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  1. #1
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    Feb 2003
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    Columbia, South Carolina USA
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    Anyone use one of these things? Seems like a cross between a TBH and a standard hive - and while I love my TBH there is something to be said for a full frame.

    Keith

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Dartington's is designed using the deepest frames that are used in Britain. I have built long hives in medium, deep and Dadant Deeps. I have one overwintering in a three box long medium (48 3/4") right now. I have built more of them that I will stock in the spring. I have built Deeps like this since the 70's. I have a Dadant deep box that is overwintering now that I hope to move into the long Dadant deep.

    I love them. No lifting supers just to get to the brood chamber. Easy to work, because you don't upset the bees in 5 supers getting to the brood chamber.

    I don't think you want Dartington's version because it uses standard British size frames.

    Since you're not in Britain, I'd recommend some kind of standard Langstroth frame. If you want it really deep then go with the Dadant deeps (11 1/4" frames/11 5/8 boxes). If you want more available and standard frames, use deeps. If you want to standardize all your frames in all your hives (long or not) then use whatever you use on your other hives (I use mediums).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
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    491

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    Michael:

    What kind of management problems do you have with the long hives?

    I have been thinking about this ever since I started building the TBH's. Seeing the condo hive and the Dartington long hive set me to thinking even more about the management problems these might present.

    For example: If I extract on the fourth of July and get down to the brood chambers I can let the bees clean up the supers, bag them with some paraDB and forget them until I need them again. The bees cut down on their colony during the dry months and fill their winter quarters in the fall. If it looks as if there will be a heavy Fall flow I can add a super or two and remove it when the fall flow is over.

    If I do not remove the supers the moths invade as soon as the bees limit their colony size. Moth damage is almost assured if empty supers are left on a hive when there is no flow.

    In a TBH this can be managed easily because when there is no flow there is no comb; the beekeeper harvessts his honey and leaves only TB's. If desired, the beekeeper could put all his unused TB's (those behind the follower board) in a bag with paraDB and not put the bars back out until the next flow.

    In the long hive, how do you manage the empty comb when the colony is at its minimum numbers? I see references to storage boxes, but such boxes are a pain and one may as well build supers.

    Moving a long hive would not be much easier than moving a TBH, far harder than moving a conventional hive.

    A conventional Langstroth can be worked from three directions without encountering bees. The long hives must be worked mostly from the sides. This means individual hives stands must be built as the hives are too long to be worked from the rear or a corner position.

    What are your thoughts here?
    Ox


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >What kind of management problems do you have with the long hives?

    The first one I built back in the '70s for a lady with a bad back. I moved away shortly thereafter and can't say how they overwintered for her.

    I got interested again a couple of years ago. I haven't seen any problems with overwintering in the long hive, but last winter wasn't that cold for around here. This year has been a more typical winter. The only long hive I'm overwintering is a medium that is three boxes long (48 3/4" x 19 7/8"). I really can't tell until the cold snap breaks, but just before this snap it was doing fine. I just manage it like a hive. I use some supers on the back portion if I want more room for honey, and try to leave them the equivelant of two deeps, or three mediums to overwinter. They seem to handle the horizontal just fine as far as I can tell.

    >For example: If I extract on the fourth of July and get down to the brood chambers I can let the bees clean up the supers, bag them with some paraDB and forget them until I need them again. The bees cut down on their colony during the dry months and fill their winter quarters in the fall. If it looks as if there will be a heavy Fall flow I can add a super or two and remove it when the fall flow is over.

    My theory is NEVER take away more honey than they need for the winter at any time. That way I don't find myself in a panic because the fall flow didn't do well or winter hit early or whatever. I would figure out what that amount is and always leave that amount.

    Let's try several variations:

    Let's take my three box long medium. I would try to keep the brood toward the front, so I can check the brood chamber without moving supers. I would add supers to the back third of the long box. Basically in this arrangement I wouldn't touch what's in the bottom long box. I'd leave it all for them.

    A three box long deep. This I would consider taking honey off of the back third, but not the front two. I'd make a follower so if I went into winter with only two boxes I could put the follower up against that and leave the rest empty, but the bees can't get to the empty part. Again you can add supers on the back third if you like. If you want to keep all deeps (I'd use all the same size myself) then you can either use two stacks of five frame nucs, so it will be lighter, or some eight frame boxes, so they will be lighter, or 10 frame deeps if you are superman.

    If I ran a three box long Dadant Deep hive, I'd plan on not using any supers and just pulling the back half of the hive for honey and keeping the front half for their winter stores and brood nest.

    >If I do not remove the supers the moths invade as soon as the bees limit their colony size. Moth damage is almost assured if empty supers are left on a hive when there is no flow.

    I've never had a problem with moths as long as the supers are on the hives. Have you? I prefer them on the hives because the bees gaurd the honey. If I pull them they always get wax moth larvae in them.

    >In a TBH this can be managed easily because when there is no flow there is no comb; the beekeeper harvessts his honey and leaves only TB's. If desired, the beekeeper could put all his unused TB's (those behind the follower board) in a bag with paraDB and not put the bars back out until the next flow.

    I would doubt that anyone going as natural as a TBH would want to use paraDB. I recommend Certan. It's much more natural, doesn't have a chemical smell, won't hurt the bees and won't taint the honey.

    >In the long hive, how do you manage the empty comb when the colony is at its minimum numbers? I see references to storage boxes, but such boxes are a pain and one may as well build supers.

    I think the idea of the storage boxes was merely to carry the comb from the hive to the Kitchen (or honey house as the case may be). In the three medium all my surplus is in supers, so I just manage the same as any other hive. In a long hive that uses no supers, I would plan on a follower to shrink the size in the winter to a more heat effecient area.

    >Moving a long hive would not be much easier than moving a TBH, far harder than moving a conventional hive.

    You don't move a long hive intact. If you really want it somewhere else, you have to pull all the frames and put them in conventional boxes so you can move it and then put them back into the long hive when you get them where you are going. Sort of like emptying the drawers out of the dresser when you move and moving the empty dresser instead of a full one.

    >A conventional Langstroth can be worked from three directions without encountering bees. The long hives must be worked mostly from the sides.

    Yes.

    >This means individual hives stands must be built as the hives are too long to be worked from the rear or a corner position.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "individual hive stands". I put treated eight foot long four by fours down to make rails and put the horizontal hives in pairs up agaisnt each other so you have a ailse every other box. But I would assume it would be nice to put legs on them (I have on some of them) and then the legs are the stand.

    It is much easier to work a long hive mostly because you haven't picked up and moved five supers full of bees, each of which got a little more upset as you went, to get to the brood chamber and then you start pulling frames from the brood chamber. When I work my long hive, I smoke the entrance a bit, crack the front cover (there are three migratory covers side by side) and put a puff in there. I'm in the brood nest and I haven't upset a bee yet. The bees get much less upset in this formation because you expose less bees in the process of checking things out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Columbia, South Carolina USA
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    Thanks for your detailed thoughts.

    Is there any source for deep frames - or is this purely a DIY deal?

    Thanks again,

    Keith

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I've been buying Dadant deep frames from Western Bee Supply, but Bullseye Bill says they say they are out and don't intend to make anymore. Maybe if we all keep calling they will. Maybe if we got enough people to go in together they would tool up to make a run of them. But right now a lot of beekeepers are expanding because the price of honey is up so they are pretty busy already.

    Basically if you make an end bar exactly the same as a deep except 2" deeper you'll have a Dadant deep.

  7. #7
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    Clayton is talking about manufacturing some if you want to contact him about prices.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2002
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    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    If you are going to make non-standard frames, (no standard foundation will fit), why not make them 1 1/2 deep, or two medium deep? If you can cut a deep in half, and use 1 1/2 sheets, wouldn't that be better?

    My thought would be to get the small cell plastic from Dadant to avoid buckling.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2002
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    I've thought of it. But still Dadant deeps, even if not in current manufacture here, is a standard size and one I'd like to see come back. Although a "double medium" deep is appealing or even a "double deep". Especially in a long deep hive. A double deep would take 16" foundation and you could build it with a thin center bar to support the foundation and use two shees of deep.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    BTW here's another recent discussion of long hives: http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum12/HTML/000210.html

    There are others that are older if you look for them.

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