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Need to build bee hives

My nephew is going to be looking after our hives from this year, he is adamant that he wants them all to be nationals, so I guess we'll start with replacing the 6 dead ones.

I need a very simple and cheap way of making these, any ideas/links that you'd like to share?
not sure if there is anythjng here

Reported Attack Page!


Strange, it opened for me.
Beesource is the name of the forum, with a. Com so you can see if you can find it via google

There's a shed load of plans on the interweb. Just google 'national beehive plans' . They pretty much all say that you can make them out of whatever wood you like instead of cedar and just slosh preservative on the outside. (Carefully selected bee friendly preservative obviously.)

The Dave Cushman site in the links page in the sticky has plans for a lot of hives.
National hives are about the most complicated to construct.
Commercial brood boxes have the same outside diameter (so you can fit national & commercial parts together) but use single skin construction which is easier & cheaper.
Plus a commercial brood box is about half as large again as a national (more laying room for the queen, less chance of overcrowding & risk of swarming).

Is there much difference functionally between a commercial and a national?

Actual practical management is identical really.
There is some evidence that a colony in a bigger box will consume more stores than a colony in a smaller box overwinter.
But IMHO that's marginal.
Whereas an average sized colony will need more room than one national brood box for breeding.
Most use a brood & a half (1 brood & 1 super) or two brood boxes.
The commercial brood being larger saves that problem.
Overcrowding is probably the second most common cause of swarming.
When nationals where designed the most common bee was the native black bee Apis mel mel.
Their colonies don't tend to have such large colonies so don't need as much room.
Now more Italian (Apis Mel ligustica) genes are prevalent & they need more room.

One thing to consider is the extra weight if you are moving them around though.
A full commercial brood box is a heavy lump.

This may be a numpty question but why would we need to move full boxes?

This may be a numpty question but why would we need to move full boxes?

If you aren't moving them between crops you don't.
Once a year you may want to clean the floor, usually done early in the season when the box isn't as heavy.
There's no reason why two people can't move them, one each side.
A full commercial brood isn't unmovable, probably about 30kgs.
Just something to be aware of.

OK, no we won't be moving them then. I''ll speak to my nephew, see if I can get him to agree to commercials. If we do need to move them then there's plenty of bodies about to help, plus we can get a pickup to within a few yards of them

p.s. thanks Smile
Mistress Rose

We have had commercials for years and find if we need to move them it is quite possible with two people. Always assume you may need to; swarm in the wrong place, a site doesn't 'work', need to shift sites or move to another crop.

Part of the reason why I plumped for Smith hives is that they are slightly smaller and therefore lighter, which is a boon for me with back problems.
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