Hive design, what type?
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  1. #1
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    Default Hive design, what type?

    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.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-02-2009 at 01:50 PM.
    Regards, Barry

  2. #2
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    Default 8 frame vs. 10 frame equipment

    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.
    "...the most populous colonies ...are provided by queens ...in the year following their birth." Brother Adam

  3. #3
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    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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbore View Post
    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.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hive design, what type?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbore View Post
    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.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hive design, what type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sour Kraut View Post
    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!
    Frank

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatscher View Post
    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.

  8. #8
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    Smile Re: 8 frame vs. 10 frame equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by fatscher View Post
    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.
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    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.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  10. #10
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    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.

  11. #11
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    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.
    [email protected]
    Birmingham UK

  12. #12
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    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.
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  13. #13
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    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.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eaglerock View Post
    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!

  15. #15
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    [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. I use to buy if by the case too...
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  16. #16
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    Default hive design what type

    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

  17. #17
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    Default Re: g) Hive design, what type?

    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.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    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.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Hive design, what type?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eaglerock View Post
    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.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 06-16-2017 at 11:00 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Hive design, what type?

    It depends where. In Ukraine and Hungary quite popular is a "horn" hive design without finger joints. See http://meheszet.aspnet.hu/Hasznos.as...masirakodo.txt

    There are many YouTube videos about them. In Polish search YouTube or Google for "ul rogaty" :-)
    Last edited by jtgoral; 09-29-2018 at 07:10 PM.

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