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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

(First sorry if this is the wrong section for this, I'm not on this forum very often.) So I was watching the 2 episode BBC series called "Hive Alive", and I saw a kind of hive I had never seen before...After some digging I found that they are called a WBC Hive, and the unique part really is that they have a second "wall" around the hive. I really like this idea for weather insulation. Has anyone made a sort of hybrid langstroth/WBC hive. Or more simply would there be any advantage to try and build the "lifts" from a WBC hive to fit my Langstroth style hive, and are there any U.S. suppliers of this type of hive?

Thanks
 

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Has anyone made a sort of hybrid langstroth/WBC hive. Or more simply would there be any advantage to try and build the "lifts" from a WBC hive to fit my Langstroth style hive [...] ?
The answer to your first question is "yes" ... sort-of. A few years ago I made a hybrid British National (Langstroth variant)/WBC, with the lifts being made from uPVC cladding. http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/beek15.htm The hive is still very much in use, works great, and the bees seem happy enough.
I've often wondered why no-one has made WBC hives commercially with the lifts being moulded in GRP - as making them by hand from wood (or even uPVC) is a tad complicated.

Pukka WBC hives are cute and attractive, but their lifts do extend inspection times - but for domestic use amongst the flower beds I think they'd be great.

Re: converting existing WBC lifts to Langstroth ? A non-starter I'm afraid, as the WBC is almost square (inner box 16.5" x 18"), with a top bar length of 17" - so you'd need to make custom lifts from scratch to fit a Langstroth hive. Sorry about that.
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info...I've been batting around the idea of Frankensteining my Langstroth and a WBC in a way I haven't seen before. I've gotta work up some drawings and then see what everyone thinks. But essentially, I plan on combining the langsroth and WBC into one solid piece, so that come inspection time all the pieces are one (larger) unit. I've only got one hive at the moment, so increased effort/time during inspection really isn't a big deal to me. However, if what I'm thinking pans out, then it shouldn't be much heavier, and make for a weather proof, and much more tempurature stable hive.
 

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Good luck with that - I'd be very interested to see what you come up with ...

I did once think about attaching each lift to the box it was adjacent to, in order that box and it's lift could both be lifted off the stack together - but I couldn't figure out how to maintain a weatherproof overhang and still be able to rotate the boxes into position. (as I like to place boxes onto the stack with a half-rotating/sliding motion).

Since that time it's occurred to me that although most diagrams show one lift per box:



and indeed, WBC hives can often be seen in apiaries with different heights, suggesting that they contain varying numbers of inner boxes - they doesn't actually need to be run like that.

So - for example - if a person judged that 4 deeps was the most likely maximum hive size their colonies would grow to, then lifts of whatever individual heights happen to be available could be assembled to form the outer shell, to a height of 4 deeps (or more).
Then, any number (from 1 to 4 deeps, or the equivalent in mediums) of inner boxes could then be installed within that stack of lifts, as there's no law which says those lifts can't surround so much fresh air, rather than boxes. A thick wad of insulation on top of the topmost box would take care of the warmth issue, and there'd be no need to find extra storage space for unused lifts.

Just a thought ...
LJ
 
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