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Author Topic: Pagoda Hive  (Read 1849 times)
stewroten
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« on: February 28, 2012, 07:11:36 PM »

Does anyone have experience with Mr Chandler's Pagoda Hive?  If so, what did you find that was good and what would you change?  I am thinking of building a variation (11.25" wide x 17.5" deep and 30" long).  I would use 1" rough sawn poplar.  Thank you for any input.
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JackM
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« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 08:26:58 AM »

Nope had not heard of so I went and googled.  Interesting concept, and I do like the idea of the rough sawn 1x4's.  Does look like a lot of parts tho to pack around in a move.

Introducing the Pagoda Bee Hive
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stewroten
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« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 10:33:28 AM »

My thought was to not have the individual 1x4 boxes stacked, but to make a single box to hold twenty 11x17 (tall) frames.  (Custom sized frames are not that hard to make.) That's just a bit more than a double brood box.  The thing I find attractive is the taller uninterrupted comb for brood rearing.  Two of the issues I am unsure of is how such a hive might be supered and how to manage the expansion of the brood box.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 01:45:13 PM »

Stewroten, if you want bigger/deeper frames, what about Dadant sized frames?  They’re around 11 ¼” deep (can’t recall the exact depth).  If you want even deeper than that you could go with Dadants and just leave space between the bottoms of the frames and the hive floor.  The bees will comb that extra room up with foundationless comb.  Good chance that will be drone, but maybe you want some drone comb too, or maybe you slice the bottom drone comb off from time to time for varroa control.

As for supering this Pagoda thing, why wouldn’t you just super like the guy does on the video?  I guess the weird frame length would preclude mechanical extracting.  Bummer.  Maybe you super with standard medium frames in a criss cross fashion?

As for managing the brood box, if you put 20 11x17 frames in a box for brood that’s about 3740 sq inches of frames.  Comb on both sides of each frame gives you 7480 sq inches of comb space.  Normal sized bees are going to make about 23 cells per sq inch.  So 7480 x 23 cells per sq inch = 172,040 cells!!! 

That 172K cells doesn’t take into account the wood on the frames, so maybe the real number of cells would drop down to 140K cells.  That is still a lot of cells for brood.  How many hundreds of thousands of bees do you want?

With that many cells in the brood box, I wouldn’t think you would need to expand it very much, just manage backfilling of the brood nest.  Maybe extract honey at the ends of the brood nest (where they almost never put brood) and cycle those back more toward the middle of the brood nest.

No I haven’t tried this Pagada hive, but I started using extra deep frames in a few hives last season.  Bees did well.
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stewroten
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« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 10:09:06 PM »

I didn't think I'd have quite that much brood!  My hope was that the bees would store their winter needs in the top and end frames and the following summer I could super for my own honey consumption.
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stewroten
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« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 10:10:45 PM »

Oh ... thank you Bluebee for the thoughtful reply.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 07:50:30 AM »

Good point about the bees putting winter stores in the tops of those deep frames.  The frames on the ends will also be packed with honey, but the bees don’t usually use them in the winter (in Michigan) because it’s too cold to be moving all over the hive.  Still I like the idea of taller frames.

I was kind of kidding about “hundreds of thousands of bees” and no the bees won’t brood up every single cell in a brood nest, but still 140K cells for a brood nest is a lot.  A normal deep frame has comb area of about 140 sq inches.  That’s 280 sq inches of comb per frame.  That’s about 6460 cells per frame if you’re using normal sized bees.  Those that use deeps for brood, typically use double deeps with 20 frames.  20 frames x 6460 cells = 129K cells.  That makes this pagoda 10% bigger than even a double deep.  Hence my thought is you would not really need to expand the brood nest, just manage what you have.

If you go with this route, heck I might just harvest those end frames for my own honey in the fall.  Just feed them sugar water and they will refill them with that.
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2012, 06:34:46 PM »

if you want to have a hive with a bunch of parts that serve no purpost other than complicating things, this is the hive for you.

I personaly dont see the point in goint through all the trouble to make somthing like this when a hive can be created so much simpler and function so much easier.  As stated, I sure would not want to have to transport the thing, or even move it across the yard.  The guy must have to much time on his hands.
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stewroten
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 08:58:06 PM »

I decided to build it before reading your review grin  I kept my version of the pagoda a bit simpler by only building three pieces -- a bottom unit that will have a screened bottom for summer (a layer of shavings under that screen in winter will allow circulation while dampening chilly breezes), a hive body that holds twenty frames (each one approximates a deep turned sideways), and a top unit that functions much like the bottom piece -- a screen for summer and shavings above in winter to serve as something of a quilt.  The things I find attractive are the taller / narrower frames -- fewer breaks for bees to cross (most of my winter clusters have not been any wider than this frame will be), the permeable barriers above and below and the experimental nature of the thing.  As to simplicity, there are only three pieces to it -- no different than my Langstroths.  The hive body shouldn't ever weigh more than two full deeps.  I expect to choose an apiary space carefully and only move it when good friends owe me favors.  I realize that it is not at all interchangeable with any other hive parts that I have, but I make most of my equipment anyway.  If I want or need to mix or match, I can build some sort of adapter to make things match up.  I will likely populate this thing with a swarm or a package.  I plan to cut drawn comb from older frames to fit in a small number of frames to get them started and let them draw foundationless frames for the balance.  My hope is that the first year will result in twenty drawn and filled frames.  If that works well, I would build a super for next year.  I am not trying to reinvent the wheel with this project, but, at the same time, a different take on that wheel may prove instructive.  I may even learn a new way not to keep bees.

One thing that may have contributed to this interest is that I have on hand some 22 inch wide poplar boards.  No two are the same thickness.  It was just easy to make the basic "I" shape of the pagoda as demonstrated by Mr Chandler.  Again, I made mine with only one section in the hive body.  As an afterthought, I noticed that if I wanted to use a piece of foam insulation from top to bottom I can easily fit it onto the sides between the overhang of the endcaps.
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