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Author Topic: Double-wide Brood box Hive  (Read 5501 times)
Beth Kirkley
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« on: July 05, 2004, 07:24:42 PM »

I finished the new hive I designed - just enough anyway to get some pictures on here. I still need to put the 1/8th inch screen in the stand. I accidently bought the wrong size and had to get more.

This hive has a double brood box on the bottom. It's exactly long enough for two of my regular hive boxes to fit the length of it. The frames will run parallel to the entrance. The stand is on 18 inch legs, and has a screened bottom (will have).



These are the various parts for the hive. Top Left - hive stand (needs screen), Second from Left - double hive body, Third from Left - honey super, Far Right/Leaning on honey super - two inner lids, Bottom far Left - small uppermost lid, Bottom Center and Right - two lids. The stand also has frame rests on either side that can hold 3-5 frames.

In the winter, with no honey supers, all that will be on the hive is - double brood box, two inner lids, two upper lids, and the uppermost lid in the center.


click for larger image


In the summer, as I start to add honey supers they'll go on the back end of the hive, away from the entrance. I plan to put all the frames with brood towards the front of the large brood box. The small uppermost lid will come off and get stored away. After putting on the honey supers, the inner lid and outer lid will go on top of that.


click for larger image


The reason I made the brood box the exact size of two of my supers, is so that if I ever wanted to add a weak hive to this one that I could do it without taking off honey supers. I can put it on the front area of the hive, above the brood area. I'm also hoping that this increased brood area will encourage the queen to lay more. We'll see over the next year how it goes. You can also see in this picture how I have added holes to the lid, with screen, for cross-flow ventilation.


click for larger image


I didn't take any pictures of the building process. I figured that would make for too long of a post to show you all of that. The pictures of it finished I hope give enough of an idea of the way it's built.

Beth
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eivindm
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2004, 06:01:14 AM »

Great work, Beth!

Will be very interesting to see how it performs. Do you plan to move
some bees to it this season, or is it a project for the next season?

Hope you'll keep us informed about the hive!

eivindm
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2004, 07:15:42 AM »

I'm going to put my stronger hive into it this year. In the next couple of days. I need to extract honey from that hive anyway. So as I take frames out to see what is honey & what is brood, I'll either put the frame in the hive or keep it for extracting.
The large brood box will hold 24 frames. My hope is to get the queen laying in the first 14 from the entrance. If she does, then this will mean she would only have 1 1/2 frames in the back area that would be directly under the honey supers. So with this design, I can simply check all or most of the brood by only opening the front lid. Rather than taking off multiple supers to get down to the lowest brood area like you do in the langstroth.
My idea is to have this plan imitate a top bar hive. What I've read about a top bar hive is that the queen will lay in the first 14 frames, and then honey is stored after that. In the old way I had my hives (typical langstroth - frames running cold way) the best I could get for frames of brood is 10 (5 in each box). The last I checked, the strong hive only has 8 frames of brood. And I doubt that's changed because that's what it was only 2 weeks ago. The rest of the frames were filled and capped with honey.
It's all an experiment. Smiley But really the goal is to imitate the top bar, in a regualar langstroth box. I'll definately keep an update on it - just as long as I've got a computer and internet. Smiley If I see some of my hopes working out in this hive, I'll build more for next spring. But I may not fully know how it's working until after winter. I've tried to imagine what the changes would mean for them in winter. Wondering, is it easier for them to stay warm in a small box? Or can they stay just as warm in a large box? Oh...... also, I'd read that in a hive where the frames run parallel (warm way) the queen not only lays near the entrance, but in winter the cluster then just moves to the back (as one unit) to reach honey stores. Where as in the typical langstroth way (frames running cold way) the honey stores are split, and this could cause the cluster to split in the winter and die because of lack of bees on either side.
It all makes sense to me, so I wanted to try it.

Beth
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2004, 09:09:55 AM »

I still don't see any runway lines or a control tower.  What about midair collisions?

Just kidding you along.  I hope you have great success
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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2004, 09:27:54 AM »

Beth,

Looks great,  and the part I like most about it is you really did your homework ahead of time and didn't just throw something together.  I really like the thought you put into the roof design, that is one thing I didn't like about the one on beesource.

On a side note,  I have noticed on my 90 degree hive, that the bees moved to the front of the hive in the winter, and not the back.  In fact,  this spring, the brood was all on the first two frames right above the entrance.  However, I believe this to be because the hive faced the sun, and therefore the front of the hive was warmer.  For your theory to work, you might want to face the hive away from the sun, so the back becomes the warmest in the winter.

Great job.....
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2004, 11:52:00 AM »

That's a good idea Rob. And actually if I place the hive with the entrance facing north or northeast, that would help with the cooling in the summer. You know how they sometimes hang outside on the front in the summer to cool off in the evening. But I think it was Finman that talked about facing the entrance to the north to keep the entrance area cooler (if you have shade to the north).
So good thinking. Smiley Thanks.

And yes, I took alot of time thinking on this hive. Until it nearly drove crazy wanting to build it. I'd lay up for hours at night imagining every inch of it - and thinking of what would effect what. I decided I better hurry and build the thing so I could get some sleep at night. Smiley

Beth
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buzz
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2004, 08:20:13 PM »

Good Job!!! It looks well thought out and like it will work well. Can't wait to see how it works!!
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tejas
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2004, 10:00:09 PM »

Beth,

The new hive looks great. I’m looking forward to following its progress. How many hives do you currently have? Did you buy package bees for most of your hives or just split from existing hives?
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2004, 09:45:18 AM »

I only have two hives. The first I started last year with a 2 pound package, and then I split it this year.

I've moved the stong hive now into the new hive. What a job! They weren't happy on bit with me either. Smiley I just did it yesterday, so I'll leave them alone for a week or so to settle in.

Both my hives have grown alot now. I don't know how big they can get before they feel crowed, so it's got me nervous. I'd hate for them to swarm right at the end of summer.

Beth
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tejas
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2004, 09:24:37 PM »

Quote from: Beth Kirkley

Both my hives have grown alot now. I don't know how big they can get before they feel crowed, so it's got me nervous. I'd hate for them to swarm right at the end of summer.

Beth


Beth,

That’s one thing that I’m still puzzled about. I would like to get a couple more hives next spring. But, I’m not sure if I should split the one I have now or buy another package of bees. Does it seem like the hive you split is going to provide you with honey this year? On one hand if you split you may not get a honey surplus and if you don’t they may swarm. Will keeping plenty of honey supers on the hives give them enough room and keep a strong hive from swarming?
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Robo
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2004, 09:36:08 PM »

Quote from: tejas
Will keeping plenty of honey supers on the hives give them enough room and keep a strong hive from swarming?


Nothing is 100%,  but aside from major manipulations (ie. Snellgrove method) keeping extra supers on the hive drastically reduces swarms.

I usually always keep an extra empty super on my hives.  As soon as they start to store in the empty super, I add another.  Seems to work for me.

What most folks forget to realize is that the bees must dry out the nectar to make honey.  So it might not appear that they are cramped for space because there is a lot of uncapped honey.  But they might be out of space to dry the nectar. So give them plenty of room to dry.
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tejas
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2004, 07:35:09 PM »

Beth,

I was wondering how your double hive was doing? Could you give us a update?
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2004, 11:13:38 PM »

I wish I had more to report tejas, but I have very little. I've been off getting trained to be a juvenile corrections officer, and was forced to stay at the academy except for weekends. My husband did look into the hive - one of his few looks. So I gave him some tips of what to look for, and what to report to me on. From what I got from him, it seems that the queen is going up in the hive to lay. I believe I've given too much ventilation. I was warned that this would happen, but you know how it is, you gotta see for yourself. It'll be easy to fix though.
But that's all the news I have. I finished my training (and graduated with a 94.6% average  Cool  ) and had hoped to look in the hive this last weekend. Well....... as you know, the weather down here in Georgia has not been pleasant the last few days. So as soon as the weather clears, I'll be getting in the hive myself. I'll report after that.

Beth
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tejas
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2004, 11:36:11 PM »

I had noticed that you were not posting as much lately and that clears up why. I look forward to reading your updated report and good luck with your new job.
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