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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    My first tb was modeled after a Golden Mean. Way too small and we have a short season. It's almost like a swarm machine. Not good for a new beekeeper in my opinion.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    .
    So what's the huge downside to a swarming hive, unless you are a big honey producer/pollinator?
    Last fall, my single tbh threw off a swarm very late sept/oct timeframe. Very few drones remained and the queenless hive was dead by Thanksgiving.

    On the bright side, the package I just installed today have a full hive of good comb with lots of stores.

    Queen was dead so I didn't direct release the replacement that I brought home 4 hours after I shook the bees in. The girls were super-excited to have a live queen. They went from being very agitated and flying all over, to calmly setting up shop in about an hour.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    Bump

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    >They look nice, but I think they must be too small.

    I'd make it four feet long minimum... but then the "golden mean" probably doesn't apply anymore... imo the "golden mean" is an aesthetic proportion more than a practical one...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,517

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    Maybe if you scaled the whole thing out it would still be a golden mean hive. I'm pretty sure most gums don't have golden mean proportions. But I painted my hives green and brown, so what do I know about aesthetics.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    I tried the slightly smaller version of the Golden Mean, and never could get a package to remain in it. I tried two packages and had to introduce new queens. Everything failed. I won't go into all the details, but it seems that the design created nothing but chaos. My other two TBHs have been successful from the get-go. (One is a Bee Thinking TBH, and the other is almost exactly the same size, ordered elsewhere.)

    I got so frustrated with the small hive design that I gave it away.

    Sondra

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    Last winter I had my husband make me a GM for my first hive.Very beautiful and my package bees adored it and got prolific immediately. I made the beginner mistake of starting with only One package. Being 60 yrs old and knowing I'd have no help at all I didn't want to be overwealmed. HA. Happened anyway! My April 9 package of Carniolans filled it,evicted drones for 2 weeks and then swarmed by JUNE 14. That was way too fast for me,as a first year,to control.
    I wasn't ready with another hive.I can't Imagine the Work of babysitting several Golden Means! Eeeek!
    I feel that keeping enough empty bars for a queen in the brood nest in a Golden Mean would be a WEEKLY job. I did Not want to open my hive That often! They refilled it to bursting by Fall too and had stores to the end.
    IMHO proportionately making it bigger would really make the already large combs Too big and heavy if a person ever has 100 degree weather softening them. I think adding a foot or MORE to the end would really make a nice hive though!!! They Are a swarm machine,at least for Carniolans, and it seems to me a person could make a couple of splits a year Using a GM for That purpose!
    The upside for me is that I got a locally bred daughter-queen out of my first year beekeeping. It looks like they actually might make it through the winter too!(fingers crossed). I don't know how a person could ever get much honey from a GM because the Beek needs to pull partially built/filled combs ALL the time til Fall to keep any space at all in the thing to try to keep their bees. I LOVE the GM DVD and website but it didn't work That way in My climate (yet).
    I got a second hive that's 48" ready for This year and an empty nuc too! Expecting to get honey from my bigger hive by next year I won't mind the swarm machine giving bees "to the wild" so much if I lose them. This Spring IF I can actually harvest a full comb of honey or more (from last year's winter stores)from the Golden Mean, I'll add to this thread. HB
    Last edited by HappyBeeing; 01-10-2014 at 04:17 PM.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    MY words from January: I don't know how a person could ever get much honey from a GM because the Beek needs to pull partially built/filled combs ALL the time til Fall to keep any space at all in the thing to try to keep their bees. I LOVE the GM DVD and website but it didn't work That way in My climate (yet).
    I got a second hive that's 48" ready for This year and an empty nuc too! Expecting to get honey from my bigger hive by next year I won't mind the swarm machine giving bees "to the wild" so much if I lose them. This Spring IF I can actually harvest a full comb of honey or more (from last year's winter stores)from the Golden Mean, I'll add to this thread. HB

    OK Friends. Time to Eat my words,quite literally!!!
    The colony overwintered and went gangbusters again this Spring.Daughter queen led the pack just like the mom did last year. The Golden Mean not only produced Two splits for me this year(one in a hive now and one a nuc) but it also produced 13 POUNDS of honey for me this year!

    I took out 4 lbs in early Spring when our flow started and I knew they didn't need last Fall's stores anymore. Then 2 weeks ago,after making May-June splits I had to make queen room in the GM,which was Again Full of comb in July(but I'd avoided losing a swarm this year). I ended up with a full,and 2 partial combs that added up to 9 more pounds of honey. wow. I did Not Feed that hive this year either except one quart of essential oils-in-syrup several months ago (which I feel wards off some health issues). It IS a lot of "babysitting" but what a producer! My apologies to the inventor. It does work when one gets the hang of Working it and flows are great like this year's flows in our area!

    Just goes to show,yet again, as a First year beek I just needed to Keep On Learning! I did say in that other post I'd probably leave it to make swarms as per the philosophy of the style, and I won't be splitting much after next year,as I have a self imposed 4 hive limit. But I'm sure as heck HAPPY with how it's all turned out! As a beek with no helpers it IS a lot of work to keep track of how fast things happen in that style,but like all bee work we get to know when and what has to be done and adjust accordingly. HB

    PS- My longer 4.5 foot new-this-year TB is certainly Easier to manage with slower bees and without the swarm threat......

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    > I don't know how a person could ever get much honey from a GM ...
    >but it also produced 13 POUNDS of honey for me this year!

    Are you thinking that is not much? Or that it's a lot? It's not much. In a good year I've harvested 200 lbs per hive. In an average year I harvest 40-50 lbs per hive. In a bad year, sometimes you get nothing.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,517

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    Michael, don't move to Virginia, you will be disappointed!

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    I don't want to sound like a broken record, but it seems about half the people than mention a Golden Mean hive a talking about how they swarm. They look nice, but I think they must be too small.
    As Michael Bush pointed out in this forum a few weeks ago:

    Corwin's intent with the design of his hives is for them to swarm. Seriously. He wants to repopulate the feral bee supply. If you don't want them to swarm, I recommend you build your hives bigger. Four foot is about the minimum length for a good top bar hive that is being run for honey. Five doesn't hurt but doesn't come out as even on materials...

    The golden mean hives do appear to be swarm machines.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    >...I think they must be too small.

    As dedelt pointed out, it was by design. But that doesn't mean you can't build a bigger one...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,517

    Default Re: Golden Mean Full?

    Funny, I don't remember seeing on the website that the golden mean hives are designed to create swarms. Leaving your hives in 5 frame nucs will create swarms as well. Not sure that you need any special design other than small for making swarm producing hives. A would guess that a number of the folks that have those hives live in neighborhoods. Creating a bunch of swarms then produces pests that people have to pay money to get removed. If you live miles away from the closest house than I guess that isn't a concern.

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