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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Clarksville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Interchangable equipment?

    Hello all. This was my first year beekeeping and we ordered our beehives from Kelly's. I am not at all happy with Kelly's and plan to buy the next beehives from Mann Lake. I was curious if anyone has had any experience with these two companies and if their equipment will interchange? Can I place Mann lake supers on top of Kelly's and they work just fine? Will the Mann Lake frames fit in the Kelly's boxes? Thanks in advance for any responses.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,896

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?

    mmartin91.... Just curious....What were your problems with the Kelly equipment. Did you let them know about it.

    cchoganjr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,317

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?

    Welcome to Beesource!

    Langstroth style hive equipment is built to the same general standards. You can stack 10 frame boxes from any manufacturer and expect them to mate externally with one from a competitor. BUT, there really is no "standard" interchangeability spec adhered to by major manufacturers of hive bodies when considering "bee space". The evidence is in this study comparing boxes across major manufacturers:
    http://www.beeculture.com/content/BeeSpaceArticle.pdf

    Its an imperfect world. But I wouldn't continue to buy from a company I was unhappy with - if you wait to switch, it will be even more difficult after you have acquired more equipment.
    Graham
    -- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Bardstown, KY
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmartin91 View Post
    Hello all. This was my first year beekeeping and we ordered our beehives from Kelly's. I am not at all happy with Kelly's and plan to buy the next beehives from Mann Lake. I was curious if anyone has had any experience with these two companies and if their equipment will interchange? Can I place Mann lake supers on top of Kelly's and they work just fine? Will the Mann Lake frames fit in the Kelly's boxes? Thanks in advance for any responses.
    Just curious, what didn't you like about Kelly's hives?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?

    It will fit Kellys and Mann Lakes will fit Kellys, and Dadants etc. wont say any more about any other manufactures. But they all fit each other.
    Do not buy any boxes out of Canada as the outside diameter is larger as Canada wood is thicker.
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,211

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?

    There was a beeculture or ABJ article a few years ago where someone had measured all of the manufacturers frames and boxes. As I remember it, there was a variance between the manufacturers' top space and bottom space; The space refers to how the frame sits in the box some sit higher leaving more bottom space, and some sit lower leaving more top space. This difference is not a big deal in the big scheme of things and not significant enough to worry about.

    I deal with Mann Lake as they are local to me. I have found their customer service to be excellent and their orders show up at my house within 2 days. I liked their boxes well enough, but prefer to make my own with craigslist cheap lumber in the winter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,571

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?

    That article was in Bee Culture, written by Jim Thompson. I don't know which issue.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,317

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?

    Bee Culture, February 2011. See the link in post #3.
    Graham
    -- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,020

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,211

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?

    You guys are quick. You should start your own FBI - Friends of Bees Investigators.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,571

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Bee Culture, February 2011. See the link in post #3.
    Who reads old Posts?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,317

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?

    In longer threads, sometimes you see someone posting, "I didn't read all the posts, but does anyone know .... .... .... "?
    Graham
    -- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Clarksville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Interchangable equipment?

    It seems like we ended up getting stuff no one else would buy. We got the whole hive kit and made a few swaps with some of the stuff they had in the package. What we received was wood that had lots of knots in it, we ended up getting entrance reducers that would not even fit because they were cut wrong where there was no opening, and their entrance reducers are "special" so to speak you cannot order them from anywhere but Kelly's because other ones are too fat to fit, and our top covers which are wood started coming apart at the joints not even 2 months after installing bees. Not to mention their shipping costs are outrageous! We live maybe 3 hours from there and when they charge 10 bucks to ship something that fits in a bubble envelope that's a bit crazy. Most everyone that I have talked to around my area uses Kelly's and are happy so maybe we just got a bad go around but do not plan on trying them again any time soon.

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