Drawhive the labour saving beehive
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Design Features

The footprint of a Drawhive is the same as a standard brood box.

Unlike the standard item, there is a bee space both above and below the frames.

This is so that the frame assembly can be slid out without sweeping bees off the top or bottom of the frames.

 

To deter any wild comb building, spaces within the unit are strictly controlled. Between the outer case and the inner chamber there is an exact bee space. Extending slides support the inner chamber and these are closed off to the bees, when the unit is shut.

Space below the frames, is limited by a slatted rack. This is fixed, to secure and locate the open end of the outer case. The slats line up with the frames, so varroa mites can fall out of the hive.

 

Above the brood frames is the most critical space.

This is where brace comb is most likely which, if plentiful, could stop the unit from opening. To deter this, top bars should be over an inch wide.

How the space over the frames is governed depends on the particular hive system. In bottom bee space hives, such as British National, it is limited with a second rack, as shown above. An excluder is laid on this as it would normally be laid on the top bars. This rack is not fixed, so that access from above can be gained if desired.

© Michael Vesty 2006 all rights reserved.

Home.
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swarm control.
Two Queen System.
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FAQ.
 Contact & About.
Picture of open bottom bee-space National Drawhive brood box
Picture of open Langstroth Drawhive brood box

With top bee-space hives, such as Langstroth, the top rack can be dispensed with and replaced with a framed queen excluder. This must, however, have the grill flush with the bottom face of the frame.

For those who prefer to work without excluders, a top rack is advisable, to limit the vital top bee space.

Hive type

Capacity

Langstroth

9 + dummy

Dadant

10 + dummy

British National

11

Commercial

10 + dummy

Smith

10 + dummy

In the British National Drawhive, the frames fit parallel with the opening side panel. The capacity is the same as the standard item.
In hives with short frame lugs, such as Dadant & Langstroth, the frames fit at right-angles to the opening side panel and there is a loss of one frame compared to the standard item. There is, however, room for a thinner dummy frame.

Materials:  Because dimensional stability is critical to the success of the Drawhive, they are designed to be constructed in WBP grade plywood.
Some narrow sections, such as rack frames, are in solid timber and there is some stainless steel along the ends of the frame lugs.

Marine grade adhesive is specified and all fixings are stainless steel or brass.


Support slides are rated to carry 45 kg. They are zinc plated steel and greased to lubricate and prevent corrosion.