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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,788

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    I know. Me too. But I see a lot of requests for medium nucs on beesource and other places too. That's why I mentioned it.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    5,861

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    id see warranting its use in areas where they dont pull full boxes of honey on their flows. For sure the way to go,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    I've often thought about how the modern beekeeper manages colonies upside down from the natural way. In the wild, a swarm establishes itself in a cavity and starts at the top and builds downward. As nectar comes in, the bees keep building downward and forcing the queen to lay below the stored honey above. The instinct to swarm comes when one of two events occur; either the entire cavity is filled and thus what we call "plugged out" or the nectar flow is so extreme the ability of the nurse bees to build new comb is overwhelmed and all the bottom comb, which the queen would normally lay in, is plugged out with nectar.

    Not sure what the practical implications of this are but seems like bottom supering, below the brood chamber, would be closer to the bee's natural instinct.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    Quote Originally Posted by MethowKraig View Post
    Not sure what the practical implications of this are but seems like bottom supering, below the brood chamber, would be closer to the bee's natural instinct.
    The practical implication is that it's a heck of a lot more work. That is why it is seldom done that way. That and the fact most beekeepers don't want their honey where brood was ever raised and if you are bottom supering to keep letting the colony move down naturally then the honey is coming into what was once brood comb.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    I've kept bees for many years, at one time commercially. I certainly understand the benefits of our system for the beekeeper. That's why I say there may be no practical implications.

    But I still wonder what a controlled study of bottom supering would show in regard to swarming, honey production, wintering, etc.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,861

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    I dont know MethowKraig, I understand what your saying in having the bees build down, as that is how I manage my early spring hives
    but the hive does not utilize the entire bottom box during that time. That is why I will reverse my chambers in some years and provide that extra space for the queen up above. In the spring and early summer she wants to move up,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    What is an ellipsoid shape?

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,788

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    Tear drop shaped.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Deming, NM
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    Very interesting project, and a good opportunity to "think outside the box"...no pun intended!

    I'd give a lot of thought to how bees build their hives in nature- for example, bee trees. I've always thought it should tell us something that a bee's preferred domicile is the inside of a tree with "walls" that are many inches thick, as opposed to the thin walls of a langstroth or TBH. It would be an accomplishment to find a better balance between the protection that nature provides and the needs of the beekeeper.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    Thanks for the tear drop shape information. I would never have guessed it. I was thinking maybe something like a half circle, like a bowl turned upside down. I have often just sort of let the bees do what they wanted to and assumed they knew more about what they were doing than and I did and becides they would probably prefer I didn't mess with them. Due to expense I have only bought 20 frames and foundation. zI plan on making the boxes as I did 30 years ago. Due to heat in summer and only wanting a couple hives I will plan on permanent locations with the ability to use a lot of insulation to help keep things not so hot. The bees were living in an irrigation water control valve plastic box in the ground with the top cover at ground level. Again thank you very much.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,931

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    Ellipsoid is another way of saying circular. this shows and example of a shape that would be considered ellipsoid.
    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Ellipsoid.html
    A ball woudl also considering the definition ellipsoid is.
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ellipsoid
    (mathematics) a surface, all of whose cross sections are elliptic or circular (includes the sphere)
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,788

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    Abejas y miel, which one can find on Facebook, illustrates some pretty interesting beehives. Some which I have never seen before. Check them out.

    One photo I came across looks like a HUGE acorn hanging from a timber. It's made out of material similar to what skeps are made from. I have no idea how it is managed. Maybe it is worked in a fashion similar to skeps. Or log gums.
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 01-25-2013 at 05:57 AM.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,126

    Default Re: Final Year Student Redesigning the Beehive

    The shape of comb built in a top bar without foundation is a slightly fat half football shape that grows fairly uniformly in length and depth until it runs out of space in one direction. For heat and material flow I suspect bees would prefer a similarly shaped top bar as the half football. Bowed rather than flat. Just the shape beekeepers would hate to build.

    But then maybe the trouble with top bar hives in cold climates is they need to be flipped over! Who says frames have to hang down and not stand up.

    All those bees who choose walls and floors to swarm into have it wrong, frames would never be straight or removable in there.

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