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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Ulster Hive - Mann Lake or Brushy Mountain?

    Although I'm planning on building an either 8 or 10 frame permanent observation hive this winter I'd like pick up an Ulster style observation hive for the time being so I can do a few beekeeping demos at my daughter's school. Both the Mann Lake and Brushy Mountain versions appear to be very similar. Does anybody here know how/if they differ or could you recommend one over another?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Island county, Washington, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Ulster Hive - Mann Lake or Brushy Mountain?

    I wanted to get the Ulster so I was really happy to see that Mann Lake is finally selling them------for the same price as Brushy Mt (ML= $145.95, BM=145.00) but Mann Lake has free shipping! (The shipping price is a killer!)

    I called Mann Lake before ordering, and I'm so glad I did. The Mann Lake hive doesn't have a queen excluder built in, Brushy Mt does. Brushy Mt also includes a feeder which Mann Lake doesn't. The BIG issue for me was that the Mann Lake has a solid bottom board permanently attached. Brushy Mt has a screened bottom board with a slider board if you want to close it off.

    I bought the Brushy Mt one. And I'm glad I did.

    I had it at the County Fair last week for 3 days. The weather was hot and there was no AC in the building. I put a frame feeder with water in the hive. (the frames had bees, brood, pollen and honey). With the screened bottom, vents on top, and water in the hive, the bees kept it at the right temp and did excellently the whole three days.

    No way would I have done that without a screened bottom. I don't think they would have survived closed up for 3 days in the solid bottomed Mann Lake hive. I'd just rather be safe than sorry.

    But, that's just my opinion. Maybe someone else has experience with the Mann Lake Ulster.

    (Also, I bought mine to use at the Fair where it would be used for days (as well as just short presentations at schools etc). If you are only going to have the bees in it a few hours the solid bottom is probably okay).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Ulster Hive - Mann Lake or Brushy Mountain?

    Thanks for the first hand info. Sounds like an no-brainer with the extra ventilation. I think I remember reading on Michael Bush's site something about the bee space being too tight for brood to hatch with modding the hive. Do you know if this is a still a problem?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,042

    Default Re: Ulster Hive - Mann Lake or Brushy Mountain?

    My wife and I ordered the Brushy Mountain observation hive today, and you're making me glad we did.

    When we picked up our nucs a few weeks back, we were warned that that cardboard nuc boxes they came in had essentially no ventilation once the plastic plug went in the entrance. Best I can tell, they're Mann Lakes. Apart from the entrance, the only ventilation is a few pinholes in either end. They also apparently developed a load of condensation on the top covers. We've cut out holes and installed screens in the ends so we can use them for swarms, etc. Sounds like Mann Lakes doesn't appreciate ventilation.
    Last edited by Phoebee; 05-28-2014 at 03:47 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,960

    Default Re: Ulster Hive - Mann Lake or Brushy Mountain?

    I have a Brushy Mountain OH and used it yesterday for a presentation at a fair. We had no issues except I wish I had marked the queen! Kids love to hunt her down and unless you have incredible patience or a queen who stays put, you'll have nightmares of queen hunting. If you are not in a hurry BM usually offers free shipping (at least east of the Mississippi) around Thanksgiving.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,876

    Default Re: Ulster Hive - Mann Lake or Brushy Mountain?

    I bought the Brushy Mt one. And I'm glad I did.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Lexington, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Ulster Hive - Mann Lake or Brushy Mountain?

    Mann Lake recently ran a sale on their observation hive, and being pleased with the quality of the items I have received from them in the past, I jumped on it.

    All I can say is it's quality top to bottom.

    Regarding the above comments regarding construction, perhaps they took some hints from the Brushy Mtn. model because this mann Lake model has a ventilated bottom board with a closure board, plastic capped ventilation holes on the top, and a metal queen excluder between the observation area and the nuc box.

    The wood is dried pine and absolutely clear with no blemishes or knots anywhere. It also has removable shutters which I understand the Brushy Mtn. may not have.

    I really couldn't be more pleased with the quality of the materials or construction.
    "The more I studied beekeeping, the less I knew, until, finally, I knew nothing." ~Charles Martin Simon

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,177

    Default Re: Ulster Hive - Mann Lake or Brushy Mountain?

    The BM one has a couple features that aren't included with the ManLake one.
    Don't remember exactly what the differences where, so if the price is the same go with BM

    I see Ziva above mentioned the differences I saw when comparing them.
    Dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    957

    Default Re: Ulster Hive - Mann Lake or Brushy Mountain?

    My Ulster style hive is home-made, but has two features I like --

    1). The top fits on any random wood nuc box. This means that any and every nuc can be strategically appointed "observation hive" for a day. This reduces the pressure on the observation colony, and the substantial effort required to keep the nuc-sized colony from going swarmy.

    2). The upper frame can be insulated with mylar bubble and closed off with solid wood board. This means that bees will maintain brood temperature in that portion. I had real issues with chilled and abandoned brood before getting serious about warming up the upper frame.

    The design where the bottom board (with a screen insert), and the top frame assembly are independent and simply are strapped to a standard nuc gives a lot of flexibility in terms of colony assignment -- the top can be replaced with standard nuc-migratory cover, and the hive reverts. Not near as pretty as varnished wood wonders -- but you know the straps give folks a sense of security.


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