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Author Topic: Plan to cut down to 6 frame hives-comments please  (Read 860 times)

Offline billabell

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Plan to cut down to 6 frame hives-comments please
« on: December 19, 2012, 02:15:44 PM »
I have four hives in 8 frame mediums. Even these are getting hard to move around - not as hard as awkward on my rough ground. I have Russian bees for the most part and queens still look Russian. So I thought I would cut my boxes (except the bottom brood box) down to 5 or 6 frame mediums and shallows. The Russians winter in a small cluster but I would have to move fast in the spring to get ahead of the swarming. Do you see any other problems with such an arrangement?   

Offline iddee

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Re: Plan to cut down to 6 frame hives-comments please
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 04:19:20 PM »
No problem at all if you can keep a deep and 5 mediums that narrow in an upright position. Less than that may cause problems, tho.
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Plan to cut down to 6 frame hives-comments please
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 08:34:10 PM »
I had a couple 6 frame hives (I call them nucs when less than 8 frames) this summer that I grew to 3 and 4 stories.  The bees did very well.  Actually too well as they swarmed on me in June.  However that was more the fault of the bee keeper than the hive.   

I would go for it and just pay more attention to the colonies in the spring than I did.

I would try to make the base of the hive as sturdy as possible.  The wider the better.  The bees will glue everything else together so just make sure the base is solid.

Offline billabell

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Re: Plan to cut down to 6 frame hives-comments please
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 09:26:01 PM »
Thanks for your comments . I will keep the stability issue in mind.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Plan to cut down to 6 frame hives-comments please
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 02:18:05 PM »
It seems that an eight frame box is the width of a typical winter cluster, which is why I like them.  Six will work, but the hive has to get pretty tall and it's not a wide (as mentioned).  If you put the hives up against each other it will help a lot as far as stability.  If you put them low to the ground it will also help as they won't catch the wind so much and won't get as far off the ground as far as putting supers on and (worse) taking them off.
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Offline billabell

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Re: Plan to cut down to 6 frame hives-comments please
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 09:52:11 PM »
Right now my hives are in 3 medium 8 frames. What I am thinking after these comments is to next year have the hives in two 8 frame mediums for the brood boxes and the supers to be 5 or 6 frame probably shallows. It will mean more manipulating during the spring and the honey flow, which is from about 4/15 to 6/15 here. But after that I would just get them ready for winter and not take any more honey off even if there is a fair fall flow (not often here). I could leave on one of the 5-6 frame shallows for additional winter stores besides the two 8 frame mediums. That would give me the equivalent of 2-1/2 eight frame mediums to overwinter. I only have 4 hives and they are right here on my property so it is not like I have to run all over creation during the spring swarming time and honey flow. Does this sound like a plan? Then on the other hand if I capture a bunch of swarms I may get greedy and............ :evil: