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Italian Style Deep Frame beehives- in Australia?


#1

I just found an Italian importer who has Italian full beehives for sale here in Australia. These type use a single deep brood box- 10 frame- and a medium (?) super. A few users from Italy have posted identical looking hives here on the forum. I am wondering if anyone has any experience using them- and for a few details:

Do they take Langstroth frames? Can one find deep frames like that in Australia?

I really like the design of these hives- with the heavy duty handles on the side- the entrance porch with metal reducer and travel screen (this is fantastic- it seems a lot of the bees can leave the hive during transit and go onto the porch for a breath of fresh air)- and the idea of deeper brood frames. I am curious to maybe try one.

They cost $460 (plus postage) for a complete kit with super, frames, travel screen, etc. Which is a little pricey but it all comes assembled and painted.

http://www.costanteimports.com.au/bee-hive.html


#2

I see they have no ventilation holes in the roof, so I’m not sure if that is something you use (I’m not at the moment). I’m not sure how the inner cover fits under what looks like a telescopic lid - is there any dead space where the bees can’t get to? I’m just a little wary of anywhere the bees can’t get at, so as to keep ants and other things out.


#3

I’m not sure what the deal is with that inner cover- it’s pretty thick? I’m guessing it’s ventilated maybe? Looks like a quilt box.

I don’t mind the things that live in my hive roofs. I found a very fat gecko on my coreflute slider today. Fat from juicy wax moth grubs is my guess.


#4

I believe not. They are some special form of Dadant frame which is deeper than a Langstroth, if I recall correctly.


#5

Jack it sounds too pricey. Plus the fact that you are using different size frames for the brood & honey.

Using the same size frames for brood & honey really is an advantage, in my experience.


#6

That’s a Dadant “standard” - the beekeepers I have worked with here (in Sicily) use these.
When I tried to put my brood frames in their brood box, they had to chop a bit of the wood off one end so it would fit in the brood box (Dadant). I will have to do a little modification of the frame, I think with a nail or something, to sit it on my Langstroth ledge (in my Langstroth brood box).
I am going to buy one soon (Dadant “standard” 10 frame), and will be doing a modification to fit a Flow Super on top - so I will be able to get a bit more hands on experience, and can let you know more of the sizes etc., and take some photos of my handy job :slight_smile:
They are not so expensive, so have a look around - this fellow is upping the price it seems for the Aussies :wink:


#7

I know jeff- it is neither cost effective or practical. I’ve never let that sort of this stop me before! I am curious about the idea of deeper frames for brood- kind of a compromise between a double and single brood box. But the dadant thing is a deal breaker for me.


#8

What’s wrong with a single full depth brood box? They work well for me. You can certainly get a strong population of workers by using a single brood box. It’s easier to inspect to find the queen with nine frames, as I use in 10 frame supers. A single 8 frame brood box works just as well.


#9

Nothing I’m sure. I just like the idea of bigger ones and hate the idea of double brood boxes… I certainly wouldn’t expect you to consider them Jeff :hugs:


#10

I certainly like the idea of the deeper frames in the brood. It would allow the bees to complete the arc within the deeper frames. Then they wont leave that arc at the bottom of the honey frames empty sometimes.

I think that keeping everything the same has more merit from the point of view of managing the bees.

I quickly grabbed a frame of brood from a single hive last week before capturing a swarm. That would be more difficult if I used extra deep frames for brood. Unless I had an extra deep swarm capture box.

The frame of brood was warranted because now they are building emergency queen cells.


#11

I agree with the idea to keep all frames the same size- and for that it seems to me like standard langstroth deeps are the way to go. Especially if you have a lot of hives. Having said that I am now running most of my hives with ideal supers- and using foundationless frames in the supers but wired foundation deeps in the brood. But I plan to focus a lot on cut honeycomb- and that’s why I am investigating presses- as spinning ideals is a bit of a pain. For plain honey I will use my flow supers. I also like the idea of completely virgin comb for cut comb- no foundation. This weekend I am going to harvest two hives in the hill that have supers full of virgin foundationeless comb. they have filled nicely with just a few cross combs. I think I will be able to cut out 80% as cut comb and the rest will get mashed up in the press.

I read a bit about Layens hives and that’s what interested me in deeper frames. They use them extensively in Europe. Basically I am curious to try out things- even though it may not be economical or practical. I am guessing if I continue to increase the numbers of hives I have I will eventually end up doing something similar to what you do- as it is more practical to have uniformity and simple easily available equipment.


#12

I’ve never spun ideal frames. I’m sure they can’t be that much of a pain to spin. Try 9 frames in a 10 frame super. Ideally the bees should cap the comb out from the wooden frame making it easy to decap.

Someone decided to call them “ideals” in the first place for some reason. Whether it’s because they are lighter to handle, or you could use 2 ideals for honey instead of 1 deep. Or two ideals for brood. By using ideals for honey instead of deeps, sometimes the top ideal could be ready to rob, when at the same time a full depth super wont be ready.


#13

it’s not too much of a pain- so much as less rewarding than a deep- similar amount of work per frame for half the honey… I guess one advantage is there is less chance of an ideal bowing or splitting when you spin it… but as I say- for me they are well suited to foundationless comb production. Being so shallow there is not as much room for the comb to go wonky- and the bees seem to build them out nicely with just a 1cm starter strip of wax. I think for nice virgin cut comb- spring is the time- and the bees can fill out the ideals quicker. And the boxes are much easier to lift.

I don’t like the idea of using ideals for brood as I don’t like to deal with multiple brood boxes. Otherwise I might go the Michael Bush route of standardized frames…


#14

I was told the other day (by a beekeeper of some knowledge), that ideal boxes either started here in Tasmania or at least started to be used here in Tasmania to enable an elder statesman beekeeper of a well known family beekeeping business, to keep going with the activity. This was because the ideal box or super was lighter for him to handle. It then became the “done thing” in Tasmania for almost everyone to use all ideals, including for brood. The last point made by Jeff that …

is what I figure to be one reason why they remain popular here…Tasmania does not get the regular flowering of gum trees like on the mainland, and the honey season is shorter, so if I get to harvest an ideal super from a hive, I am pleased. I don’t have an extractor for deep frames, as the little extractor I made only fits ideal frames.


#15

There is an email address on that site so get accurate advice on where Langstroth Frames can be used or not they should know. Those handles are available from any hardware store worth its salt. I have just painted up some boxes and will fit those handles, They are strong and there is no chance of loosing grip on them. Cheers…