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  1. #1
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    Default 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    It seems to me most commercial beekeepers prefer 4-way over 6-way pallets. Is it because of weight, or size? Or because of those two hives in the middle which you need to stand in front of to work with them?

    I'm considering buying and using 6-way pallets this year.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    I used to run 6 hives on wearhouse pallets. When I got them to their Summer yards I took two off of the pallet. The bottom boards were nailed onto the bottom deep. That made working the four much easier I found.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  3. #3
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    Jan 2003
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTheBeekeeper View Post

    I'm considering buying and using 6-way pallets this year.
    working those two hives in the center would be a real pain in the back
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Fallon NV USA
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    With 6 to the pallet it is much easier to tie down for transport and you can put more hives on. Also having entrances to the side rather than pointing at you while moving with forklift is much better.

  5. #5
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    working those two hives in the center would be a real pain in the back
    That's why we don't use them. It's a lot easier to work hives on 4-ways.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    777

    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    I am building a bunch of pallets that are 4 way that have entrances to the side , it is a design from a local commercial beekeeper , I hope they work out okay , I have never used pallets with my bees before . I think it makes more sense to have the hives pointed that way because of the direction of the frames are inline with the flow of traffic , less damage to the bees in transport I would think.
    The downfall is that I can't take quite as many in 1 trip , but I am not going to be travelling far to where they are going to pollinate berries .
    Just my 2 nickles worth , no pennies left in Canada LOL
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    I see, so it's quite inconvenient.

  8. #8
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    May 2008
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    Blythe,California,USA
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    I recently went to buy new pallets and was stuck with this same question. I went ahead and ordered 6ways because thats what I already had and to switch them all over to 4's would be a nightmare. both financially and laboriously . I like the 6ways too. Standing infront of the hive doesn't seem to be that big of a deterrent for me. Here's a pic of mine.




    20140102_160510_zpsae7a383e.jpg

  9. #9
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    Amador County, California, USA
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    That looks similar to the ones I can get. I can get them cheaper than 4-way pallets so that's mostly why I'm interested in them. Also I've worked with singles placed right next to each other (3 in a row) and it's not much of a problem for me either but I think 4-ways are a little bit easier though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    772

    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    I use 4 ways because do lots of top box tilting when checking weight, swarm cells, sub feeding, and so on. I don't think you could tilt the center hive on a 6 way.

  11. #11
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    Blythe,California,USA
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    There needs to be a gap between the opposite hives. 3-4 inches and you will be able to tilt the center hive. All of mine have the gap. I recently bought some hives on 6ways without the gap. Terrible. Also it allows my end hives to have inside (pallet) entrances so I can stand infront of them and work the center without blocking.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    Brilliant idea switching the enterances into the middle of the pallet, it would manage the drift issue.
    Funny thing is simple ideas like that sometimes are the hardest to find.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Brilliant idea switching the enterances into the middle of the pallet, it would manage the drift issue.
    Funny thing is simple ideas like that sometimes are the hardest to find.
    Does this mean that hives will function fine with a small space 6-12" between the entrances of the hives?
    If so do the bees orient to front of the hives opposite them so if you move the pallet they don't drift back to the original spot? Also if you then make nucs/splits from those hives and place them face to face there will not be a drift issue?

    If that is the case it is brilliant for those with small yards who need to put splits/ nucs in a different position in the same bee yard.
    I am interested to hear more on this concept
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    Entrance orientation is key to drifting issues. Those hives will use those side entrances no less efficient than the other frount facing hives. Lots of room there.
    Split that hive, and they will simply re orientate to their new entrance

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Entrance orientation is key to drifting issues. Those hives will use those side entrances no less efficient than the other frount facing hives. Lots of room there.
    Split that hive, and they will simply re orientate to their new entrance
    So to get this straight in my mind...If I place one row of hives side by side with front entrances and place another row side by side with front entrances facing, and only 6-12" across from the front entrances of the other row they will do fine?

    If I then split some of those hives and orient them facing each other in a row can I expect less drift than if I didn't reorient them facing one another.

    Will there be less drift maintaining the relative orientation even if I relocate the entire group of reoriented hives?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    I do not know if I'm following you.

    Simply put with those six ways, less drifting with the two hives using the back side/side entrance than if they all were using frount entrances

    If you look, even though the entrance is on the back side, it's still a straight shot entrance to the side. I would not of thought that until I had seen it

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    I saw a guy one time who had 4 hive pallets w/ entrances on the front for two hives and entrances on the sides for two. What happens when they get loaded on a semi? Half the hives are closed in for 24 hours or better. Why doesn't that kill them?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  18. #18
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    That's a good point. This six way with the back entrance would have enough space to beard and breath, but to have actual side entrances on a four way would totally smother the hive during transport.
    Hmmm, not a good idea

  19. #19
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    Here's a pic of a 6-way in almonds in Feb 2012. See how entrances were arranged.

    P1010022.jpgP1010018.jpg

    No clips that I can see, but there is a small block of wood at front on one of pics.

    Hives are touching each other side to side and at backs?????? Rot and underside of super checking are problems.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  20. #20
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    Fruitland ,Idaho
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    Default Re: 6-way vs. 4-way pallets

    It makes my back hurt just looking at the pictures of a 6 way pallet.

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