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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    Johno
    It depends how you count. If you have 100 hives going into winter in September and have 50 hives in April or March - than it is 50% loss, does not matter how many new splits you will do over the Summer. It is like, if your family lost a member and you are saying that it is "pure unadulterated BS" because you will made more children, who compensated the loss!Or if you loss 50% of crop - you can not tell that it's "pure unadulterated BS" because next year you will produce more crop and therefore compensate loses...
    Anyone who goes into Sept with 100 hives and only has 50 in March or April is simply incompetent and should get out of bee keeping unless that was his intent. There are commercial models where such reductions in live hives during that time period are economically advantageous and desired as anyone with an ounce of business sense would know, but I think you are talking about hive deaths, not planned elimination of live hives. My losses in winter the last two years were 8%. My summer hive deaths are zero for the last five years. I did nothing special at all beyond standard good bee keeping practices. I consider such losses quite reasonable and well within the expected range anyone who has any skill as a bee keeper. However, I also realize there is no cure for piss poor bee keeping, so some will see much higher death rates due to their own incompetence.

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Anyone who goes into Sept with 100 hives and only has 50 in March or April is simply incompetent and should get out of bee keeping
    I have a great deal of difficulty with "absolute" statements. Adee lost 30,000 colonies this past year. I know of two other commercial beekeepers with 70% plus loss. It is NOT always the beekeepers's fault.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  4. #63
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Hmm... You know who's fault it was how?


    But regardless of wether or not these losses were the fault of the large commercials running the hives, it is still a stretch to blame everything from GMO's to monoculture crops on the design of the langstroth hive.

    Really the langstroth was just the precursor to the design of the many moveable comb hives that came after. Other hives are just variations, even a top bar hive has more design in common with a langstroth hive than with a skep.

  5. #64
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I have a great deal of difficulty with "absolute" statements. Adee lost 30,000 colonies this past year. I know of two other commercial beekeepers with 70% plus loss. It is NOT always the beekeepers's fault.
    As far back as we have records a disease epidemic has swept the country every 25 or so years resulting in losses of about half the hives give or take. These epidemics generally hit in summer or fall. The diseases have gone by various names but disappearing disease was used several times. The last time it happened was 2006 and 2007 when we invented a new name CCD. CCD also resulted in summer hive deaths. Such epidemics seem to burn themselves out fairly fast. I am also well aware that some commercial guys got sprayed on almonds both last year and this year resulting in very weak hives coming off almonds that struggled to recover and some did not make it. Again a summer issue. I am sure the blueberry pollinators came off berries with sick hives this year again as usual and needed to treat for EFB. Again a summer issue.

    That much talked about general 50% loss reported in surveys is not a summer loss. It is mainly a winter loss. I repeat, high winter losses are the result of PPB. They have nothing to do with hive design or pesticides or stress from being on a monoculture too long, they have to do with incompetent bee keeping.

  6. #65
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    It's called culling out the weak Richard. Anytime you get massive increases in in a like gene pool a crash or genetic defects that make that line unsustainable is bound to happen. I don't know squat about bees but it's happened in dog,horse,bird breeding just to name a few. Humans are natures worst enemies, very few species don't have ebbs and flows to populations due to new disease or new natural threats. Perfectly normal but when man and money get involved that's a whole new kettle of fish. Worlds great destroyers is our claim to fame

  7. #66
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    I agree with the general principle, that a healthy population of anything is maintained by ongoing culling of the weak, the principle is correct.

    However this is a different matter from an animal, in this case bees, being expected to survive conditions that are unliveable, and some beekepers do that totally unknowingly and at the end do not understand why the bees died.

    Thing is, losses in a beekeeping operation are not needed as a way to cull the weak because culling the weak can be done by selecting who to breed from and who not to breed from. No losses are needed as long as correct breeding decisions are made. Allowing 50 or 70 percent losses then shrugging ones shoulders and saying it's OK cos it's culling the weak, is just an excuse for lousy beekeeping.

    As to us killing, and creating species, an interesting aside, I just read in the paper today that there are quite a few new species that have been created by the recent interference of man. An example was given of a mosquito that has adapted to life in Londons underground rail system, and is now no longer able to interbreed with the top dwelling mosquitos.

  8. #67
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Maybe so maybe not. What would you guess hive losses are in the wild population in any given year? I'd be willing to bet nowhere near 50 percent, but I could be wrong since we propagate chemical dependency wholesale. You missed the point. The need for people to make money causes artificially propping up or derailing natural selection and natural biology. Can only last so long before the house of cards comes crashing down. Bees have been around for how long, but now it matters that hives die out. Why is that, because there's profit in the deal. Enough with the common sense, I'll let the big boys talk it out

  9. #68
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cryberg View Post
    I repeat, high winter losses are the result of PPB. They have nothing to do with hive design or pesticides or stress from being on a monoculture too long, they have to do with incompetent bee keeping.
    A loaded comment like this requires further explanation.

  10. #69
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by dtrooster View Post
    Maybe so maybe not. What would you guess hive losses are in the wild population in any given year? I'd be willing to bet nowhere near 50 percent, but I could be wrong since we propagate chemical dependency wholesale. You missed the point. The need for people to make money causes artificially propping up or derailing natural selection and natural biology. Can only last so long before the house of cards comes crashing down. Bees have been around for how long, but now it matters that hives die out. Why is that, because there's profit in the deal. Enough with the common sense, I'll let the big boys talk it out
    I think you brought up a good point. I wonder if there are any studies that show the average life of a wild colony, that life being it's total time in existence regardless of it's re-queening, and what the average number is for swarms from wild colonies that are successful in establishing new colonies. If anyone knows of a study like that please pass on the info to get to the article and read it.

    I'm not saying that studying wild colonies would in any way demonstrate what is an economically sustainable level of losses in a commercial operation. That's a whole different ball game with revenue/expenses, supply/demand coming into play. I think the colony loss data collected by the USDA should be grouped by identification of what type of beekeeping operation it came from. I would think that losses from commercial beekeepers who use their colonies more weeks out of the year for pollination purposes would be a lot higher than losses from beekeepers who only use their colonies for pollination in the almonds for a few weeks of the year. I would also think that losses for new beekeepers would be a lot higher than for individuals who've been keeping bees for a longer time period. New beekeepers are probably more interested in how their losses compare to similar beekeepers, pollinators to pollinators, wild colonies to wild colonies, VSH colonies to VSH colonies, chemically treated to chemically treated, all for different analysis purposes.

    http://www.usda.gov/nass/PUBS/TODAYRPT/hcny0516.pdf

  11. #70
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/naldc/down...53&content=PDF

    This is an excellent read if I recall.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  12. #71
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    i think dar's plan is sound and i'm predicting he will achieve the gains in swarm prevention and honey yield that he is anticipating with his transition to the square dadants.

    being his usual generous self, dar has offered to help me set up a couple of those new hives over this way, and i have to admit i am tempted to try them.

    but as things are all of my hive slots are full, i'm just now getting to a full compliment of drawn comb for my honey supers, and i'm maxed out on how much apiary i can properly take care of with the time i have available so...

    i'm thinking next year is going to offer us an opportunity to contrast and compare the square dadants to traditional langs insofar as dar and i are working with similar stock, we are located close enough to each other such that our weather and flows are pretty much the same, and our management methods are virtually identical.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #72
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by dtrooster View Post
    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
    Yes, there is also the WBC hive, designed by William Broughton Carr. The original was 19-7/8" square. It has inside bee boxes, and outside "lifts" - tapered boxes that stack easily. The entrance is a tunnel that prevents bees from getting in between the two sets of boxes and waxing them together.

    Inspecting them is labor intensive, but they are very attractive - for years the favorite in Great Britain. A very good choice for a Northern climate, as it is very well insulated. Not meant for large-scale production, but perhaps the most beautiful of all hive designs.

  14. #73
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Bernard - Thank you for posts #17 and #41 !!!

    I have been following FP's efforts at making up the giant Dadant hives closely. I will probably make up a good number of them. I may even get a 5.2 cell foundation mill for making the foundation for the brood nest.

    I was going to make an adapter board and use 8-frame mediums for honey (I call them "40 pounders"), but you've convinced me to try it your way first.

    Charles and Camille Pierre Dadant were entirely convinced that this was the best honey production hive. Their contract landowners, who were paid a percent of the honey, were adamant about getting the BIG hives. They would get very upset to see even a few of the standard Langstroths. They knew which ones had all the bees and activity.

    So wonderful to get such great advice from you, who has been using these hives, apparently for some time. Thank you!

  15. #74
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Bernhardt suggests no more than 7 frames be used to prevent swarming. If that's the case with the extra deep frames would not 9 maybe 10 regular deeps in a square box not accomplish the same thing. You still have space opposite the follower board for clustering and the highway straight to the supers. I must be missing something

  16. #75
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    This book by Frank Pellett covers much of the hive controversy from the late 1800's. It is worth reading chapter IV for context. Of note, Pellett adopted the Modified Dadant hive for honey production.

    http://chestofbooks.com/animals/bees/History/index.html
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  17. #76
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post

    Notice the divider board extends above the top of the box. Thus the inner lid will be closed tight enough to keep the queens separately.

    Bernhard, please tell us about the little golden cones being used to space the frames. Also, what is your frame spacing center-to-center?

    Thanks, Harvey
    Harv - 3 langs, treating as needed

  18. #77
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Not Bernhard, but they are called frame spacers or "distance retainers". http://www.biredskapsfabriken.se/en/lista.php?kid=9-53

    Brother Adam wrote about using a screw eye of the appropriate diameter and also of a type hobnail that maintained spacing. These distance retainers are an adaptation to meet the need of spacers. The amount of propolis when these are used on a frame is significantly less that when self-spacing type frames are used. The advantage of self-spacing frames is when the hive is moved there is less chance frames swinging during transport.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  19. #78
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Not Bernhard, but they are called frame spacers or "distance retainers". http://www.biredskapsfabriken.se/en/lista.php?kid=9-53

    Brother Adam wrote about using a screw eye of the appropriate diameter and also of a type hobnail that maintained spacing. These distance retainers are an adaptation to meet the need of spacers. The amount of propolis when these are used on a frame is significantly less that when self-spacing type frames are used. The advantage of self-spacing frames is when the hive is moved there is less chance frames swinging during transport.
    Thanks, I'm building a square Dadant and will have to make the deep frames. Are you using 1 1/2" center-to-center frames like the C. Dadant's original hives?

    Thanks again, Harvey
    Harv - 3 langs, treating as needed

  20. #79
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    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    I'm using 1.25 spacing for the frames, however, 1.5 is the standard in Europe and is the standard Dadant recommended. I've used 1.25 frames for 40 years and am familiar with their strengths and weaknesses which is why I chose to use them. My frames are self-spacing which results in more propolis than with the pin designs such as Bernhard uses. I suggest using 1.5 spacing until and unless you become familiar with the requirements of the narrower frames.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  21. #80

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    1. Ventilation
    ...considered using a deep bottom board...?
    In fact most of my hives have deep bottom boards (without the slatted rack => not necessary). I need those deep bottoms to migrate the bees on long distances. I use the flat boards for my nucs and short distances. Since I can buy them and not need to build them myself. The divider board+slat are not available here for deep floors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    2. I don't see anything about mite management, would I be correct you treat in the fall? If so, how do you time it?
    After the last honey harvest I do OAV. 3 days apart for seven times in a row. One last time in November before temperatures drop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    3. You didn't mention running them as 2 queen over winter, have you thought about trying this with 6 combs on each side?
    I winter 300 double queen hives and they winter just fine. Our climate where I live allows for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    4. Do you raise queens in the Warré hives? If so, could you give a high level description of the way you produce queens.
    Queens are the heart of the hive and queen production is the very heart of the beekeeping operation. Most of my daily work is dedicated on raising high quality queens. If I have more time in winter, I will elaborate it. Yes, I use Warré hives as queen mating nucs. Most of my queen breeding methods come from Brother Adam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    5. It appears you need 3 sizes of equipment to manage, Warre hives to raise queens, 3 or 4 frame nuc boxes to provide backup queens and brood, and the square deep 12 frame hives to produce honey. Are there any other pieces of woodenware you consider indispensable?
    No. I raise queens in Warré hives, but instead of using nuc boxes, I use full size boxes with dividing boards. This way I am more flexible in activating nucs as production hives when needed. Of course this has disadvantages, but that's the way I do it now.

    Jos Guth from Luxembourg has a very nice split production system, completely build upon nuc boxes, very similar to Mike Palmer's system. I am about to adopt it, but I am a bit shy on the costs of additional nuc boxes at the moment. See Jos Guth system here (in German language, but you might get it from the pictures):
    http://www.buckfastnrw.de/wp-content...g-Jos-Guth.pdf

    He makes 10 splits of one overwintered nuc. He constantly feeds, though and you need different apiaries, one for the mating, one for splitting and one/more for wintering the splits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    6. You mention producing queens as soon as possible, have you considered the way Brother Adam raised queens in the summer and overwintered in nucs then requeened the next spring?
    That's what I do. Still I start very early, using the spare queens to start the Apideas and to produce brood for raising queens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    8. I would also like to verify, are the boxes you are using the dimensions I previously posted?
    Length 18 5/16 (465 mm)
    Width 18 5/16 (465 mm)
    Height 11 5/8 (295 mm)
    Outside dimensions are: 20 (20.0394 ) inch by 20 inch. Height is 12 inches. (12.0079). Thickness of wood is 22 mm/0.86 inch which was recommended by Brother Adam. (L 509 mm x W 509 mm x H 305 mm, outside dimensions). So, yes, that should be the inside dimensions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    In other words, you are matching the queens laying ability precisely to the number of combs she can fill with eggs.
    Yes. And because every queen is different, you need the follower board to adapt. Just see if she can keep up filling all the combs with brood. If she doesn't, you remove one comb at a time until she does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    If I am correct, this would prevent formation of a honey dome and the bees should not initiate swarming.
    The honey dome is not the cause but rather one of many hints, that the broodnest is too large for the queen. There is pollen long before the honey dome builds up.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cristian View Post
    To compare your season and my season timing :
    1 . When is your first flow starting and which one it is ? ( the one that makes you to ad supers )
    2 . When is end of the summer for you ?
    3. When is end of the season ?
    4. When are being introduced for the first time the drone comb in the hive and how much time pass between inspections ( to give them more comb or foundation ) ?
    1. Usually around 15th of April. This is the canola flow, with cherries and other fruits too. Usually about one third to a half of our yearly crop comes from the Spring flow.

    2. Summer ends in October for us. Usually it is warm for a long time. (15-20°C all September long.) It is not really "summer" in September but it is warm and bees fly nonstop.

    3. 15th of July. No more honey beyond that can be expected except some special flows (heather, sunflowers, fir).

    4. With the first inspection of the year. I do give drone comb only to strong hives. All the other hives I cut the half off the last comb before the follower board. Drone raising costs a lot of energy and I want to save the energy in medium and smaller hives.

    Quote Originally Posted by dtrooster View Post
    would not 9 maybe 10 regular deeps in a square box not accomplish the same thing.
    Yes, with some improvisations you can imitate the square Dadant hive. More or less successful depending on similarity.

    Quote Originally Posted by H Mitchell View Post
    Bernhard, please tell us about the little golden cones being used to space the frames. Also, what is your frame spacing center-to-center?
    As Fusion said, those are spacers. We can buy them here in beekeeping supply shops. Originally they came from the furniture industry and were used for upholstery. You can see them on leather chairs for example. Spacing center to center is 35 mm/1.38 inch.

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