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Author Topic: Is anyone familiar with this hive design?  (Read 3710 times)
AliciaH
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« on: March 21, 2011, 08:32:58 PM »

I'm a mentor this year and I went to visit my new mentoree who has a hive that looks like this:


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It's about 1/2" wider than a standard Langstroth (inside measurement), and it was sold with only 9 frames, so there's a lot of extra space.  The bottom seems to be permanently attached, and it comes with a telescoping cover but no inner cover. 

I'm going to have to take a standard Langstroth box up to her and see if we can modify it in some way for a 2nd brood chamber.  I think lengthwise it will be okay, the inner length measurement is very close, the the extra width might mess things up.

It's just that I've never seen a box like this before and I don't understand the differences.  I was just wondering if anyone knew the logic behind the thinking in it's construction?  My first inclination is to add a 10th frame to both boxes to remove the overabundance of space, but I don't want to mess up a functional system if one already exists.  'Tis a fine line between genius and insanity after all. 

She received the kit for Christmas from her kids.  The kit included:  One deep box with 9 plastic frames; 1 queen excluder; 1 honey super with 9 plastic frames; and a telescoping lid.  I'm not a wood expert but it smells really nice.  I suspect cedar.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 09:36:20 PM »

This is the Apple version of a bee hive, called an iHive.  A non standard and half finished design  Wink

I’m just one level above a novice on woods, but it looks like cedar from here (Thuja Plicata). 

I would guess the hive design is really more based on the whim of a woodworker than trying to follow a standard design.  You can probably adapt to make it work though.  At least standard frames fit, that is a good thing.   

I can’t tell for sure from the photo, but it looks like the design might also be using bottom bee space (with the frames flush to the top of the box.)  This is also non standard and somewhat problematic.

I’ld buy another frame and stick it in there to have an even 10, leave gaps on the sides.  If you want to put a standard body over this thing you could nail a ¾ x 1.5” x body length board onto the inside of the original hive to keep the water out and bees in where the bodies would sit over each other.

You could leave the odd bottom box on if you want.  The bees will comb those frames down and you will have super sized comb.  However that will be awkward to handle.  It might the best to replace that bottom box with a ring of ¾” lumber on the bottom instead of the bottom box.  That gives you a near normal sized bottom board.

Another option would be to fill the bottom box with something and go with a top entrance.

It’s always something, isn’t it!
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AliciaH
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 09:49:05 PM »

This is the Apple version of a bee hive, called an iHive.  A non standard and half finished design  Wink

 lau

You could leave the odd bottom box on if you want.  The bees will comb those frames down and you will have super sized comb.  However that will be awkward to handle.  It might the best to replace that bottom box with a ring of ¾” lumber on the bottom instead of the bottom box.  That gives you a near normal sized bottom board.

Actually, that whole bottom piece is attached!  To make things more curious, the entrance that you see here actually incorporated a "step up" design on the inside.  Sort of like you'd 'step up' into a living room.  I worry about bees during the winter who not only may have to push their way through a pile, but dig their way through it, as well.

I think, unless someone comes up with a reason for the extra space, go ahead and have the owner add a 10th frame.  I know a number of beekeepers that run a standard Langstroth is 9 frames, this will be the same concept, given the extra width.

If you want to put a standard body over this thing you could nail a ¾ x 1.5” x body length board onto the inside of the original hive to keep the water out and bees in where the bodies would sit over each other.

I hadn't gotten far enough to think about water wicking through a seam that a standard box on top of this thing would make, so thanks for that.  We'll have to brainstorm a bit.  I'll also take a look at the bee space at the top.
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 09:53:25 PM »

This is the Apple version of a bee hive, called an iHive.  A non standard and half finished design  Wink

 lau

You literally took the words right out of my mouth, as I hit "post" it said someone else had.
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 10:44:41 PM »

how do you clean the bottom board if it's attached?  an inner cover will help with the top, but i agree about putting another frame in.  
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011, 11:01:22 PM »

My crystal ball shows much trouble in the near future. I suggest she buy a langstroth hive body and bottom before the tears begin to fall.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011, 11:28:49 PM »

That was my first thought, too, Kathy.  When I first looked inside I tried to lift out what looked like an insert (giving it the 'raised living room' look), but it wouldn't come out.  Then I spotted the holes from the finish nailer.

Iddee, I came to the same conclusion over dinner. 

If it was just one issue, maybe, but there are so many.  From the fixed bottom to the funky spacing, the list goes on.  Or, maybe if she already had a few years under her belt.  But her first season combined with a funky hive?  The equipment should be the easy part!

Thanks, everyone!
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 11:32:28 PM »

I think with a division board it could be kept for a tandem pair of nucs  - just to let two three-frame splits build up enough to go into a real hive. (may have been the reason for the slight extra space in the design)
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AliciaH
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 12:14:40 AM »

Okay, folks, I have a website!  They are an established maker of ceder hives.  They mention 5, 6, 7, and 8 frame hives, but not 9 or 10, so I'm still lost!

I have emailed them my questions and hope they respond soon.  As noted many times, there are as many ways to keep bees as beekeepers.  If I can understand what the intent of the modifications are, they might be easier to follow, so I'm eager for the explanation.

Bee Happy:  If there is a way to remove/clean the bottom board that the maker can clue me in on, your idea would be a great use for that extra space!  But for a first season beek....?

I'll let you know what I find out.
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011, 05:07:43 AM »


Bee Happy:  If there is a way to remove/clean the bottom board that the maker can clue me in on, your idea would be a great use for that extra space!  But for a first season beek....?

I'll let you know what I find out.
No argument there, it just popped into my head that that would be a better use for it, since it probably wouldn't be for overwintering that way.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 06:01:39 AM »

My crystal ball shows much trouble in the near future. I suggest she buy a langstroth hive body and bottom before the tears begin to fall.


 I would not use It at is non standard.

  BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2011, 06:00:43 AM »

Is there any way to find out who the "designer" (seller) was?    It looks to me as someone just trying to make some money in woodworking without having a clue on beekeeping.

I mean....I like to invent things but I try to keep my inventions to scale evil

gaucho10
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2011, 05:54:41 PM »

Is there any way to find out who the "designer" (seller) was?    It looks to me as someone just trying to make some money in woodworking without having a clue on beekeeping.
I mean....I like to invent things but I try to keep my inventions to scale evil
gaucho10
I too would like to know who sells these,too see the Options grin
maybe its odd due too using recycled wood ?and could be
 their niche' in the big game of recycle Undecided
I wonder if the Gap is for a Feeder

 Hope they go with a real bee box
JMHO

Tommyt
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AliciaH
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2011, 06:23:36 PM »

I am finding that the hardest thing about this mentoring-thing is not making decisions for my student.  It's hard though...really hard.  Okay, here we go.....I got a response from the people that make these hives:

1.  They have found the extra space beneficial for ventilation.
2.  Their claim is that because the box is red ceder (as opposed to white ceder), that they do not have problems with pesky other bugs.  I can see that for moths, but they are also claiming it to be true for varroa.  
3.  They apparently have had no issues with cleaning out dead bees, though they really didn't address that point directly.

My mentoree wants to keep this box so this is what I told her:
1.  She will initially use the added space for a frame feeder, then I told her to add a 10th frame (because then the spacing will be very similar to a 9-frame set up in a standard 10-frame langstroth).
2.  I had no foundation to dispute their claims.  That I would do further research.  But that if she wanted to keep the hive, that that point was an "unknown".
3.  The ability to clean out the bottom would be addressed when necessary.
4.  That I highly recommended she have a proper inner cover, but that she could make one.
5.  It had to be okay that if she needed additional equipment for this hive, she only had one source to go to.
6.  If she ever expands to a 2nd hive...get standard equipment.

Yes, we have discussed varroa, yes we have discussed nosema and dysentery, yes we have discussed the way bees build wax in wierd places when there is too much room, and a whole bunch of other things.

She has so many things on her plate right now that this is the direction she will go this year.  I think it will be a very interesting year.

For those of you who are curious, you can view the boxes at beeboxpeople.com.  Though the box she has most closely resembles the "standard climate garden box" at the top of their Products page.  Hers is more than 8 frames though.
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gaucho10
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2011, 07:22:39 PM »

My personal thoughts.....

Checking into that web page.....

     1.   Main Page.....Boardman Feeder HuhHuh? Oh Boy....
     2.   <All of our boxes are hand built in our shop>     As opposed to HuhHuh?
     3.   <We use no treatment or preservatives>.....<We also offer an oil based (non-latex) finish>....OK Huh
     4.   <We recommend that you do not mix plastic and wood together in your box>....Why not ?
            I personally do not like to use plastic in the first place but I have used plastic "drone frames" in
            conjunction with wood frames w/o a problem.  Bees tend to take tooooo long to draw out plastic but
            that's another story.
     5.   <Our boxes are hand built only in the USA>.....Do other countries import bee boxes into the USA?
           I am only aware of American distributors.
     6.   Those boxes and covers look complicated and perhaps carry extra weight with all that extra trim......
           KISS !!!!!    There was only one box that looked interesting and which I believe I saw on one of Finski's
           posts.  That's the one that had the really thick walls that I believe was insulated.

I think that if someone (newbee) is going to start with ALL new equipment they should go with the standard size.  Even all the well known suppliers here in the USA build their equipment with some slight differences which could affect equipment mixing at a later time.  Try to buy from same manufacturer.   A DIY'fer off course could do whatever he/she pleases.

gaucho10
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
Jim 134
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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2011, 07:59:59 PM »


< I personally do not like to use plastic in the first place but I have used plastic "drone frames" in
            conjunction with wood frames w/o a problem.  Bees tend to take tooooo long to draw out plastic >

gaucho10 ..........

 You can find wax foundation for Drone Brood the put it in wooden  frames and mark the top bars some how to help you find the drone frame(s).

 Just my $0.02


   BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2011, 08:07:31 PM »

Jim 134,

I know that....I was just commenting on the fact that you COULD use plastic and wood together.  I don't bother buying brood frames anyway....I just let the bees draw out whatever/wherever they want.   grin
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
AliciaH
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2011, 09:56:46 AM »

     4.   <We recommend that you do not mix plastic and wood together in your box>

Oh, that's rich!  Unless they were referring to the mixture of plastic and wood frames, then that's too funny.  The frames they sold with the box were entirely plastic. 

And I caught the boardman feeder.  There is another hive in a yard very close to where this hive is being installed, so that conversation has already happened, too.

Seriously, though, this gal has a lot on her plate right now, including the fact that her boy is about to deploy to Afghanistan on Monday.  This hive can work, it's just not going to be easy or straightforward. 

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forrestcav
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« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2011, 11:36:18 PM »

My vote is save it for a nuc box whenshe needs to split or someone captures a swarm and offers it to her. Otherwise get her to buy a convential lang and show her the benefits. IMO
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Corvair68
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2011, 10:18:01 PM »

in my opinion, it looks like someone found some old pallets and a $10 jig saw and hacked them into pieces that would fit the frames. I'd say scrap it and start again. I am a green horn, but I have spent countless hour on research and that just doesn't look right.
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