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Bee Hive building & a place to share howto's on equipment
 #9327  by Chrisbarlow
 24 Oct 2020, 10:31
awaiting a delivery of supers from Maisemores. Get them made up over winter, hoping to make up with 8 space castellations and then add already drawn up frames from 11 space supers. Which will get new frame in them
 #9576  by Little John
 08 Dec 2020, 23:46
For the last few years I've been researching the period 1840 to the end of that Century, during which many of the 'standards' which we still see today in some parts of the world were established. My current interest is in trialling and possibly reviving the Gallup frame, which was second only to Langstroth's frame during that period of beekeeping history.

I already have a Doolittle '6-frame' (in reality a 15-frame) hive fully occupied and over-wintering, and right now I'm in the middle of making a pair of 'two 12-frame box' Gallup hives (24 frames per hive) and a pair of 'three 8-frame box' vertical Gallup stacks (again, 24 frames per hive) which Gallup actually never made ... but Emile Warre did, much later around 1950. :)

I've also got a prototype standing-frame version of the Bienenkiste Hive on the back burner, which is half-built but I've run into a serious problem - so it looks highly likely that this will now be converted into a Top-Bar Hive - but still with the combs running along the length of the box, and not across the shorter dimension as every other Long Hive (except the Bienenkiste) is configured.
'best
LJ
 #9577  by Little John
 09 Dec 2020, 00:04
AdamD wrote:
10 Jul 2020, 09:45
The suggestion for having the frames the warm way is that you can access the hive from the back. However that means you can ONLY gain access from the back or you are otherwise standing in the flight path of the returning bees. By standing at the side and having the frames the 'cold way' you don't have to lean over the whole hive and can move around the other side if your back aches.
Most of my hives are run 'warm way' - the principle reason being that the first comb in from the entrance then acts as a baffle against draughts - in a full-sized hive it's never used as a brood comb anyway, but as a temporary 'stash' comb for the foragers.

With regard to access, I have several Long Hives with the entrance at one end, in which reaching over to access combs at the entrance end would be next to impossible - so - I stand at the back whenever I can, and at one side of the box when I need to - at no time do I ever stand in front of the flight path. There's no need to.
'best,
LJ
 #9579  by AdamD
 10 Dec 2020, 10:42
Little John,
I see from your website you did an experiment on a vertical row of 11 mm holes to see how the bees utilizes the hive space and how they would block up the holes. I see that some holes were being blocked up - however what happened after that?
 #9581  by Little John
 10 Dec 2020, 17:44
Hi Adam - this was an experiment which was eventually aborted (memo to self - really must find some time to update that website).

With the exception of some drone hives I have farmed-out a quarter of a mile away, I operate a single-yard apiary within a nectar-impoverished area I call 'cabbage-country'. So robbing during the season is pretty-much guaranteed, and all of my hives have some form of anti-robbing device in place - mostly in the form of screens.

With that multi-hole experiment I'd completely forgotten about the robbing issue - and when it broke out (in early August if memory serves) I then had to coble something together pretty quickly in order to save the colony. Such a large screen pretty obviously then affected their choice of entrance hole - but prior to fitting the screen it appeared that their choice of hole (both for entering and exiting) was fairly random. If indeed there was any preference, then this wasn't at all obvious.

FWIW - for the last few years I've been running several hives with both top and bottom entrances (American influence from my time posting over at BeeSource) and the bees seem happy enough with that configuration. I was initially very leery about doing this as I've always been a 'sealed-top, OMF with a bottom-entrance' type of person, but so far there have been no problems.
But - I'm about to start making a dozen or so custom 'deep' bases (incorporating Slatted Racks and so forth) and these will have bottom entrances - which shows that I'm not completely sold on the American way of running hives ... at least, not yet. :)
'best]
LJ
 #9583  by MickBBKA
 11 Dec 2020, 01:54
If robbing is occuring in August is that because you are not understanding when the forage finishes in your area ?
Unlike the BBKA myth of the 'main flow' in July many areas never have much of a flow after June. If you started your winter prep as soon as your local forage stops then robbing probably won't be an issue. The June gap in my area is from the 2nd week in June until about the 2nd week in April. This year I started winter feeding in July.
Cheers, Mick.
 #9584  by NigelP
 11 Dec 2020, 08:55
Little John wrote:
08 Dec 2020, 23:46
For the last few years I've been researching the period 1840 to the end of that Century, during which many of the 'standards' which we still see today in some parts of the world were established.
Yes that was a most interesting period in beekeeping. Which saw numerous hive designs, change over to movable frames. The first imports of "foreign" bees etc etc.
Some see it as the time of the damned.

Much of current understanding of bees came from much earlier work by Francois Huber in his published work of 1792 Nouvelles Observations sur les Abeilles (and others), where he described many of the findings we take for granted today, like queens need to leave hives to mate etc . Many of his findings flew against the current beekeing dogma of those times and took a long time to be accepted. He was also the first to describe "Bee space", but it took Langstroth to find a practical use for it in perhaps the single most important development in modern beekeeping, moveable frames.
 #9585  by Little John
 11 Dec 2020, 11:01
MickBBKA wrote:
11 Dec 2020, 01:54
If robbing is occuring in August is that because you are not understanding when the forage finishes in your area ?
G'day Mick - the reason I have robbing here is quite simple - it's because I'm heavily over-stocked in an agri-industrial area which would normally only support half-a-dozen hives at most within a static apiary. Luckily pollen isn't an issue, only nectar.

I run an experimental apiary where half-a-dozen hives just wouldn't cut it - and so I've learned to circumvent the inevitable robbing issue before it occurs: using techniques such as erecting an anti-robbing cage around nucs when inspecting them in a dearth - just as Laidlaw did - that sort of thing.

I don't take a honey crop: a) because there isn't one; b) the economics and work-load of honey-farming in Britain have never make any sense to me; and c) I don't much like the stuff anyway - so my girls get to keep whatever they bring in.

However, there are distinct advantages to living in what amounts to a 'nectar-desert': as a result of this, beekeepers around here are very thin on the ground, and so Varroa isn't that much of a problem to control; and Queen-rearing is very much simplified.

The bees I keep do ok - I've had zero winter losses for the last 10 years, which suggests to me that the colonies here are healthy enough, despite the low nectar yield. If I were to start losing colonies, then of course I'd certainly reduce the hive-count.
'best
LJ
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