Round or Square Hives?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Scopastang, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Scopastang

    Scopastang New Member

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    Ok I have done a little reading and I am trying to figure out which is better, a round hive or a square one. Everyone has the standard square boxes that stack on top of each other, but I find no one with round ones. Yet I read that the bees will fill up more of the space on a round slate than a square slate. I have read in more than one place that the bees will leave the corners untouched in the square slates, but completely fill the round ones. I am going to build my own hives and just want to find out which is best. I have an idea on how to build the round hive, but if it is not really worth the extra effort then I will stick with the square. I have access to several acers of farm land where I am planning on putting up my hives. It is untouched farm land that hasent been worked for many years. What would be the best thing to plant in the area to help me produce the best flavored honey? Thanks for any and all responces.

    ERIC
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Whatever shapes you choose, just remember that the law requires removable frames.Exactly how you would build a round hive with removable frames, I don't know.Staying with the standard dimensions will help tremendously if someone gives you some free equipment down the road sometime. Or if you want to buy a nuc or two. Also will be accepted much better if you outgrow the number of hives you want to have and decide to sell a few.
     

  3. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I'm having trouble picturing a "round" hive. Maybe like a top bar hive? Actually half-round?
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    let us know how this turns out, with pics of course.

    G3
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    There is a fellow (by his accent likely dutch) from Terrell Texas that does a demo on skep hives he has acquired in Europe. It is purely an educational display (ie non functional).... the last time I ran into the fellow at the Texas State Beekeeper Association meeting (Tyler, Tx) he told me he purchased the skeps and they were quite expensive and time consuming to obtain.

    like iddee said most states require removable frames so that bees may be inspected for disease.
     
  6. Scopastang

    Scopastang New Member

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    Yes, I had never heard of a top bar hive so I looked them up and yes that is very close to what I had in mind. It would be more along the lines of a round BBQ grill. Like the ones they make from 55 gallon drums. it would be split in half so you could lift the top up like a lid and access all of the frames. Just an idea, we shall see how it turns out. Thanks again for the help.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    scopastang writes:
    lines of a round BBQ grill.

    tecumseh:
    about 25 years ago in one of the bee journals a 'peace corp' type beekeeper promoted what looked in the pictures like a top bar type hive with 1/2 of a small barrel (split in half) for the outside cover. the fellow even did an article (maybe a year later) where he coverted the top bar hive to langstroth frames (essentially rubber banding in the pull foundation as one might do in a hive removal or take out).

    I thought at the time it looked to be a nice low tech/capitalization form of beekeepering.
     
  8. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    A split in half 55 gallon drum is exactly what the original Kenya Top Bar hives was. We had one in Ohio at OSU/ATI. They built them that way in Kenya because wood materials were so hard to come by, but drums weren't as much so.

    You'll want to keep it in the shade.

    When you first mentioned round hives I remembered seeing skeps that were supered. Actually they were rings of grass, straw probably, stacked on top of each other. Maybe about 3 or 4 inches tall.

    I'm not sure of where I saw the illustration, but it may have been Diderot's Encyclopedia of 1660. Check out ibra.com. The International Bee Research Association in England.