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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    320

    Default Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    With all the intelligence and woodworking skills in the world, I wonder why nobody has designed a langstroth hive where the brood boxes are like bottomless drawers in a filing cabinet, so you can examine brood without removing supers? It just seems so obvious to me, although I realize the big problem would be the bees propolising the drawers.

    So if they would propolise or build burr comb in the space between the drawers and the cabinet, why not just make a metal frame with drawer slides without an outer cabinet? The frame would be outside the hive. Obviously you would want very little space between drawers, but if they got stuck together, why couldn't you pop them loose just like you do the boxes?

    It would be such a huge time saver and back saver, make inspections quick and easy, and I suspect would be much less disruptive to the hive than tearing it apart every couple of weeks.

    What am I missing that has kept this from working or being invented?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    the biggest fear I would have would be rolling the queen by pulling the drawer out....my luck I would kill her everytime I checked them!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,472

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    I doubt you would be able to open the drawer after a week because of propolise and wax, we have a hard enough time cracking the boxes of some of these hives.
    And cost,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    462

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    Quote Originally Posted by thenance007 View Post
    why not just make a metal frame with drawer slides without an outer cabinet?
    An company from Israel was advertising a set up just like this in the bee journals about 10 years ago. These were 4-way pallets where you could access each brood chamber separately while leaving the supers in position. Appears the idea was not marketable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Frisco Texas
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    Cost, I work as a general contrator and often work with a custom cabinet company (I will actually be hanging cabinets for them tomorrow). By time you built the cabinet, draws, and installed the draw slides your cost would be four or five time the cost of a hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    I've seen pictures of old hives that were like this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    283

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    I would think it would get top heavy during a flow and tilt forward when you pull out the honey storage drawers unless you have a heavy base or counter balance.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kenosha,WI
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    The AZ hives open at the rear so the frames can be pulled out easily both from the brood chamber or from the honey super above. They are magnificent examples of workmanship with a price that will make your eyes water. Do a search for "AZ Hive" on this forum for discussion, photos and videos.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Kensington, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    yup, The AZ hive or Alberti-Znidersic Hive is more or less what you are talking about. I've seen photos of modified versions of these that follow similar principles using horizontal bars as frame rests, but less elaborate boxes. They are much smaller volumetrically, I had a convo long ago with Dave Cushman on these hives.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    We had - and still have - a lot of those drawer hives here in Germany. I know noone who converted to box type of hives who converted back to those drawer hives. ink: To me they are a pain in the a....

    Yes, lots of propolising, of bees running on the walls and getting rolled and angry...

    Difficult to construct and build.

    What works pretty well are horziontal hives that get supered. I use so called T120 hives. I attach a description later. The shallow supers can be slided back and forth so no lifting to get to the brood frames. They are really "honey cows" meaning they are very productive if you know how to work them.

    But: you don't move them easily, so you need some sort of honey house or at least a special stand with a roof. You could put them on pallets and use a roof for all the hives on the pallets though. I use them stationary.

    Bernhard
    Last edited by BernhardHeuvel; 03-15-2013 at 05:40 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    It is a called a "trough hive" which is basicly a TBH with frames and supered. You probably get the idea by the pictures. (It is in German.)

    http://www.immenfreunde.de/docs/Karl...120_script.pdf Pictures are at the end of the document.

    It has two outer and inner entrances and thus a split of the colony can be made within the hive which gets combined back after the swarming urge has gone. You can put two colonies in one trough, too.

    Not really diffult to build but as said not easy to move if you move them separately.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Kensington, Maryland, USA
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    63

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    @Bernhard, are you referring to something like the Dartington Hive or a German equivalent. I recall seeing a design once on a translated German webpage. I recalled the frames as being narrower and deeper than lang frames, and they had a follow board that allowed multiple queens in one box, if not mistaken.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Kensington, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    Thanks Bernhard, I do not think that is the same design that I saw, but cool all the same. I might have to do some searching.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    There are virtually hundreds of sorts of frames sizes used in many different types of drawer hives over here. Well, at least in the past. Few used nowadays. (For some reasons.) Most of them are not sized as a langstroth frame, though.

    This is because most of those hives were set up in a beehouse, where the hives were put next to each other. So the beekeepers tried to get as many hives into the bee house as possibly leading to hives and frames that are not horizontal but more vertically orientated. They had shallow type of frames though in some regions. Most of those hives were custom made. I check if I can find some pictures for you.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Kensington, Maryland, USA
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    63

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    This was the one that I was thinking of:

    http://www.mellifera.de/mellifera/me...ute/index.html

  16. #16

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    Basicly, there are two types.

    First there is the drawer type where you actually pull out the whole block of frames to access them.

    See:


    The other type is where you open up the side and look right onto the frames so you can pull frames individually. So without a drawer, the frames resting on wires going across them underneath. (frames do not have ears)

    See:

  17. #17

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    Some had a rebate on either side where the frames with ears had been pushed into.





    A russian made a hive with a body you push whole boxes into.



    So there is nothing new in the world of beekeeping.

    Most use hive lifts to overcome the lifting issue. Either a lift which push back the honey supers or a real lift.







  18. #18

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    Quote Originally Posted by gkervitsky View Post
    This was the one that I was thinking of:

    http://www.mellifera.de/mellifera/me...ute/index.html
    I had two of those.

    Can't recommend them. Those are neither bee- nor beekeeperfriendly.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    I've seen this one in my researching.

    http://www.drawhive.co.uk/

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    6,472

    Default Re: Why not a file cabinet type hive with brood box drawers?

    neat lift
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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