Horizontal deep hives
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  1. #1
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    Default Horizontal deep hives

    Is anyone here running deep horizontals (like the attached pics)?
    I do, so would be interested exchange of ideas and experiences while on winter break.

    ukrainskiy-uley-02.jpg
    20170924_163313_Small.jpg

    (Don't see an appropriate section, so asking it here..)
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Geauga, Ohio
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    Ain't that purty! I currently use horizontal top bar hives. I don't want to lift a deep box and for some reason never started with medium 8 frames (they weigh as much as a 10 frame super).

    This is my second winter with horizontal top bar hives. Dimensions: They have the inner dimensions to fit a Lang deep frame, but no groove to hold one it without a gap on either side of the frame at the edge of the box. I use bars that essentially make an inner cover when they are pushed together. When I used frames, I either used a piece of plywood 5 frames long as a series of inner covers, single frame-to-bar pieces, or a towel. It's important to not have the whole hive exposed for the bees' sense of well-being. I can hold up to about 30 frames or 26 bars. That would be the equivalent of 2 deeps and a shallow super, which I figured was about right to encourage frequent harvesting.

    I have lost horizontal top bar hives, due to varroa and undetected queenlessness. No fallen comb unless I was being inept. I have not lost any to starvation or inability to move horizontally in the cold - yet. We are in a cold snap now, bet Dane Cty looks different now than in your photos! If they are still alive by next weekend, when we hit 30, then I will call that a win. I have seen reports of starvation in horizontal hives but it is hard to know if that is a feature or was unique to their situation. I do know ferals can survive winter in a log that is fallen on its side - assuming the colony moved in after the log fell!!!

    Have you built yet? Even if you have, I suggest going to the top bar section of the forum and asking the same question.

    some things I love about a horizontal hive:
    Tracking the ebb and flow of the size of the brood nest. It's pretty dynamic and easy to detect.
    Watching new comb be built
    Minimal disturbance to the bees - assuming I'm not monkeying in the brood nest. That gets noticed. I've seen them washboarding the bottom, they are so undisturbed.
    Less lifting!

    Some notes on building/modifying an empty horizontal hive (do not recommend making many modifications with power tools with bees inside):
    1. I recommend thinking carefully about your varroa treatment approach. If you will put a substance in, do a mock up of the method of choice in your hive with bars/frames to see how it will work before finalizing plans. If you plan to do drone frame removal, unlike in a Lang or Dadant the drone brood is pretty concentrated at the "rear/away from entrance" end, before the honey storage zone. Drone comb does not get built symmetrically on both sides of the brood nest. Not a big problem actually, just a weird factoid. I can tell you with bars, the only way I am finding to do OAV (without opening the hive) is to cut a hole in the bottom of the hive and hold the wand up to the hold. I would have to use frames and build the hive deeper if I wanted to slid the wand in under the brood nest. Next year I will have a screened bottom board and either just hold the wand up to that or if there is too much OA sticking to the hardware cloth I will finagle another way with a screened bottom board. I want the screened bottom board to be able to monitor mite drop after OAV.

    2. I have my entrance on the narrow end of the hive. I will be changing it to be about 4-6 inches in from the long side - so the bees still keep their brood nest at one end, not the middle, and I can open the brood nest first without pulling bars across their front door.

    3. It is possible to have the entrance too small. A friend had a Kenyan top bar hive with a slot about 4 in long by less than 1/2 in depth. It led to backup at the entrance during a nectar flow and to comb falling inside the hive when there were no inspections, indicating the hive got too hot inside. I use 3 holes a bit bigger than a wine cork.

    I will be starting Dadant deeps with supers this year to see if they are a better option for an outyard. Do you run Dadant deeps? Any stories or tips? I know Siwolke just started with Dadant deeps and someone else here uses them who's down south - name escapes me.

  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    I ran one for 2 seasons and quit doing it because I couldnt move the hive. The commercial in my area told me how he used to run 2 colonies vertically when he was younger, so I ran mine with 2 colonies, one on each end. It was pretty cool. The saving grace was that I used standard deep frames in it so I was able to move the bees out of the long hive and into deep boxes easily.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    Quote Originally Posted by trishbookworm View Post
    Have you built yet?
    Well, yes.
    This is what I run as we speak (the hive above is mine).

    Got 20-framer and three 16-framers in my heavy park so far.
    Want to build a 14-framer to get a feel for it. Need 2-3 more 16-framers.
    Also want to build another a heavy 20-framer for the backyard just to run nucs in it.

    Got temporary 12-framers and 10-framers and a load of 6-7 framers too (for nucs and traps).
    These just get thrown around for anything (good for caught swarms when in a pinch).

    20161001_174334_Small.jpg
    20161001_172806_Small.jpg
    TempSummerHive.jpg
    StrappedFramesVertical_Small.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    Quote Originally Posted by rwurster View Post
    I ran one for 2 seasons and quit doing it because I couldnt move the hive..
    Moving and setting these is, pretty much, two-man job.
    So just plan for a two-man crew when moving a rig and call it done.
    Though, very easy to move for two people and is ergonomic too (my wife or a kid help me).
    Most importantly, you do not twist with a load in hands - the worst move kind for the spine.
    Once the rig is setup - no more heavy lifting.
    Last edited by GregV; 01-02-2018 at 03:21 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    Quote Originally Posted by trishbookworm View Post
    Minimal disturbance to the bees - assuming I'm not monkeying in the brood nest. That gets noticed. I've seen them washboarding the bottom, they are so undisturbed.
    Less lifting!

    1. I recommend thinking carefully about your varroa treatment approach.

    2. I have my entrance on the narrow end of the hive. I will be changing it to be about 4-6 inches in from the long side - so the bees still keep their brood nest at one end, not the middle, and I can open the brood nest first without pulling bars across their front door.

    3. It is possible to have the entrance too small. A friend had a Kenyan top bar hive with a slot about 4 in long by less than 1/2 in depth. It led to backup at the entrance during a nectar flow and to comb falling inside the hive when there were no inspections, indicating the hive got too hot inside. I use 3 holes a bit bigger than a wine cork.

    I will be starting Dadant deeps with supers this year to see if they are a better option for an outyard. Do you run Dadant deeps? .
    Lifting is bad for my back and a shoulder... No spare body parts left.

    1. I am TF... No issues here. So.
    2. I got two entrances as pictured so to run two colonies side-by-side OR just one colony. I can run the cold way or the warm way or both ways at once, as needed.
    3. I just run 4 1/2 inch holes at the bottom (this is equal to 1 inch round in area); plug them all or partially if/as needed with some spindles or any old stick or even a ball of mud or grass.
    4. Mine are set for Lang frames turned vertically (either medium frames or deep frames work fine). Two Lang mediums tied together, actually, are just about a Dadant deep in size.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Dalton, Ga. USA
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    The horizontal deeps have become an obsession to me and your idea of using 2 lang meds makes all the sense in the world. anything you can share on making a build?

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    You can read here for now:
    http://forum.tfbees.net/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=890
    I also have some notes regarding traps on that site, just look around.

    (Not posting much on that forum any longer; thinking to just start my own site regarding the hives and such).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Terre Haute, Indiana
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    83

    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    I don't run super deeps like you. I do run horizontal hives with normal deep frames. This would be my third year with them. So far really no issues.
    IMG_0414.jpg

  11. #10
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    Dalton, Ga. USA
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    I can't believe it but I never scrolled down and saw that Dr Leo put two together. But if you never intended to use Layens frames would you use this method or make mods to the depth and whatever else needed to be a permanent lang / layens box? I would never have found that if you hadn't pointed me back there. Thanks

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    Quote Originally Posted by beechet View Post
    I can't believe it but I never scrolled down and saw that Dr Leo put two together. But if you never intended to use Layens frames would you use this method or make mods to the depth and whatever else needed to be a permanent lang / layens box? I would never have found that if you hadn't pointed me back there. Thanks
    I talk to Dr. Leo time to time.
    Below is his advice to me.
    However, I did not want to switch to a frame completely incompatible to Lang.
    Reasons are many; one reason - already had a batch of Lang mediums frames on hand.
    So I turned Lang frames 90 degrees; tied them in pairs, and built my hives around them.

    > > If I were to start a project like yours in your climate, I would only
    > > consider: 1) vertical (standard) Langstroth, wrapped well for the winter
    > > - also Lang. deep bodies can be used for swarm traps - very convenient,
    > > or 2) Layens.
    > >
    > > There's much to be said for the standard Lang. equipment. However, in
    > > your climate a horizontal Langstroth will require VERY substantial
    > > insulation to work well - see, for example, here - and pay attention to
    > > how much they have to wrap their hives in NY state:
    > > http://www.beebehavior.com/modified_..._long_hive.php It would
    > > work OK in most winters, but if a winter is particularly severe or has
    > > repeated swings of temperature, a long Lang. becomes precarious in the
    > > north. All classical horizontal frame hives in N. Europe had frames that
    > > were narrow - 12" or so - and deep (at least 16").
    > >
    > > Layens would be a much better option (I know beekeepers who overwinter
    > > their Layens successfully even in Montana!) - better shape and
    > > heat-retention properties. Yes I know it's not compatible with standard
    > > equipment, but difficult to kill two birds with one stone.
    Last edited by GregV; 01-23-2018 at 01:33 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Broglea View Post
    I don't run super deeps like you. I do run horizontal hives with normal deep frames. This would be my third year with them. So far really no issues.
    IMG_0414.jpg
    Looks pretty cool and probably fine for Indiana.

    One reason to go deeper (or taller) in colder winters - the storage profile of taller hives is better for wintering.
    With shallow frames set horizontally, it is harder to jump sideways (frame to frame to frame) when you run out of food and it is deep freeze for weeks.
    With deeper body, bees have more honey stores above the heads - less of a need to cross frames sideways.

    One other way to stay compatible to Langs, I have seen some Australian fellow builds his hives around two deep Lang frames stapled together.
    So he has double-deep Lang hives expanding sideways. It is on youtube.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    And, BTW, don't shy away from not having frames handy either.
    This past summer I totally ran out of equipment with all the swarm trapping and split making.

    I simply ran blank top bars (modified for deep hive - added partial end-bars to prevent them from attaching to the walls).
    Works great.
    People get obsessed with frames/wires/foundation/blah..
    None of these are required.
    When in a pinch, a top bar with a guide stick stapled to it is sufficient.
    Here is an example - a top bar from scrap plywood/partial end bars pulled from a scrap pile.
    Bees don't care.
    20180111_080318.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #14
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    dallas, tx, usa
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    Has anyone run horizontal hives with the frames turned 90 deg from what has been talk about here? I think it could be done with deep boxes with the sides removed and a support bar for the frames. Would that make it easier for the bees to move left and right? Maybe bees dont care, comb is pretty messy in the wild. Here is someone elses thoughts on horizontal hives.

    I saw a comment about OAV maybe difficult but I would think the dribble method would be real easy. I would think OAV would not like to float though all the frames in a horizontal setup.

    https://jamesroe.blogspot.com/p/hori...l#comment-form

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    Quote Originally Posted by aiannar974 View Post
    Has anyone run horizontal hives with the frames turned 90 deg from what has been talk about here? I think it could be done with deep boxes with the sides removed and a support bar for the frames. Would that make it easier for the bees to move left and right? Maybe bees dont care, comb is pretty messy in the wild. Here is someone elses thoughts on horizontal hives.

    I saw a comment about OAV maybe difficult but I would think the dribble method would be real easy. I would think OAV would not like to float though all the frames in a horizontal setup.

    https://jamesroe.blogspot.com/p/hori...l#comment-form
    Next season I plan to start using frames both cold and warm ways (see pics).
    Yes - you can simply use a support bar as needed and run frames either way (whatever is needed and works for the moment).
    The thing is very, very flexible.
    Turn regular Lang frame 90 degrees; cut the ears off; screw in top new bar; done.
    Drop the frame in.
    Either use regular Lang deep/meduim frame OR use strapped double-mediums OR build custom frames.
    HorizontalHiveEntranceWays3.png
    HorizontalHiveEntranceWays2.png
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Is anyone here running deep horizontals (like the attached pics)?
    I do, so would be interested exchange of ideas and experiences while on winter break.
    Yes - it has become my favourite format. This is how I accidently 'discovered' Long Deeps: http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/beek12.htm and I've since modified a couple of stand-alone Long Hives to take Deep (12") frames. I still have quite a few vertical hives here, which I prefer for queen-rearing - but Deep Long Hives are proving to be ideal for the prolific bees I have at this location. I've found the use of a 'thermal curtain' (follower board sealed at sides and top) to be important when introducing a new colony into such a large cavity - but once that colony becomes established, it more-or-less takes care of itself, with very little need for any further management.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    little_john, thanks for sharing.
    I saw your hives before somewhere.
    Will review your work.
    Cool!

    PS: interesting, but I am building more rather vertical temporary hives for swarm trapping (artificial log hives of sorts); end yet for more permanent apiary, I want horizontal hives
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    Never thought the horizontal hives would interest me but lately I think it be a fun build and a easy to manage hive , maybe you guys can help get on the right track . I definitely want to go with lang medium frames as thats what I run in my langs and I think it would be a huge help to be able borrow frames when needed and also I can extract them . I guess the big question is will bee's survive my winters in medium frames , should I make it the same depth as a medium box so bee space is right . Any plans on these hives would be helpful also , thanks .

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    I guess the big question is will bee's survive my winters in medium frames , should I make it the same depth as a medium box so bee space is right . Any plans on these hives would be helpful also , thanks .
    In your area (PA) I would not do a horizontal hive using Lang medium frame.
    Lang deep frame is just an OK case, but people make it work (solid top insulation is a must).
    Dadant deep frame is better.
    Layens/Ukrainian frame is better still.

    You see, doing your design on Lang medium frame you will put your bees at severe disadvantage during the cold season.
    Study this site (this is about houses, but beehives are close enough to apply the same ideas).
    https://sites.google.com/site/lowenergyhome/architectur

    This is just one consideration, based on conditioned 3-D space energy profiles.
    There are more, but this alone is big enough to help decide IMO.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Horizontal deep hives

    I was afraid the mediums might not work in my cold winters ,but thought I read M. Bush had long mediums in Nebraska wonder how they did .
    Last edited by laketrout; 04-15-2018 at 07:51 PM.

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