Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?
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  1. #1
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    Default Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    Hi all,

    I have explored forums, looked at pictures, videos etc., on the AZ hive topic. I have decided I will move my hives from Lang to AZ system, and currently I am building the house for the hives. I have 4 AZ hives (2 - 3 level and 2 - 2 level, to be stacked on top of each other, currently empty) I hope this will give me better handle and success rate on the overwintering, + some other benefits, already discussed in different forums here.

    I have a question for those of you who have already moved from one to the other format - what is the best sequence of doing it? Now is relatively the beginning of the season, how did you move the bees from established comb in the Lang frames to the new size frames, when did you do it (beginning of the summer, late summer?), and what was the settle down period for the bees? was it hard transition, any tips, anything practical?

    Thank you,

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    When moving frames from one format to another, I've found that using removable frame-top-bars particularly helpful.

    This an example of a double-deep frame which will be installed in an AZ-Layens hybrid box, with a top bar tie-wrapped in place until the frame is drawn-out within a stack of two standard brood boxes, and duly occupied - at which point all those frames - and the colony upon them - will be transferred wholesale into the new box (after removing the top bars, of course).

    d-deep eg 2 1.jpg

    This technique makes life very easy. It would be even easier with single-depth frames.

    This is another example - being used 'in the reverse direction' to recover combs from a Warre Hive. Bridge comb from the difference in top bar length is inevitable.

    warre top bar-1.jpg

    'best
    LJ
    Last edited by little_john; 06-03-2018 at 03:33 AM.
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    I found the easiest way to introduce bees into an AZ hive was to hive swarms into them. I would guess if you dont have any chance of catching swarms that you could use the Taranov system to create a swarm and then hive them. I must say I am using heavily wax coated Ritecell foundation and the bees rapidly draw this out, I would say even faster than wax foundation.
    Johno

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    I installed a 4 frame Lang nuc early May in my newly built AZ Hive. I built the AZ hive specifically to accept Lang foundation size for that purpose.
    The nuc I got had 2 wooden frames and 2 plastic frames. First I found the queen and place her in the AZ hive in a cage, then shake one frame at a time into the AZ hive. For the wooden frames, it was easy, I just cut the comb around the frame with a serrated knife, and placed it in my AZ frame, exact fit so no need to chop any part of the comb. Attached the comb with masking tape all around. If your AZ hive is the Slovenian size, you will have to crop the Lang comb to that size.
    For plastic frames it was no possible to cut the comb, so I only cut the plastic ears with an oscillating tool,, and the frames fit loosely inside my AZ hive. Then each week I moved the plastic frame toward the outside of the brood nest and will eventually remove them from the hive.
    The whole process took about an hour because I was alone to do it and it was the first time. Bees were very well behaved so it helped.
    In less than a week the bees had attached the combs to the AZ frames and chewed away most of the masking tape.
    I went foundationless for my AZ frames, so I slowly introduced an empty frame at a time between two drawn combs to avoid cross combs. Now a month into in, I have 7 newly drawn AZ frames, the 2 old combs moved from Lang frames, and one plastic frame still waiting to be removed.
    Last edited by Jaljala; 06-03-2018 at 10:07 AM.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    Many thanks for the ideas, I really like the "temporary" top bar to fit the Langstroth, another week for my hives to gather strength and I will introduce the new frames there... in the mean time I will have build the roof on my new bee house, and may have the AZ hives in their permanent place... hopefully we have warm and not too dry of a summer so the bees are not stressed by anything else but the move...

    if anyone else has any other ideas, experiences or practical advice - I am listening ..

    Thank you

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    This spring I put packages in my two AZ hives. I did a cutout of some comb to get them started and I put comb guides on all the frames. They are doing really well. You could to a complete cutout to install bees in them.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/BeeCamp2018/AZHive1.jpg
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/BeeCamp2018/AZHive2.jpg
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/BeeCamp2018/AZHive5.jpg
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    Thank you John, that's the method I used for bigger part of my frames, and was able to compare it with other methods of transfer - I can say this was by far the easiest way of transferring. I am almost done building the house, have the hives populated, and now - question about overwintering... The 3 level hives have a lot of empty space after the summer, and even though in a bee house - how does one insulate? we are in a 3b zone, cold, dry and 3000ft above sea level.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    One reason I started building AZ's based on Lang Deep foundation is so that this would be as painless as possible.

    I would recommend treating it like a cut out.
    Cut around the perimeter of the foundation, or pop out the comb and transfer it to the AZ frame.
    Treat it much like you would a cut out from a building

    These AZ's are now in North Ohio
    me and 6 hives with FB.jpg

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    great advice, thank you all. It is almost winter now here, in Alberta, and I hope my bees survive it...
    and now I will attempt to insert images of my bee house, with panel of 4 AZ hives, and space for expansion of 3 more times of 4 hives...
    The building is not complete, but will provide reasonable shelter for the next 5 months...
    IMG_1237.jpgIMG_1145.jpgIMG_1149.jpg

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    I'm a big fan of bee houses zando ... what's the lighting like inside yours? We've got solar powered LEDs but still haven't achieved optimal lighting to routinely see day-old larvae (eggs are easier). I still take a couple of steps to the door to get the sunlight - if there is any - on the frame.

    Perhaps I need stronger glasses?
    The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    I'm a big fan of bee houses zando ... what's the lighting like inside yours? We've got solar powered LEDs but still haven't achieved optimal lighting to routinely see day-old larvae (eggs are easier). I still take a couple of steps to the door to get the sunlight - if there is any - on the frame.

    Perhaps I need stronger glasses?
    I have the same problem... lack of light, the solution I found is having a headlamp under my veil...

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    headlamps work great!
    I plan on adding a Solar panel , and lighting to bee house.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    I am yet to finish my bee house on the inside, but I was wondering about the lights myself.
    in my shop I have one of these, that I think of duplication in my bee house as well :
    lamp.jpg

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    I struggle with headlamps inside a veil. We've got a leisure battery and ~700 W equivalent LED bulbs. It's bright by any standard, but not bright enough for small larvae (or not ideally placed). A freestanding powerful LED table lamp, plugged into the solar-maintained battery might work well. We've got a case for the leisure battery with 12V and 5V USB-type outlets.
    The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by zando View Post
    I am yet to finish my bee house on the inside, but I was wondering about the lights myself.
    in my shop I have one of these, that I think of duplication in my bee house as well :
    lamp.jpg
    If the sun's shining, then I like to look at combs with the sun 'over my shoulder' - but on dull days or when trying to graft (I'm still a novice at this) inside the house, then that kind of anglepoise is what I use. Except mine has a light bulb to one side of the lens. I changed it from tungsten filament to a CCFL folded lamp, which runs almost cold. I suspect circular lighting around the lens would provide much better illumination.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    If I was "... currently ... building the house for the hives",
    this would be my design:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf9Fnbt1iFg
    (if don't care/don't understand the language, jump to 1:00)

    The video author is very pleased with these particular hives (in his bee house) and now considers how to have more of these.
    This is purely from his ergonomic/less work approach.
    I guess at his age he is getting a bit tired of his 12-frame square Dadants.

    Unsure how and why, but a bee house is immutably being mated to the AZ hives for most keepers.
    Well, there are other ways (and more simple at that).
    20-25 deep frames (Dadant/Layens/Ukranian/double-deep Langs) set to warm way - a simple, low maintenance, and low tech configuration
    Sleeping on top of the bees is also claimed to have relaxing/therapeutic effect (people pay for it too).
    Last edited by GregV; 11-18-2018 at 05:44 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    this is a Russian style Hive, not a AZ.
    but it is interesting that the hives are in the floor of the bee house. I had not seen that before.
    In this case it looks like it is operated like a LONG lang.

    I will look for a few other links to these russian style hives.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve4bees View Post
    this is a Russian style Hive, not a AZ.
    but it is interesting that the hives are in the floor of the bee house. I had not seen that before.
    In this case it looks like it is operated like a LONG lang.

    I will look for a few other links to these russian style hives.
    Yes, I know - this is a Russian style long hive.
    Exactly what I am saying - for the most beeks a bee house means - AZ hives.
    Somehow they assume they must be locked into AZ hives if they do a bee house.

    Well, this not true and one should keep the mind open.
    Bee house means all kinds of bee hive styles built into a structure.
    One can re-use the existing equipment in the bee hive with little modifications.
    The bee house can even serve as a dwelling, in fact.

    OP, in fact, may not be aware of this - so I decided to post.
    Or anyone wanting to build such house, should consider the options.

    Here are a Ukrainian long hives in the bee house for you:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InhN3UH3fLw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyDTxX5Pw08
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    There are adapters available that extend your az frame to lang length so they can hang in a lang box that you extend on the bottom to accomadate the deeper az frame. I surrounded lang brood frames with az foundation frames and got some az frames populated. A round about method but it worked. The new beek that I did this service for learned that the az Slovenian setup required constant puttering and did not allow him the travel time for work and recreation he required and has become primarily a lang beekeeper.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Langstroth to Slovenian type AZ hive transition- any practical advice?

    The frames in the AZ hives I build use and sell are AZ style frames but they are sized to LANG Deep foundation which makes it much easier to move Lang foundation into.
    I created this video that demonstrates moving Old Drawn comb from a Lang Frame into a AZ style frame. its fairly easy and straight forward. This same process can be used to move occupied comb from a LANG to a AZ.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl7vJfMGICQ

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