) that a larger box allows for more bees to potentially cluster in (increased chance of survival). Is that thinking way off?

    Also, many northern beekeepers seem to like the 2 deep and 1 medium overwintering configuration. I am trying to find out if there is a reason for that.

    A local bee guy I am talking to uses all mediums (not the 8 frame though). I am going to ask him some questions since I think he used to use the 10 frame deeps. I just ahven't had the chnce

  4. #84
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    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Hi Mike
    Many thanks for your respond! I think, ability to switch frames between Land-type and TBH is very convenient. Please, take a pictures and post! I think, pictures sometime are speaking better than we are. This "skyscraper"... I was trying to replace the box with old quite disorganized comb by inserting a new box in the middle of the nest. In accordance to "rules" bees supposed to move into new box and abandon the lover box to keep nest integer. Well, my bees are something - they occupied ALL boxes and refused to move out of the old semi-decomposed original box... So, every time, I am trying to reduce the "skyscraper" I ended up adding additional box... I guess, I am not managing my bees enough. Good luck with your bees - it sounded your girls are getting ready to the winter! Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  5. #85
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Bees seem to make better use of eight frame boxes from what I've read.

    You have the advantage of buying exactly what you want. If I followed the leaders of a local club I wouldn't have any of my current equipment, and I certainly wouldn't be using small cell. And I suspect that I would be using whatever treatment is popular at the club...

    Searching the archives might provide you with more information.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  6. #86
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    ... If I followed the leaders of a local club I wouldn't have any of my current equipment, and I certainly wouldn't be using small cell. And I suspect that I would be using whatever treatment is popular at the club...
    Absolutely true - I basically did everything against bee-club experts opinion and bees are doing very well. It is amusing, how people sometime .... mmmmm... inflexible... first thing they suggested was to re-queen since my queen was (and is!) feral... than - treat-treat and treat! I have to admit, nevertheless, I learned from them, but it was difficult learning curve because people just get offended if you do not follow their exact directions...
    So, I managed to keep feral/survival bees.They are treatment free, foundation-free, frame-free (top bar). Based on beehive size and amount of honey - they are doing extremely well! We (me and bees), basically finished the cycle - I inherit them 1 year ago. But I knew these bees for at least 2 or 3 more years. Feral/survival bees are living withing 20 feet from my house in heavily populated urban area. They are workaholics. They are protective, but we do find a ways to coexist (minimal management, invasion). They produce a beautiful honey - enough for our family and all my friends and relatives (and neighbors!). I very hope that we could continue in the same direction.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    928

    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Beelosopher -
    You are likely on to something very real - 2 deep frames being a better way in boreal climates due to fewer air gaps than 3 mediums...that really ought to be studied (if it hasn't already), as well as wide hives vs. tall hives in cold country, probably the underlying issue of cluster size-to-dead air space ratio as well. William Broughton Carr's hive design was 14 frames wide, 19 7/8" x 19 7/8" square, and 9 5/8" deep. He designed it for northern England. It is a good cold country hive design. I'm building one for show-and-tell, and testing.

    Three things are clear: 1)large colonies with large stores of pollen and honey tend to survive severe winters; 2) colonies that don't have too much dead space to heat make more efficient use of stores; 3) hive management has more to do with success than hive design.

  8. #88
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    Sep 2012
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    Jamesville, NY
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Bees seem to make better use of eight frame boxes from what I've read.

    You have the advantage of buying exactly what you want. If I followed the leaders of a local club I wouldn't have any of my current equipment, and I certainly wouldn't be using small cell. And I suspect that I would be using whatever treatment is popular at the club...

    Searching the archives might provide you with more information.
    Could you post some of the links for this and/or the sources? I would appreciate it.

    my choice of 10 langs isn't follow the flock (nor is my choice to go treatment free, foundationless, etc.). It is from what many people (on this thread who are hobby beekeepers) have recommended, and what I am learning about how I will ahve to potentially maintain nucs. It is an informed decision. I also assume a bigger box allows for a bigger cluster, thus less open air gaps and thus better wintering condition/survival as kilo charlie suggested. I don't know if that is proven, just a conclusion I came to considering a winter for bees.

  9. #89
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    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    10 frame Langs work pretty well, are small enough to manage and large enough to produce good honey crops. There are larger and smaller designs, but they are all basically the same. Bees want about a 20 gallon space with a bottom entrance that is fairly regular in shape, just about two 10 frame Lang deeps.

    The original design was deeper and square, holding 12 frames, and made of double wall glass to insulate. Needless to say, that's not exactly convenient if you have to MOVE it, it might be fine if permanently placed. There are some people on this board who run large hive bodies, do a search.

    The ten frame Lang should probably be a bit shorter (closer to square) for better hive utilization -- the cluster would fit better, the bees would have less dead air space on the ends of the frames, and it would be a bit lighter -- but it works well and nearly all 10 frame Lang equipment interchanges. Not a bad compromise.

    I still think I might build a Dadant Deep this winter and try it out just for fun, but I'm just a hobbyist, I can do whatever I want with little trouble. Experimenting can be lots of extra work when you have hundreds of hives.

    Peter

  10. #90
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    Sep 2012
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    Jamesville, NY
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    252

    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Since all of you guys have been so helpful I was wondering if you could give me your opinions on a deal I just received to get two hives before the winter.

    So I don't get the thread off track I created another there here for you to get the details and comment.

    Thanks!

  11. #91
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    Aug 2012
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    Starkville, MS, USA
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    82

    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    I had no prior equipment to sway my thinking. So after a lot of reading and discussion I decided on 8 frame medium Langs, an indoor observation hive, and some 5 frame nuc boxes.

    Reasons for deciding on 8 frame:
    -Both myself and my daughter will be manipulating the boxes so weight IS a BIG issue- a standard deep may weigh 90 lbs and a Dadant deep may weigh 110 lbs when full of honey. A medium 8 frame would not weigh more than about 48 lbs.
    -Frame size uniformity- this only makes sense from a management standpoint
    -I admit to being strongly influenced by the writings of Michael Bush about the merits of 8 frame mediums, standard frame size, small cell, and using 1-1/4 inch spacing in the brood chamber. I intend to build an observation hive this winter and put a nuc in it this next spring- maximum learning with minimum pain...
    -better utilization of winter stores- per M. Bush
    -I do not see the extra bee space between the mediums as being a problem for the bees in winter - they can cluster here as easily as in the space between combs

    Relative downside of 8 frame medium:
    -Primarily the increased initial cost- more boxes and frames = 1.78 times more expensive for equipment per M. Bush
    -Somewhat less equipment available - All the big suppliers do stock 8 frame equipment, but hardly any 8 frame stuff on the used market around here

    Plan B was for 10 frame mediums- would allow the use of used 10 frame equipment- you must consider the infection risk of using unknown history used equipment though.

    Other thoughts
    - I looked HARD at top bar hive designs, and since I know I will have to move them hundreds of miles in a few years, I didn't think the wax/top bar attachment would survive the trip. They also are hard to move with one person. They would be easy for me to build with my current tools. The inability to easily expand the hive space requires frequent manipulation to prevent swarming. They might have an advantage in hurricaine winds and spent some time thinking about how to make them wind resistant. I was intrigued by the horizontal hive design using Langstrop frames.
    - I looked hard at the Warre hives but ultimately deciced that since I want to experiment with raising queens that this system was not practical for me. If you wanted "bees in the guarden" and didn't want to mess with them much, it seems like a good hive design

    8 frame rational link http://www.bushfarms.com/beeseightframemedium.htm

    Nuc link http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnucs.htm

    Lazy Beekeeper link http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#lighterboxes

  12. #92
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    Sep 2012
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    Jamesville, NY
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    252

    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Quote Originally Posted by TooFarGone View Post
    -I admit to being strongly influenced by the writings of Michael Bush about the merits of 8 frame mediums, standard frame size, small cell, and using 1-1/4 inch spacing in the brood chamber.
    Thank you so much for these links, I ahve been trying ot find these so I appreciate them

    Quote Originally Posted by TooFarGone View Post
    -better utilization of winter stores- per M. Bush
    -I do not see the extra bee space between the mediums as being a problem for the bees in winter - they can cluster here as easily as in the space between combs
    I would love to hear opinions about this so thank you. It is a current hang up I have with the all medium set up.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooFarGone View Post
    Relative downside of 8 frame medium:
    -Primarily the increased initial cost- more boxes and frames = 1.78 times more expensive for equipment per M. Bush
    you can say this again. Pricing them out for what i wanted, there was a very big difference.
    I was looking at 5 hives so I checked Dadant and came to about 158 per hive without foundation for a 2 hive body deep and 3 medium super set up, frames and nails included. For all mediums and 5 hives it was about 191 per hive. The 8 frame mediums were significantly more than that.

    I will take the time to read through Mr. Bush's opinions. Again, I do appreciate those links.

  13. #93
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    Aug 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS, USA
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    82

    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Beelosopher

    M. Bush discussed the issue of mediums and wintering in the section "Uniform Frame Size" at the Lazy beekeeper link in my post above. If you imagine the dynamic of how a bee cluster moves (typically upward) while staying in a cluster, having bee space between the supers actually helps them stay in a tight mass and allows bees to move around inside the cluster without loosing contact with the main mass of bees.

    I found M Bush's Advice For Beginning Beekeepers helpful in organize my thinking. Follow all the blue text for additional pages of information!

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm

  14. #94
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    Sep 2012
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    252

    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Quote Originally Posted by TooFarGone View Post
    Beelosopher

    M. Bush discussed the issue of mediums and wintering in the section "Uniform Frame Size" at the Lazy beekeeper link in my post above. If you imagine the dynamic of how a bee cluster moves (typically upward) while staying in a cluster, having bee space between the supers actually helps them stay in a tight mass and allows bees to move around inside the cluster without loosing contact with the main mass of bees.

    I found M Bush's Advice For Beginning Beekeepers helpful in organize my thinking. Follow all the blue text for additional pages of information!

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm
    Thanks again for the links. I spent much of last night reading them all (or most of them anyway). I am still in hot pursuit of bee knowledge so this was helpful and since i haven't committed to any equipment, may help me sway towards all of the same boxes.


    Does anybody know
    1. How many 10 frame lang mediums would make a typical hive? 7?
    2. How many 8 frame lang mediums would make a typical hive? 7-8?

  15. #95
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    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    All of my 8 frame medium hives are reduced to three boxes for the winter. Count on six or seven boxes per hive.

    I have a lot of commercial grade boxes from Miller's that are just fine. I also bought some budget boxes that have chipped out hand holds but besides that, they are very serviceable.

    http://millerbeesupply.com/index.php...gory&cat_id=73
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  16. #96
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,887

    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    An eight frame medium is half the size of a ten frame deep. How many boxes depends on the flow that year...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #97
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    An eight frame medium is half the size of a ten frame deep. How many boxes depends on the flow that year...
    Thanks for the point of reference.

    So if I were to go the 8 frame route (and want to match a 2 deep brrod chamber sizing) I could plan on 4 medium 8's to make up the brood chamber area, and supers depending on the flow, but say 4 more on hand would be a good idea.

    If I go 10 frame mediums I might be able to get away with 3-4 for the brood chamber and another 4 supers for honey.

    I like the interchangeability of the all medium set up, and the fact that using a beveled frame (four sided) should give me plenty of support if I go foundationless. With a deep I am concerned the 10 frame equipment isn't ideal due to potential lack of support.

    In reading your website I noticed that you were an advocate of foundationless. However when speaking with some people about pf-1xx plastic frames some individuals were touting how great they were and that you used a lot of them, and may prefer them more than foundationless. Is that true?

  18. #98
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    Aug 2002
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    >However when speaking with some people about pf-1xx plastic frames some individuals were touting how great they were and that you used a lot of them, and may prefer them more than foundationless. Is that true?

    I have a mixture of things. I prefer foundationless if I have the time and energy to build the frames. I prefer the plastic PF120s when I don't have the time and energy. The foundationless "feels" better and is obviously more natural.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #99
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    Jun 2012
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    Houston, Texas, USA
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    460

    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Confused. I thought from my readings in this forum that 3 med. supers was considered equivalent to 2 deeps?

    Update: I did the math on the usable foundation surface area, rather than rumor. 3 med. supers are 77% of 2 deeps and 4 med. supers are 102% of 2 deeps.
    Last edited by mmmooretx; 10-16-2012 at 09:15 AM.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  20. #100
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    Oct 2011
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    Clark county, Illinois, USA
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    Default Re: What type of bee hive is best for the home bee keeper

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmooretx View Post
    Confused. I thought from my readings in this forum that 3 med. supers was considered equivalent to 2 deeps?
    3 TEN frame mediums, 4 EIGHT frame mediums are about 2 deeps

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