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Thread: Time to start this one off!

  1. #41

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    I would second the recommendation of the Campion book. It's written with a real enthusiasm and love for the bees. For a more in depth treatment there is of course Hooper. And one of the best recommendations I got when I was starting out was to buy 60 Years with Bees by Donald Sims. That one will more than pay for itself I can tell you.

    As to equipment I went down the National hive route but it's a compromise in terms of space. If I were to start out all over before I'd bought lots of National kit I'd be very tempted to get Swienty poly Langstroth hives both for the cost and weight benefits plus it's suggested that bees winter better in them. Does anyone know of an equivalent National poly hive which would work with all my wooden kit? I doubt such a thing exists

    Gerry

  2. #42
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    Thirded re Campion!

    I'm all for Nationals, especially for British/mongrel bees in harsh environments. I was talking to someone recently who made WBC-style lifts for his for the winter ... must try that sometime.

  3. #43
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    They seem a kind of complicated hive which means a lot more time disturbing and handling the bees, also I was wondering if you want to take honey out would you be destroying eggs and young bees if they were mixed up in the combes

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by kennycreed View Post
    They seem a kind of complicated hive which means a lot more time disturbing and handling the bees, also I was wondering if you want to take honey out would you be destroying eggs and young bees if they were mixed up in the combes
    That's not a particular issue with TBHs I don't think as the theory is that the broodnest is confined to the central part of the hive whereas the honey is stored on the periphery. To remove the honey all that's done is to remove the outer combs which should be free of brood. They are designed to be a simple form of hive hence the push for them to be used in the third world. The complications arise when the bees don't follow the script and build their combs across one or more bars.

    And on the subject of Poly hives, Highland Beekeeping supplies have confirmed they sell Poly Nationals which are interchangeable apparently with all National wooden parts. I'm very tempted to move my bees over to Poly brood boxes and continue to make use of all the other wooden kit I have.

    Gerry

  5. #45
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    Hi drumgerry Highland bee supplies have poly nats available and they are supposed to mix regards rourkie

  6. #46
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    Hi Drumgerry,

    I have a mixture of Poly and wooden national hives and have used them since 2003? after I went on a beekeeping trip to Denmark. I have not had a problem with poly hives other than you can't torch them to clean them!. The thermal properties inside the poly hive are also different to wooden hives. This is more noticeble when you are looking for the queen. In the wooden hive you normally find the queen and brood nest located in the center of the brood box. With the poly hive you could find the queen and brood nest anywhere even next to the wall of the brood box. I purchased my poly hives from Murray McGregor and Standfordham but a number of dealers now sell them. What I would recommend is the poly feeder. In the Autumn you place it on top of the brood box fill with a couple of gals of sugar feed leave for the bees to take it down. Job done! I would also recommend you paint the inside of the feeder as it tends to go black inside if you don't.

    Jimbo

  7. #47

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    Thanks for that Jimbo - great info! If we're going to keep having winters like this last one with snow on the ground for months on end and sustained periods of sub-zero temps then I think Poly hives are going to provide an advantage to the bees. Would an Ashforth (wooden) or plastic rapid feeder like those sold by Thornes not work as well or is the Poly feeder essential?

    Gerry

  8. #48
    Senior Member chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    The big thing about Warres is that you can't inspect comb. ..................................
    The Warre enthusiasts say not to worry, our way of beekeeping gives you healthy bees which never come down with foulbrood. We've no way of knowing if that is true or not and I don't think that they do either. Even if it gives the bees some advantages I doubt that it will make them immune to disease - just almost immune to having that disease spotted.
    .
    Warré keepers in Britain often point to France and Belgium saying that the Warré hive has been used there for much longer. Their implication is that the good health results are to be found in these countries. It has become irrelevant in practice, even if the theory is still going on in a *chase its tail* fashion. Since the arêté of 23/12/2009, ALL beekeepers in a zone where a contagious illness has been declared, are required to open their hives and present frames for inspection. This has complicated fixed comb beekeeping to the extent where many Warré keepers are now introducing 2 or 3 frames into the broodnest in the middle of each box. These frames can be removed for inspecting a sample of brood. Obviously this interferes with the idea of closed corridors between frames which,it is claimed, keep the atmosphere of the hive healthier. So a compromise. Enough to persuade Gavin to build his Warré?

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