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Hancock Beehive?? my idea for a better bee hive.

 
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Thebigflyin
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:21 pm    Post subject: Hancock Beehive?? my idea for a better bee hive. Reply with quote

Hi

ok just an update and another overview.. Ok so the big idea has a few aspects.
1.First I tend to think that bees in nature build not straight comb, and "I think this is a defensive thing?" maybe not , so my hive allows free comb building.
2. its cheep, build from all new lumber, it is less than £30.00
3. no critical dimensions, like frames or top bars. so simple hand tool can be used.
4. I am using a concoction, of wood chip and compost in my hives as a haven for beneficial bugs, and well I still have bees, and they seem OK, and they where flying today.. 11th March 2016, they where a really late swarm I caught, fed them bee sugar water that I bought, but nothing during winter, and they only had 6 1/2 combs in the hive when the cold set in. I have not feed them since. (this is my top bar hive)

ok so I have now come up with a better roof , as suggested by some that my existing was not really any good.
it keys into the top and is made of three squares screwed together with no exposed screws in the hive or in the rain.

please tell me what you think, if you have some ideas??

I am hoping to populate it this summer, maybe try splitting the swarm I have..

ps here is the video link to my new roof.
and my hive overview.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmCc-Q4nEzY

https://youtu.be/08YeUixgfqs


Last edited by Thebigflyin on Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tavascarow
Silver Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 962
Location: UK Cornwall Snozzle

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those links don't work.
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http://www.fotothing.com/Tavascarow
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of the routing around the roof edge, but I fear ply-wood will de-laminate in the UK climate.

Also you have no provision for insulation above the roof. This will chill the colony in winter, but, more importantly, you risk combs melting and falling in summer (assuming we have one this year!).

Food for thought.
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Thebigflyin
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:25 am    Post subject: Hancock Beehive Reply with quote

Hi guys , thanks for the feed back.

you are correct I think, that the ply will delaminate to, however I put a peace of kingspan over that.

what do you think of the concept?? not my slightly dojee engineering.

hope to see some more coments
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Thebigflyin
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Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:42 am    Post subject: Hancock Beehive how it works Reply with quote

Hi again

so the thinking behind this is:

free movement of the queen: up in winter, and down in summer.

the boxes on the sides are only opened to the hive,(corks are removed from body of box)once the queen starts laying in spring.

Then honey boxes are removed at (this is speculation at this point) end of summer or following year at first big nectar flow.

to remove the honey boxes, remove two screw (or three , or what ever other box holding device , clips) then the propolis is cut with a long blade or wire, to free honey box.

this could have frames in or top bars for ease of robbing, or nothing, and just cut the comb out. a cork can be inserted where the box was, in the mane body hive, until this is completed.

operated like a log hive, i suppose with only one or two visits a year.

This was created because of restricted access, ( to farm land) and I thought that bees need to build free style combe , and if the hive is stolen, it needs to be cheep, so its not a major financial loss. and as much as I like the canadian invented kenyan top bar hive, my buddie in south africa finds it to complicated to make as the bars tolerances are to tight. so needed another idea.
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Thebigflyin
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:42 am    Post subject: Hancock Beehive how it works Reply with quote

Hi again

so the thinking behind this is:

free movement of the queen: up in winter, and down in summer.

the boxes on the sides are only opened to the hive,(corks are removed from body of box)once the queen starts laying in spring.

Then honey boxes are removed at (this is speculation at this point) end of summer or following year at first big nectar flow.

to remove the honey boxes, remove two screw (or three , or what ever other box holding device , clips) then the propolis is cut with a long blade or wire, to free honey box.

this could have frames in or top bars for ease of robbing, or nothing, and just cut the comb out. a cork can be inserted where the box was, in the mane body hive, until this is completed.

operated like a log hive, i suppose with only one or two visits a year.

This was created because of restricted access, ( to farm land) and I thought that bees need to build free style combe , and if the hive is stolen, it needs to be cheep, so its not a major financial loss. and as much as I like the canadian invented kenyan top bar hive, my buddie in south africa finds it to complicated to make as the bars tolerances are to tight. so needed another idea.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a number of concerns.

I'm not sure that the bees will use the honey storage area. How large is the access from the main colony area into them?

How will you know if the honey is capped and ready to harvest.

How will you know that the colony can afford for you to harvest that honey and still have plenty left to over winter.

Is there any provision for feeding them if necessary.... my opinion is that if you intend to harvest honey from them, then you should also be prepared to prevent starvation, which may or may not be as a result of mistimed harvesting.

How will you clear the bees from the honey that you harvest if they do use those chambers?

All those entrance holes on different faces pose a risk of robbing in my opinion. I appreciate that you may keep most of them closed but I still think it creates the potential for robbing which can occur very suddenly and once it happens it is very difficult to stop.

I would recommend that you have some sort of barrier between the top of the central column and the roof (even if it is just a cloth), so that the comb is not attached directly to the roof. The roof will need to be fastened or weighted down though but that would be the case with almost any hive.

Are those "legs" fixed into the ground and does the hive stand on the ground or is it supported on them above ground level, I would be concerned about the stability of it particularly once it becomes (hopefully) top heavy with honey.


Whilst I do have some "leave alone" hives I think it is important to have some means of access to inspect if necessary. I also feel that novice beekeepers should learn to handle and inspect their bees before they opt to leave alone. I think having knowledge and experience and a fall back plan is part of being a responsible beekeeper, so that you can spot problems and deal with them. The only way to get that is to work with your bees.

I'm also concerned about promoting a hive style on You Tube which may appeal to other inexperienced beekeepers but which is totally untested. I appreciate that you are not making any claims about it other than that it is cheap and easy to build, but I worry that inexperienced people will invest time and materials and most importantly bees, in a hive with no provenance.

These are all just my opinion and no offence is intended. Good luck with your hive and I will be interested to hear how you and, more importantly the bees, get on with it, so please keep us posted.

Best wishes

Barbara
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Houstonbees
Guard Bee


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 81
Location: Houston Tx, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to "experiment", but reinventing the wheel ? I use Warre hives here in Houston, Tx. I'd say use either Warre, Langstroth, or "Nationals" and maybe tinker from that known base of operation.
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Thebigflyin
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:52 pm    Post subject: HAH update Reply with quote

Hi there everyone

thank you for the great responses.

You will be glad to know, I have had three swarms though my garden this year so far!! pretty good from what I can understand.

My TBH has swarmed as well. fantastic news, as I feel that its a sign of a healthy happy hive.
( realising they where a small august swarm last year, and only managed 5 ish combs of honey, with no over winter feeding, it sort of proves my duvet and clingfilm hive insulation system.)

so one of the swarms I have now put in my HAH "hancock alternat hive"

they have been in there about two weeks now, have had loads of drones coming to visit, so I assume that means I have a happy queen Wink

I have also subsequently built another HAH and it took about 1 1/2 hours to build and another 1/2 hour to cut and make some wood chip and fill with bugs and some compost.

I have also built a web site , and added some more videos.

http://ecape1820.tripod.com/alternativebeehive/

as I have stated before, this hive is an experiment, ment for the bees and not people.

it is intended more as a proof of concept, for developing countries and for people who just want a bee accommodation at the bottom of the garden, something unlike a bumble bee nest, "it's nice to have and see the bees buzzing in and out , but not really interested in what is going on inside."

cheers for now
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Thebigflyin
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:31 pm    Post subject: OK how the bees are getting on Reply with quote

hi

so some updates.

the the holes on the sides are corked of, I dont thing this was explained, so I opend one in to one of the boxes to see if the bees would use the side box.

the idea of the side boxes , I dont think I explained the reasoning fo r this,,, so the idea is that the bees wil first fill the main box with honey for winter , then if they are looking for more space they will then only fill the side boxes, so what this means is there is no need to feed, as that honey is never robed.

so to see if they wouold go into a side box I oppen one (removed the cork) put a 2.5 kg block of fondent in and closed, put the box back..

after a few days there was a stedy streem of ants up the leg, and when I put an enoscope in there where the ants,, then about two days ago ,, no more ants on the leg..

so I thought they had eaten all the shuger, so I proceded to remove the box again to put the cork back,, but low and behold, full of bees taking the fondent..

dont know what this proves ,?? but they will use the 22mm hole, same size as the entrance

will kepp you updated.
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Thebigflyin
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So they are still there

beavering away

I have put some more videos and how to build my hive on the site..

Looking though some of the top holes I can see caped honey , so with a bit of luck they will have enough stores for winter..
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Thebigflyin
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, this is an unproven design concept, but based on existing working ideas.
I was going to call it a " Natural Habitat Hive" but then I thought NHHa that doesn't make a good acronym, even though it explains it better , so settled for HAH, a Hancock Alternat Hive.

this is my concept for the build
1. Quick to build
2. no critical dimensions
3. most basic of tool
4. cheep
5. off the shelf lumber

This is my concept as a bee hive
1. tall vertical hive , like a hollow tree
2. Must have beneficial bugs
3. bees must be free to build twisted comb
4. non intrusive queen quarters
5. honey comb is removed by removing external boxes
6. no inspection's
7. at honey harvesting a endoscopic camera can be inserted
8. bees are left to swarm and do their own thing
9. honey removal, only once the big nectar flow has started and the queen is laying
10. this hive only requires one visit a year, and no additional anything.
11. Hive of about 24.5 litres this is to encourage smaller colonies and encouraging swarming.


The Rationale

Conventional Beekeeping is:
few expensive hives
concentrated
with reduced and controlled diversity.

HAH Beekeeping is:
for the same money 10 times as many hives
dispersed all over
with a natural uncontrolled diversity.


My Ethos

Bee hives for bees, not for people or honey.

However I am a realist and to entice the average JOE in deprived parts of the world, and even in non deprived parts to consider spending money and time to build and install and bait and all the other things to get a hive going there would have to be some incentive.

Thus the "Side Honey Boxes" so some honey can be removed if it is excess to requirements to the bee's after a good summer.
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Thebigflyin
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here is my site again

http://ecape1820.tripod.com/alternativebeehive/

pleas let me know if there is a problem with it.
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Viggen
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Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 433
Location: USA, Arizona

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How are you progressing on your hives?
I like your approach, do it in a simple, gentle way. Simple to build.
The less mystical it is, the more people may be inclined to do something for the bees, and maybe get a bit of honey.
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Thebigflyin
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:14 pm    Post subject: Hi Viggen Reply with quote

Hi there, thank you for your support.

I have now chainged my tackt for promoting this "bee-habitat!"

many beekeepers cant get thier heads round the fact that people might what honey bees just for bee, and not to have to get a production of honey!!

so I am now leaving this endever trying to convert beekeepers, however gardeners are much more open minded about this, and as such I am now directing my efforts more to them.

SO I now present to you "THE GARDENERS BEEHIVE!" Not For Beekeepers , but for garderns!! still the old hive Wink

cheers again

Kev
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Thebigflyin
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Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 60
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:01 pm    Post subject: BBSM (Bee Bio Symbiotic Mulch) Reply with quote

Hi all

Ok so I have had people , elswhere asking about my compost i put in my hive, so i think to avert all confusion ill have to change what I call it.

SO I AM NOW CALLING IT BBSM (Bee Bio Symbiotic Mulch)

so what is it and how do I make it Bla bla bla....

so I have after much tryel and error this is how I make it.

first on the ground under trees, not evergreens, i chip some cuttings (agane I never or if evver only very little cyprice or pine type ever greens)

only a few cm deep, this I add to with cesenal stuf like leves in autim and proonings in winter every time only a little at a time so the fungy and bugs from the ground can populate it.

it is never turned, so anarobic process

No tea bags, and sugar like, fruit , just chiped wood and chiped leaves and chiped flowers

if you pile to much it get hot and burns all the good stuff

if to thin it gets to much rain water.

then when its about a metre high and about a year or two old. I add 1 to 7

this wood chip malch to wood chip into my hive, to this I also add wood lice and earwigs, however they seem to find there way there just fine any how.

so thats it realy. (if it dose not clump together from the mycelium you have done it wrong)

I have found a little chiken litter helps as well sometimes, I used to work on a mushroom farm and we made sinthetic compost for the mushrooms, this is a variation on that.

cheers for now, would love to hear your comments.

this is the abreviated overview, but you get the idea.
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BBC
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Joined: 11 Jul 2012
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Location: Bicker, Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Preposterous & scandalous - according to your website, you're asking £185 for a contraption which could be put together out of scrap for nothing - and - it hasn't even been tested.

I'm very surprised that this thread hasn't been pulled by moderators, as this sort of cavalier nonsense can only bring alternative styles of beekeeping into disrepute.

Colin
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Barbara
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Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I expressed my concerns about this hive design earlier in the thread. Few if any of those concerns were addressed but I assumed that was because it was in the early stages of trial and that feedback would be forthcoming, so I was waiting for updates before I commented further.

I still have those concerns however, the hives are not advertised for sale on this website and I have not checked out the link provided, nor is it my place to moderate/police private web sites.

I think it is important to allow people to experiment and share ideas and designs which is why this thread has been allowed to continue, but it is also important to test them thoroughly and address any concerns/criticism in order to be taken seriously and I think the OP's enthusiasm for this design may have overtaken those practicalities.
I cannot comment on what the OP is charging for these boxes(after all the horizontal hives for sale at Highbury were in excess of £1000 if I remember correctly), but I would expect that he is not using this website as an endorsement for his design. If that is the case, then I agree that further action needs to be taken.
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biobee
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Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is space here for all ideas, however misguided or crazy they may appear to some.

Above all, I don't want to behave like certain other web forums did ten years ago, when I was trying to raise interest in the top bar hive.

We have to assume that people are savvy enough to decide how they spend their money.
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Thebigflyin
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Joined: 29 Jun 2015
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Location: Essex

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject: thanks guys for the great resonces Reply with quote

well you will be glad to know all my hives 100% are doing very well and they are all just about up to full capacity already.

Loads of drones and workers.

so I should have the first swarms fling in a week or so.

last day of march so that is even before our last average frost date. so that is really good.

as for my wonky hive idea. well it is vertualy compleatly opposit to conventional hives, and yes if you want to build one out of scrap be may geast the plans are all there free. however if you use new untreated wood itll only cost about £50.00

so very reasonable.
the system is more hives = more bees , and they will self regulate honey production . So sorry no gready beekeeers here who feed in summer!!

so for the price of one hive I have 7 so I only have to get 1/7 th of what you would get to do ok.

well that is the theory

the real idea is to help honey bees.

Key to every story is in the name and the way and why of it!
So it all starts long before man , there where bees, in fact bees have been around for so long that plants have adapted to bees more than bees have adapted to plants!! Plants evolve so slowly and yet plants have adapted to bees, that was three times longer than man has been around. So yes man also must have adapted to bees!
So if you think about it. If everything is continually evolving they must be more developed than we give them credit for. Ill give you an example.
Scientists have worked out the wiggle dance of bees when they indicate where flowers are. But this is over simplifying the creature. Here is why I say this. The bees I have this spring are not the bees I had last spring. The bees I had last spring, well all the workers are dead, the drones where kicked out the hive and are dead and the queen I have now is three generations along, but even so. When the very first day of warm weather arrived where the very first bees could fly, they did not go flying about randomly looking for the first flowers. No they came out and flew straight to them! There was an inbuilt instinct call it conciousnice, a memory, an instinct as to where to go! It’s not my place here to investigate this. That is not my style, mine is to observe. What I am going to do is put this in another context.
So there is more going on than we are let to believe, this creature that has evolved for three times as long as we have.
So from my meagre observations I have noticed that they can adapt to change faster than most anything. The way to do this is by having two three queens out of a hive a year. This is genetically adapting to the environment!
So let’s look at this environment. Let’s look at the environment that traditional beekeepers create.
It is one where they feed sugar water all year round , they have sterile hives, where queens are trapped inbred imported exposed to pesticides .and and .
These drones then go out into the wild and mate with free bees, carrying this perverted information, they then create week wild colonies, and this then ripples out from where the apery is!! It’s like a pebble thrown into a pond.
I in my small way are trying to offset this by providing as many bee colony’s with habitat and there by watering down this detrimental perversion.
Be a bee hero. Provide a habitat. Help Water down to ripples on the pond. Help the bees help themselves.
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