I now have a top bar hive with 22 1/2 degree angled sides and 15" top bars about 9 1/2" deep.
I have two 48 3/4" long medium depth hives. I have a two box long medium depth hive with a vertical queen excluder divider so I have have two towers. One with brood and the other with honey.
I have another two box long bottom board with a stack of brood on the front and a stack of supers on the back (all mediums of course).
I have one Dadant deep hive that I just moved from a 5 frame nuc to a 10 frame box. When it fills that I'll move them to a 22 frame box and try putting the supers on behind that on a three box long bottom board.
I have a top bar hive in standard mediums. I just moved it from a five frame nuc to a 10 frame box, but intend to end up in a 48 3/4" long medium hive.
All of these are set up with top entrances. I have, as of today, eliminated all my bottom entrances on my hives at the home yard. So far all are doing well. I think I like the 48 3/4" (three boxes wide) long medium hives the best but the top bar hive is really doing well too and it was very easy to build. Depending on how the Dadant deeps do, I might even consider a three box long Dadant deep hive.
I built a 48 3/4 inch long hive. The bottom box is equal to 3 standard size langstroth deeps. It is divided into 3 equal sized chmbers by vertical queen-excluders. Each wing tower has a Russian queen, brood and honey stores with a small top entrance for drone escape. The middle tower is for honey surplus and has the main bottom entrance, a 2nd story entrance hole and a small top entrance. We call it "Super Hive" because of the number of bees and amount of activity. The bees are currently working in the top honey super - if they fill up all the super space it'll be over 400lbs. To read more or see pictures (BIG) go to
The only problem so far is that I left the long box sides at 11 1/2 inches deep (standard 1 X 12 board) plus another 3/4 inch down to the screened bottom board. Of course the bees built comb on the bottom of some frames.
About two weeks ago the right-hand brood chamber ws so stuffed with bees, I split off three frames of bees and open brood. Also had to split off 1 frame from the left-hand chamber. The difference in population between the two brood chambers was significant. I don't know if it's the difference in queens or the fact that the right-hand is the sunny side. When I first put them into the hive each side was pretty equl (maybe the left-hand had a few more bees). Any ideas?
Well, that's exactly how I would do a two queen hive. Sometimes one queen just does better than the other.
Since you left the wood full width, you basicaly have a Dadant deep hive with deep frames.
I bet you're hoping it doesn't turn mean.
I am impressed! I've done a 2-queen hive this year, but vertically! It's so dang tall, I'm having trouble adding supers. And like Michael said, I'm praying they don't turn mean--the hum coming out of this box is really something with all those bees! db_land, wish you could draw up some plans for that thing--I'm not a carpenter by any means, but am seriously considering asking my husband to try and build a replica for me. It sure would be a lot easier to work and I like the idea of not having to disrupt the colonies when taking off honey and not having to remove honey supers to check the colonies!
Neat hive! Beautiful greenery in the pictures.
I now have bees in two tbhs, a double box long hive and an assortment of Langs.
On another thought, I have acquired two additional outyards. One of them is on a steep hillside. Leveling a tbh in there is going to be almost impossible. But a lang or long hive is much more flexible in that regard.
From the land of drought.
[This message has been edited by topbarguy (edited May 29, 2004).]
A LOT of bees but so far they are easy to work and totally focused collecting tulip poplar nectar.
Tia - the original idea was Michael's. I really like this hive, but the jury is still out as to whether or not it will make more honey than two single-queen hives - so I would wait. You can get the benefits of not moving supers by making a two-box long, single queen hive: the brood chamber on one side and a tower of supers on the other. I'll bet your husband could build it by reading some of Michael's posts and looking at pictures.
My next project will be a topbar hive that I hope to make in such a way that one can use langstroth dimensioned supers one one end.
PS - Tia, I thought you only wanted TWO hives or was it FOUR? How many do you have now. LOL
I was going to ask how long a long hive could be.... that sure is a Super hive in the photos. But what is the purpose? I am intrigued but don't understand the benefits or the mechanics.
db, all I can say is wow. That is a seriously impressive looking hive. I definately need to stop by next time I'm back home in Raleigh.
db, ahhhh, you caught that, huh? My two hives have expanded to five regular hives and one vertical two-queen colony. As stated in the forum section, I think I'm having queen problems in one and have ordered a new queen. If upon her arrival I find that hive is queenright, I'll have to take the purchased queen and make a split which will give me another hive. . . This is getting out of hand. I only got them to pollinate my squash and instead they've taken over my life! Help!!!
wayacoyote: By keeping the queens in the end sections I can inspect the brood areas without moving honey supers and with minimal disturbing of large numbers of bees. It's the old "divide and conquer" theory in action.
Branman: Come visit anytime. We will probably be in Germany most of July.
I couldn't say how long a long hive can be but I have several that are three boxes long (48 3/4"). The concept of the long, two queen hive is that you have a three box long chamber to create good communication for the whole hive and you have the possibility for three towers. Since he went with basically, a Dadant Deep (11 1/4" but a Dadant deep is 11 5/8") he doesn't need any additional boxes for brood. There is a brood nest on each end with a it's own queen and a stack of supers in the center. The queens are seperated by the width of a 10 frame box in the middle. This allows you to check the brood nests without moving all the supers. You could also, if it gets too high, put an excluder on the brood chambers and stack supers there, but then you'd have to move supers to check the queens.
The concept of a long hive with only ONE queen is similar. I run them without an excluder and stack the supers on the back and try to keep the brood in the front 2/3 of the long box. That way I can check the brood chamber without moving supers and add as many supers as a want. I suppose this is an "L" hive.
Thanks DB and Michael. Yeah, I have a hive that is in 4 deeps and 3 mediums and I need to divide it. But I hate to dig through all that to get to the brood chamber. Sure wish I had a set up like that. I had seen your "L" hive last year or so in a pic, Michael. Looks great and was what prompted me to ask how long one could be.
Just posted a picture of my experimental hives at http://wind.prohosting.com/tbhguy
Worked them today. What a pleasure!
[This message has been edited by topbarguy (edited June 25, 2004).]
[This message has been edited by topbarguy (edited August 07, 2004).]
I inspected my long hive yesterday. The hive is two boxes long and has two deep supers excluded above the long box. The entrance is on the long side near one end. The long box and the supers are filled with bees. It is a very strong hive.
The bees have located the broodnest near the entrance. That follows the same pattern I've seen in my tbhs.
The first 16 frames comprise the broodnest. After that the broodnest is dramaticallly truncated with the bees storing honey in frames beyond number 16. This also follow the same pattern I've seen in my tbhs.
Allowing a few more frames for overwintering stores in a cold climate, looks like 24 to 30 frames long would work pretty good.
[This message has been edited by topbarguy (edited May 28, 2004).]
are there any special considerations when adding queens to a two queen hive? Will they often reject one queen? Will the two 'hives' fight? Just wondering, I really want to build a hive like DB's...but maybe make the side chambers two deeps high
As long as the queens are seperated by two exluders and a little space (some peopl set them up vertically with two bound excluders to seperate them or two flat excluders on each side of a super, the queens won't fight. The other trick is getting the bees to accept two queens. The easiest way to do this is start them in two hives or two nucs and then put one brood nest on each end. You can tape a sheet of newspaper to one of the excluders to do a newspaper combine.
A mother daughter arrangement often works fine. Just put some brood on both sides and add a partition so one side is queenless. Remove the partition after the queen cell is capped.
You can add as many boxes as you think you need to the brood chambers.
I'd be tempted to do it as either all medium, so the boxes are lighter, or all Dadant Extra Deep so you can get by with less. On mine (which I don't have two queens in right now, but I could) I put the slot for the excluder at the inside edge of where the middle box would be. This makes 11 frames of brood. If you have regressed you can trim the end bars to 1 1/4" instead of 1 3/8" and get 12 frames of brood in each brood nest. 12 frames of Extra deep was Dadant's design for a one box brood nest.
Question about the supering long hives: when you keepers stack supers side-by-side above a long hive, the adjacent sidewalls account for 1.5 inches of space (3/4 added together). How do you make up for this in the length of your lower (long) box? Do you strive to arrange the supers so that the frames above and below are alined? For instance, one of you mentioned a double-long long hive with two supers above.
Also looking at the Super Hive, it seems that it would have a similar issue. Does the queen excluder serve well enough to off-set the spacing?
Thank ye kindly
When I run a vertical hive I have 9 frames in the supers and 10 in the brood chambers, so they don't line up. I don't try to line of the frames at all.
The bottom box is 48 3/4 inches: the same as 3 langstroth boxes sitting side-by-side. The top of the queen-excluder partitions is about 1/2 inch wide wood and the excluders are positioned to be 16 1/4 inches from the ends of the long box. The edges of the 2nd layer of langstroth boxes meet on the tops of the excluders. I don't try to line up frames.
Super Hive Update: There are still a LOT of bees and I decided to go through the brood chambers with the intent to inspect and take out three frames from each side for splits, since the main flow is about over. The left hand brood chamber was packed with bees and brood, BUT the right hand chamber had much less bees and no brood! Also, I could not find a queen, but did find several large empty supercedure cells. My theory is that the queen was superceded: the new queen left for a mating flight via the small top drone escape entrance, but returned via the main entrance in the middle (honey super) column. I can't check it until I remove the supers in a couple of weeks. OR maybe the bees decided one queen is enough?