Long Langs Vs. TBH
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  1. #1
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    Default Long Langs Vs. TBH

    I was toying with the idea of a long langs, with foundationless frames. I want to do this for several reason. One being that I won't have to worry as much about burr comb, breaking comb, and a more uniformed comb. I also would like it because I can mite check easier, and have some universal equipment. what are your thoughts on this? Would it be managed pretty similar to a tbh? I read I can also carefully spin the honey out and put the comb they made back in.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Isle of Wight, VA
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    Some of the management is similar to a topbar hive and others are more closely related to a standard Lang. Did you plan to have some type of inner cover over the frames so that all of the bees are not exposed when the roof is removed? That is one of the big differences. And do you plan to super it at all? Foundationless frames make it more like a topbar hive in that the bees can easily leave the communication holes in the comb that they can't do with foundation in there.

    As for "burr comb", that is an oxymoron in a topbar hive. And you can still have a mess as far as getting comb drawn if the bees don't have a good comb guide or proper spacing.

  4. #3
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    I've done it. To me the main reason to do a TBH is that you can build it out of scraps with nothing more than a skil saw. The main reason to do a long Langstroth is interchangeability of parts with your other hives, but having frames to rubber band fallen combs into is a big plus.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #4
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    Oct 2014
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    Hart County, Georgia
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    I have both Top Bar and Long Langs (or Horizontal Hives).

    The trick for me has been building the Top Bar hives with straight sides that will accommodate Lang medium frames (which is what I use in my 8 frame Langs). This allows me to exchange resources among all my hive styles. I also don't have the problem of comb "attaching" that folks seem to think comes with straight sided Top Bars.

    As Ruth said, the challenge with the Long Lang is with the inner cover. I've tried screened inner cover sections similar to the screened inner covers that I use for my regular Langstroths. That didn't work well. I then tried using a cloth material made from room darkening cloth. That didn't work well. I'm now going to try solid boards in sections and see how that works. I may be converting the Long Langs to Top Bar hives since that's my preferred hive style.

    I use foundationless frames/bars on all my hives with a V shaped wood guide (even on the Lang frames). I have good luck with this type of guide getting them to make straight comb.

    The feature I really love about both the top bars and the long langs is that I can make them counter top height.

    Give it a try

  6. #5

    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    Hi all-

    We've been running horizontal Langstroths for about 4 years. A few years ago we designed them so they could be used to support a full, 28 deep-frame colony, or be split into four 6-frame nucs by utilizing removable divider boards, separate entrances, and individualized inner covers.

    In response to sambucaro, we use foundationless deep frames for our long hives with no problem. We crush and strain to harvest both honey and wax. Long boxes are managed similar to TBHs, but in our experience they don't have have the same swarm pressure as TBHs, likely because a deep frame allows more area to draw comb compared to a typical top bar (up to 30% more, depending on your TBH design). If properly managed (keeping the brood nest open, opening additional entrances as the colony grows, etc.), horizontal Langstroths are fun and easy to work with.

    As Kathleen said above, solid inner covers are the way to go for these. Each of our hives has 4 solid inner covers with two 3.5" holes drilled in each one (and screened) to accommodate widemouth jar feeders, increase ventilation, or both. The jar feeders fit under the gabled roof so you can feed/swap out jars quickly without disturbing your bees.

    When we first built this design, we got a lot of interest in them from our local beekeeping community to the point where we're producing them for sale. We wanted to build them so they'd last significantly longer than pine hives and look great, so we're making them out of grade A cypress and all stainless steel hardware so they won't rot or rust. We partnered with Orr Bee Supply (creator of the Swarm Bandit) outside of Asheville, NC to produce them.

    We named it the Bright Hive. The top of the hive box is table height, so inspections don't require any lifting or bending. Currently we run 3 standard Langstroths and 5 Bright Hives, 2 of which are used as nuc stations to replace winter losses/sell extras. Their versatility and interchangeability with Langstroth hives make them a great addition to our beeyard.

    Check them out on our site @ www.thebrighthive.com. I'm happy to answer any questions, or help you build your own!

    Chris
    www.thebrighthive.com
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by thebrighthive; 12-19-2017 at 09:58 AM. Reason: added photos!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    I have two long langs (medium 34 frame) built but have never put bees in them. I have been using them as tables by my hives. I guess I am scared of change, I am new and am getting used to the langstroth hive and am just a little scared that there may be drawbacks in using the long hives.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  8. #7

    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    We ran medium long Langstroths years ago, but didn't love them. Our bees didn't seem to like to move more than 30-ish frames horizontally, so the hive felt cramped. We ended up moving our medium frames from our medium long boxes into our deep long boxes, and the bees drew comb from the bottom of the medium frames, so it all worked out. If nothing else, your medium long boxes would work really well raising medium nucs.

    Chris
    www.thebrighthive.com

  9. #8
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    Jun 2016
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    Geauga, Ohio
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    I have horizontal deep hives. I have frames and bars, but mostly bars because they are cheaper. I really like moving the bars compared to the frames - it's easier to pry 'delicately' against them. And I'm not pinching something small and then trying to lift that. I don't even have arthritis and I like bars better! I absolutely love how I can see the size of the brood nest change through the seasons - I don't feed an established hive unless it's a dry fall, so there is ebb and flow in where the brood nest is. I can change the size of the hive at will to suit the colony size too. Put a split on either side in the summer...

    But there are some drawbacks for me with using a bar instead of a frame. Pushing bars back together is more of a pain that using a frame because you have to get the bees to crawl back down the side of the bar (or else you'll crush a bunch - which makes them even more in the way, so is counterproductive, not to mention mean). I have to work harder to get bees for a mite count - can't just shake the bar! And the bees are making a lot of drone comb, but at least it's predictable - and I can just pop it off the bar and replace an empty bar.

    I have used frames next to bars, which requires extra care to prevent nooks and crannies where other hives' bees or yellowjackets could get in. We did not put a rabbet joint into the hive edge, so the frames would sit on the side and stick up. So I built a dummy bar that fits over the frames.

    I started with frames with foundation, and wood covers. I wish I'd known about what Dadant used in the 1900s - oil cloth over their frames. They found the bees did not stick the oil cloth to the frames. I have used towels - a strip - as frame covers, and it works if you're being lazy and cheap and in a hurry. This year I am not sure if I will continue with bars, or use frames - and if I use frames I will make some oil cloth!!!

  10. #9
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    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    I have to work harder to get bees for a mite count - can't just shake the bar!
    I shake mine for mite counts
    Sam comfort shakes packages off his top bars
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=28v8ZNF1GN0

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    I shake mine for mite counts
    Sam comfort shakes packages off his top bars
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=28v8ZNF1GN0
    I shake mine as well for mite counts and to harvest honey comb. Important to have a good comb guide so they make a nice attachment. They don't do well with triangle guides in my area, but others will swear by that kind of guide.

  12. #11
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    Apr 2010
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    Lexington, VA, USA
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    Sam,
    You might be interested in these plans if you are going to build your own.
    http://www.horizontalhive.com/how-to...arm-trap.shtml
    Easy to build.

  13. #12
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    May 2017
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    countryside, il
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    this is awesome information, thank you everyone that replied. gives me a lot to think about over winter!

  14. #13

    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    Good luck! A horizontal Langstroth hive, whether used to keep a single colony or used to conveniently sustain your apiary as a 'nuc station', is a great complement to any beeyard!

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Wise County, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    Feeding & Bees 2018.jpg
    I built my TBH with both top bars & top bars with frames. All have a "paint stir stick" as a guide. So far they are building straight. Only problem is onr of my top bars I tried to use plastic foundation strip and it came loose.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    I have a mix of simple top bars and frames.
    Really, a hive should be able to take both at once and mixed as needed.
    Making frames is a pain and requires better material and takes time (OK, you can buy them if gone standard way).
    Quick making simple top bars from any scraps - huge.

    I have done locking top bars as in http://www.horizontalhive.com/.
    While convenient when you don't bother with nucs - very old fashioned way, these get in a way when working very small nucs (a modern way and a reality).
    These locking top bars get in a way when 1)feeding nucs with jars on top and dry sugar and 2)supering up your horizontal hive (a nice option to have).

    So now I am considering trying just an old-fashion burplap over the frames (with more narrow, pass-through top bars).
    This will mean for me that the end bars will need to be there as spacers.

    Good video demo of burlap usage with horizontal hives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r7VAyQV6xQ&t=361s
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    Quite often the debate is between Top Bars OR Frames - but there is a hybrid which might be worth considering - and that is a frame with a full width (35-ish mm) top bar, instead of the 22mm-25mm wide Hoffman-style top bars. And providing you make the frame top bars 10mm thick, then they can co-exist with frames in standard boxes, enabling full interchangeability.

    Advantages of this hybrid is that only a small area is exposed during inspections and they provide the same contiguous top to the hive cavity (as with pukka Top Bars).

    Disadvantages are that feeding then becomes difficult and supering is impossible. There is also the need to provide top insulation, as a 10mm thick top to the hive is clearly insufficient.

    Is it an idea worth pursuing ? In my opinion "not really" - I tried this once, and it worked reasonably ok - but for me, foundationless frames take some beating.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    I've done it. To me the main reason to do a TBH is that you can build it out of scraps with nothing more than a skil saw.
    +1. Spending more then $60 bucks on a 4-5 ft TBH really ruins one of its major merits. Cost.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    ***Check them out on our site @ www.thebrighthive.com***

    Your website doesn't seem to be active yet. Do you know when it will be activated?

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton Huestis View Post
    +1. Spending more then $60 bucks on a 4-5 ft TBH really ruins one of its major merits. Cost.
    Cost for TBH should be $5 tops if that (screws/nails, because you can not make them and you can not find them in trash). All else - free.
    My hives are a bit more advanced - cost me $20-30 tops.

    Well, unless you want to "buy, buy, buy" - there are hives made from redwood and all.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Long Langs Vs. TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Quite often the debate is between Top Bars OR Frames - ...LJ
    Exactly, LJ.
    Initially, I subscribed to Leo Sharashkin's model from horizontalhive.com and it worked great.

    Until - I needed to feed a late swarm and top it with dry sugar pile (it wintered great, btw).

    OK, I moved frames apart and let bees go up that time, and again, and again,... (and broke the 1.25inch spacing by doing so).
    So that became some hassle with feeding.

    I also foresee to make small vertical nucs/traps compatible to my horizontals.
    Again - need to have the pass-through feature.
    So, want to try to modify old/make new top bars only 1 inch wide and have either burlap over them OR pre-cut lots of 0.25/0.5 inch spacers and use those between the bars as needed.

    Insulation - not an issue, btw.
    Just pile anything you want directly onto the top bars.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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