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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Bernhardt bringing game to the discussion, sweet. I'd be interested in a thread devoted just to square brood boxes and or variants of it. Is there one I'm not seeing? I'm new so have no biases or opinions as of yet, an open book so to speak

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Bernhard, for clarity, am I right in assuming your follower boards are frame sized and the division board is box width? There seems to be an unfortunate disparity in definitions on these.

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Mike it seems like you have a vested interest in protecting langstroth equipment, or rather in keeping dadant off the market judging my your trying to shoot down each argument. What gives?

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    The man uses all 8 frame mediums, has his opinions and isn't scared to back them. The thread is about different hive equipment, he's not derailing a thread of any specific thing. I doubt seriously he could care less what equipment somebody else decides to use.

  6. #25

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by texanbelchers View Post
    Bernhard, for clarity, am I right in assuming your follower boards are frame sized and the division board is box width?
    You're right.

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    >Mike it seems like you have a vested interest in protecting langstroth equipment, or rather in keeping dadant off the market judging my your trying to shoot down each argument. What gives?

    It's not like I've never tried them and it's not that I'm trying to shoot anything down. I have some of everything except Warre's. I have no thing against any of them, but having experimented with them all, that's my opinion. I have dadant deeps in 12 frame, 22 frame and 33 frame boxes. I have deeps in 5, 8, 10, 12, 22, and 33 frame boxes. I have mediums in 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 22 and 33 frame boxes. I'm just saying, having tried bees in all of those, this is my opinion.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    The best thing on a square modified Dadant hive is, it is adaptable. You use the follower board and the queen excluder right, and you will see magic happen. Magically the box explodes with bees, and fills up with honey.

    Of course there is no magic, but a lot of bee biology behind it.



    By shrinking or expanding the broodnest size to the queens ability to lay eggs, the broodnest ends up very compact. This has an interesting effect. Bees seem to get older. When it comes to population growth it certainly matters if the bees don't die so quickly. If there are more bees born than bees do die, than growth is exponential. And exponential growth really can surprise you.

    Never give more than 7 combs (Dadant mod. that is) per hive. It is our experience, that if you add an eighth frame, you end up with swarm fever. In a two queen hive setup, never give more than 3-4 combs per queen. Same thing, you give one more frame and they'll fill it with brood quickly ... and swarm.



    You can experiment yourself with this, add a comb here and there and compare.

    If your queen doesn't fill all the combs with brood, take away one comb. A lot of hives run on 5 frames only.

    Of course one could say: "why not using an 8-frame hive. You don't need all that space!"

    But there is more to it. At night and in bad weather all the foragers and drones and all, are clustering. In a normal hive, those bees cluster right under the broodnest, under the frames in a deep floor setup. If your floor isn't a deep floor, those bees cluster within the broodnest. Clustering in the broodnest is a bad thing.

    First old bees are nasty and do harass the queen. In those hives you often find the queen ducking against the queen excluder at nighttime, to move out of the way of the buggers. Drones are also annoying the worker bees in the broodnest.

    Secondly the hive climate really gets damp and short on oxygen, the more bees cramp into the broodnest.

    The solution is, to let the foragers and drones cluster somewhere else. A deep floor is good, so the cluster can hang under the broodnest. But the cluster on the side of the broodnest is even better, because there is no plug between broodnest and entrance. Lots of fresh air can reach the brood.

    In a modified Dadant with only 7 combs and a follower board, you'll find the cluster at the side of the broodnest, hanging down from the queen excluder. This picture was shot on a rainy day. You find the same at nighttime.



    The other thing of open space beside the broodnest is, you have a speedway right into the supers. Lots of foragers walk straight right up into the supers. Which accelerates the speed nectar is tucked away. Compared to other hive systems, the nectar is stored much more rapidly. That is part of the magic, how fast those supers get filled with honey.

    In an experiment you also find the following:



    The picture above was shot at Springtime with cold nights and all. You see the broodnest under this super has 5 frames. If you setup your honey combs parallel to the brood combs, those combs right above the broodnest are preferred for honey storage.

    Now see what happens, if you turn the honey combs 90 to the brood combs:



    This hive also have had only 5 brood frames. Both were the same strength. Interesting, right?

    So the idea is, set the honeycombs at an angle to the brood combs, which makes the bees climb up the brood combs and climbing right into the honey combs, having access to all honeycombs from there.

    When inspecting the hive, you turn the honey supers 180, so the tendency to store honey at the far end viewed from the entrance is evened. What you get is honeycombs with all honey of the same quality. Otherwise you have dry honey in the back of the super and wet honey in the front.

    Also evened storage means more honey per super.



    One last thing. Do use insulated follower boards. Of course this doesn't make the hive warmer or so. But: it is our experience, that the outer combs get less pollen and more healthy brood, when the facing wall is insulated. If that outer comb is too cold, the comb receives less brood, especially during Spring.

    Yes, you get best results when using insulated follower boards on both sides of the broodnest.



    We use hardened styrodur for this. It is styrofoam that was hardened by heat. Not toxic, can't get chewed by bees and insulates very well.

    Use shallow honey supers. Better for your back.

    It is good to have so much space inside the brood chamber. Use a divider board or two: Run 2 queen hives in them, make splits, all done with the same equipment. Use a double-frame-sized frame feeder. Enough space for all of it. Versatility counts.

    I tried a many hives. The modified Dadant hive is what produces the most of honey with the least of work. That is a fact. The square setup also allows manipulations as described in short above, that does magic.

    An old-timer used to say: Not the hive brings the honey, the bees do. That is right, but if you have the hive, that fits beeology best, the bees do better.

    The square modified Dadant not only adapts to the bee biology, it also allows the beekeeper to work more freely. Simply push frame aside and inspect. Not much pulling combs, just some sliding. Done. Saves your back, too.
    Bernhard , please describe the whole management with this box for full seson ( production hives , nucs ) . The thing that intrigued me is that they aren't building wild comb after the follower board 😮 . The second thought that I've had is how are you proceeding with their food reserve for hard times when no flow is present ( just 100-200 g/day if not ZERO FLOW ) . What is left for them if if you take the supers to extract honey ? Just what is left in brood chamber ? .

    Please if you can explain the whole thing because otherwise I am ( and maybe other colleagues ) are in clouds . 👍

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    MB, I'm going to answer your critique with my reasons for each item. As you said, You are entitled to your opinions. Here are mine. SD below means the square deep Modified Dadant hive aka Brother Adam hive that holds 12 standard frames or 14 of my narrow 31.5 mm frames.

    >>1. There are only 14 frames to examine to find a queen, inspect, etc.
    >Looking at more smaller increments makes the job of finding a queen easier, not harder. Having spend entire days looking for queens in both all deeps and all mediums, I would much rather find queens in mediums.
    I've already tried these enough to know that I can usually find the queen by inspecting a maximum of 7 frames. The savings is time and time is important in getting the job done quickly.

    >>2. All of the brood a prolific queen can produce will fit in one brood box
    >I don't understand why this is an advantage. It helps in what way?
    Queens that are unrestricted tend to lay more often making a small but measurable difference in size of the colony. Gaps between frames in vertical stacks of boxes present a restriction.

    >>3. It has enough room for wintering in one box
    >I don't understand why this is an advantage. It helps in what way?
    I've always had to use 2 or 3 boxes for wintering which means there is a lot of uneaten honey at the end of winter. This is an impediment to spring buildup. Empty frames would be more useful given that local early flows here tend to be heavy.

    >>4. It is designed to run a horizontal 2 queen system using a divider
    >I guess I'm not that interested in running two queen hives... but yes, I've used 19 7/8" square boxes for that and found them very inconvenient. Too many boxes to move to check on the brood nest.
    There is only one box for the brood nest. My plan is to run 2-queen over winter, not during the summer. I will pull 1 queen prior to the main flow leaving brood from 2 queens to produce the honey crop.

    >>5. It reduces crowding effects so the bees are less likely to swarm
    >Adding boxes does the same as does opening the brood nest. I have my doubts that they are less likely to swarm just because it's all in one box...
    The reduction in crowding is a result of giving the bees room to cluster and room for ventilation away from the brood nest. This is not present in other hive designs.

    >>6. The wide entrance improves ventilation
    >Again, I disagree. My long term observation is that they ventilate better with one small entrance. They need control.
    I'm in the deep south, getting rid of summer heat and humidity is more important here than in Nebraska. Upper and lower entrances are necessary.

    >>7. The brood nest is more consolidated instead of being spread across multiple boxes of combs
    >The brood nest is always consolidated. If more room helps with swarming then the gaps between the boxes should help with cluster space...
    The objective is to have brood in one area, cluster space in another with not much overlap. The count of frames containing brood will be less.

    >>8. My extractor was made to handle this size comb, the frames will fit my existing system if I need to extract
    >Mine wasn't and won't.
    There is an advantage to having purchased a Kelley 4 frame motorized extractor 25 years ago. It is over 50 years old now and still going strong.

    >>9. Easy to use to produce queens, just put a divider in place like a cloake board and have at it
    >I don't see that it's any easier. In fact how are you going to manipulate brood and bees when you have extra deep frames in the bottom and you want to get nurse bees up in the upper part?
    There is no upper part, only a left part and a right part. I'll move frames across the divider into the queenless area to initiate cell building. I'll use a double queen excluder in place of the divider to finish the cells. Think Cloake board in a vertical position.

    >>10. It allows me to re-use the shallow extracting frames I already have, just add square supers.
    >I can't lift them...
    I'm fortunate to still be able to lift a square shallow super, they weigh about 50 pounds and extract about 33 pounds of honey each.

    >>11. It is highly efficient for space utilization
    >Meaning what? You mean volume/surface area? Then you want a dome or a sphere... I don't see the advantage.
    Brood areas tend to be ovals, the deeper frames allow a more efficient oval to be formed. Think of 2 deep Langstroth boxes used for brood as in most colonies today and in a hive 20 inches high. The same brood area will fit in SD's 14 inches high. What the Langstroth hives do in 6000 cubic inches can be done in 4000 cubic inches in a Square Dadant.

    >>12. It costs less for a complete working hive than most other movable frame stackable super designs
    >If it were standard equipment, this would probably be true. But then I couldn't lift any of it...
    It is standard equipment... In most of Europe. I can't do anything about your ability to lift.

    >>13. It is much less likely to blow over in a strong wind
    >Much? Maybe a little. 14 hives all up against each other dont' blow over in a strong wind either.
    There is a 42% increase in stability on a square base as compared to a rectangular base of the sizes in question. I would have to stack boxes 12 feet high to have a problem with wind throw. I'm sitting 4 hives per stand in a square configuration. That should gain me another 4 feet of height if needed. I should be so lucky.

    >>14. Square modified Dadant hives can easily be palletized
    >As can any hive.
    The chief advantage comes from less height for a given number of colonies. I agree that most hives can be palletized, but that does not mean they could easily be worked on pallets.

    >15. Can turn the supers 90 degrees so the bees fill them evenly and mature the honey all at one time.
    I can already see it is an important advantage compared to other hive designs.

    >16. Provides clustering space at night and in rainy weather
    There is more than enough room for brood, clustering, and spare frames of honey in a SD.

    >17. Diverts foragers from the broodnest directly into the supers
    An advantage of being able to set the entrance to the other side of the brood nest and give the bees a direct vertical path to the supers.

    >18. Can easily adjust the number of brood frames to fit the queen's ability
    Follower boards and vertical dividers including some with queen excluders will handle this.

    The most important reason I chose to build square Dadant depth hives is because a beekeeper far more skilled than you or I said they are the best choice.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Fusion - Just for clarification, could you put dimensions of these square boxes on a post. Thanks
    Started 9/13, building slowly, not trying the no treatment anymore

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Yes, I'm very intrigued by the dadant dimensions with all of the advantages listed. I do agree that it seems to be the prevalent design in Europe, despite what my "Beekeeping for Dummies" book says - Langstroth being predominant throughout the world.

    I'd also be interested in seeing the official plans as per Langstroth's original publication. I believe Dr. Sharashkin said that Langstroth's design incorporated a double-walled hive with airspace for insulation that could be stuffed with straw/etc. for the winters. I'm wondering what other design aspects have been lost over time in order to commercialize and streamline the design.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Interior dimensions of the hives I am using are exactly the dimensions Brother Adam used. This hive is available from suppliers in Europe as the "Brother Adam" hive and sometimes listed as a "12 frame Dadant". They also sell Dadant Blatt which is the Modified Dadant hive that is a rectangle instead of a square.

    Length 18 5/16 (465 mm)
    Width 18 5/16 (465 mm)
    Height 11 5/8 (295 mm)

    Langstroth interior dimensions are:
    Length 18 5/16 (465 mm)
    Width 14 11/16 (373 mm)
    Height 9 5/8 (243 mm)

    This dutch site has the design and dimensions.
    http://www.imkerpedia.nl/wiki/index....e_Buckfastkast
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    If you want truly maintenance free hives simply start boring 3/4" holes into your facia and soffits. (on your house and garage)
    Getting the honey out MAY be a little tricky tho.

    OR you could do this. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/conten...roth-hive.html
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    I'm trying to figure out how long of a horizonal hive I'd need to convert one of these into...





    I'm thinking 70 deep frames should do the trick. Just shy of 10 feet, right?

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Total height of the hive as you have it configured appears to be 65 inches high composed of 2 Langstroth deeps and 7 mediums for honey. With square equipment, you would be 51 inches high with one brood box and 7 shallow 5 11/16 supers.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Total height of the hive as you have it configured appears to be 65 inches high composed of 2 Langstroth deeps and 7 mediums for honey. With square equipment, you would be 51 inches high with one brood box and 7 shallow 5 11/16 supers.
    The square equipment has intrigued me for awhile. Apologize for having not read every response here. Does anyone sell the equipment commercially?

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    There are no current manufacturers in the U.S. Frame parts are available from a few places or can be ordered from Canada and Europe. Getting hive bodies and supers made is not too difficult, I was able to source them in cypress from an Amish guy about 2 hours north from here. I am making my own frames. If you are seriously interested, I could set you up with a hive or two from spare equipment I had made so you could trial them and see if you want to get any deeper. Just be aware that shipping charges will add a chunk to cost.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    >...despite what my "Beekeeping for Dummies" book says - Langstroth being predominant throughout the world.

    True if the world is the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand... excluding everyone else... but then the Dadant is kind of a Langstroth hive... just deeper frames and a wider box.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    There are no current manufacturers in the U.S. Frame parts are available from a few places or can be ordered from Canada and Europe. Getting hive bodies and supers made is not too difficult, I was able to source them in cypress from an Amish guy about 2 hours north from here. I am making my own frames. If you are seriously interested, I could set you up with a hive or two from spare equipment I had made so you could trial them and see if you want to get any deeper. Just be aware that shipping charges will add a chunk to cost.
    Maybe this winter I'll throw some together. I have zero interest in cutting frame parts though. I'd rather break my leg. (not really).

    If I could get them from someone like that up this way I'd be more willing to think about converting.

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Something that has been tried and true since 1852 is something you should probably not mess with changing. Just an opinion and you know opinions are like _______. Bees probably don't care as long as it's the right size and has a way to expand.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Bees probably don't care as long as it's the right size and has a way to expand.
    As I stated earlier, bees can adapt to pretty much any size or shape cavity so long as it is not too small. There are some nuances about colony buildup and hive ventilation that are affected by hive design. The rest of it is for the beekeeper and his method of managing the hive. I have to disagree about "tried and true since 1852". The only reason the Langstroth standard has not been changed is because there is a huge beekeeper investment in woodenware, knowledge of managing that woodenware, and not having a clearly better replacement. I can make a very good argument that the interior size and shape of the Rose hive comes closer to meeting all the different needs than any other hive except the Square Dadant. This still won't make it viable for subsistence agriculture in Africa.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

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