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Bee's - What hives/brood boxes do people have ?

 
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joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7094
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 07 10:30 am    Post subject: Bee's - What hives/brood boxes do people have ?  Reply with quote    

It's definitely happening - I'm getting a nucleus of bees this year - I'm so obsessed by the little furry creatures at the moment and I'm really loving the beekeeping course - I've even got the family interested in it

But I've got one question - I can't decide what type of hive to go for - the girly in me wants to go for WBC because they are sooo pretty but my practical side says go for a National - But if I do - do I go for cedar, polystyrene, hardwood ply or reclaimed pine? - Obviously there is a big price difference but I'd rather get it right than make false economy

I will probably be able to buy some second hand equipment at the upcoming auction but that isn't until 21st July and I think I'll be getting the nuc before that (probably late June/ early July) so I need to make some decisions soon and get the equipment in place.

The other question I have is - how do folks arrange their brood boxes - do you use a single brood, brood and a half, double brood or deep brood - Have you had experience of different types and if you have what have you found the easiest to work ?

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 07 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

we've got reconditioned nationals. They've been stained and I'm not good on wood identification but I'm going to hazard a guess at being cedar.

We're on one brood box at the moment but of course we've only had our nuc about 6 weeks. They're expanding nicely though and have drawn comb out on the last two frames of the brood box so we've optomistically popped a super on top with queen excluder to see if they make us some honey and to give them space.

Would be interested to see what more experienced beekeepers have in terms of hive and whether they go to brood and a half.

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 07 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

oh congratulations by the way! They are dear little furry beings aren't they?

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7094
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 07 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes they are delightful and the nuc I'm getting will be from a queen who has been throwing off very gentle bees which happily put up with a load of clumsy newbies like us going through their hive - I just hope the particular Drone she mated with to produce the queen cell is as even tempered.

I'm so obsessed - I've wanted bee's for years and consequently I've turned into the bee bore from hell - thankfully my friends are used to me being completely loopy about things and are happy to let me witter on without falling asleep

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 07 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We've got motly National bits, but inherited some decrepit WBC and one Langstroth which I really like but have to concede it easier to bet National parts. We have once or twice had to resort to combining mismatched bits with cardboard 'gaskets' in between, the bees didnt seem to mind much!

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 07 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We've got Langstroth, modified dadant and brood and a half nationals---yes it does make life difficult it's just what we had the chance to get cheaply ----most people use nationals---I find the broodboxes a bit small hence the brood and a half for them---which is very fiddly---if I could start from scratch I'd probably get langstroths but the drawback is all the stuff is then heavier and not as easy to get cheap as nationals

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7094
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 07 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Just found an interesting online audio article from Radio Lancashire back in November last year done by the couple Linda and Richard Wilson who are running the Intro to Beekeeping course I'm currently doing

http://www.bbc.co.uk/lancashire/content/articles/2006/11/14/bees_feature.shtml

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35904
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 07 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We are WBC people. Largely because the job-lot of kit and bees we were offered was WBC, but I think I'd have chosen them anyway because my mum has always used them and likes them. She says that they have an advantage because the 'double skin' effect acts as insulation in the winter, too.

I understand that WBC and National frames are interchangeable.

We have one brood box on each, with one or two supers, which means three or four lifts.

Are you keeping an eye on ebay? If you know what you want and are prepared to sterilise it (blow-torch and/or freezer) you may get a bargain - 2 complete WBC hives and a nucleus box with a small super went for 165 the other day.

Also - if you are handy, there are various patterns knocking round the internet - I think Mochyn made her own; but not sure whether that was from a kit or scratch.

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 07 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We use National here, with commercial brood boxes and standard supers.

I bought all mine from our apairys shop, where we have a group of men who make them. They sell nationally too, if anyone is interested.

My hives are cedar, as then they don't need to be treated.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7094
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 07 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well I went for 2 cedar Nationals like this from ebay and they arrived this morning - They are new cedar hives and smell wonderful - so I'm just waiting for the nuc to be ready and off I go - As the nuc comes with 5 wide bar hoffman frames - thats the type of frame I'll be using - but I'm getting them through the beginners course as they are buying them in bulk as they come much much cheaper

Just need to make some dummy boards and stands - the hives came with Varroa floors anyway - I don't think I'm going to need queen excluder's this season as it will take a while for the colony to build up sufficiently so I can probably buy them either at the auction or later in the year ready for next spring.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7094
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 07 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oooh just discovered that the guy who I bought my hives from sources the cedar from the hives from a managed wood near to his home - He then fell's,sawmills and kiln dries all his own timber - So I've even happier now as they are from a sustainable source

FiddlesticksTim



Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 104
Location: West Oxfordshire
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 07 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Looks a good source of beehives, Jo - thanks for the info!

Tim

VSS



Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Posts: 2845
Location: Llyn Peninsula, North Wales
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 07 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have got two national hives, and a variety of supers, mostly purchased at a farm dispersal sale.

A real bargin - loads of kit including bee suits, extractor, spare supers, foundation etc etc. It was only after the fall of the hammer that we realised there were two hives of bees thrown in as well. Sold one hive to a couple bidding against us for nearly half the price of the whole lot. Dead cheap and very lucky.

Not all bee are cute furry things - one hive is decidedly nasty and cannot go near the orchard during the day time - need to requeen, but haven't plucked up the courage yet!

www.viableselfsufficiency.co.uk

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