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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I'm ready to build my first horizontal Lang and my first question deals with the bottom board. I plan on using 3/4" plywood for bottom and 1x12 for sides, for those who've built one or more of these did you rabbit in the plywood, mount within the sides or attach directly to the bottom of sides? I plan on using the plywood as a template for keeping box square.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I just flush mount the plywood to the bottom, though I am an awful carpenter. I do router in the top though, for the frames to sit in. I use big heavy screws and lot's of glue to hold everything together. The hardest part for me is making the top cover, because I insulate them in layers and make them in two or three sections.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    Paul, I looked your design over and did you go with 1/4" luan for your bottom? Also noticed you had 2 holes which I'm assuming are drain holes?
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I used 1/4 plywood (or whatever I happen to have on hand). I have used pine boards too. Those two holes are double screened vent holes. I experiment with vents a lot due to the desert heat. I used to run screen bottoms, but they are way too drafty and too hard to build for little benefit.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I just have 3/4" x 3/4" on the long sides, just screwed straight onto the plywood bottom. The other two sides are not permanently attached and can be opened up as entrances. (But the bees glue them in place.)

    Looking at those migratory pallet bases you made the other weekend, you could just use them.

    But I would also look at going 3x width, as with the 2x I had to put on two deep supers. So in all it was 3 deeps high, which is getting too high. I like easy access to the broodnest, without having to pull the whole hive apart.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I've designed a 50" 4 deep long hive to allow for two colonies in one setup with 4 migratory tops to allow for access to brood and to allow a super at each end. I intended to use 6 legs instead of 4 due to its length, now I'm torn between building 4 deeps versus a 3 deep hive based on your question earlier about my intent of the migratory bottoms I built. I have 4 not in use with the other 6 occupied by single deeps now. I'm thinking a 3 deep would sit nicely on one of these migratory pallets. I currently have them set up on top of a 4 high stack of pallets which puts management of frames at the right height for my back. I have a garden wagon that 2 people can lift the pallets onto if I need to move them. I still want to build a 4 deep long Lang but realistically I think a 3 deep long might work better with my current equipment and if needed I can always make a cradle later if I need to move them. I hadn't planned on being able to remove any of the sides, my intent is to build them like a Lang without a removable bottom, and all work within the hive performed from the top with the entrance built into migratory lids. I want to be able to sit a 2" piece of Styrofoam on top of these during the winter under a piece of corrugated material which I want to be 2” above the hive during the rest of the season due to the amount of sunshine we get yearly (desert conditions).
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gallatin, Montana, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I have built 4 long langs this winter and will be installing packages into them tomorrow. Since these obviously aren't going to be moved I use 2" lumber for the sides, 3/8" plywood for the bottom and top. I cover the top with metal. Two of the hives are patterned after Matt Daveys two queen hives. The other two are 3x10 hives that are an experiment. One will have the frames running the normal way. The other has frames running the long way. The are both identical dimensions and will have 4# Carni packages installed in them tomorrow. I want to see if the frames the conventional way are more likely to block their movement. The frames running the long way will allow them to travel easily from end to end. I am using 1 x 6 for inner covers so I can access the frames as much or as little as needed. I also have multiple top entrances on the long sides and dividers for adjusting volume. I'm using standard deep frames.
    Now all I need is a good flow year. We all do.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I'd love to see photos guys!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I'm an amateur boatbuilder, so when I came to design my long hives, I used a technique from that pursuit. The hives are made mostly from 3/8" plywood, with solid timber stringers. I was impressed by the ingenuity of D. Coates' nuc design (made a batch of those) so I stole an idea from that design too-- the top stringer on either side is offset from the top of the ply to form the frame rest.

    The stringers are ripped from reasonably clear 2X stock, 1 X 1.5" and you can get almost enough for one hive from a single stud. the legs are pressure treated studs. Everything is glued together with Titebond III, except the legs, which are attached by bolts, one per leg.

    I have 8 frame Lang equipment, so I made my covers from 3/4" ply cut into sections the size of an 8 frame box, so the hive can be supered. The hive is finished off with a 5 foot section of galvanized roofing and a couple of concrete blocks.

    I made mine just under 48" long, outside dimensions, so a 2 foot by 4 foot section of ply would make a cover.

    The first one... I got talked into making with a screen bottom, but this turned out to not work very well, because the screen sags enough under the divider board that bees can crawl into the unoccupied portion of the hive. Also, when installng a nuc or package, you'll want a divider board with a slot to attach a Boardman-type feeder, and the weight of a full feeder will definitely make the screen sag. The second hive just has holes cut with a hole saw and screened for ventilation, and seems to be working fine.

    Don't forget to have adequate space under your frames. Unlike a Lang setup, your frames won't be sitting in a box over a bottom board, so if you use box vertical dimensions, you won't have much space under your frames.

    My entrances are just slots routed out of the edge of the first top board. I like the idea of top entrances, and this way, an entrance can be closed just by flipping the board over, so you can have entrances at both ends for a double colony setup or whatever.

    Here are some pics:

    openhive.jpg

    twohives.jpg

    topentrance.jpg

    I'm a beginner, so take all of this with a grain of salt. But so far, the bees seems to be doing great in both hives. The first one, from a nuc I installed about a month ago, is really booming and has filled a number of foundationless frames with brood. The other has a package I installed last week, and a few days ago they already had eggs in the comb they'd built. These hives are a lot more fun to work than a Lang, especially for a beginner like me (I can remember helping my grandfather with his hives when I was a kid, and I bet I could talk him into trying a long hive if he were still with us. Of course, he'd be about 130, so he'd need hive that was easier to care for.)

    Brood from the first hive:

    nicebrood.jpg

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

    Ray

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I always use either 1/4" luan or that plasticor (political sign) material. No need for a heavy bottom. A heavy cover is useful for not blowing off. A heavy bottom is just dead weight.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I always use either 1/4" luan or that plasticor (political sign) material. No need for a heavy bottom. A heavy cover is useful for not blowing off. A heavy bottom is just dead weight.
    Right. The reason I used 3/8" ply for sides and bottom is that with it I could duplicate the rabbet dimensions of my Lang equipment, by offsetting the ply from the top stringers.

    Of course, here in LotusLand there's no need for insulation, but when I start putting long hives in upstate NY, I plan to staple insulation foamboard onto the ply.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    Sounds like 3/4" plywood might be overkill. I like the part about using the same rabbit on the bottom for mount up. That is why I asked questions first.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by TNTBEES View Post
    One will have the frames running the normal way. The other has frames running the long way. The are both identical dimensions and will have 4# Carni packages installed in them tomorrow. I want to see if the frames the conventional way are more likely to block their movement. The frames running the long way will allow them to travel easily from end to end.
    That's an interesting idea. I thought about that, but couldn't figure out how to have bee space between each cluster of end bars. What are you using as frame rests in the hive set up to run frames the long way?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gallatin, Montana, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I basically made a stationary divider bd. that has vertical slots router'd into it to correspond to the space at the end of the bars. I also wanted to be able to close it off to divide the hive, so I made a double divider with a 1/4" space between the two to slide in a solid partition or a slotted partition. Looks good but bee's will be bee's. So if it doesn't work I can switch the frames to the normal way and pull the dividers. Time will tell if it ever quits snowing.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I am thinking of running some horizontal hives and documenting the process in a paper (part of the service points needed to earn my Master Beekeeper certification). I would appreciate hearing from you experienced HH beekeepers on what is involved, how successful you find this setup, anecdotes, tips and tricks.

    I have tried top bar, but did not like the fact that you must run multiples at each apiary because you can't just swap in Langstroth frames in case of need. Which means two sets of equipment and all the headaches that entails.

    But Horizontal is new to me...and should if it works well, be a great solution for disabled, elderly or just plain not strong beekeepers. So, I would like to learn!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I started using Long Langs this season and I'm still waiting for next season to see if they can survive our extreme winters. If they make it through the winter I will build more, they are easier to work than a vertical Lang. They did extremely well buildup-wise during the warm season.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    Jack, did you insulate them? I'm planning to build some for the North Country next spring.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I have 25 hives - about 1/2 of mine are horizontal 32-40 frame hives. I have been using them four going on 4 seasons now. I like them, but there are a few issues I have run across. They are great for building up large colonies fast or making nucs, but take a bit more manipulation than a regular lang, so they can be a bit of a problem in a remote yard. Not a huge issue, but you don't want 500 of them scattered across your region.

    I have experienced no problems overwintering them. We get pretty darn cold and snowy and my strongest colonies always seem to come from my horizontal hives - but I tend not to feed them or baby them as much so maybe that is natural selection showing it's face. When they get weak I bust them up into nucs and start over. I insulate the roofs with foam insulation - the silver stuff, but have found I need to sandwich it in a light veneer to keep the bees from chewing it up. My roofs are two-piece, with the brood chamber section sized for an 8 frame lang, which allows me to super the horizontal hive with my standard 8 frame equipment. I use a piece of tin roofing as a rain and sun shade. It is oversized so I can bend it in a u-shape and cover the sides too. I strap it on with long bungees.

    Honey production is pretty good, I had one this season that filled an entire 32 frame box and a super on top with honey.

    I have experienced problems with them overheating in the desert, where I keep about 1/2 of my hives on a permanent basis. It seems a bit harder to get the heat vented out properly. I have not come up with a decent solution yet, other than just enlarging the entrances. I used to put screened bottoms on them, but it did not seem to matter in the end. The best solution I have found to overheating is to use tin roofing as a wrap around sunscreen, and to use a full width entrance on the end. I also place several 1" vent holes on the opposite end. I have also been slowly moving them back up into the mountains where desert heat is not an issue. They have become my breeder hives, for the most part, that I split nucs off of for the season or for queen rearing.

    One good thing about them is that they don't look like a bee hive. Nobody is apt to steal them, and cows can't knock them over. I did have a donkey open one up thinking it was a feeder. That poor donkey was scared to death every time I worked the hive, and eventually had to be moved to another field.

    Oh - my "Mountain Camp" feeding method is to just dump sugar in the end in a big pile. Seems to work and they munch on it all year.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    Ray,

    No, I did not insulate them. They are built with 3/4" plank and 3/4" plywood for bottom and tops. I had no problems keeping them cool in the summer I have 4 of the metal entrance discs installed on each and the tops have a 3" x 3/8"opening in each. The only thing I did to button them up was close all discs and use HVAC metal tape to seal joint on top and closed up closest top entrance to brood with metal tape too. If they don't survive, then I will go as far as Paul and try closed cell insulation on top next winter. They hold 22 deep frames each. My test of this design is to see how they compare to an overwintered double deep. This is why I didn't insulate them.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Long/Horizontal Deep Langs questions?

    I bet they work just fine! I think mine were overkill.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

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