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Lighter Equipment Lighter Equipment & Top Entrances Copyright 2007 by Michael Bush.

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Presentation on theme: "Lighter Equipment Lighter Equipment & Top Entrances Copyright 2007 by Michael Bush."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lighter Equipment Lighter Equipment & Top Entrances Copyright 2007 by Michael Bush

2 Lighter Boxes "Friends don't let friends lift deeps" Jim Fischer of Fischer's BeeQuick

3 Lighter Boxes Ten Frame boxes: Deep, Langstroth Deep 9 5/8" lbs Brood & Extracting Medium, Illinois, ¾, Western 6 5/8" lbs Brood & Extracting & Comb Shallow 5 ¾" or 5 11/16" lbs Comb & Extracting

4 Lighter Boxes Eight Frame boxes: Deep, Langstroth Deep 9 5/8" lbs Brood & Extracting Medium, Illinois, ¾, Western 6 5/8" lbs Brood & Extracting & Comb Shallow 5 ¾" or 5 11/16" lbs Comb and Extracting

5 Gravity increasing? I'm wondering how many aging beekeepers have been forced to give up bees because they hurt themselves lifting deeps and it hasn't occurred to them there are other choices?

6 Richard Taylor said: "...no man's back is unbreakable and even beekeepers grow older. When full, a mere shallow super is heavy, weighing forty pounds or more. Deep supers, when filled, are ponderous beyond practical limit."

7 All one size frame

8 The frame is the basic element of a modern bee hive. Even if you have various sized boxes (as far as the number of frames they hold) if the frames are all the same depth you can put them in any of your boxes.

9 Advantages to all one size You can: Put brood up a box to "bait" the bees up. Put honey combs in for food wherever you need it. Unclog a brood nest by moving pollen or honey up a box or even a few frames of brood up a box to make room in the brood nest to prevent swarming. Run an unlimited brood nest with no excluder and if there is brood anywhere you can move it anywhere else.

10 Cutting down to mediums I cut all my boxes and frames down to mediums. The boxes, are easy. Just cut 3 off the bottom of a deep or add 11/16 to a shallow.

11 Cutting down frames to mediums Set a table saw fence to 6 ¼. Run the frames through the table saw to cut off the bottom. Set a table saw fence to 3/8. Run the ends of the bottom through and cut off the end bars. Put the resultant bottom bar between the two end bars and nail.

12 Cutting down frames to mediums

13 Eight or ten frame? Eight Ten Eight

14 Transition from ten to eight When you have a mixture of sizes

15 Cutting down ten frames to eight Marking

16 Cutting down to eight frames Cutting off the side

17 Cutting down to eight frames Knocking the scraps off the side

18 Cutting down to eight frames Pulling all the nails out of the sides

19 Cutting down to eight frames Cutting the sides to fit

20 Cutting down to eight frames Finishing with a hand saw

21 Cutting down to eight frames Side reinstalled on the box

22 Cutting down a bottom board Getting the screen out of the way

23 Cutting down a bottom board Measure and mark

24 Cutting down a bottom board Cleaning up the side

25 Cutting down a bottom board Putting the side back on

26 Cutting down a bottom board Back together

27 Top Entrances

28 Advantages to only a top entrance Tall grass doesnt block access Deep snow doesnt block access Dead bees don't block the entrance in winter No need for mouse guards No skunks or opossums eating the bees Combine with a SBB for excellent ventilation Migratory covers are simpler and cheaper Hive can be 8 inches lower for less lifting When supering horizontal hives, bees have to go through the super Less condensation in the winter Sundance II pollen traps easy adjustment

29 Easy top entrance You can just add shims under your inner cover or a migratory cover

30 Making a top entrance cover Shingle shims on a simple plywood square

31 Making a top entrance cover Nailing and gluing the shims

32 Making a top entrance cover Finished top, upside down

33 Cover (with wire clip)

34 Making a top entrance cover Finished top in place

35 Top entrance in use Bees at top entrance

36 Caveats Remember, if you have no bottom entrance and you use an excluder you will need some kind of drone escape on the bottom for them to get out. A 3/8" hole will do.

37 Bottom Feeders Classic Jay Smith bottom feeder Made from a standard solid bottom so no extra equipment to buy Can double as a cover and top entrance for the hive below

38 Modified Bottom Feeder Screened fill area No bottom entrance (less robbing issues) Provides reduced entrance below for a top entrance on stacked nucs or hives Allows feeding stacked hives without unstacking

39 Top View

40 Bottom view

41 With Hive

42 Apartment Nucs

43 Fill covers in place

44 More information concerning top entrances, lighter equipment, natural cell size and varroa, horizontal hives, queen rearing, general beekeeping, observation hives and many other topics. Many classic queen rearing books. Hubers New Observations on the Natural History of Bees Picture from Jay Smiths Better Queens

45 Contact bees at bushfarms dot com Book: The Practical Beekeeper


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