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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking at the Dartington hive here:

http://www.thorne.co.uk/image/data/...LD INTRODUCTION SPRING 08 P CMP - 10-1-14.pdf

Anyone has experience/comments on the design and usage?

Not that I will jump onto it (time is the limitation), but this is so far the best document demonstrating beekeeping ergonomics that I have found.

Among other things, look at the photos on page 7 - I really like the pictures demonstrating the ergonomics of lifting compact box vs. wide box of the same weight. And also see excellent description of the weight lifting ergonomics on page 15.

I also like diagrams on page 5 regarding the colony management - pretty much fits right into my own long hives.
 

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Hi Greg

As this a public forum I'll need to temper my words accordingly, but my opinion is that the 'Dartington Hive' is a blatant exercise in salesmanship targeted at beginners - with it being necessary to purchase both 'plans' and a book in order to own and run some kind of magic beehive. Most of the design revolves around gimmicks - divided roof, legs forming carrying handles, and so on ...

This 'need to purchase' sets the Dartington beehive apart from every other beehive design in the world, and although this lack of public domain information has created a degree of mystique (as well a putting a few miserable coppers into RD's hands), it's also resulted in an almost complete lack of take-up, with very few people using it - despite the sales hype.

When I compare such a hive made as it is from plywood, and compare it with some of the workmanlike deep long hives of eastern Europe I feel quite embarrassed to be British. Having said that, the basic concept of a deep framed box with several small supers on top is - imo - very sensible.

It's easy enough to make a Deep Long Hive box of course, dimension it's length to be twice(*) the length of whatever 'standard' box you have, which will then suit the width of 4 standard-sized half-width nuc boxes which can be placed on top. No need for any plans, or books on 'how to run this particular beehive' ...

The only possible improvement over scores of Deep Long Hives (apart from the supering) are the periscope entrances. Diagrams on page 5 of the .pdf you linked to shows the form of these entrances. Apart from those (which I'm not entirely convinced about - I'd much rather have entrances on a vertical surface, protected by anti-robbing screens), I'm sure there's enough information in that .pdf to make a replica - and to a much higher standard. I have a dozen 'Dartington' photos and a couple of text files I can mail you if needed.

There's one possible fault in the above design, and that's with regard to winter insulation. I have feeder shells permanently in place on top of Long Hives, all year round, which contain some 4" of expanded polystyrene. Perhaps you could line the inside of the Dartington roof with something similar ?

Ergonomics ? Most of what you say is right - but check the photo top left on page 8. With a lightweight plywood hive you might get away with carrying like that, but not with a hive made from solid wood of any thickness - that's precisely why I cut my 4ft Deep Long Hive in half - far too long for one person to lift on their own. I'm 6'4", and 32" is about my max length for carrying comfortably - when empty, of course ! :)

'best
LJ

(*) or one-and-a-half, and run 3x half-width shallow nuc boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Greg
......
'best
LJ

(*) or one-and-a-half, and run 3x half-width shallow nuc boxes.
Thanks for the review, LJ.

With my solid and thick (and heavy) wooden long hives - I like my way of transporting better..
Workman style, indeed.
20161001_172806_Small.jpg
20161001_174334_Small.jpg

Those Dartington legs/handles look a bit.... wimpy and not trustworthy as for me.
As well, the center of weight for a loaded hive is too high and, hence, flipping the hive sideways, while carrying it, is rather too easy (I think).

I do like the idea of the small incremental supers; want to test out this season; of course, my own implementation.
 

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I did enjoy the image of the author carrying a hive with himself, palanquin-style. There are some good ideas for sure.

palanquin.jpg

Actually, the rotating legs that allow for palanquin-style lifting without need for two extra poles is kind of neat.
Not much about the hive itself that is limited to using only 14"x12" frames though, should be able to apply most of the ideas to existing designs/frame-types.
Thanks for sharing GregV
 

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I corresponded with Robin Dartington back around 2000 or so. I never tried his exact design because basically it's designed around the common parts of a British Nat'l hive and the standard here, of course, is Langstroth. But it was interesting reading. O.O. Poppleton invented the "Ideal Hive" back in the 1800s. You might want to look up O.O. Poppleton in the old bee magazines that are now digitized out there on the internet and read about that hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Actually, the rotating legs that allow for palanquin-style lifting without need for two extra poles is kind of neat.

Thanks for sharing GregV
I agree the idea is neat on the first look.

What is not neat - the high center of gravity with respect to the supports (points of attachments of those swing legs).
Try raising a heavy object with the supports positioned low and the center of gravity positioned high.
As soon as you attempt to start moving the object, you will feel how wobbly the entire thing will be.
Now try to actually move the live hive some distance in less-than-perfect setting (like some remote yard across a creek).

The "palanquin-style" picture demonstrates the flaw perfectly, in fact, if you know what to look for.
The problem is smacked right in front of you to look at.

Forget it.
For the most stability, the center of gravity must be at about the same level as the supports's level (not too high, not too low - about the same is best).
When carrying the loaded hive with the live bees across some rugged terrain, one will appreciate the idea.
Nope - I am not implementing that design.
:)

PS: as a matter of fact, in the pics I posted the center of gravity is a bit too low and I know it (it was done by choice and for a reason); but at least a hive with the bees in it will not flip sideways when a carrier stumbles (could be ugly and best to avoid).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
.... O.O. Poppleton invented the "Ideal Hive" back in the 1800s. You might want to look up O.O. Poppleton in the old bee magazines that are now digitized out there on the internet and read about that hive.
MB: thanks for sharing.
 

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I have been looking at the Dartington hive here:

http://www.thorne.co.uk/image/data/...LD INTRODUCTION SPRING 08 P CMP - 10-1-14.pdf

Anyone has experience/comments on the design and usage?

Not that I will jump onto it (time is the limitation), but this is so far the best document demonstrating beekeeping ergonomics that I have found.

Among other things, look at the photos on page 7 - I really like the pictures demonstrating the ergonomics of lifting compact box vs. wide box of the same weight. And also see excellent description of the weight lifting ergonomics on page 15.

I also like diagrams on page 5 regarding the colony management - pretty much fits right into my own long hives.
There is a more documentation here https://www.omlet.co.uk/files/public/omlet_guide_to_keeping_bees_and_beehaus_instructions.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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Thanks!
Excellent PDF and I saved it for few hive ideas.

Do we know what are the deep frame sizes in this document?
I honestly tried scanning the PDF and did not find the frame measurements.
This is 'monetized' Dartington hive with 14x12 frames, I think. Should be compatible with British National
 
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