Approximately 18-20…we have three of these buildings of which one is dedicated to nuc colonies.
Not at all but the idea isn’t new…a beekeeper in my area circa 1970:
So it is a modified European beehouse…just built for our climatic conditions…R20 insulation in floor and walls…R40 in ceiling.
No comparison…in our climate stress diseases or the effects of bees under stress due to fluctuating day/night temperatures are eliminated. I’ve had many years of experience not using this system…enough to convince me to change over completely. One example is feed consumption…typically outside hives before winter are brought up in weight to 80 lbs (35kg) in singles, 130 lbs (60 kg) in doubles…that’s what is required to make it through our long winters. Our winter feed consumption ranges between 17-25 lbs (8 kg-12kg). We capitalize on the early honey flows from dandelion and willow when using this method…not using this method meant leaving that early honey on for feed…a difference of 100+ lbs (46 kg) of extracted spring honey…and as you have correctly alluded to, a quicker build up.
There are so many interesting aspects with this method that video blogs would be justified…now to find the time.
Flowhive in the beehouse: