Hive design, what type? [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

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Barry
01-02-2009, 02:14 PM
For discussion of the various types of hives; Langstroth, Top Bar, etc., and how to do an initial setup. Things to consider, pros and cons, such as future extracting issues and supering. Frame and foundation types.

fatscher
01-06-2009, 09:34 PM
Unsure if this topic belongs, but you may want to consider getting and starting out on 8 frame equipment, and stick with it.

I use 10 frame, but I'm fairly young (43) and in great shape, no bad back or knees. A lot of older beeks advocate the 8 frame medium super, and build the brood hive 3 boxes tall.

8-frame mediums are supposedly far easier to lift and manipulate than 10 frame. Something to consider.

bigbore
01-07-2009, 04:42 AM
for a beginner I would advise langstroth hives over top bar hives. I think they are easier to manipulate without damaging the comb. start small ( 2 hives) you will grow faster than you think. be ready for anything to give you more bees. Initial setup would be close to home, easy access, level ground to start with. build everything you can, ( just to understand what it takes to make it). consider your health age and strength when deciding on brood box size, (deep vs medium, 8 frame vs 10 frame); your patience level and finances when deciding on foundation,(wax, wired wax, duraguilt, pierco, foundationless); your comfort with bees for your basic equiptment ( gloves and veil vs full bee suit). beginners have a year before a serious honey crop, so they should have an idea if they want to continue before they need to consider honey supers. by the time they are getting ready for that, they need to consider what they are going to do for them. again consider age, health, strength, and access to the hives (shallow =35 lbs, med = 50 lbs, deeps = 90 lbs). cut comb and crush and strain use no foundation, ross rounds need a different frame, extractors are hard on unsupported wax. I know I am missing a ton of other things they need to consider, but i think this is the high lights

iwombat
02-10-2009, 02:06 PM
I use 10 frame, but I'm fairly young (43) and in great shape, no bad back or knees. A lot of older beeks advocate the 8 frame medium super, and build the brood hive 3 boxes tall.

8-frame mediums are supposedly far easier to lift and manipulate than 10 frame. Something to consider.

8-frame equipment is also good if you want to include younger kids. The 10-frame equipment is too big and heavy for most pre-teens to manage.

chillardbee
02-16-2009, 10:59 AM
For discussion of the various types of hives; Langstroth, Top Bar, etc., and how to do an initial setup. Things to consider, pros and cons, such as future extracting issues and supering. Frame and foundation types.

I would stay with the standard 10 frame Langstroth hive. maintainance of the thes hives are easier. shallow supers for honey super can be used for ease. It easier to sell this equipment if the time comes.

danameric
02-16-2009, 03:56 PM
I have enjoyed using all mediums. It's been very nice to be able to move frames and boxes from top to bottom without having to think about it.

For those of you who are good with a saw and measurement. I started off by buying 2 medium 10 frame boxes. After making sure that they were exactly the same. I assembled one and used the other one to size up parts. I switched the type of joint on the end to rabbit joints and used tightbond 2 and screws. With the value wood at menards and a table saw I was able to make a medium for 2 dollars. After you make a box you should check it with the store bought assembled one and also put 10 frames in it to see if they fit just as good. For a hand hold I use two small wood chunks. I've really enjoyed making my own boxes and painting them all sorts of colors.

Robert Brenchley
02-25-2009, 01:18 PM
What's standard in your area? I use bottom space Nationals since everyone else round here does. Bottom space isn't ideal, but when I get secondhand gear, it's compaible with what I already have.

Eaglerock
02-25-2009, 01:54 PM
I like the standard 10 frame. I think most like the finger cut or finger-lock corners the most. Does anyone like Rabbeted Hive Bodies rather than the finger-lock corners?

Still trying to work on making my own hives, but having problems with the handles.

iwombat
02-25-2009, 03:16 PM
The box joint is far superior as long as you glue all the surfaces. They'll weather much better and have a lot less problems with expansion/contraction over their lifetime.

Just use cleats (1" x 2") fastened to the outside for handles. Far easier than trying to cut handles into the sides.

NashBeek
02-25-2009, 03:25 PM
I like the standard 10 frame. I think most like the finger cut or finger-lock corners the most. Does anyone like Rabbeted Hive Bodies rather than the finger-lock corners?

Still trying to work on making my own hives, but having problems with the handles.
I like the rabbeted better, less end grain to rot and with todays glue you don't have to worry about them falling apart. I know that if you keep them painted one joint will last as long as another IMO however by some of the photos I've seen of a lot of hives painting seems to be the last thing on the agenda. I also like the 8 frame hive with deep bodies and medium supers, how often are you going to be lifting the brood chambers and as to selling 8 frame equipment I didn't get into this to resell it later if thats your thinking maybe you should reconsider BeeKeeping as a hobby! Just my opinion!

Eaglerock
02-26-2009, 06:33 AM
[QUOTE=NashBeek;398003]I like the rabbeted better, less end grain to rot and with todays glue you don't have to worry about them falling apart. I know that if you keep them painted one joint will last as long as another IMO however by some of the photos I've seen of a lot of hives painting seems to be the last thing on the agenda. QUOTE]

I think I like the finger joint, but I do have some that are rabbeted and I keep mine well painted... always have even when I started back in the 60's. I like them to look nice as well asn keep them from rottttttt. I never have used glue, ever. I like it as safe and natural for them. I don't like using plastic. After all, plastic is Petroleum, and that is not healthy for anyone. They are now showing that water in plastic is not as healthy as tap water....because of the plastic bottles. :scratch: I use to buy if by the case too... :eek:

Alex Cantacuzene
02-26-2009, 07:39 AM
Hi Eaglerock, you mention some joints that I am not familiar with. The traditionals are finger joints. I have used half bling dovetails and liked them because I don't like end wood exposed. Now I am using Miter Lock joints that have no end wood exposure at all and seem to me to be the strongest. I use TiteBondIII glue and find there is very little exposure of the glue to areas where the bees can get to. Finger Joints on the table saw are a bit dangerous to me and if there is just a little variation in the spacing the corners don't match up. But then again, it's just my opinion. Take care and have fun

Eaglerock
02-26-2009, 12:39 PM
Hi Eaglerock, you mention some joints that I am not familiar with. The traditionals are finger joints. I have used half bling dovetails and liked them because I don't like end wood exposed. Now I am using Miter Lock joints that have no end wood exposure at all and seem to me to be the strongest. I use TiteBondIII glue and find there is very little exposure of the glue to areas where the bees can get to. Finger Joints on the table saw are a bit dangerous to me and if there is just a little variation in the spacing the corners don't match up. But then again, it's just my opinion. Take care and have fun

http://www.millerbeesupply.com/Page8 This is the rabbeted joine I was talking about. Finger joints are easily done on a table saw by making a jig.

pom51
02-26-2009, 03:52 PM
I too make all my own Hives I perfere the box joints it is easy to square up
and for cutting hand holes in the box that is not a problem just make a mark on the saw fence in line with arbor and make marks on the inside of hive in center with small square then place a mark on each side of center then set hive on saw with first mark with mark on saw fence and push to end marks and lift off all cut are madewith dado blade if slot is not big enough just move fence on way or the other after all cut have been made one time

BGhoney
02-26-2009, 09:28 PM
I'm using all 10 frame equipment, when I get older or sore,I will put a piece of1 inch high density styrofoam in place of the #1 and #10 frames, even a little extra insulation. In our club everyone uses 10 frame , boxes are donated to the club , covers bottoms , its all 10 frame..

Templar Ben
02-28-2009, 08:13 AM
So if you are starting out is it better to learn on a TBH or Langstroth?

waynesgarden
02-28-2009, 10:26 AM
So if you are starting out is it better to learn on a TBH or Langstroth?

{Cutting and pasting a reply I wrote earlier today on a farming forum to another excited newbe planning to start beekeeping with a TB hive:]

I worked (minimally) with bees many years ago and am getting back into it this year. I'm in the middle of a 12 week beekeeping course run by the Western Maine Beekeeper's association and strongly recommend such a course for other new beekeepers.

I am also interested in the simplicity of top bar hives but I'll be starting again with one Langstroth hive. There are a number of reasons for this. I have a little experience with that type. The course I'm taking revolves around it. The members of the association are all using those hives and those are the folks I will need to help me out in a pinch. That hive can be a source of bees for a new top bar hive. And the Langstroth is a reliable type of hive for over-wintering in the frigid north.

In short, I need to get myself back up to speed in the usual method of beekeeping before I decide another method is "better for the bees" as you say.

There are beekeepers using top bar hives successfully in the north. There are also beeks using top bars in Langstroth hives, a method I will be trying also. Also small-cell foundation in frames. There are many ways to keep bees naturally and I would be mistaken if I thought I had the knowledge to say which one is better for the bees without having the experience of trying them all or a means of comparison. (I've read a lot about TB hives and a lot makes good sense to me but before I commit to any "ideology," I need a bit experience to determine its suitability.)

The hive I am starting this Spring from a nuc could possibly be split later to start a top bar hive. Or I might be lucky enough to capture a swarm. In any case, I'll have a top bar hive ready to try.

{end of cut/paste}

Just my opinion. Subject to change.

Wayne

Templar Ben
02-28-2009, 12:00 PM
Fair enough. I am a bit further south but it does get cold here. How is extraction done with TBH or is it all pretty much comb for sale?

waynesgarden
02-28-2009, 12:17 PM
Fair enough. I am a bit further south but it does get cold here. How is extraction done with TBH or is it all pretty much comb for sale?

Crushing and straining is the method that I've read about.

Wayne

dni
03-02-2009, 07:30 AM
I have enjoyed using all mediums. It's been very nice to be able to move frames and boxes from top to bottom without having to think about it.

i am trying to decide between 2 deeps or 3 mediums for my first hives.

while i certainly see the advantages of the mediums (weight and interchangeability) i wonder what people think about how to deal with getting nucs - as they seem to be primarily raised in deeps.

are there other equipment issues that i will run into if i have no deeps in my hives? things like "drone frames (http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/prodinfo.asp?number=364)" or anything else that might only come in deep?

i have even seen it setups of 1 deep sandwiched between 2 mediums (in the Ross Conrad book Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933392088?ie=UTF8&tag=spidermitecentra&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1933392088))

thanks in advance for any thoughts

LenInNorCal
03-02-2009, 07:44 AM
i am trying to decide between 2 deeps or 3 mediums for my first hives.
while i certainly see the advantages of the mediums (weight and interchangeability) i wonder what people think about how to deal with getting nucs - as they seem to be primarily raised in deeps.
are there other equipment issues that i will run into if i have no deeps in my hives? things like "drone frames (http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/prodinfo.asp?number=364)" or anything else that might only come in deep?
i have even seen it setups of 1 deep sandwiched between 2 mediums (in the Ross Conrad book Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933392088?ie=UTF8&tag=spidermitecentra&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1933392088))
thanks in advance for any thoughts

I got my nuc from a medium and stayed with mediums but I believe mine starved to death (found them this last week) so this year I am going with a deep brood and three to four mediums. Being my age I want to stay mediums due to weight even though I won't harvest. If you are strong and young then do as you wish. I like your first idea.

dni
03-02-2009, 07:52 AM
I like your first idea.

which one, 3 mediums?

Barry
03-02-2009, 08:11 AM
Please remember, this forum (How to start beekeeping) and thread (Hive design) is for very specific topics and not for general beekeeping discussion. Please keep messages on topic. We're developing an FAQ with these posts.

dni
03-02-2009, 08:19 AM
Please remember, this forum (How to start beekeeping) and thread (Hive design) is for very specific topics and not for general beekeeping discussion. Please keep messages on topic. We're developing an FAQ with these posts.

pardon my new-ness to this forum & apologies if i posted in the wrong spot.
is there a better place to have posted this question about hive configurations?
it seemed like the most logical.....

Barry
03-02-2009, 08:53 AM
The idea of this forum is to input information, not so much to ask questions. My intention is not to run you off, just wanting to remind everyone again what the purpose and goal of this forum is. General discussion needs to go to the Bee Forum. This applies to the bantering about the definition of joints that took place earlier.

iwombat
03-02-2009, 01:02 PM
Sorry about the joint banter, Barry. I'll admit it drifted a bit, but I think there's some very useful and topical information in there.

Anyway, to stay on topic. . .

The nuc issue is why I decided to go with 1 deep in the brood chambers and the rest mediums. I notice a few others out here doing the same. It's kind of a compromise. In my opinion being able to exchange frames with available nucs is far more important than being able to exchange frames between brood and supers. By having one of each, you can put anything into the brood chamber that you need to.

Just my $.02.

AR Beekeeper
03-03-2009, 11:17 AM
From the bee's point of view, a hive should provide enough space for a good queen to lay and storage space for the years food supply.

This varies somewhat with the race of bee and where the hive is located. Usually the square inches of comb space provided by a double deep hive configuration is sufficient, if the comb is properly drawn.

The different hive styles or configurations are for the benefit of the beekeeper and that varies from person to person. What is the most important, cost or ease of handling boxes? Why are bees kept, for income or just for the pleasure of keeping bees?

If inital cost is most important then the fewer boxes/frames needed to give the required square inches of comb space would be best. If cost is not the most important but ease of handling boxes is, then more of the smaller boxes/frames would be the way to go.

Just remember, you must meet or EXCEDE the required square inches of comb space and the comb MUST BE PROPERLY DRAWN.

Beginning hobby beekeepers should start with standard Langstroth boxes of the depth they prefer. All manipulations and techniques that new beekeepers must learn are described in the beekeeping manuals and are based on this style box. If for some reason a beekeeper decides quit standard size Langstroth equipment is easy to sell.

My prefered hive configurations are one deep body and two mediums, or four mediums. Both styles are easy for hobby beekeepers to handle, provide ample space for the bees and are simple to checkerboard for swarm control.

Deeptime
08-15-2009, 09:41 AM
Wished I come upon this site before I started...I went with the basic beginners 2-hive 10-framer set up. Everything was ok until I lifted a chuck full 10 framer deep. Big wake-up on the back strain issue. Jeez, was I surprised! I can't imagine somebody with a lot of 10-frame hives, starting a day of serious hive manipulation on the schedule.

Currently running 2 hive, 10framers. In spring I intend to add 2 eight framers. I realize I'll have an equipment compatibility issue, but I'm just a hobbyist and I love experimenting.

I want to thank all the folks who take to the time to answer all the endless questions us wanna-bee-beeks come up with.

Motown
09-25-2009, 11:33 PM
I started with all 8 frame mediums.

Things to consider, all of the nuc's for purchase in the area are shifting to mediums from deeps. All mediums makes for more compatibility. A typical 5 frame medium nuc could be place into a 8 frame or a 10 frame without a problem. The medium format keeps the weight down and limits mishandling full supers. Dropping or banging full supers together tends to make the bee less happy.

As for the 8 frame vs 10 frame, that's a different story. I find that the added height of the overall hive caused by the 8 frame format conflicts with the weight savings. A 40 frame hive in the 10 frame format is less then 4ft tall, and 40 frame hive in the 8 frame format can be 5ft or more. Keep this in mind if your a little shorter, you have bad winds, or need to raise your hive a little taller to keep the small animals away.

Just my opinion, but I own all 8 frame mediums, and will stay that way for now.

Bens-Bees
09-29-2009, 10:09 PM
40 frame hive in the 8 frame format can be 5ft or more.

?? 40 frames divided by 8 per box = 5 boxes * 6.25 inches per box = 2 ft. 7.25 inches + a little over a foot for the hive stand, bottom board, vented top cover, etc... and you're still only at 4 ft. for 40 frames.

The height difference between a 10 frame and 8 frame setup for 40 frames would be exactly 6.25 inches (if using mediums, which you said you were).

PCM
09-30-2009, 09:49 AM
?? 40 frames divided by 8 per box = 5 boxes * 6.25 inches per box = 2 ft. 7.25 inches + a little over a foot for the hive stand, bottom board, vented top cover, etc... and you're still only at 4 ft. for 40 frames.

The height difference between a 10 frame and 8 frame setup for 40 frames would be exactly 6.25 inches (if using mediums, which you said you were).

More incorrect info;

A Medium hive box is 6 5/8 inches NOT 6.25 inches !!

The Medium frames are 6.25 inches !!

Oh, hows Cass doing, bought any more of his bees ?? :lpf:

PCM

Barry
11-09-2009, 06:16 PM
Top Bar Hive:

https://www.beesource.com/forums/showpost.php?p=476585&postcount=14

Fusion_power
12-16-2009, 08:16 PM
The optimum hive design depends to a degree on where you live and on your objectives in keeping bees.

1. Standard langstroth equipment is pretty much tested over time and proven to work. It has some deficiencies such as weight of a deep full of honey. Still, it is easily sold and easily replaced if you are buying equipment.

2. A square box based on Langstroth dimensions so standard frames fit with a total of 12 frames in a box is a viable alternative. Medium depth is probably a better configuration for this size since weight becomes a significant issue with deeps. The biggest advantage of this size is that the base is larger so colonies don't stack quite so high. The disadvantages include not standard so not as readily sold, and it is a bit of an odd fit for overwintering colonies.

3. Eight frame equipment based on Langstroth dimensions is viable in most of the U.S. and is preferred by some pollination operations. It has advantages when working the bees because the hive is lighter even when full of honey. Disadvantages include overwintering problems in severe winter areas and purchasing them can be difficult because only a few manufacturers support them.

4. Horizontal hives of various designs such as the Kenya topbar hive are viable but mostly limited to hobbyists. For a given size hive, they require the least material to build. This hive design is at a slight disadvantage in severe winter areas because bees have a natural tendency to move up onto combs of honey immediately above the brood nest.


While many hive designs have been tried over the years such as the Stewart vertical octagon hive and various versions of tubular hives both vertical and horizontal, none of them are practical from a beekeepers perspective.

So what would be an optimum design for a hive?

1. A single brood chamber should hold all the brood and bees needed by the colony.
2. It should be easily portable so beekeepers can manipulate it with ease.
3. Honey should be readily removed and easy to extract.
4. pest control should be easy to implement. This could include protection from tropical hornets, varroa, and diseases.
5. It should insulate from the worst of cold external temperatures.
6. It must permit colony manipulation by the beekeeper with minimum disruption of the colony.
7. It must be durable.

There are several other desirable features, but the above gives an idea. From the above, you can readily see that Langstroth dimensions come close but miss out on several items.

Darrel Jones

Riley
02-03-2010, 01:03 PM
If a person just starting out were to ask me, I'd recommend eight-frame Langstroth hives. I have all 10-frame equipment. The weight is an issue, as many people have noted. But the other issue is over-wintering. In the long northern winters the bees move up for stores. Invariably I have full frames of honey on both sides of lower deeps and a cluster up against the inner cover by spring. The cluster has a much harder time moving laterally rather than vertically. It occurs to me that in their natural home -- hollow trees -- bees thrive in much narrower spaces. I think the bees will get better use of winter stores with an eight-frame configuration. The extra height on a narrower footprint will be an issue in high-wind unprotected areas. Even though I will have compatibility issues I intend to add a couple of eight-frame colonies to experiment with and see how wintering goes.

Michael Bush
02-03-2010, 01:21 PM
>Disadvantages include overwintering problems in severe winter areas and purchasing them can be difficult because only a few manufacturers support them.

One of the things I LIKE about eight frame hives is they winter BETTER. I don't know of any manufacturer who does not now offer eight frame boxes. Some don't list them, but I don't know any who don't have them.

As far as height, that's one reason I went with top entrances, I could then put the hive on a four by four stand (3 1/2" off the ground) without skunk problems and that saved me another box in height.

bimbyjim
02-12-2010, 06:37 AM
>As far as height, that's one reason I went with top entrances, I could then put the hive on a four by four stand (3 1/2" off the ground) without skunk problems and that saved me another box in height.


Mike,

I'm a rookie getting ready to start my first hives. Are skunk problems the main reason you went to top entrance? Would I be able to set up a top entrance with my Brushy hive top feeder?

Thanks for all of your helpful postings.

Jim

Michael Bush
02-12-2010, 09:27 AM
>Are skunk problems the main reason you went to top entrance?

They were the reason I went with top entrances. However, now I see a lot of other advantages that were not my original reason. Like grass never blocks the entrance, nor does snow, and I never have to worry about mice.

>Would I be able to set up a top entrance with my Brushy hive top feeder?

Two shingle shims will make a top entrance under the hive top feeder. Yes, I do it all the time. But if you are feeding you may want to also cut a piece of something for an entrance reducer to put across the front.

mythomane
02-21-2010, 05:23 PM
This is sold in the states? Where? Or do you have to make it from scratch?

Michael Bush
02-22-2010, 02:31 AM
I know of no 12 frame equipment being advertised by the big suppliers. You'll have to either make it or have it custom made.

Tubee
11-04-2010, 08:49 AM
Hello to everyone.
Iím a total novice when it comes to bees, but I have owned and operated a woodshop for over 20 years, so I think I know a little bit about putting wood together. Iím a bit surprised about questions for ďhandlesĒ. Like someone said, simply attach blocks with glue and screws, or if youíre up to it, cut rounded slots into the sides with either a table saw or a router.
Knowing absolutely nothing about bees a few years ago, a friend asked me to make him a truck load of hive bodies and supers. I didnít know what a super was, maybe Superman and something to do with bees flying? We constructed everything very successfully using rabbet joints and glue on the edge surfaces. About the glue joint: I have used all kinds of glues, by the gallon in volume. Tightbond III would be my choice. For those who think Gorilla Glue is good- itís a worthless foamy polystyrene plastic thatís both brittle, degrades with exposure to air, and has minimal tensile strength. I will not use Gorilla in my shop.
Dovetail or finger joints are indeed strong due to their surface areas, but the equipment to make this kind of joint not to mention the time, just isnít worth the hassle. Even if you have dovetail equipment like I do, I would still opt for the rabbet joint for both the hive body and the supers.
Small galvanized nails are an added plus, but actually the nails are used to hold the glue joint in place while it completely sets (not one, not two, but at least 8 hours). Get yourself some pipe-type clamps or borrow a few to hold the joints in place. (By the way, I make cutting boards using Tightbond, using various woods that have different coefficients of expansion, and havenít had a glue joint break yet.)
There is a small problem with nails these days in that IF they are electroplated with zinc, they will eventually rust, even with painting. Check your nails or use galvanized sheetrock screws.
So, if youíre going to make your own hives, etc. as I am, and darn, getting into bees ainít cheap!, use a good water proof glue like Tightbond, use a rabbet joint and if you arenít really comfortable using a table saw, take out additional health insurance.

mythomane
11-04-2010, 09:11 AM
So you have time to pipe clamp each side of a hive, but cant find the time finger joint. Ok. You say your cutting boards have not broken at the seams yet. Ok. Are these cutting boards out in the weather 24/7? Put one out there and see how it does. Having been on the receiving end of home made equipment over the last 15 years I can say one thing for certain -- most "put-together" equipment is not worth a :no:, especially when made with rabbett-joints. Some jokers are even using green wood they cut down in their backyards, with knots the size of dinner plates. If that works for you, great. When I buy used hives like that I just transfer the bees and give the rest away. You lose a few hives to brood chill/robbing/falling apart and you realize that it is worth the extra money to buy decent equipment.

Tubee
11-04-2010, 09:46 AM
Hi, you're right of course about the time to clamp but not make the dovetail joints, but I also clamp dovetail joints. If I were making production hive bodies, the whole setup would be different, but I'm making one or two at the time as needed or I'd run out of clamps.
And too, my wood is dry and without knots. I can't imagine anyone using green wet wood for anything except rough cut wooden bowls. Suffice to say that you must know what you're doing with wood or go down the warp and split apart learning curve in the worse kind of way. Maybe I was wrong to suggest making hive bodies and supers unless you work wood professionally.:ws

mythomane
11-04-2010, 10:01 AM
You are not wrong by any means. It just takes a lot of time to build these properly. If you have the time and skill, by all means go ahead. Most guys that build these are not skilled woodworkers (though they think they are) but are driven by the fact that home-made stuff is cheaper. I know a guy that makes boxes out of broken apart pallets. It costs him 40 cents a box. Works for him, but they are junk.

honeyman46408
11-04-2010, 10:17 AM
Works for him, but they are junk.

And the bees don`t care :popcorn:

Tubee
11-04-2010, 10:27 AM
Exactly! It's all sort of like being your own dentist even though you're a plumber. Many times I opt for purchasing a particular item even though I have the ability to make one myself. There's a sign I put up in the shop that reads: "You get professional results only from a professional." So, I just can't see myself making a Tyvek suit either just because my wife has a sewing machine. I can for sure make the supers though, and the metal covered tops for about 1/4 the cost on the retail market.

mythomane
11-04-2010, 10:50 AM
The bees do not care that they are the wrong size, so they gum the frames and build up cross-comb. They do not care about the gaping holes in the sides, but they become concerned when cold air starts blowing in and robbers are attacking them from all directions. The bees do not care about the old pallett walls (they find them kind of rustic and charming) but I do when I buy some hives, and not only do they not fit on my boxes, but the bees escape from the holes when I am driving them home, and then the box falls apart when I unload it. The bees do not care, but I do. I like them to make it through the winter.

honeyman46408
11-04-2010, 11:41 AM
Threads in Forum : How to Start Beekeeping

R we missing something here most people that read this forum are starting out not BIG time beekeepers, that will come later along with a lot of mistakes.

Bill C Beekeeper
11-19-2010, 08:58 AM
I would recommend to anyone interested in making your own supers is to decide on which size supers you want to deal with and make the joints box cut joints. These box cut joints can be made easily on any table saw with a dado blade. I would also just used whatever species of wood that is readily available in your area. 1 inch stock is best, but 3/4 stock workd just as good. Keep your designs and work as simple as possible as you will find more enjoyment after you have made your own equipment and raised your own bees!!!!

frysl
11-20-2010, 03:10 PM
To answer your question, I suggest going with all one type of super. I am getting rid of all my deeps and going to use all 10 frame medium supers.
I have already taken my nucs (4) and cut them down to where they will accept medium frames.
Makes it much easier to figure out how much of what type of equipment, as well as easier when you go out to the hives and need to add or move things around.

Humanbeeing
12-05-2010, 04:36 AM
In my humble opinion, I think box joints are the best. I have rabbit joints on some boxes that are warping and pulling apart. They were glued with Titebond III and nailed. I attribute it to the very wet spring we had.
With the jig in this video, box joints are much easier now. The plans are $12.00. It takes medium skill to build and Matt will help you if you have questions. I am in the process of building it now. Since I am a woodworker and own a small, well equiped shop, I feel compelled to build the best boxes possible that will last as long as possible. That's just my experience, and my opinion, for what it's worth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuFHurrWswQ

I would recommend a good contractor saw but a cabinet saw is the best since the jig is heavy and needs the 3/4 X 3/8 guidebar.

dragonfly
12-06-2010, 12:17 PM
for a beginner I would advise langstroth hives over top bar hives. I think they are easier to manipulate without damaging the comb. ...
again consider age, health, strength, and access to the hives (shallow =35 lbs, med = 50 lbs, deeps = 90 lbs).
What I ended up doing was building a one-story hive similar to a top bar, that I can use lang frames in. My advancing age loves it.:D

Gold Star
12-20-2010, 02:21 PM
It's interesting that one of the best features of top bar hive beekeeping - the all natural, made BY bees, FOR bees, beeswax that they're known for, is also one of the most commonly mentioned disadvantages.

But think, folks - how difficult is it, really - to manage a piece of honeycomb? If you want to be able to set it on the ground, and/or rest it against the side of a box, well, okay - that won't work well, but there just isn't any need for that in a top bar hive, as you can always just set it back into the hive, or rest it upside down on its little head!

You might enjoy this exasperated little video I made one day to show people just how easy it is - to handle the natural honeycomb that you find inside a top bar hive: http://bit.ly/eAwWlt

No disrespect to anyone, but I think natural wax made without the use of foundation is crucial to the bees' health... and part of natural wax is that natural shape that they make it in.

:-)
-- Christy Hemenway
GOLD STAR HONEYBEES
207-449-1121
www.goldstarhoneybees.com

Duboisi
12-20-2010, 10:37 PM
Trying to stray back to the topic... :D

I am a fresh beekeeper, with only one hive at the moment.

I was really keen on using TBH's and have built a couple that are standing ready. But I figured that I wanted standard equipment for my first hive. I figure I will need some advice, as I know of no beeks in my area with TBH's, it's easier to stay with the beaten track at first.

For next year, the plan is to buy 2-3 hives from a retiring beek. They are in standard hives.

I have also made a "long-lang" like Dragonfly. It should work as something inbetween.

My guess is that I will end up with two standard cubes, one "long-lang" and two TBH's next year. After a season or three I figure I have the knowledge and feel for what to go for in the future.

BTW: I will also experiment with foundationless standard-frames(With starter strips).
BTW2: I have no plan on buying an extractor. I will not rule it out in the future, but why use a lot of money to buy it if you don't need it?

Adnyb
06-07-2012, 11:08 AM
Good comments on Langs and TBHs. Has anyone any experience with Warre hives? They appeal to me for some reason, even though I am just beginning to do the research on beekeeping in general, and haven't any hives - yet. Apparently there are two variants on teh Warre's - Top bar and frames (aka Modified Warre).

kilocharlie
06-16-2017, 11:50 PM
I like the standard 10 frame. I think most like the finger cut or finger-lock corners the most. Does anyone like Rabbeted Hive Bodies rather than the finger-lock corners?

Still trying to work on making my own hives, but having problems with the handles.

During your first year, you might consider making a few, bang-together boxes just to get started, but the Finger Box Joint is vastly prefered due to it's strength and longevity when exposed to the weather for several years.

It is hands-down, slam dunk a better joint. My hive bodies have proven it beyond any shred of a doubt. One rolled down a steep hill. The bees were P.O.'d, but they survived and so did the box. The nuc' box that sat on top also went down the hill. It was butt-jointed and it blew apart, even though it was lighter, did not fall as far, and did not land in the rocks like the FBJ box.

Another one fell off a trailer and skidded / tumbled 150 feet on the freeway, from 55 mph down to stopped. I still use it. I did add in a wedge in one corner to replace the part that was lost to excessive friction, but the joints held and the box is still square.

A farmer's wife ran over one of my hives with a truck. I replaced the 1 damaged side and put it back into use.

My mentor, now a 44 year beekeeper, dipped his hives in 50% boiled linseed oil and 50% mineral spirit back in 1973 and retired the boxes in 2013. 40 years ain't too bad. The joints were mostly still good. The end grain had very few cracks in them because the oils drawn in back in 1973 appear to have protected them almost all along.

The only other joint I use is the lockmiter joint, but it takes a very precise setup, including a planer and a shaper or a powerful router table to get it right. It saves a lot of time over finger box joints if you can make them correctly. I do not yet have longevity data on them - I'll report back in 40 years, If I'm still around. So far (= coming up on 1 year), they are doing quite well out in the weather.

JConnolly
06-22-2017, 01:01 PM
Good comments on Langs and TBHs. Has anyone any experience with Warre hives? They appeal to me for some reason, even though I am just beginning to do the research on beekeeping in general, and haven't any hives - yet. Apparently there are two variants on teh Warre's - Top bar and frames (aka Modified Warre).

I've worked with Langstroths all the way back to my teenage years helping my grandfather, but Warre hives appealed to me as well. I never wanted to have it be my primary hive type, but I wanted to experiment with it. A couple of years ago I cut out all the material for Warre but didn't assemble it. This year I finally put it together and established a colony.

If you are thinking of doing a Warre, my first recommendation to you would be to download Abbe Warre's book Beekeeping for All (http://www.natural-beekeeping.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/beekeeping_for_all.pdf) and read it.

In many states in the US agricultural regulations require beehives to have removable frames (because there are significant advantages to frames for inspection and disease control). If you live in one of those states (I do) then the decision to use a modified Warre has been made for you.

The biggest disadvantage is that nothing in your Warre will be interchangeable with other bee keepers. You will probably have to build at least some or all of your own gear, but Warre actually intended that his hive be easy to construct. There have been innovative solutions to adapt nuc boxes to a Warre stack. Some beekeepers use the Warre box inside dimensions but make them Langstroth depths so they can more easily modify a Langstroth frame to fit.

Make sure you visit the Warre forum below and have a good look at the successes and challenges as you make your decision.

All I can say is the jury is still out for me, I'm guessing I'll continue to use my one Warre and probably will not add another.

jamesdumar
07-03-2017, 11:33 PM
Here in Tropical Cambodia it is very humid. I make a 13 frame Lang dimension hive with vents and shutters front and back and a closeable entrance on 4 corners ( not shown in Pic ).
I have a division board and vertical excluder if I want to use it as a cloake board cell builder or for 2 nucs.
I am also making supers in the same configuration.
34311
You can see a bigger picture here
http://biologiccambodia.com/product/complete-migratory-hive-bees-2/

jtgoral
09-29-2018, 05:22 PM
It depends where. In Ukraine and Hungary quite popular is a "horn" hive design without finger joints. See http://meheszet.aspnet.hu/Hasznos.aspx?csoport=kaptarkeszites&tartalom=tamasirakodo.txt

There are many YouTube videos about them. In Polish search YouTube or Google for "ul rogaty" :-)

little_john
09-29-2018, 05:57 PM
My opinion - FWIW - is that this could have been a really good thread if it hadn't been hijacked by so many people banging-on about finger joints and the relative merits of 8-frame vs 10 frame Langstroth boxes ...

'Hive Designs' - there are LOTS of designs 'out there' to choose from - Warre, Bienenkiste, Dadant, A-Z, Layens, KTBH, Tanzanian, Tabuzi - just to name a few - each with their own individual good and not-so-good features.

That 'Horn' design puzzles me - how are those boxes fitted together without squashing bees ? Must say that I do like my vertical boxes to have flat tops and bottoms so that they can be slid/semi-rotated into position ...
LJ

jtgoral
09-29-2018, 08:22 PM
Horns are just to align boxes. Horn hives squash as many bees as any other type of hive. They are just DIY friendly. From videos I watched it looks like they use only screws without any glue.
My opinion is that the best hive for a backyard beekeeper is a Dartington hive type designed around frames common in your country

Sour Kraut
09-30-2018, 02:36 PM
build everything you can, ( just to understand what it takes to make it).

I would add that the only thing a first-year keeper should attempt to build is a bottom board and an outer cover (you can buy the metal covering).

There's too much room to leave too much room or too little room between the various components when building hive bodies or supers until you have some experience.

On the subject of box joints......not to start a Range War here, but if you drill / countersink the pre-drilled nail holes and use outdoor-rated screws.....using glue in addition on the corners is a luxury, not a necessity. Of course, the usual cautions about 'make it square' apply.

crofter
09-30-2018, 05:06 PM
I would add that the only thing a first-year keeper should attempt to build is a bottom board and an outer cover (you can buy the metal covering).

There's too much room to leave too much room or too little room between the various components when building hive bodies or supers until you have some experience.

On the subject of box joints......not to start a Range War here, but if you drill / countersink the pre-drilled nail holes and use outdoor-rated screws.....using glue in addition on the corners is a luxury, not a necessity. Of course, the usual cautions about 'make it square' apply.

Oh no! Dont get the discussion going again about the relative importance of gluing and screwing!:lookout:

kilocharlie
08-24-2019, 06:26 PM
My opinion - FWIW - is that this could have been a really good thread if it hadn't been hijacked by so many people banging-on about finger joints and the relative merits of 8-frame vs 10 frame Langstroth boxes ...

'Hive Designs' - there are LOTS of designs 'out there' to choose from - Warre, Bienenkiste, Dadant, A-Z, Layens, KTBH, Tanzanian, Tabuzi - just to name a few - each with their own individual good and not-so-good features.

That 'Horn' design puzzles me - how are those boxes fitted together without squashing bees ? Must say that I do like my vertical boxes to have flat tops and bottoms so that they can be slid/semi-rotated into position ...
LJ

Okay, you left out the best of them. The Modified Square Jumbo Dadant beehive, known in Europe as the Brother Adam beehive, has many, many advantages. Being square, one advantage is that the honey frames can be arranged so that they are 90 degrees to the brood frames and the bees all have easy access to any honey frame they choose.

The brood nest is 11-11/16ths inches deep (I make mine 12-1/2 inches deep), allowing the most prolific queens plenty of room for a compact brood nest. The jumbo Dadant frames are 11-1/8 inch deep. This really helps Spring buildup rate. Narrow frames (1.240 inches wide side bars) also helps. 14 of the narrow frames will fit in this box. 12 standard-width U.S. frames will fit, also. 14 narrow frames make even more rapid Spring buildup, as does 5.1 mm foundation wax. The same number of bees can cover more brood during night time cluster. Insulated follower boards also help a lot.

Use the search box here on Beesource to search out other older discussions regarding the MSJD beehive. I'll post more later.

GregV
08-25-2019, 11:33 AM
Horns are just to align boxes. Horn hives squash as many bees as any other type of hive. They are just DIY friendly. From videos I watched it looks like they use only screws without any glue.
My opinion is that the best hive for a backyard beekeeper is a Dartington hive type designed around frames common in your country

I want to build one - the "horn hive".
(I would call them pegs - the "peg hive")

You totally can slide the boxes, if only in one direction, but that is sufficient -
how are those boxes fitted together without squashing bees ?
Keep in mind, the "pegs" can be either built UP or DOWN - there are differences in operation and pluses/minuses to both.
Fast majority of beeks who tried the peg-hives - loved them and just want more of them (saved for one or two who did dislike the design).

I am still unsure which to try - pegs-UP or pegs-DOWN.
Will try the UP version first and see.

The peg hives can be build for Lang frames (will be rectangular then) - the Eeastern Euro staple is to build around Lang/Dadant medium frames - entire apiary then uses ONE frame/box.
The peg hives can be built for short frames (300mm long) - so you have ~300mmx300mm (~12"x12") square boxes for Warre-style tree-hollow boxes.
The tree-hollow box way fits me perfectly as I already practice that dimension.

GregV
08-25-2019, 11:41 AM
Okay, you left out the best of them. The Modified Square Jumbo Dadant beehive, ......

Just as of this writing, more and more Eastern Euro beeks actually dumping their beloved Square Dadants and some Long Dadants in favor of:
- 8-frame Dadant (simple OR peg-hives)
- 8-frame medium-size standard frame peg-hives
- 8-frame UDAV hive (modernized compact vertical hives) - both simple and peg-hives
- .....(more, I don't care to list, but there is huge momentum towards more ergonomic hives at the moment - AWAY from the square Dadants - probably the worst human ergonomy).

The main points are
- human-ergonomics to allow for quick and easy work by a box by ANYONE - young, old, invalid, small women;
- tree-hollow hive designs to better bee ergonomics;
- small frame to allow for isolation and harvest of even small-flow crops (e.g. early honey crops; small urban crops, etc).

Keep in mind, most of all Eastern Euro is much more cold and unstable climate (both summer and winter) vs the California, USA.

PS: this being said, the long Dadants WILL be around forever since they are very human-friendly and near perfect for small-yard, stationary cases (just not friendly for mobile operations); the long Dadants have ALL of the advantages of the square Dadants and more - as long as you can afford to be stationary;
the square Dadants are really on the loosing end of both - not great for mobile keeping (too heavy); not great for stationary either, since the long Dadants are better at it.

GregV
08-25-2019, 01:35 PM
J.......
- small frame to allow for isolation and harvest of even small-flow crops (e.g. early honey crops; small urban crops, etc).
.

I forgot additional AND huge feature of a small frame.
Reduce size converts into reduced requirements for the strength - a small frame only holds 2-4 pounds of honey max.
This converts into much simplified construction requirement and material requirement.
Simply put - you cut small frame from scraps and assemble by staples AND no strong/fat top bar is required.

This means gaps between the vertical boxes/cluster separating gaps are largely reduced - only a good thing in many contexts (wintering is one example).

SeaCucumber
08-25-2019, 03:38 PM
What are the bees looking for? Langs on pallets look more combustible, and they might like the familiar smoker shape.
Other reasons I chose Langs:
- can be broken into boxes
- easy for 1 person to move
- common

Huge advantages of long hives:
- You can make the hive living space any size.
- large deep frames
- not lifting boxes to inspect
- easy to insulate

Beekeeping is mostly about protecting bees from neighbors, so portability is vital. Beginners need something easy for mass queen production. I would like to learn about other hives (mainly long and Comfort hives). What is the ease of queen production? Why is a long hive entrance not in the follower board?

little_john
08-25-2019, 04:32 PM
Langs on pallets look more combustible
Boy - am I confused ... How is the ease of setting fire to beehives a positive selling point ?


Beekeeping is mostly about protecting bees from neighbors, so portability is vital. I've never heard that one before ...


Beginners need something easy for mass queen production. This makes very little sense - why would a beginner want to get involved in the mass production of Queens ?


Why is a long hive entrance not in the follower board?
If the entrance was in the follower board - how exactly would the bees ever get out of the hive ? The entrance to a bee-hive has to be made somewhere in the walls, bottom or top of the box (i.e. it has to lead to the outside world) - it can't possibly be made in an internal follower board - that makes no sense whatsoever.

The only possible exception to this being Greg's "Hive within a Hive" concept where two Follower Boards constitute the 'Inner Hive' - but even then, the Hive Entrance itself (i.e. that of the 'Outer Hive') must lead to the outside world ...
LJ

GregV
08-25-2019, 08:25 PM
Boy - am I confused ...
LJ

+1
I will let you LJ to be confused for me too.
Moving along.
:)

msl
08-25-2019, 10:13 PM
I would like to learn about other hives (mainly long and Comfort hives). What is the ease of queen production? Why is a long hive entrance not in the follower board?
comfort hive https://youtu.be/D4tFVcR8Ouk?list=PLq48EWEvcb4SpIKlv9xKsCtI0e-IK9kbB

"queen production" is wide topic and a wide range of equipment for certain tasks .... start, finish, mate etc... to start/finish Sam used a long comfort hive.

I my self much prefer a long/horizontal/single box set up for cell raising as it means no lifting and fast access

in a long hive the entrance is in the fount so the brood nest is in the front and the honey is in the back and you can work it from the back SOP for 3500 years or so.

Eaglerock
08-26-2019, 10:31 AM
Unsure if this topic belongs, but you may want to consider getting and starting out on 8 frame equipment, and stick with it.

I use 10 frame, but I'm fairly young (43) and in great shape, no bad back or knees. A lot of older beeks advocate the 8 frame medium super, and build the brood hive 3 boxes tall.

8-frame mediums are supposedly far easier to lift and manipulate than 10 frame. Something to consider.

I am 62 and have always used 10 frame. In my stores I tell people, if they want a lighter super because of age or some ladies want lighter supers, I tell them use 10 frame deeps for Brood and use shallow supers with 9 frame spacers. This gives the queen 10 frames and the weight of the 9 frame shallow about the same as an 8 frame Medium.

gnor
10-23-2019, 06:47 AM
When i started, I planned on having more than 2 colonies, so the question of how to extract the honey came up. Most small radial extractors are designed to maximize medium frames, so that was one of the factors that set me onto Langstroths. Interchangeability with the industry here was another factor.
I plan to try queen rearing in earnest next year, and the Langs are very modular as far as nucs, queen castles, mating nucs, and so forth.

trishbookworm
10-24-2019, 08:37 PM
Using a Langstroth hive is different from using a 2-hive body, 10-deep configuration. Really, we ought to call them "tower hives", as you can make towers with the boxes.

You can use Langstroth... mediums... for all your hive bodies - 2-3 for brood chambers on the bottom of the stack, and put the honey supers on as is needed. Still "Langstroth" compatibility!

I use a Dadant deep brood chamber, and 10-frame shallow supers for honey. So, the bees have 10 frames, all 12.5" deep, in 1 box, for the queen. I use 10-frame-sized Langstroth equipment for the lid, inner cover, and bottom board. To show whether the queen has enough room to lay, or if she needs more, I look at what happens when I put in a deep frame (so, 3 inches too shallow). If the comb at the bottom is drawn out as worker sized cells, and worker brood ends up there, then the queen needed more room. If the comb at the bottom is drawn out as drone comb, the queen had enough room to lay. So far, I am seeing some of both. Some worker sized cells, some drone cells. So the queen has _just enough_ room to lay, in most cases.