Hive volume

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Ray, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Thinking about downsizing [​IMG]

    Kim Flottum's Book - Better Bee Keeping
    Uses these numbers:
    Deep frame one side - 4000 cells
    Medium frame one side - 2400 cells
    (My numbers from here[​IMG])

    10 frame deep = 80,000 cells
    8 frame deep = 64,000 cells
    7 frame deep = 56,000 cells
    6 frame deep = 48,000 cells
    5 frame deep = 40,000 cells

    10 frame medium = 48,000 cells
    8 frame medium = 38,000 cells
     
  2. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Mannlake Foundation:

    Deep = 8 1/2 X 16 3/4 = 142 sq. in. per side
    Medium = 5 5/8 X 16 3/4 = 94 sq. in. per side

    10 frame deep= 2840 sq in
    8 frame deep = 2272 sq in
    7 frame deep = 1988 sq in
    6 frame deep = 1704 sq in
    5 frame deep = 1420 sq in

    10 frame medium = 1880 sq in
    ​ 8 frame medium = 1504 sq in
     

  3. Ray

    Ray Member

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    The Practical Beekeeper by Micheal Bush
    "Reasons for mediums instead of deeps: A 10 frame deep full of honey can weigh up to 90 pounds. A medium full of honey can weigh up to 60 pounds."

    M. Bush's numbers check out, as far as my back muscles are concerned:
    90 lbs / 2840 sq in = 0.03169 pounds per square inch
    (0.03169 X 1880 = 59.58 pounds)
    60 lbs / 1880 sq in = 0.03191 pounds per square inch
    (0.03191 X 2840 = 90.62 pounds)

    One deep frame will weigh 9 pounds
    One medium frame will weigh 6 pounds

    10 frame deep = 90 lbs
    8 frame deep = 72 lbs
    7 frame deep = 63 lbs
    6 frame deep = 54 lbs
    5 frame deep = 45 lbs

    10 frame medium = 60 lbs
    8 frame medium = 48 lbs
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Walker Honey which is just a bit north and west of here has gone to all medium depth stuff in their operation. Nothing wrong with the idea.... I think the first time I heard of the idea was about 1984 from a commercial beekeeper who though he might want to go that way as he got older and was not so able to heft the deep stuff.

    there are of course several limitation to using all mediums. as far as my own view on the subject a large a deep (at least here in the south) generally set in the lowest position in a stack of boxes and is rarely moved and some minor alteration on just exactly how you do inspections can significantly alter the strain of dealing with deep boxes.
     
  5. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I am not totally sure what you mean by "Thinking of downsizing"

    I keep my bees in UK National brood boxes (smaller than a 10 frame Lang)..... single brood with supers above an excluder. There are several twists and wrinkles in this set-up which I could expand on if there is interest.

    Downsizing to a smaller box is not as simple as just transferring the frames and bees to the smaller box.
     
  6. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Please explain Barbarian the national hive set up that you run I think would be the equivalence of us running a single brood super over here.
    He is converting frame area to determine the different number / sizes of supers to maintain the same hive space as 2 standard Lang's. And the weight that the different supers will weigh when full of honey.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Barbarian, I would enjoy a post about the merits and (?) demerits of any other style of hive boxes (excluding warre and TB). Not picking on the Warre and TB fans! I would just like to hear about OTHER hives.

    I have been trying to come up with a formula for 'perceived weight'. Yaknow, the further from your body, the heavier the weight feels. Foot pounds of torque, with the fulcrum at the elbow and a decreasing length for the lever?

    Personally, I dislike the Lang's dimensions. (Seems like a read a poem about a Calf's path?)

    Notes from:
    Honeybee Democracy by Thomas Seeley


    page 49 + 50
    Killed and studied 21 feral hives in trees - 1975 Ithaca N.Y.
    "...much smaller than the hives provided by beekeepers."
    Average:
    Cylindrical 8 inches dia and 60 inches tall, 41 quarts, 45 liters
    Smallest: 12 liters


    volumes of Lang hives:
    Deep: 14.25 x 18.375 x 9.25 =
    2422 cu in = 1.4 cu ft = 10.5 gallons = 42 quarts

    I don't think anybody wants a hive 8 inches in diameter and 5 feet tall (plus the supers).
     
  8. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    I think that there is merit in comparing feral colonies and agricultural ones. Marla Spivak has been doing some research along those lines. The two findings I found interesting are these: feral colonies propolise the walls of their tree cavity. She ran an experiment with hive boxes painted inside with propolis. These colonies were measurably healthier than the controls. She also ran an experiment with rough inside walls on the boxes, again the bees were healthier in those hives. I think next year I will be collecting some propolis and painting my wood ware with it. I also have rough sawn cedar I bought for building boxes. I was going to plane it, but now the plan is to leave the inside rough.

    I would not go as far as trying to emulate the dimensions of a hollow tree. To get an 8" hollow inside a tree, you have to have a very old tree (or a very rotten one). Not that many of those are around, so bees downsize out of necessity. When bees nest inside walls and attics, the colonies can be comparable in size to managed hives. I think the colony volumes in feral hives are also limited because the bees would not be able to heat a very large hollow in the winter.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Pistolpete.....you might want to reference Seeley on the question of a swarm's choice in selecting an 'optimal' size of the cavity.
     
  10. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Tec is correct in bees natural instink when selecting a hive cavity is that it will be large enough to store their honey and have enough space for brood production. The genetic reproduction of the spieces is to issue swarms, lots of swarms for the survival of the spieces.
    As beekeepers we are trying to manage the bees by providing a larger space than the bees would pick on their own. By space manipulaion we reduce the amount of swarming and increase honey storage. But left to there own, the bees would rather swarm than fill a super placed over a ring of capped honey on top of a queen excluder.
    In the genetic selection of breeding stock bees that are faster to swarm were for a large part avoided so some of the swarming drive in honey bees has been supprest from the European honeybee.
    Bees have also been selected because of honey production which relates to bees collecting nectar in amounts beyond their needs.
    The point is a swarm in searching out a sutable hive location is not sizing up the space with an large enough space to provide an extra 100lb to share with JP the bee man when he comes along to do a cutout. I know he wouldn't complane if hey did.

    Sent from Android powered Smart Phone
     
  11. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    great points, we do spend a lot of effort trying to prevent swarming. I guess Ray's point was: why have a large hive if the bees prefer a cavity smaller than one deep box. ApisBees answered that perfectly.
     
  12. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Very interesting thread. Thanks Ray for starting it and all for your comments.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    Average:
    Cylindrical 8 inches dia and 60 inches tall, 41 quarts, 45 liters
    Smallest: 12 liters


    volumes of Lang hives:
    Deep: 14.25 x 18.375 x 9.25 =
    2422 cu in = 1.4 cu ft = 10.5 gallons = 42 quarts

    tecumseh....
    as you can see the volume of a deep and the volume of the average feral hive in a tree is fairly close to being the same volume <this may not be totally coincidental. quite true the shapes are quite different but if you made a box representing the 'natural' shape of a feral hive in a tree (round and long) I think what you would find that it would be very difficult to keep such a hive alive if you have any extended cold weather < this 'best guess' is somewhat based on what I have read concerning some experiments preformed by Steve Tabor long ago on various shapes/configuration of hives.
     
  14. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Using a single UK National brood box

    Sorry about the delay in responding. I was making notes to give a full picture of my set up. There follows a pruned down version.

    In my area the climate is temperate ----- mild winters and summers that that not often get into the 80s F. My location is semi-urban. The local farms do not plant nectar producing crops.

    In winter my hive set up is ------ tilted hive stand, SBB with slide out, 16 x 3/8 entrance with mouseguard, filled/partially filled super, brood box, sealed inner cover and roof. In other times it is --- hive stand, SBB and entrance as winter but no mouseguard, brood box, excluder, supers, same inner cover and roof.

    I have been able to develop my own strain of mutts. The strain is frugal. I raise my own queens and do not buy in bees or queens. I exclude colonies from Q egg providing that show unwanted features. Any swarms I collect do not join my apiary stock. Q mating is open ---- there are other keeps and feral colonies nearby. When I compare my honey crops and winter losses with others I seem to be doing well ---- better than a lot.

    Using a single brood box, I do not want a strain that produces a lot of bees ----- congestion and swarming. To reduce the risk of swarming, I might replace a brood frame of stores or sealed brood with a frame of empty drawn comb.

    Reading this forum, I realise that local conditions can vary greatly. I can almost hear members saying "That wouldn't do for me ! ". :grin: