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Author Topic: Bee Briefs  (Read 1722 times)
Michael Bush
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« on: October 11, 2008, 02:38:48 PM »

I bought a few of these this year. I suppose it was obvious from the name, but I didn't get it until I got the documentation with the product. Here I was thinking it had to do with underwear but it's "Bee Brief Case"! They are thin (four frames and plastic instead of wood) and they have handles so they are very easy to carry two in each hand. Unfortunately, it only comes in deeps, but they are still useful to me. I can put a frame of brood with a queen on it and three empty frames to take a queen to another yard. I can put a four frame nuc in it to take to another yard. When you are moving several of these they are easy to carry three or four at a time (with mediums) as they are usually half brood (which is light) and half stores (which is heavy) so four of them is still usually only about 50 pounds or so. I'm not currently using them for splits as they are deeps and I'm using mediums, but they are nice for transporting and moving things, and with a 2" piece of styrofoam in the bottom might even work well for a medium depth split (there doesn't seem to be any real space between the bottom of the frames and the bottom of the nuc so this leaves a fairly normal 1" space). They are expensive, but not that much more than wood and they are MUCH more convenient to move around and especially much more convenient to stack up and not have ventilation issues. They also make a great toolbox to replace that five gallon bucket that is full of odds and ends. These are easier to carry and you can dump out the tools and use it to collect a small swarm if you need to. I started using them a lot for hauling things like queen cells and such around. They are so easy to pick up and carry!

Now if they only came in mediums...
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2008, 07:59:24 PM »

I've looked at them too, but have not purchased any just because they are only available in Deeps.  To me they are the perfect item for packaging 4 frames into each brief and transporting them to an out yard for making queen mating nucs etc.  They can be attached to each other modulely so transporting is easier and more stable.

If they only made them in Mediums.
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 07:49:13 AM »

I have only seen them in advertisements, but one thing that sort of concerned me was the way the entrance worked.   It appears that one end of the top lifts up a bit and exposed an entrance.   My concern is that this leaves an added space above the frames which the bees can build comb.  If they build comb there,  closing the entrance would not be possible.   Do I understand the entrance operation correctly?   Sometimes nucs take off, especially if you get busy and neglect them, so if there is a space,  there is a good chance they will fill it with comb.

thanks
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 08:46:00 AM »

>I have only seen them in advertisements, but one thing that sort of concerned me was the way the entrance worked.   It appears that one end of the top lifts up a bit and exposed an entrance.

It does.

>  My concern is that this leaves an added space above the frames which the bees can build comb.  If they build comb there,  closing the entrance would not be possible.

True.

>  Do I understand the entrance operation correctly?   

You do.

Since they are deep and mine are mediums I use them more for moving things around like queens, four frame nucs etc. but when I get to the yard where I'm going I put them in eight frame boxes with four empty frames.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2008, 10:45:53 AM »

Thanks for this post, Michael. I have been considering trying a few of these for moving splits, etc. I have a hodge-podge of many different pieces of experimental equipment that I have made / purchased to try to make moving splits from one yard to the next easier. They all work but I'm not sure they make it easier. I look forward to trying these.
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2008, 11:44:49 AM »

To bad they are four frames.... Sad
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2008, 01:33:04 PM »

Yep, a 10 framer would be perfect.
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2008, 01:55:07 PM »

I'd settle for 5...  grin

Won't make a difference in buying them (because of other issues), but I'd have one less thing to gripe about.  Lips Sealed

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2008, 09:40:09 PM »

I think the four frames was more compatible with the "briefcase" concept that you could easily carry four empty and two full ones around by the handles.  Five would have changed the balance a lot.  I also think the management niche they were trying to fill was making walk away splits to get nucs going with minimal resources.  Four is minimal.  But, of course, four mediums would be even more minimal...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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