Greetings from the Black Hills, SD - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Greetings from the Black Hills, SD

    Quote Originally Posted by CindyinSD View Post
    Thanks, Greg! Very helpful. You make so much sense and leave me thinking, “Oh yeah... why didn’t I see that...?” Unfortunately I’m not able to view your photos for some reason I can’t figure out. I think I understand what you’re saying, though.

    I found this link: https://borrowedvesselsbeeworks.com/beehive/

    The hive in the link seems small (as in it’s shorter than I wanted on the horizontal length) but almost what I had in mind otherwise. I was just going to make a box within a box with rigid insulation sandwiched between the two boxes. Since I want to permanently install the hives on end-posts (set in the ground) and so don’t care so much about weight, I was thinking of using 3/4” exterior plywood and edge-fastening the boxes to avoid use of framing members that would transmit heat. (But maybe that won’t make a lot of difference?)

    I would insulate the lid similarly to the walls. And I’d like to add a peaked roof similar to Dr Leo’s plans. Along with all the advantages of a slippery slope to shed precipitation and a significant overhang, I think they look nice and I have left-over metal roofing anyway. Maybe it would be a good place to add ventilation outlets?

    In the hive on the link I gave, the guy lines his entrance holes with thin-wall pvc. (It seems like maybe they’re a little big?) I had been wondering whether it would be necessary to cover the insulation. It seems like a good idea, but maybe not needed? I saw your posts where you moved your wintering bees to the center of the box and draped the tops and end/backer boards with burlap. If they don’t mess with the burlap maybe the foam insulation isn’t gonna be a problem either. I don’t suppose it would be necessary to worry about them eating it or picking it apart as birds might do...

    Does this sound reasonable or am I overthinking?
    Nice link; I did not see this yet.

    IF you are completely static - just do 20-frame rigs; even 24-25 frames.
    IF mobility is a non-issue - go big and don't worry; the size is an advantage in any other way (but mobility).
    Provision a way to be able to run two independent colonies in the same hive then - two entrances and a bee-proof division board.

    If space was available to me - I'd do a bunch of 24-frame rigs with the lids swinging up and call it a day.
    These are so easy to work in most any function, you'd never want anything else.
    This is really a great design for a busy homesteader where you have little time for the bees - these hives are pretty much autonomous.

    I just do my ventilation the same way Leo does. It works.

    Sandwich of XPS between exterior-grade and interior-grade plywood should be good (I have one hive like this but stupidly used an interior-grade plywood outside - avoid this stupidity - even paint did not help).

    The PVC-lined entrances is a good idea; I am considering this in future too (e.g. to protect the insulation from the bees).
    Just now occurred to me - I used a metal mesh to the same effect (wish the PVC occurred to me - I'd use that).
    All my entrances are - 1/2 inch round holes (I just have several of them).

    FYI - don't exposed any foam to be bees (protect/cover it somehow) - they will almost certainly chew on it (I have issues of this kind).
    Burlap they also chew on, but to a lesser degree; I read they don't really like the chemistry of the foam and are trying to get rid of it.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Greetings from the Black Hills, SD

    Welcome to the forum, you and Rocky Racoon.
    Proverbs 16:24

  4. #23
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Default Re: Greetings from the Black Hills, SD

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    Welcome to the forum, you and Rocky Racoon.
    I get it.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Greetings from the Black Hills, SD

    I had to look it up. Good one.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Greetings from the Black Hills, SD

    Beatles White Album.
    Proverbs 16:24

  7. #26
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    Sep 2019
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    Pennington Cty, SD
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    Default Re: Greetings from the Black Hills, SD

    Thanks, Cloverdale! Rocky and me, we’re tight.


    I’m glad to hear you say that, Greg, and I’m grateful for your advice. I really like the idea of the larger, stationary hives and having the option to have a couple of colonies room together for the winter and share the warmth. I was thinking about building three since it seems that it works better to have several—from what I’ve read here and elsewhere. Maybe an even number would be preferable, though?

    I was wondering about extracting honey and whether it might be worthwhile to make the frames in two pieces on purpose, each approximating the size of a Lang frame that would fit a common-sized extractor? I think I might be prepared to buy a standard size extractor one day, but the ones on Dr. Leo’s site sized for his version of Layens frames are more than I’m willing to pay. How much advantage is it for the bees to be able to give them back their combs? How much of a hassle is it to crush and strain?

    Would a “snorkel” entrance be a good idea, do you think? I read about them somewhere—in a book, I think, but I don’t know whether that’s a term in general use. It’s like a shallow wooden box placed over the entry hole(s), closed in on all sides but the bottom. The bees enter through the bottom then fly up to get to their door. It’s supposed to confuse wasps. Not sure that would work (though one can hope) but it might help stop drafts.

    I’ll stop now... I don’t want to overdo the questions. I really do appreciate your help!

  8. #27
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Greetings from the Black Hills, SD

    Quote Originally Posted by CindyinSD View Post
    Thanks, Cloverdale! Rocky and me, we’re tight.


    I’m glad to hear you say that, Greg, and I’m grateful for your advice. I really like the idea of the larger, stationary hives and having the option to have a couple of colonies room together for the winter and share the warmth. I was thinking about building three since it seems that it works better to have several—from what I’ve read here and elsewhere. Maybe an even number would be preferable, though?

    I was wondering about extracting honey and whether it might be worthwhile to make the frames in two pieces on purpose, each approximating the size of a Lang frame that would fit a common-sized extractor? I think I might be prepared to buy a standard size extractor one day, but the ones on Dr. Leo’s site sized for his version of Layens frames are more than I’m willing to pay. How much advantage is it for the bees to be able to give them back their combs? How much of a hassle is it to crush and strain?

    Would a “snorkel” entrance be a good idea, do you think? I read about them somewhere—in a book, I think, but I don’t know whether that’s a term in general use. It’s like a shallow wooden box placed over the entry hole(s), closed in on all sides but the bottom. The bees enter through the bottom then fly up to get to their door. It’s supposed to confuse wasps. Not sure that would work (though one can hope) but it might help stop drafts.

    I’ll stop now... I don’t want to overdo the questions. I really do appreciate your help!
    The "snorkel" - I suggest you don't enter into the over-engineering trap.
    Just do 2-3 hives the most simple way; run them 2-3 years; observe and THEN adjust what you must.

    Frame extraction - here how people walk into the Leo's trap too.
    I have done some of that myself and quickly ditched some of the "advice" as un-useable at my place.
    For sure, I immediately ditched the custom frame size - why create million of headaches to yourself when this frame size is a silly obvious alternative:


    Be flexible and understand the context.
    He is in toasty South where the occasional winter only lasts 1-2 weeks at a time - then they have warm days again (to be sure - MO, Ozarks is toasty South, compared to the Black Hills, SD).
    Don't get into the some of his dogma.
    Not applicable to you.

    For example, I ditched his design of touching top bars as not only useless but actually harmful design for me (that took one winter to realize).
    I must be able to feed the bees from above for ANY reason - building all bunch of frames with touching top bars made my life complicated.
    So - I would ignore the idea of "not feeding" - you don't have to feed, but be ready to feed and make sure your design is setup for it.
    And so - I would advocate for path-through top bars covered by soft inner cover (burlap, plastic, Reflectix, etc).
    Here is the original Layens hive (directly from the Leo's translated book - exact design with pass-through frame and burlap cover):


    The pass-through top bars AND the tall roof allow for a honey super to be included with your hive.
    Like so:


    The extraction - again, ditch that Layens' dogma (with that expensive extractor to buy - totally unnecessary).
    Here is my "extractor" - $20 in parts and one-time DYI project (contingent on using standard Lang frames in the honey super OR directly put into my Layen's hives - stick them in/pull them out - it is NOT mandatory for the frames to hang).


    C&S (Crash & Strain) is absolutely usable alternative and I used before and will continue in the future.
    I use it for small batch (1-2 frame size) - custom honey - pull 1-2 frames from storage OR a dead hive and get some totally custom honey batch (for self-use only).
    The best honey; you will never be able to buy this kind of stuff.
    Just a small kitchen project:

    Also harvest bee bread in a similar way.


    So, really, be flexible.
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    Last edited by GregV; 10-15-2019 at 10:44 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Greetings from the Black Hills, SD

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post




    Unsure what is up with the attachments in this thread
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Pennington Cty, SD
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    16

    Default Re: Greetings from the Black Hills, SD

    Yes, idk what the problem is... I’d love to see your images. If you’re comfortable with it and have time, it would be great if you could message them to me, or e-mail if that’s easier for you. I’m gonna see if I can post an image... this was our May 20th this “spring.” Like I said, epic...

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  11. #30
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    Sep 2019
    Location
    Pennington Cty, SD
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    Default Re: Greetings from the Black Hills, SD

    Okay, so yes... I have been reading the Layens book. As you say, Layensí design has the top bars separated by a space. Iím glad you explained that itís more flexible to separate them. I didnít understand the utility of doing it that way.

    I suppose in summer, one could slide the frames flush together and use the cover slats for a bee privacy screen during inspection if it seemed like an advantage. Or if I wanted to stack on a super (as I read about in some other of your posts where you suggested honey would be more efficiently collected in frames above the brood nest), I could leave off the cover slats and do that instead. That may be an argument for not hinging the lid and instead making it stackable and incorporating fasteners to keep it registered in case of being bumped somehow. We donít have bears, but there are elk, or a cow could possibly get out of the electric fencing. They love scratching on things.

    I would absolutely expect to feed in a never-ending winter like the one we had this past season and would be frantic if I suddenly realized my hive design had left me no option to do that. I asked you in another forum, but do you think I ought to do two inches of foam or is one adequate? Iím leaning toward two.

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