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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Sandy, Utah, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    I have 1 TBH and 3 Langstroth Hives. I am thinking of going exclusively to TBH hives. The care of the Langstroth hives is literally a pain in the back. There is no bending over or lifting boxes with my TBH. Plus, crush and press harvesting is so simple. If you have made the jump to all TBH, please share your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Brownsburg, IN
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    I got into the top bar hive (I only have one) mostly for economic and space reasons. I cannot fill my garage with frames and supers and I cannot really afford them. My top bar hive has cost about $40.00 for materials, $80.00 for the package of bees and about $130.00 for beekeeping equipment.(veil, gloves, smoker, hive tool). I enjoy it immensely. It does take a lot of monitoring for cross comb, but I love that kind of stuff. Since I also want beeswax as well as honey, that was another addedd attraction.

    KB

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

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    I love my Long Langs because I can work my comb when it is 100 F outside and I can swap frames from my vertical Langs to my horizontals when needed. I find myself going to the Long langs when I need a frame of brood just because it's so much easier to get to them there than out of a vertical lang. My back likes how high my Long Langs are too. Honey supers fit my Long Langs too.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    Another vote here for a long lang. All the benefits of a TBH with the benefits of frames.
    Cheers
    Rob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    Those of you who have 'long langs', do you have some sort of cross -brace every so often to keep the sides parallel? I find even my std langs sometimes warp a bit in the wet and this can lead to frames slipping off the supports or getting wedged on one side.

    Rob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    Never had problems with warping yet though mine are only two hives long. Maybe in the next lot I make, which will be three hives long, I will put an external brace rail along the top of the sides to stop warping now that you mention it. Simple and effective.
    Last edited by rmcpb; 08-19-2013 at 04:28 PM.
    Cheers
    Rob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Crivitz, WI
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    I built three TBH's this past winter, figured it was cheap enough to see if I liked keeping bees or not, plus it was a good winter wood working project. Bought two packages this spring, they are doing very well, and I even populated the third hive in July. I love the TBH enough that I am in the process of building six more of them. I have nothing against the Langs, and have been in a few of them, but the TBH just seems to fit with my life philosophy, plus the girls fascinate the hell out of me!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    No warp age whatsoever. If the two I have make it through winter I will build 8 more. for next year and convert 8 vertical double deep hives into into 16 single nucs, based on 2 nucs per single deep.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    Are long langs usually deeps? Most people here use two deeps over the winter. I'm all mediums so I'd need it 30 frames long just for brood if I wanted to be able to swap frames. Is that too long? I'd like to use top bars but be able to use frames frome my other hives if needed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,373

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    Mine are deeps, and about 32 frames in size. I use supers on top for extra space.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    I love my Long Hive!

    I would recommend making a Long Langstroth hive 3x the width of a standard 10 frame. (Works out to be about 32 frames) That way you can add supers if needed, and extract the honey! I also use deep frames.

    I have a double width hive and ended up having to put more supers on than I had planned for! So it was higher than I would have liked. I also like putting half width supers on the sides for easy access to the brood nest. It's easy to make a split. (You can even raise a new queen in one side beforehand.) Then just remove the box and it's a now a Nuc.

    I use both top and bottom entrances. Much better ventilation in both summer and winter. Very little bearding in very hot weather and very little condensation in winter. The bottom ones are small, could just be a drilled hole at each end and in the middle (right at the base). The top entrances are in the lids.

    I'm making a 3x next week. Still considering if I need a brace in the centre...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,251

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    I'm just a beginner with a single summer of keeping bees. But so far I like the long hives a lot better than the conventional Langs I have, for the reasons already given. Also, I have the impression that the bees don't mind you poking around in the hive so much if all you do is remove the roof over a part of the hive.

    colorfulyard.jpg

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ght=long+hives

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    Those who have long langs, do you make a sectional lid/inner cover of some kind so you don't have to open or expose the whole length of the hive when inspecting?

    How do the bees typically organise their brood layout in this horizontal configuration? Is the heart of the brood are kept central (equidistant from both ends along the long axis)? I would assume so. Does anyone have experience overwintering this kind of hive in an area with cold winters? I could see this may be one feature that might not be so good in my area, but apart from that this kind of hive seems to offer the best of all worlds.

    Rob

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,251

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    My top boards are cut to the footprint of 8 frame equipment, so that supering is possible. That gives 3 sections plus one about 6 inches wide, all cut from a 2' by 4' piece of 3/4" ply. I've seen some European long hives that have many small top boards, so that only 2 or 3 frames are exposed at a time.

    I'm currently reading an interesting book by a Russian beekeeper who uses a variant of the long hive in the harsh winters of central Russia, His long hives have very deep frames-- the equivalent of 2 deeps stacked together.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    Mine have a Warre like quilt set to 8 frames so they can be taken off a bit at a time. When inspecting the brood nest I tend to use some hessian over the bits I am not looking at.

    Most often I don't go into the brood nest, which is up near the entrance, and only have to pop off the quilt at the far end to grab a frame of honey.
    Cheers
    Rob

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post

    I'm currently reading an interesting book by a Russian beekeeper who uses a variant of the long hive in the harsh winters of central Russia, His long hives have very deep frames-- the equivalent of 2 deeps stacked together.
    Would you have the details of that book, please? Sounds useful. I may try a horizontal lang next season. I have transitioned mostly to lang mediums but have some deep boxes and frames left that would lend themselves to this design of hive - if they will work over winter.

    Rob

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,717

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    > Would you have the details of that book, please?

    Here's a thread discussing the book Rhaldridge referenced:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...h-a-smile-book

    Don't miss the photos in post #9.
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    There are multiple lids. Here's the lids I'm making (you can make them half width as well):
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ottom-entrance

    I use pieces of vinyl for an inner cover, 1" shorter from both the front and back of the inside of the box.

    In terms of honey storage, the bees store honey from the top down AND from the furtherest part of the hive towards the entrance. So the brood nest is pushed towards a lower entrance if you have both a top and bottom entrance.

    Once the honey flow starts they tend to want to work vertically. To get them to fill the width of the box, I add a new frame in between the edge of the brood nest and honey frames every few weeks during spring and early summer. This helps to stop swarming (by wax making and giving the queen more space to lay.)

    If you have have an empty section in the hive you should use a follower board so that they don't have to heat it and give somewhere for pests to hide.

    In late autumn/fall move the brood nest up against one side and remove any supers. This is so that as they eat stores in the winter they only have one way they can go. So they won't get isolated from any stores. They move sideways fine.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    > [COLOR=#333333]
    Here's a thread discussing the book Rhaldridge referenced:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...h-a-smile-book

    Don't miss the photos in post #9.
    Thanks for the tip, Graham. I read the thread and took a look at the book exerpts. I can see how a high-volume hive design would be well-adapted to cold winter areas. Manipulating such huge frames would appear to pose a challenge and a person might need a step-ladder to get at them? I should read the book. An item for the Christmas list....
    Rob

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,251

    Default Re: Love my TBH, don't care much for the Langstroth Hives

    I think that the picture shows a very small woman holding the extra-deep frame. You can get a reasonable idea of what it would be like by clipping a couple of Lang deep frames together-- makes a frame just a little over 18 inches deep, which seems not too bad. I suppose a short person could compensate by making the hive's legs shorter, but I don't think lifting 2 deep frames at a time would be as heavy as lifting even an 8 frame medium super. (Also, the pictures in the book seem to indicate that the honey frames are rarely completely capped.)

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