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What kind of hive is best?

Posted by milehighgirl 5/CO (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 9, 09 at 21:06

I'm contemplating getting bees in the spring. I have seen English Garden hives, 8-frame, and 10-frame hives. The English Garden are only 8-frame, if I'm correct. Can anyone explain the differences and which is better.

My guess is that 10-frame is better for surviving cold Colorado winters.

Any advice?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What kind of hive is best?

I don't know the difference between the two. My beekeeping experience is tropical and sub-tropical beekeeping so I can't help you in zone 5. What I do know is it is best to keep with the standard Langstroth hives. Everything interchanges. If you want your hives to be cute like the English garden hives you can build the gabled tops and fancy bottoms for them. Maybe Konrad will jump in and tell you something about cold weather beekeeping.

RE: What kind of hive is best?

Agree with Langstroth least then you go with the flow and you're on even level with the rest of us,
like usmc said, most is interchangeable, at least all the deeps and all medium.
The standard up here is use all deep, 10 frame, 2 deep for brood chamber and all deep for honey super, but they can get pretty heavy when full of honey, older folks or people with back problems can go with all small, [medium sizes].
Not sure if Colorado needs winterprotection, I know it can get pretty cold, so some sort of insulation wrap is probably necessary.
It's good to join a local group and get advise, this way you're not guessing and can always ask.
One needs to be on top with diseases, treat or control for Varoa mites is a must, I know the US have to deal with small hive beetles now, which we don't have yet. American foul brood is all over and needs to be detected early, otherwise you have to burn most of your equipment, all these diseases are learned more easily in a group.
Good luck.


RE: What kind of hive is best?

Konrad, how do you wrap your hives? It often gets to -20 here, and once a decade we get to -25.

Also, I'm guessing it's not a good idea to get used equipment, but what's your take? I have a friend who stopped beekeeping because of bears in his area. He offered me his equipment. He kept bees most of his life and I know he knows what he's doing.

Any comments?

RE: What kind of hive is best?

>>He kept bees most of his life and I know he knows what he's doing. <<

If so, he's equipment must be old, so I wouldn't use it,...except for hive covers.
The best is go with new.

In the link it's all wrap might not work for you, could be over kill, here it get's colder, check out your local bee keepers.


Here is a link that might be useful: Show &Tell your Hive...

RE: What kind of hive is best?

Now I have been looking at a site that has Topbar Hives. I have not found much information about them, but they are located in Colorado and understand what it takes to keep hives healthy in winter.

They don't use foundations, but allow the bees to make their own.

I am not so much concerned with harvesting honey but with pollination, and I would love to feel like I'm doing my part to preserve the honeybee.

Has anyone used one of these? Any opinions?


Here is a link that might be useful: BackYard Hive

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