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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana
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    48

    Default Why not horizontal?

    What are the reason's for not using a horizontal hive? I see the vast majority of keepers using the vertical hives, but would a horizontal hive perform just as well? Who out there are using long langs?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    southwest colorado
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    I built 2 to try out this year . It should work fairly well I think . TBH 's around here seem to do well . I like the fact that I will be able to swap resources between all my hives , should the need arise.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Broglea View Post
    What are the reason's for not using a horizontal hive? I see the vast majority of keepers using the vertical hives, but would a horizontal hive perform just as well? Who out there are using long langs?
    Generally those are referred to as top bar hives, and there are plenty of people that use them.

    They aren't as easy to harvest honey from though as you don't have nice convenient boxes you can swap in and out.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,222

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    by the bees nature they work up and down. working sideways is against what is normal for them. they will do it but prefer vertical.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    Search for long hives. They work pretty well. Moving and transporting is not easy. That is it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,564

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edymnion View Post
    Generally those are referred to as top bar hives, and there are plenty of people that use them.

    They aren't as easy to harvest honey from though as you don't have nice convenient boxes you can swap in and out.
    I believe they are referring to framed horizontal hives. Its possible to add boxes too them just like a vertical lang. From what I understand that style is somewhat popular in europe and russia. Great for folks who like the working height and accessibility of top bars but dislike the fragility of free hanging comb, fixing warped/crossed combs and destoying comb during extraction with tbh.

    I would try a framed horizontal before trying a tbh. My preference is vertical langs with deeps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Southern Connecticut
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    There are those that keep framed horizontal hives and even add vertical supers. Michael Bush has some info here
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    I think you may need to try them for yourself, everyone is different and each location is different, I use horizontal and vertical, I find I can produce more bees with horizontal hives and manipulate splits easier with them, but if producing honey is my goal I go to the vertical every time.

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

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    I have both too, and as a hobbyist, I like the horizontal hives a lot better. All your brood frames are completely accessible without moving any boxes, the bees seem much less disrupted by inspection, and the convenient height is easy on my back, so I tend to do a better job of inspections.

    Stan, could you explain why the vertical hives are better at making honey?
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    Let me restate my thoughts, I didn't do a very good job in the last post. I am able to make honey easier with a vertical lang, and more honey with minor manipulations, than I can with minor manipulation of the top bar or horizontal lang. But with intense manipulations such as frequent checker boarding, keeping the brood nest open, and harvesting honey comb one or two bars or frames at a time I can match and sometimes surpass the vertical langs' honey production. You asked me to explain why, sorry I can't, it's just what I've found true for my operation, yours' may be different. As I've accumulated more bees I don't do the intense manipulations anymore, I have reverted to being a minimalist. ( a fancy word for lazy)

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

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    That makes good sense. As a beginner, I'm always ready to hassle my bees, so I don't mind the manipulations.

    If I only had a couple of hives, as many backyard beekeepers do, I'd definitely want them to be long hives, just for the convenience and the ability to harvest by the frame.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    >What are the reason's for not using a horizontal hive?

    It's easier to manage the space in a hive when you can just stack supers on to make it larger and pull them off to make it smaller. With a horizontal you have a fairly fixed space and have to manage it more carefully.

    > I see the vast majority of keepers using the vertical hives, but would a horizontal hive perform just as well?

    It works fine, if you are willing to work them more often.

    > Who out there are using long langs?

    I usually have a couple of them going.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, LA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    I am going to try one this year. This one is 4 eight-frame boxes wide and of medium depth. I can add supers if I desire. See this link.http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ve-experiement

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    Dr Seeley's work in his book Social Democracy indicates bees prefer a vertical orientation for the hive.

    There is a reason bees like to store most of their reserves above the brood nest in the wild and in langs. Vertical orientation is energetically and biologically favorable for honeybees.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    Dr Seeley's work in his book Social Democracy indicates bees prefer a vertical orientation for the hive.

    There is a reason bees like to store most of their reserves above the brood nest in the wild and in langs. Vertical orientation is energetically and biologically favorable for honeybees.
    John, I think you're referring to Honeybee Democracy. "Social Democracy" is going to be a dogwhistle for a certain segment of forum members.

    You're right, I believe, but consider Fedor Lazutin's view. He keeps bees in the very harsh climate of central Russia, and uses horizontal hives. The interesting twist here is that his frames are equivalent to two deep frames stacked on one another. His bees are able to have a big honeydome overhead, and he gets the convenience of a horizontal hive. He limits the horizontal dimension of the hive in winter with follower boards, so in essence he's wintering in double deeps, but without the break between boxes.
    .

    Mine are only one deep frame deep, so here in Florida I'm wintering in the equivalent of single deeps.
    I don't think horizontal hives would be good for someone with more than a few hives, or someone who was trying to make a lot of honey with the least effort, but for hobbyists, and especially beginners like me, the horizontal hives are hard to beat. Everything is easily accessible, no backstrain from lifting boxes, and the convenient height of the hives encourages you to be slow and deliberate in your movements. The bees stay calmer, because you need only expose a portion of the colony during inspection (no breaking boxes loose and separating one part of the hive from another.)

    Again, I'm sure you're right that the vertical arrangement is optimal. Bees evolved to make hives in hollow trees, and those spaces are mostly vertical. Also, I imagine that if you're going to treat with vaporized Oxalic acid, a vertical hive works better But I had both kinds of hives my first season, and I found the horizontal hives to be a lot more fun to care for.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,015

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    I have 2 long hives in my back yard plus assist some friends who have them. They are good for people who do not want to lift a box off a hive, and just harvest honey in small amounts. Other than that they are good for people who want to do more work, get less honey, and have the bees swarm more.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,839

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    So far I am happy with my horizontal Langs plastic barrel hive. It makes hive inspection easy one section at a time. Easy
    on my back too without lifting heavy hive boxes. Honey can still be extracted with Langs frames and put back for
    another round.

    Langs frames +
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I have 2 long hives in my back yard plus assist some friends who have them. They are good for people who do not want to lift a box off a hive, and just harvest honey in small amounts. Other than that they are good for people who want to do more work, get less honey, and have the bees swarm more.
    What is the reason they swarm more?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,222

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    Im sure old timer will answer but the beekeeper is making the bees work against their nature. bees want to work vertical rather than horizontal.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,015

    Default Re: Why not horizontal?

    Yes, the shape they really like for their cluster is that of an egg. With the thick end at the top.

    A good example of how long hives make them swarm would be a top bar hive that I set up for someone around 6 weeks ago. I dumped a package & queen into it & gave them instructions how to feed it as we are in fall dearth now, I just want it set up with a cycle or 2 of brood & enough stored feed before winter.

    Last Sunday I drove past their place & called in for a look. They had followed my instructions exactly & the hive was looking good. Plenty stored feed lots of brood including drone brood & the cluster had expanded around 1/2 way along the hive.

    But, as I went through it the bees were making swarm preparations. Because they do not want to expand way out sideways at this time of year if anything they will be wanting to contract, but they have all this feed, seems to them like everything is pumping, so they decide to send out a swarm even though the hive is 1/2 empty. I had to kill queen cells, spread out the brood nest, and tell them to stop feeding.

    If the bees could have expanded upwards & kept something resembling the egg shape, it's unlikely they would have tried to swarm, as verified by the couple hundred or so splits I've made lately with similar or more bee numbers but a more natural shape including room overhead for those that need it, that are not trying to swarm.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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