>I am just leery of getting too much air into the hive at those temps.
I always put the trays in. We sometimes get bitter cold and high wind. Meaning -20 F and 50 to 60 mph.
>Mike you have great info on you site! It is top notch!
> What temps do you get down to where you are?
When I was in Western Nebraska, and in Laramie Wyoming (I'm now in Eastern Nebraska), I've seen it at -40 F every night for a month one year and one time in another year. I worked construction at the time there and when it was -10 F during the daytime, we went home. We went home a few times every winter because it was more. Here -10 during the day is not unheard of but more rare. The coldest I've seen here is -20 F.
>I found one of the links you referred me to www dot beeworks.com/d_e_details.html
Does anyone have experience with these hives?
> Are they as great as sliced bread?
They have a lot of nice features. Here's my synopsis:
Here's what I like about the DE hive:
o It has good ventilation (but you can use the Langstroth kit to provide this for your Langstroth hive)
o It has the frames running so you can stand behind it to work it. (but you can get this in a Langstroth by using the kit or by making your own top and bottom and turning the hive)
o It has a system that almost eliminates having to break frames loose. This keeps the bees calmer, especially when working the brood chamber. (this you cannot get by using the Langstroth kit)
o It is nice dimensions from the bee's perspective. It's a square box and has 11 frames that the queens fills out nicely. (this you cannot get from a standard Langstroth hive)
o The frame design is very light, very strong and very good at keeping the foundation straight in the frame. I wish I could get such well designed frames for a Langstroth. There is a slot in the sides to hold the edge of the foundation.
o The DE frames are really light to handle.
o The DE frames are dimensions such that you almost never have to use a capping scratcher.
o The long end bars are really nice for handling the frames, especially when you're extracting but also when you're working a hive.
What I don't like about the DE hive:
o My biggest irritation is that it is not a standard size. This is no end of frustration when you see something really useful, but it won't work with them. Like a nice triangular bee escape or a top feeder or a bound queen excluder. I get around it a lot by building things that are universal. e.g. a bottom board with 1 1/2" edges instead of 3/4" that is sized long enough for a Lang. I can put either a Langstroth or a DE on it. I built several adapters and often mix the DE supers and Langstroths. Also since it's not standard I can't buy stuff already assembled when I'm short of supers or hives and don't have time to build them.
o There's this space around the ends of the top bars, that the bees can't get to when the hive is closed. The purpose is to keep the bees from propolizing the ends of the bars. My problem with them is the bees run into them when I have the hive open and I can't get them out. Shades of the Arizona, they get trapped in there when I put the covers back on or a super on.
o I did have to modify my extractor to fit them. Maybe some wouldn't but the top part of the rack was spaced too far, so I had to get three threaded rods and replace the ones that came with the extractor. Now it works for either DE's or Langstroths.
o The long end bars (which are so nice to handle) stick down more so you can't have as much honey in the tank before they hit the honey and bog down the motor.
o It takes practice to not knock off the little plastic spacers on the ends of the bars when you're uncapping. It's kind of frustrating to be looking through a bunch of cappings for missing ones.
As you can see there's more I like than don't, but the big problem is the non-standard size. I had four and some spare parts and sold them all.
> Maybe this is the best solution for my climate?
You can get most (but not all) of the features with a standard hive by using a top entrance and a SBB with a tray.
> I am really leaning towards the al med 8 frame set up mike was outlining...now I guess I am comparing the DE Hive with the all med. set up. Thoughts?
Well, I sold all my DE's and cut down all my deep ten frame Langstroths and at great cost and effort converted to eight frame mediums. I thought it was well worth the effort. It would have been SO much easier to start off that way. I've done much experimenting, and that was my conclusion.