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Author Topic: Which is a better brood nest -- a tall hive or a wide hive?  (Read 754 times)
ugcheleuce
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« on: December 22, 2013, 12:19:05 PM »

Hello everyone

In 2014 I would like to keep bees using cheap, self-made bee hives. I previously considered plastic, but my mind is pretty much set on wood now. I would like to hear your opinions about the hive dimensions, specifically with regard to whether a wide box is better or a tall box is better.

I've pretty much decided to use the Dutch simplex honey frame, but I could also use the Dutch simplex brood frame. These are essentially the same as British National frames.

A. It would seem like a good idea to use a single size frame for all boxes, and if I have to choose between the simplex honey and the simplex brood frame, it makes more sense to standardise on the honey frame.

Question 1. Which option do you think would be best for the brood nest -- wide boxes (e.g. 14 x single honey frames, i.e. 15 cm tall) or tall boxes (e.g. 7 x doubled honey frames, i.e. 29 cm tall)?

Question 2. Or, which would be best for a brood nest -- a box with 11 brood-sized frames (i.e. 23 cm tall) or a box with 6 frames that are the same size as three honey frames (i.e. 43 cm tall)? (in terms of comb surface they are the same) What I mean with the 6-framed box is that suppose I create frames that consist of three honey frames each, joined into a single frame.

B. I have a slight preference for square boxes, although I recognise that non-square boxes have advantages also. Hence my next question...

Question 3. If you had to use a single sized box for all your needs (both brood and super), which would you prefer -- a box with 12 honey frames (i.e. 495 mm x 495 mm, square) or a box with 14 honey frames (i.e. 495 mm x 555 mm, not square)?

C. One option that I'm considering is a long, deep hive, such as the Dartington or the Golden Hive. A hive like that, of my own design, would have a brood box of 100 cm x 50 cm (outside dimensions). One could then put four honeysupers of 25 cm wide or two honey supers of 50 cm wide on top of that. But is such a long hive better than a tall hive?

Question 4. Which is better for a brood nest -- a single box with 22 brood-sized frames (i.e. 100 cm wide) or three boxes stacked, with 12 honey-sized frames in each (i.e. 36 frames in total) (i.e. 50 cm wide)? (in terms of comb surface they are the same)

Thanks!
Samuel

[I also posted this question in other forums]
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Samuel Murray, Ugchelen, Netherlands
6 hives in 3 locations (4 x Buckfast F2++, 2 x Ligustica F1+)
hankdog1
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 12:51:47 PM »

To answer your question the old Dadant style hives are the best choice for the bees hands down.  I have looked at this question myself many times and all the science and the bees points to this answer.  That being said I don't personally use them because it's impractical.  Everyone else uses langs and being able to be standard is a huge plus.  You can use Hoffman frames in a Danant hive no question and yes it works but the weight goes up with the box too.  It's your choice but being practical I personally choose langs.  Of course too if you want to see what others have said over the years you can do a search as this question has been asked many many times.
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edward
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 01:06:25 PM »

 grin Its not even new year and you start the bigest topic to fight a bout when beekeepers have cabinfever and are missing their bees  grin

In Sweden we are  evil blessed  evil with to many frame sizes to choose from, this makes buying bees a challenge if they are not in the right frame size, most likely they are on some old obsolete frame system someone wants to get rid of  angry

Frame sizes are something  a beekeeper chooses, make them easy to work with.

Also if you have the same kind as you beekeeping neighbors it makes it easier to buy and sell hives.

The bees wont care  Wink


mvh Edward  tongue
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ugcheleuce
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 02:42:37 PM »

To answer your question the old Dadant style hives are the best choice for the bees hands down.  ... Everyone else uses Langstroth and being able to be standard is a huge plus.

Well, Langstroth measures 50 cm x 40 cm, and Dadant measures 50 cm x 47 cm.  This is roughly the size that I was considering when I talked about "wide" boxes.  Both have roughly the same topbar length, so the big difference is that Dadant can carry an extra one or possible two frames.  Since you prefer Dadant, I take it you would favour a "wider" box over a "taller" box, is that right?

Frame sizes are something a beekeeper chooses. Make them easy to work with. Also if you have the same kind as you beekeeping neighbours, it makes it easier to buy and sell hives.

Most beekeepers in my area use the Dutch simplex frame size.  Simplex comes in two sizes, namely honey/super (14 cm) and brood (22 cm).  Simplex doesn't have a jumbo size frame, but some beekeepers create a doubled honey box that takes a frame that is basically a "double honey-sized frame" (26-28 cm).  Very few beekeepers hereabouts use any other frame size, unless they specialise in some or other weird hive.

Anyway, the frame size is not my problem.  What I'm trying to decide on is how to structure the brood nest.  Should I make it shallow and wide, or should I make it tall and narrow?  In other words, should I make it 50 cm wide and 15 cm tall, or should I make it 40 cm wide and 30 cm tall, etc?

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Samuel Murray, Ugchelen, Netherlands
6 hives in 3 locations (4 x Buckfast F2++, 2 x Ligustica F1+)
edward
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 04:04:47 PM »

The bees will make do with what you give them.

But if you want to make things easier and effective for them a shallow brood nest is not the answer, it is better to have enough height so they easily can keep the brood warm, heat rises.

mvh Edward  tongue
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ugcheleuce
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 04:51:14 PM »

I would like to hear your opinions about the hive dimensions, specifically with regard to whether a wide box is better or a tall box is better.

From private replies I gather that my question is too specific.  So here's a simplified version:

Suppose you have to use one size frame, and you can design your own hive, which do you think would be the best option for the bees?

Option 1: Two 8-frame boxes (for brood) plus two 8-frame boxes (for honey).  This hive would be four boxes tall.  This is probably the most traditional option.

Option 2: Three 5-frame boxes (for brood) plus three 5-frame boxes (for honey).  This hive would be six boxes tall (i.e. very tall and narrow).

Option 3: One 16-frame box (for brood) plus one 16-frame box (for honey).  This hive would be only two boxes tall (i.e. very wide and shallow).

So, which option do you think would be best for the bees?

Thanks!
Samuel
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Samuel Murray, Ugchelen, Netherlands
6 hives in 3 locations (4 x Buckfast F2++, 2 x Ligustica F1+)
edward
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FEED ME HONEY or I`ll smash your screen !


« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 06:08:34 PM »

How tall are you?

How strong are you?

Do you want to bee able to lift boxes ergonomically with out straining your back?

A big uninterrupted broodnest, supers that don't weigh more than 20kg and a hive that doesn't make you lift heavy boxes at un ergonomic positions over your head.


mvh Edward  tongue
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