Long Langstroth hive design questions
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Burney, CA USA
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    Default Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Hi all!

    I am a sophomore beekeeper and 4H bee keeping project leader. I have a 4h family who is new to bee keeping and has lifting considerations, so we have to decided to build a long Langstroth hive using deep frames. I will also be building myself one. We are in the mountains of rural NE California, at about 3500' elevation.

    I have several design questions :

    1) screened bottom or no?

    2) Entrance location, top or bottom? Round holes or rectangular slot?

    3) overall length? Number of frames?

    4) space between bottom of frames and bottom of box (or screen)?

    5) Treatment considerations?

    Thanks,
    Michael

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Hamilton, Alabama
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    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    All are my opinions and others may think different.

    1. screened bottom is no benefit if you are treating anyway.

    2. Entrance works best if it is at the bottom of the hive on one end.

    3. The minimum number of frames is 24 and the maximum is about 32. This suggests interior length of 33.75 inches up to 44.75 inches. Be sure to leave some room to get frames in and out.

    4. Bees need about 5/8 of an inch between the bottom of the frames and the bottom of the box. They use this space as a walkway and ventilation duct.

    5. I don't treat so can't comment about treatment options.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Idaho Falls, ID
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    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    I plan to build this one this year:

    http://horizontalhive.com/how-to-bui...th-plans.shtml
    -- Joe
    "Make your own decision and embrace the consequences." -- jwcarlson

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Burney, CA USA
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    7

    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    All are my opinions and others may think different.

    1. screened bottom is no benefit if you are treating anyway.

    2. Entrance works best if it is at the bottom of the hive on one end.

    3. The minimum number of frames is 24 and the maximum is about 32. This suggests interior length of 33.75 inches up to 44.75 inches. Be sure to leave some room to get frames in and out.

    4. Bees need about 5/8 of an inch between the bottom of the frames and the bottom of the box. They use this space as a walkway and ventilation duct.

    5. I don't treat so can't comment about treatment options.

    As far as screened bottom, I will be treating for mites but I hear a screened bottom with trays and oil helps control shb?

    Can bottom space be larger than 5/8"?

    Quote Originally Posted by lemmje View Post
    I plan to build this one this year:

    http://horizontalhive.com/how-to-bui...th-plans.shtml
    That is the plan I am basing mine on.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    beaver county pa usa
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    396

    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    I made one this winter and it will hold 32 frames the inside dimensions are 47 1/4 inch on the inside. I plan on running it as a 2 colony hive with a divider board in the middle. on the ends I will be able to super it for brood and in the middle a common super with a queen excluder for honey that I hope both colonies will fill . I got some of these ideas from Luries post on her long hive. I also included some extra bells and whistles like screened bottom and slatted bottom rack Here is Lauries post. I will post pics when the snow melts
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ghlight=laurie

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Florida, USA
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    1,758

    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Greeting Coach V

    Here's my take on a horizontal hive. It's designed to accommodate migratory lids and can be supered if needed. It's length is a multiple of a Lang's width. So they can bee 2, 3, or 4 boxes long. This one is a 2 box combo:

    http://bwrangler.litarium.com/combo-long-hive/



    As far as the entrance issue goes, I've tested end entrances against side entrances on the same hive. The bees will abandon the end for a side entrance near an end every time.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by BWrangler; 03-15-2017 at 02:44 PM. Reason: eY jstu cn'ta slpl ro ytep

  8. #7
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    Aug 2015
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    Bergen County, NJ
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    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Quote Originally Posted by lemmje View Post
    I plan to build this one this year:

    http://horizontalhive.com/how-to-bui...th-plans.shtml
    I built a russian (Lazutin) hive based on plans from that website. Raised bees in that hive until around end of may 2016. Long story short, I ended abandoning that hive and just sliced in half (horizontally) and got two long hive boxes each about standard deep frame depth.

    One hive is overwintering in the deep height long box now. Entrance is a 3/4 inch hole on the long side towards one end. They seem to be doing fine.

    It could be just me, but the lid was too **** heavy and quirky for me to lift, set aside, get rid of any hanging bees under etc. So I opted for a cloth inner cover (just a feedbag) and a simple plank of right size on top of it.

    I just set the box on a plank and I wish I had a long bottom board like that of standard lang, with enough space and entrance to do OAV. For 2016 I just lifted the box on side to slide in the OAV gadget.

    I made a follower board that can be used to squeeze the bees for overwintering.

    I also made a 3 inch (height) shim of same length and width as the long box, sectioned it off at approx 10 frame length, is being used to hold winter sugar cake.

    Hope that helps.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Burney, CA USA
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    7

    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Thanks for the responses! You guys have clarified a few things for me. I have some follow-up questions and new ones.

    1) I plan on treating with oxalic acid in the future, but have not yet. How can I set up my hive(s) that I am building for easy treatment?

    2) I plan on using a follower board, I assume that I want it to fit tight to sides and bottom?

    3) I have Redwood 2x12 being delivered tomorrow. I heard they are 1.75" x 11.75" (I will know tomorrow). Is the 11.75" length going to be to tall for standard deep frames? I can rip them down no problem, but have read some stuff about having extra space below the frames are good.

    4) what do you prefer for inner covers. I was thinking about doing standard type inner covers, set to fit flush with tops of 2x12s. I also have been interested in solid bars a few frames wide each and burlap sacks. What do you prefer and why?

    5) I used an entrance feeder last year and it worked well for me. Can I build a slot just for the purpose of using an entrance feeder and cover it when not in use?

  10. #9
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    May 2013
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    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
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    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    I was thinking about doing standard type inner covers, set to fit flush with tops of 2x12s.
    Just (1) be mindful of beespace above the top of the frames to avoid crushing bees. You can accomplish this by the standard recess on the bottom of the inner cover or by increasing the depth of the frame rest rabbets. If you increase the rabbet depth, be sure and allow extra depth for that when designing the depth of the sides of the longbox. (2) Have multiple inner cover boards so that you have options when doing hive inspections. And (3) make sure your follower board is designed to take into account the design of your inner covers and, in particular, any recesses on your inner covers.
    David Matlock

  11. #10
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    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Have a look at this horizontal hive. Note the top cover design with the bee space above the frames.

    Zone 6B

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Burney, CA USA
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    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Made great progress today!






  13. #12
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    Jan 2014
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    Dale County, AL, United States
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    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Whew that looks as solid as a coffin! I love the double rabbet but would have a hard time carrying the 2" wide boards around to my wood shop (a drive away on the Army base). THinking of ways to do the double rabbet without 2" wide wood, guess rabbet plus outside strips to hold cover above the hive a bit. (But I have 3 empty hives- an L hive, similar long hive, and W shaped topbar 'pig trough' so long time if ever before I need to make a new hive.)

    I have a hodge podge (to avoid using any pejorative terms) long hive which holds L frames but only have half a dozen or so, rest topbars. The bees climb over the L frames but not the topbars- under or through those combs I guess. I cover them with layered political signs, bent over at the back to close that but open at the front- only the L frame areas open for entry/exit though. They were seldom used until ?3 months ago I moved frames to ensure room for the spring egg season. Apparently I moved Her Majesty because they moved the entrance from the end by the brood center, a missing topbar on that end with a block over it holding the cover (political sign) up an inch or so, to the middle over the L frames. So next time I made a gap in the bars near there and they all happily land on the front or the L frame gaps and crawl in the gaps.

    BUt I'm a lot more a bee haver than a bee keeper. Expect I won't budget for a new nuc if this crew leaves me (bought 1, lost it, bought 2, lost one and probably missed several swarms from both those two, have one now but hard finding brood this spring so keep expecting it to expire on me). Yet will try to nuc in one of my hives if I ever see a lot of brood this spring.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    York County, VA, USA
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    503

    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    The double rabbet looks like an invitation to rainwater to dribble into the hive. But perhaps I'm seeing something that isn't there. Happens. Do you plan to use multiple migratory lids, or maybe a large hinged cover on top of this? Any water landing on top of the cover appears to be destined to enter the crevices and flow into the colony space.

    Otherwise it looks good to my inexperienced eyes.
    "I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong." (heard often from the late David Sebree) Still making them, myself

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Burney, CA USA
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    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    I am building a hinged roof for them today, minus the hinges as the hardware store is closed Sundays in my little town.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Burney, CA USA
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    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Getting there. They hold 32 frames. Still have quite a few things to do:

    Drill entrance(s)
    Finish roof(s)
    Design and complete oxalic acid treatment access
    Follower board(s)
    Cosmetics
    Probably more








  17. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    These are what I would choose:

    >1) screened bottom or no?
    No

    >2) Entrance location, top or bottom? Round holes or rectangular slot?
    Top, end. Shape is irrelevant.


    >3) overall length? Number of frames?
    Not less than 32 1/2. Not more than 48 3/4". I'd prefer the 48 3/4" or 48"

    >4) space between bottom of frames and bottom of box (or screen)?
    between 3/8" and 7/8".

    >5) Treatment considerations?
    I would not treat.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Millington, Michigan
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    71

    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Jennsal,
    here is a double on a 1 1/2 board

    https://sites.google.com/site/borisa...anov-long-hive

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Hmm, deja vu. Your box looks a lot like mine. For finger pulls on your cover boards, get some 1/2 EMT pipe supports. Galvanized and cheap. Attach them to one side of the boards. you will still need a hive tool to pry those boards loose, as they will propolize the in place.
    I put vents on top boards, but the bees quickly closed them up. I put vents up high, and down low, and they filled up the top holes and never opened them up on even the hottest days.

    I too made mine 32 frames.
    I too used some very thick redwood. (salvaged from a fallen fence)
    I made a gabled top roof with hinges and some hinge stops/locks to keep it open while working the hive.
    The only major differences were:
    - I added a slatted bottom on the entire hive, making it about 2.5" taller
    - I made my stand separate. Its a stout thing, but I can move the hive in a truck if need be. (though it will take a few strong men to move a full hive)
    IMG_2533.jpg
    IMG_2532.jpg


    Phil in Fremont

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Burney, CA USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Quote Originally Posted by hankstump View Post
    Hmm, deja vu. Your box looks a lot like mine. For finger pulls on your cover boards, get some 1/2 EMT pipe supports. Galvanized and cheap. Attach them to one side of the boards. you will still need a hive tool to pry those boards loose, as they will propolize the in place.
    I put vents on top boards, but the bees quickly closed them up. I put vents up high, and down low, and they filled up the top holes and never opened them up on even the hottest days.

    I too made mine 32 frames.
    I too used some very thick redwood. (salvaged from a fallen fence)
    I made a gabled top roof with hinges and some hinge stops/locks to keep it open while working the hive.
    The only major differences were:
    - I added a slatted bottom on the entire hive, making it about 2.5" taller
    - I made my stand separate. Its a stout thing, but I can move the hive in a truck if need be. (though it will take a few strong men to move a full hive)
    IMG_2533.jpg
    IMG_2532.jpg


    Phil in Fremont
    Phil, your hive looks great!

    -I plan on using simple wooden cabinet pulls for the inner cover boards.
    -I have been thinking about putting vents in the inner cover boards, but not sure. I also may put vents and/or top entrances along the side.
    -I will be putting a feeder(s) on the inner cover boards. Probably inverted mason jar with a tube.
    -weather cover/roof is going to be simple tin on a single plane. It will be hinged. I plan on leaving this area open, not sealed off. I have seen open roofs on other designs and hope it will be OK and not cause issues. I do not think it will as the inner covers will seal the hive.

    -Do you treat for mites? I plan on treating with Oxalic Acid Vaporization. I am curious if I can just treat from one location or if I need a few locations on the hive to treat (ie will the vapor move horizontally along hive)?

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,147

    Default Re: Long Langstroth hive design questions

    Coach, I'd put some vents on a couple of the inner cover boards. One huge advantage is that the vents are easy to cover up or open as needed and easy to move around as the hive size changes.
    Zone 6B

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