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Author Topic: The best type of hive?????  (Read 1390 times)
hiveoftenwondered
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« on: August 17, 2009, 09:20:26 PM »

Hi all.
I want to take up bee keeping but would be grateful for some advice. I have looked on the net and found several types of hive. Which of these would be the most easy to use for a beginner like me? Langstroth, Dadant, British National, Commercial, Drawhive, Smith.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2009, 09:58:55 PM »

The easiest one to start with would most likely be the same kind that everyone around where you live uses.  Where would that be.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

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hiveoftenwondered
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2009, 10:11:10 PM »

Hi I'm in england and people appear to be using different ones, so I am none the wiser about which I should choose.
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hiveoftenwondered
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2009, 10:14:34 PM »

Where are you from and what sort of hives are used there?
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2009, 10:21:40 PM »

Put your location in your profile and you will get many more replies.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2009, 10:23:54 PM »

Where are you from and what sort of hives are used there?

I'm in Tennessee which is a part of the U.S. with long hot humid summers, and mild winters - it usually doesn't get down to 0 F (about 18 C) at all most winters.  Almost everyone around here (from what I've seen) uses 10 frame Langstroth hives with 1 or 2 deeps and overwinters with a shallow honey super on top of it.

This is my first year and I'm using 8 frame medium Langstroth hives without foundation.  However the only reason I'm using langstroth hives is that I got a really good deal on some frames, and I built all of the other woodenware.  Originally I planned to start with a top bar hive to keep from spending a lot of money on yet another hobby.  When I run out of frames that might still be what I do.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.
hiveoftenwondered
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2009, 10:31:00 PM »

Thanks David. Is weather conditions the main factor I should consider then? the hives I've seen all seem to be made out of similar materials so it dosn't look like one will have much different insulation properties from the next.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2009, 10:36:14 PM »

Thanks David. Is weather conditions the main factor I should consider then? the hives I've seen all seem to be made out of similar materials so it dosn't look like one will have much different insulation properties from the next.

Bees colonize almost any kind of cavity from hollow trees to old oil drums.  I'd say use what seems to suit you best, and they will probably adapt better than you think.  I keep looking at our great big picnic cooler and imaging it fitted with top bars.  Bees going in and out the little drain spigot.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.
hiveoftenwondered
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2009, 10:49:19 PM »

So you reckon it will not make much difference then. They all look like they work the same way to me except the drawhive that opens like a draw so I figure it might be easier to use. What do you reckon?
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2009, 11:19:26 PM »

So you reckon it will not make much difference then. They all look like they work the same way to me except the drawhive that opens like a draw so I figure it might be easier to use. What do you reckon?

I reckon that when you pulled out a drawer full of honey it would be heavy enough it might topple over the whole thing.  It also looks like it might mangle bees when you open and close it.  Other than not having to work your way down through a stack of boxes to get to the bottom I don't see how it would save labor - and a top bar - horizontal hive would accomplish that much more simply.  I would want to talk to someone who has used one first.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.
irekkin
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2009, 11:58:33 PM »

i would start with the langstroth type hives. they are probably the most common type found here in the u.s.a., easy to work and assemble, with dozens of variations to suit diffrent styles and needs (10 frame, 8 frame, deep, medium, shallow, etc). it might take you awhile to develop your style (i'm still working on mine), but you have to start somewhere. good luck.
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bugleman
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2009, 03:15:57 AM »

First start out right.  Don't do what the commercial bee keepers do.  They buy cloned defensivless bees.  Use bees from survivor stock!  Then give them natural sized cells not oversized commercial foundation.  Oh you say you don't want to spend a lot of $ on extractors, frames, extra supers, foundation?  Are you handy with a table saw?

This may be for you:

http://www.mygarden.ws/beekeeping_for_all.pdf 

As an alternate you could buy 8 frame deep or medium equipment and run top bars only.   cool
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hiveoftenwondered
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2009, 08:05:44 AM »

Thats really good advice and given me a few things to consider which I would not have thought of.
That drawhive turns out to be a brood box that goes at bottom of hive with queen excluder above, I suppose that means it wouldn't topple over with honey and it says on the website for it that you can use it with your existing hive types such as the Langstroth, etc. I can't see it mangling more bees than normal as it would be less of a disturbance to the bees and looks easier to close up without crushing them. However is it worth investing in one if I don't need to open up the brood box that often. How often would I need to check my brood box? I know that there is diseases like varroa and colony collapse disorder affecting bees at the moment so does this mean I need to check the bees more regularly? if so how often?
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mtbe
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2009, 04:57:00 PM »

You can also try a Top Bar Hive.  Just search on any search engine, or youtube for videos.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2009, 05:45:33 PM »

I agree with what others have said about using what people around you are using.  Ask around.  I know all of them are in use in the UK, but what are your neighbors using?  What is the most available as nucs?
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Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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