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Author Topic: Cold Way v. Warm Way  (Read 3035 times)

Offline Kris^

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Cold Way v. Warm Way
« on: February 08, 2005, 11:39:30 PM »
Maybe some of the more experienced beekeepers who also experimented can offer some information.

I have two standard Langstroth hives and I'm building two more, following the same basic pattern.  I've read some of the previous posts regarding the DE hives and followed the discussions about rotating the frame positions in the standard Lanstroth hive 90 degrees.  For me, it basically comes down to how I want to build my bottom boards.

For those of you who have used both type of hive orientations -- at the same time, even -- which have you found most to your liking?  Particularly, which way seems better as far as honey yield, winterability, general health, pest control, ease of inspection, etc.?  Is there any empirical data or measurable experience suggesting the superiority of either method, or is the advantage simply a matter of personal preference?  I can certainly see the advantage of working from the back of the hive when inspecting, but is that the only tangible benefit?  

I have time to decide how I want to build these, but I'd like to decide on the basis of real-world experience, rather than "wishful theory."

-- Kris

Offline asleitch

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Cold Way v. Warm Way
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2005, 04:32:03 AM »
I discussed this with a bee inspector recently. I find working behind the hive is of significant benefit, as it makes it easy for me. He reckons of the commercial guys he visits, as many say one way , as the other, from people keeping hundreds of hives.

He noted if bees get in a box, without frames they tend to build all over at 45 degrees! So what does that tell us? He reckons it's that the bees don't care. And maybe pick they longest distance to build the first comb - e.g. corner to corner?


Offline Beth Kirkley

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Cold Way v. Warm Way
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2005, 12:20:36 PM »
I'm one of those that used my langstroth hive and turned it 90 degrees - making new bottom boards.

I personally like it. I've only had one years experience with it, but here is what I experienced.
- much easier to inspect the hive, more comfortable
- queen does lay her eggs starting in the front of the hive, closest to the entrance
- queen laid more eggs, starting from the front, she nearly filled two brood boxes with eggs rather than only filling the center of the two boxes
- more bees CAN mean more workers and thus more honey...... but.....
- I didn't get much honey this year due to the fact that it rained so much, just when my hives were doing really well, it started to rain about every 3rd day - The bees ate about 60 pounds of honey in a short time.

I'm hoping we have a more normal year this time. I'll know better next summer how well they do, but so far I'm very happy with the change.



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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2005, 05:12:39 AM »
FWIW - Brother Adam always arranged our Mod. Dadant hives the 'cold' way, with frames running at right angles to the entrance. We still do this in all but the nucs, but this is contrary to general practice locally. I don't think it matters very much, to be honest.

Offline Michael Bush

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Cold Way v. Warm Way
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2005, 01:19:02 PM »
I have a lot of hives both ways.  I don't think there is a lot of difference.  I have several DE hives, several DE mod kits, several of my version of the DE mod kits, and lots of hives with various top entrances.  I like the warm way.  It's easier to work.  The bees don't seem to care much, and I don't think it's worth a lot of effort to convert them, but if I'm building something and have the choice, I go the warm way.  But if you let them they will build their combs in the box this way:


This is neither.  It's a bit of a comprimise.
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