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Author Topic: The coolest Beehouse's I have yet seen on this planet  (Read 3055 times)

Offline BlueBee

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Re: The coolest Beehouse's I have yet seen on this planet
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2012, 07:50:38 PM »
That sounds exciting Drew.  I seem to recall Robo made some double deep sized frames, mine are 14.5” deep.  Basically a deep + medium in size.  Seems to be a good size for a brood nest for my queens; not too big, not too small.  I haven’t had them go up into the supers to lay any eggs yet.

I used 2 plastic pieco foundations to create my jumbo frames.  I believe Robo’s was foundationless, I can’t recall.  The plastic worked great; just a little time consuming to make.   

As Finski says, large frames can become very heavy if they are packed with honey (as opposed to brood).  My frames are spaced 32mm apart in an effort to discourage packing big blobs of honey on the peripheral areas of the frames like the bees will do on standard deep frames.  It has helped. 

While a bigger frame than the queen will brood up sounds interesting, I’m not sure what that buys you?  Honey weighs much more than brood so now you’re really talking some weight issues with 3’ frames.  How do you extract honey from a 3’ frames?  How do you actually lift a 3’ frame from a 3’ box?  If my math is working right, that would require lifting the frames at least 6’ in the air to clear the hive box?  Lifting a heavy weight that high is really going to put some strain on your rotator cuffs.  I’m not sure my rotators would be up to the task :(  How do you mechanically support some massive combs :?  If comb falls out of a 3’ frame, you will have a huge mess and a lot of very angry bees :(

Again, I’m not trying to discourage your idea, I’m just trying to add some data to your decision making.  What I like about my setup is the brood is (has been) isolated on 10 to 11 jumbo frames which allows for an easy inspection; just gotta inspect 10 frames.  The processing of honey is just like a normal hive.  I currently use mediums for the honey.  From what I recall from Dadants books, he believed that Langstroth had the right idea, and maybe even the right size of frames for the bees of his era (1850s), but with the more prolific queens available during Dadant’s time, he felt you needed bigger frames to accommodate the brooding capacity of the queens.       

Offline BlueBee

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Re: The coolest Beehouse's I have yet seen on this planet
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2012, 08:22:59 PM »
Just to add one more point to my last paragraph….while Dadant’s jumbo frame size might have been sized correctly for the fertility of the queens of his day, my feeling is the queens today are probably more prolific than in Dadants time.  Hence using that logic, a jumbo frame for today (2012) would need to be bigger than a jumbo frame of circa 1912 to achieve the same goal that Dadant set out to accomplish.  My jumbo frames are some 28% bigger than the Dadant frames.

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: The coolest Beehouse's I have yet seen on this planet
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2012, 08:30:55 PM »
My theory is that she doesn't like to cross the divide between vertical boxes, many of the combs I cut out of peoples houses this year were larger than 3'. Frames would be removed like from the AZ hive on link above. I am thinking an old fridge for the box. My goal is to design a space that B's can build out as feral but that can be managed. After some research this year on Bat box construction I wonder if unbroken vertical stretch of comb is more important than currently recognized.
Cheers,
Drew

Offline BlueBee

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Re: The coolest Beehouse's I have yet seen on this planet
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2012, 08:36:35 PM »
OK, somehow I missed the link?  What is a AZ hive?

How do you harvest honey from a giant frame with brood present on it?

You raise a good point about continuous comb space.

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: The coolest Beehouse's I have yet seen on this planet
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2012, 09:51:54 PM »
Check this out,

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?248434-beekeeper-beginner-from-Slovenia

Thinking the brood nest will end up in the middle, comb on far sides should be all honey
Cheers,

Drew

Offline BlueBee

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Re: The coolest Beehouse's I have yet seen on this planet
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2012, 12:38:16 PM »
OK, I looked over that link again and still didn’t find any reference to 3 foot long frames.  I still don’t know exactly what a AZ hive is?  Does a hive with frames that are removable from the side make it AZ?  Does putting hives in a shed make them AZ?  

I like the idea of removing frames from the side to avoid lifting supers.  I guess THAT is one thing you would avoid with 3 foot tall frames  :)  

I’ve contemplated designs where I could pull the brood frames out by the side, but about 4 things kind of hampered my progress/enthusiasm.  First there is the problem with propolis and burr comb.  Even with conventional designs, it can be difficult to get out frames.  If you have more points of contract (side removal) for the bees to glue the frames down, it might become darn near impossible.  Next was my concern for mechanical stability of the brood box.  A box with 3 sides isn’t nearly as structurally sound (or dimensionally sound) as a box with 4 sides.  Next is frame spacing: it seems more of a challenge to get proper frame spacing for such a setup, but your guy looks to have a descent solution for that problem.  Lastly, it looks like you have to drag the frames out of the box over 2 metal support rods on the bottom.  The bottom of the frames are never smooth (wax, propolis, etc) and dragging that over those bars is going to vibrate the frame as you try to pull it out.  Bees don’t like vibration.

Again, I like the idea of frames that can be pulled out from the side, but there are problems to solve.  Putting hives close together is a shed/bee house seems like a waste of capital to me; I don’t really see the return on investment.  Even a low end shed runs $1000 anymore.  I would rather buy more hives and space them out more to avoid drifting issues.

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: The coolest Beehouse's I have yet seen on this planet
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2012, 12:45:47 PM »
Blue,
 The 3' frames are my idea. The Slovenian hive is called AZ hive. AZ hives typically kept together in houses.
As for the problems, I'll let U know how it goes in the spring.
Cheers,
Drew