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Author Topic: Anyone Own the Garden Hive from Brushy Mtn  (Read 6566 times)
Hillbillenigma
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« on: September 21, 2008, 09:47:07 PM »

I like the look of the Brushy Mtn Garden Hive but would really like to hear opinions from some Owners about the Pros / Cons.

PRO (for me)
The Copper Top - Gabled/Arched - very nice looking

CONS (possible)
- Could not place Rocks or anything else heavy on top to deter Racoons, etc
- The Gable might leave too much space above the Frames? (could cause an unknown problem) ?

I would be getting the Med size Hive and plenty of future Supers in the same size. 


Any experienced reports are appreciated. 
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Nate
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2008, 05:41:39 AM »

One of the most obvious cons is the expense.  It is much more expensive and you're paying solely for visual appeal.  Take your pick I guess.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2008, 05:51:39 AM »

no experience but i think the inner cover is like on standard hives so that the 'attic' area under the outer cover is 'outside' of the hive.
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HomeBru
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 04:45:47 PM »

I was just getting ready to ask the same general question, but let me add some of my own thoughts:

Pros: Frames running front to back = better bee access to frames (?), Square = round cluster = better wintering

Cons: Cost, Smaller size is designed for convenience for the backyard beek, not production which also means more supers per hive meaning more $$$

I'm planning on building my own woodenware so the cost isn't quite as big an issue and regardless of which design I go with, I'll likely build the gable roof with copper just 'cause it looks cool.

my $.02 but hoping for words from someone with experience!

J-

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dpence
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 05:19:47 PM »

I don't buy garden tops, I make my own, and yes I use the copper roof material.  Mine have a attic space separate from the hive itself that provides a ventilation system which helps cool things when needed.  I use standard size woodenware with my tops.  The weight of the garden top is an advantage, I have never had one blown off or knocked off yet.  My wife likes the look of the tops. The down side, they are more expensive and time consuming to build, but it depends on the person's taste.  Just my .02

David       
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Hillbillenigma
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2008, 06:03:02 PM »

Thanks for the opinions.  Esp the one explaining the weight of the Top would help keep it down! 

As far as Cost is concerned, the way I am calculating it is;
- Garden Hive (Fully Assembled)
   Incl (1) Hive Stand and 16 Frames (Assembled)    Cost = $106.00

- Normal 8 Frame Med Hive  (Completely un-Assembled) $68.00
- Hive Stand  $11.00                   Total Cost =  $78.00   

So we are only talking $28 Cost difference and I think the time I would spend assembling all the parts (my first time) would be several hours, so the twenty eight dollars difference is worth it to me. 

 
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peletier
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 07:41:04 PM »

About half of my hives have the peaked, copper roofs. (My wife's  insistence). Very picturesque. If that's what you are after...one or two pretty hives in the backyard...get the Garden Hive.
I like the looks of mine but hate the functionality. Heavy, awkward, unhandy, a hiding place for roaches and other critters. I will phase mine out. I need the flat space for the smoker and other tools. I need to be able to invert the top on the ground to set supers on.
 

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HomeBru
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2008, 12:15:29 PM »

Thanks for the opinions.  Esp the one explaining the weight of the Top would help keep it down! 

As far as Cost is concerned, the way I am calculating it is;
- Garden Hive (Fully Assembled)
   Incl (1) Hive Stand and 16 Frames (Assembled)    Cost = $106.00

- Normal 8 Frame Med Hive  (Completely un-Assembled) $68.00
- Hive Stand  $11.00                   Total Cost =  $78.00   

So we are only talking $28 Cost difference and I think the time I would spend assembling all the parts (my first time) would be several hours, so the twenty eight dollars difference is worth it to me. 

 

From my understanding (newbee, here), you'll need AT LEAST 3 supers for your garden hive just for the colony and at least two more for honey, three or maybe four on a good year so you're looking at closer to a $50-$75 difference. I did read "The Backyard Beekeeper" the book that focuses on the garden hives and the philosophy of the system is anti-production, pro-fun/hobby so if you start to get carried away, the cost difference will definitely escalate.

For me cost is a HUGE issue, I just don't have the $$$ liquidity...

J-
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Hillbillenigma
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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2008, 06:42:04 PM »

HomeBru - I understand your position. 

You're correct in that I would need to start with 3 Supers/Bodies on the Garden Hive.  However, I would need to purchase extra Supers no matter which Hive I start with and the Assembled Cypress ones for the Garden Hive are actually cheaper than the Assembled select pine for the Med Hive.   

I want to keep this whole thing as enjoyable as possible and I definately have no plans to go commercial.   
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2008, 07:16:05 PM »

I always thought that the only difference was the top itself. I like the way they look but the cost has held me back from buying one. They look best when they are stained instead of painted I think.
Hmmm,....maybe I'll just bust out the credit card and get one.Just the top though...Are you sure they have to be stacked taller than a regular hive?

your friend,
john
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HomeBru
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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2008, 09:24:21 PM »

Yep, it keeps coming back to that top. I really like it. I might even make a little weather-bleep for mine  grin

I'm a newb and am reading and researching myself silly, so take anything I say with that in mind... Also, I think I got a couple of the different hives mixed up (DE Hive and Garden Hive): The DE hive is square 18" x 18" 11-frame, the Garden hive is "just" an 8-frame super as opposed to a 10 frame so it's actually more rectangular than more traditional hives IIRC. I'm actually leaning towards a hybrid of the DE and Brushy Mtn. hive: Square supers and that cool roof with the DE ventillation scheme, at least that's what I'm planning on doing right at this minute, it'll probably change a dozen times between now and tomorrow.

As far as stacking, if you need X amount of frames for brood and/or honey to keep the girls going, you'll need 5 8-frame boxes for every 4 10-frame boxes in a traditional hive. Just doing the math, but I guess if you choose to only provide 2 brood supers, the bees will just work with what they've got and either swarm or slow down production as needed?

J-
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annette
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2008, 09:47:10 PM »

no experience but i think the inner cover is like on standard hives so that the 'attic' area under the outer cover is 'outside' of the hive.

Yes I have seen the tops of these. Just like the inner cover on the inside.
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HomeBru
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2008, 08:59:24 PM »

Yep, it keeps coming back to that top. I really like it. I might even make a little weather-bleep for mine  grin

Glanced past my post and noticed that my weather-"rooster" comment got censored! Too funny! grin grin grin
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2008, 09:46:22 PM »

 grin
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2008, 11:23:40 AM »

Yep, it keeps coming back to that top. I really like it. I might even make a little weather-bleep for mine  grin

Glanced past my post and noticed that my weather-"rooster" comment got censored! Too funny! grin grin grin

I don't see what's objectionable about a weather-vane.  wink 
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BEH
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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2008, 12:55:19 PM »

I have 2 Garden hives ordered from Brushy Mountain. And I love them! I also have a 10 frame standard from Western Bee and 2 8 frame mediums from Miller.

It was really convenient when the Garden hives were delivered! Basically everything was ready for bees. They are unpainted but you can use them straight out of the box if you want. The only thing I had to do was pop the wax foundation into the frames, no nailing because they are groove top not wedge (no hooks) I ended up using mine unpainted because I ordered a special stain for them and the bees arrived before the paint.

They are prettier than my other hives. Not just the tops but the supers too. They are rabbited not box cut.

The tops have both pros and cons. Yeah I suppose they are not as practical. True you cant take it off, flip it, and set your supers on it. I usually just set an extra super next to the hive and set everything on that. Actually I have started doing this with all my hives whether they be flat top or peaked

Someone asked about the extra space under the roof. The inside of the top is flat,  no different from a flat cover. Rather like a house with a ceiling and an attic, not cathederal ceiling style. There is no bee access to the 'attic' part, it is sealed off and I imagine will offer a little more insulation than a flat top.

The peaked tops ARE heavier than a flat telescoping top. In the recent high winds our area had ,courtesy of the tropical storms, I put cinderblocks on all my flat tops. Didn't have to worry about the peaked roofs, they all stayed on fine. But if you are not in the habit of using something heavy on top, you might find the heavyness of the coppertops tedious.

They accept other 8 frame equipment just fine! I have found my Brushy Mountain and Miller woodenware to be very compatiable.

The wood quality of the Garden Hives is very good. But then I have found most all of Brushy Mountains woodenware so far to be excellent. It is smooth milled, didnt even need to be sanded, and the cuts, be they rabbited or box cut, fit evenly.

If you are only buyin a few hives for your back yard, and you like the look, go for the copper top. It is only a difference in cost of about $16.00. 
If you were to buy:
 the complete 8 frame medium hive set up from BM                                                      $67.95
 a hive stand (not necessary but comes in the garden kit)                                             $10.95
 wax crimp wire foundation (the flat top does not include foundation)          .61 each x 16 = $9.76
                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                Total = $88.66
                                                                             Garden Hive (wax foundation)   = $105.00
                                                                                                     Difference of    $16.34

And the 'regular' 8 frame hive is unassembled so you still have to assemble the supers as well as the frames.

For me the $16 was worth it just to be able to use it straight out of the box.

If your are buying alot of hives and cost is more of an issue go for the flat tops and do the assembly yourself.

Over all, I highly recommend the BM Garden Hive for someone starting out, simply because of the ease of use straight out of the box.

Oh if you really like the copper top, you can also get it by itself for either 8 or 10 frame for about $50 from both Brushy Mountain and I think it was Mann Lake. But it would be more cost effective to get it as part of the kit.

   
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BEH
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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2008, 01:08:59 PM »

Oh!  I forgot to mention that I REALLY like the fact that the Garden kit is all 8 frame mediums. Having everything mediums is GREAT!

 Smiley BIG THANKS to Michael Bush for recommending that when I was 1st deciding what to get!  Smiley

I also have a 10 frame standard with deeps and mediums and it is a pain in the tush having 2 sizes of frames. If you want to make splits or trade frames between hives one size it best.   
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Hillbillenigma
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2008, 07:38:21 PM »

Thanks BEH for your informative first hand opinion.   I am going to Brushy Mtn sometime in the next 60 days to get all my equipment and the GH is what I have chosen.

Take Care and thanks agian.
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