I recently posted a picture to social media, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook showing one of my Happy Valley Honey, Honey Paw Poly Langstroth hives with all manner of boxes in situ and had a few questions asking me what was in the picture so I thought I'd break it down layer by layer and explain just why I have the boxes in the position I have.
I've been using the Honey Paw Poly Langstroth hives for just over a year now. We set up several hives last Spring to demonstrate the range sold by Paul Beardmore at Happy Valley Honey here in the UK.
The kit worked really well last Summer and this Spring all of the colonies are strong and building up nicely. We didn't really have much of a Winter so I can't really say how they perform over the colder months of January and February, maybe we'll see a colder Winter this year but it feels way too early to be talking about Winter in May!
The HVH Honey Paw Poly Langstroth Hives, that's quite a mouthful so I'm going to shorten it to Honey Paw Hives from now on! Anyway, the Honey Paw hives are a modular hive and can be bought as a complete hive or as separate constituent parts depending on the set up you prefer.
We have two floor types to play around with and the one in the photograph is the Hive Floor with Ventilation Board.
This is the floor that accepts the Honey Paw Pollen Trap.
The other floor is the Honey Paw Hive Floor with Mesh Floor, It's a simple floor with a fixed mesh panel in the bottom and doesn't take the pollen trap. The benefit, of course, is that it's cheaper.
Above the floor we have the brood box, it's a Honey Paw 10 frame deep box.
The bees quickly filled the brood boxes last Summer and to help with splitting colonies and having drawn comb for the splits to move on to we added an additional brood box to several colonies. As usual we ran out of kit and I was delighted to find that the clever people at Honey Paw have designed two of their nuc box bodies to fit exactly onto the 10 frame brood boxes.
That's why in the picture at the top of the page we have two nuc boxes above the brood box, I simply ran out of kit and need to give the bees some additional space at the same time as getting more brood frames drawn.
There is a queen excluder sandwiched between the brood box and the two nuc boxes but you can't really make it out as it's one of those thin plastic queen excluders.
The bees made really quick work of drawing out the foundation and I needed to add more space onto the hive so they could continue to forage the Oilseed Rape locally. At that time I had just finished filling some of the supers with frames so we lifted up the nuc boxes and put the super between the queen excluder and the nuc boxes to encourage the bees to move across the super and hopefully start drawing out that foundation and fill it with honey.
Obviously, above the nuc boxes we have the coverboard and a roof. Again, there are options for the roof, Honey Paw produce two types of roof, a standard roof and a migratory cover. The one in the picture is a standard roof.
So, in summary, the main reason for having the two nuc boxes in place is simply to get some additional brood frames drawn and I had no more brood boxes to use otherwise I could have benefitted from an extra two frames being drawn. That said, I love the way the separate components of the Honey Paw Langstroth hives work so well together and I shall certainly be ordering more boxes as the season progresses.
If you have any questions about the equipment featured in this blog please do drop Paul a message via his website www.happyvalleyhoney.co.uk