Langstroth long hive question
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Casco, MI
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    Default Langstroth long hive question

    My nephew is thinking of making a long hive by attaching 2 or 3 regular deep boxes together end to end and drilling holes in the back so the bees can move from one box to the other. Basically it seems logical but both of us are relatively new to beekeeping so I'm looking for more experienced opinions because it just seems too simple and I'm thinking there must be a reason other people aren't doing this. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Floyd, VA, USA
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    Default

    Other people do use long langstroth hives with success, they normally build their own to eliminate the partitions your idea would create. Get the proper dimension lumber and cut a frame rest into it and create a box 3 or 4 feet long and the same width as a standard box. Lids and bottoms would also be custom made. There are most likely plans available online.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    I thought of this exact design, so to attach horizontally 2-3 nuc boxes.

    For now I decided against this way and just build proper horizontal hives instead.
    Still - this is a valid way, I think, and may still do it.
    Do be aware that the final product will be heavy and bulky and prone to fail at the point of the attachment of the two boxes (not a good thing).
    However, when doing the same with small nuc bodies, should be manageable and have merits.

    Main reason people are not doing this - the entire idea of horizontal hives is still a novelty in the modern N. America (a really well forgotten old way, but now coming back).
    Otherwise, I don't see any reason of NOT doing this.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame experimentation.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Isle of Wight, VA
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    2,748

    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    I just completed the setup of my medium Long Lang yesterday. I'm a topbar hive gal, but my "supering" of a TBH was a fail years ago due to how my bars sit ontop of the sides, but I was left with this 30" long chamber, so I threw a screen on the bottom and made the groove along the edges to hold frames. Because it is a medium, 20 frames isn't quite large enough for bees and honey stores, so I am using my 8 frame mediums (that I dislike) on top, plus a 5 frame medium to make up the complete length. (and of course more can be stacked on top if needed. 4-5 frame nucs can also be used)

    I'm not sure how effectively the bees will want to use 3 separate chambers with holes drilled in them. Whenever I have encountered people who bolt on a Lang nuc to a topbar hive to get it started, the bees tend to say in the nuc side.

    Here is my video on FB if you want to see how mine looks.

    https://www.facebook.com/ruth.s.mere...6244874718048/

    long lang stack.jpg

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Greenville, SC
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    10

    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    A potential problem with three separate chambers connected with drilled holes is that the queen will likely not pass through the holes, she likes to go straight up or around the edges of comb. You may end up with the queen laying brood in just one box and the others used exclusively for honey. One full deep for brood may be sufficient in your area without overcrowding, and you could also mitigate overcrowding by moving frames of brood over to the neighboring box and replacing them with empty comb or foundation. Keep us posted if your nephew gives it a try!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Western Australia
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    9

    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    Someone in US made a long hive like this. They reinforced the outside to address the issue of stresses and allow them to put top boards on. It has only just been made so no long term results in how the bees use it. Have a search of Long Langstroth Hive FB page for pictures and the discussion.

    We made a couple of long Lang’s earlier in our summer and have bees in them. As a backyard ear with 2-12 hives they seem a better way to go for me.

    20180324_093230.jpg

    20180120_140623.jpg

    Adam
    Last edited by AdamMaskew; 03-29-2018 at 05:29 PM. Reason: Photos added

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    3,931

    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    I have two medium long langs that I have never put bees in yet. Unless you were just going to raise three nucs in it, it seems like such a waste of wood to build a hive like that with all the deviders, you could almost do the bottom of the hive. Why not just build a long lang and not try and use deep langs. I built mine cause it took a little less wood to put it together. I use them as tables at the hives. If I had the langs, I would run them as langs and if I wanted a long lang, I would build a long lang. I may put bees in mine someday but think I like the lang hives better. If I were to go horazontal, I think I would just do a top bar and make the bars 19 inches long so I could put them in a lang if I wanted to transfer comb.

    Building a long lang takes some of the bennifits of ease of build compared to just a horizontal hive would. If you use lang frames in it you have to start worrying about bee space above the frames and a second roof to cover that and it just complicates the ease of build of why people like long hives.

    It does help with lifting but is also harder to move the whole hive by yourself.
    The above does not make me right but is just how I feel about it and also why I have decided I like the tables better then putting bees in the ones I built compared to just a lang. I do have worse problims with wind on the bigger, longer tops of the long lang campared to the smaller lang hive.
    Cheers
    gww
    Ps See my lemon grass oil in the baggie, so far the bees have not picked it as a place to swarm to yet.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    zone 5b

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Wise County, Texas, USA
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    69

    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    Instead of just nailing or screwing the boxes together you should bolt them together using fender washers & bolts. Yo can also run 2 cleats from end to end on the bottom to make them movable and stronger. If you make your cleats from 2 x 4s on edge and extend them out about a foot on each end you have handle for 2 people to lift with.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Casco, MI
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    4

    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions. He's going to give it a try and I'm sure will be making modifications as it progresses.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Syracuse, UT
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    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    I've made a couple of these. A big problem with them is the long length makes it easy for those long boards to warp out and then the frames will fall into the middle. If you prep for that, it could be good. Takes up more room than going vertical. The bees made exceptionally straight comb in the hives I made this way (I did use deep frames with foundation but they made perfect uniform comb).

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    Years ago I built and used a few long hives. I sold bees, (not making honey) and there were advantages to having the long hives, especially when it came to making up the nucs. The hives had 3 section tops, so only one at a time was opened; I made them to hold 30 frames, and nice to not have to remove brood chambers from on top of another brood chamber, (weight, killing bees etc ) easier to find the queen.

    One problem with running long boxes is overwintering. If the brood nest, and winter cluster starts off in the early Winter, with honey on both sides of the brood nest and cluster, it is possible that the bees could move to one end of the long hive, remain there and starve to death not realizing, or too cold to move, that there is honey on the other end. To prevent this, during the Summer, and at my last inspection in the Fall, I moved the brood nest to one end, and all the honey stores, and pollen stores, from the brood nest to the other end. Does not take that long, and will insure that as they move, they are always moving toward honey, without having to cross empty comb to come back to honey.

    One big advantage is you never have to lift a heavy brood chamber to inspect the brood chamber below it. (less lifting, fewer bees killed), If you harvest your honey in deep frames, same thing. No lifting off boxes to get to honey frames. If you manipulate your brood frames to one end every time you inspect, your honey will always bee on the other end. Makes harvesting easier. Lots of advantages, lots of disadvantages, but I would say that, standardization of the industry, is why more people use standard Langs.

    cchoganjr

  13. #12
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    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    I sold bees, (not making honey) and there were advantages to having the long hives
    This is a good point I failed to formulate to myself.
    It makes sense.
    Indeed, when you after growing the bees for any reason (not after commercial honey crop maximizing), working one level hives is much preferable.

    One problem with running long boxes is overwintering.... your honey will always bee on the other end...
    The real problem is with the human mindset that requires that the entrance be symmetrically positioned - wrong.
    Symmetric entrance not necessary and even a plain bad choice (especially bad choice for a long horizontal hive to have a single entrance in the middle of the long side).

    This problem is easily solved by having asymmetric entrances.
    You want to have your entrance shifted to one side at all times (even do it the warm way if what it takes - also a fine option).
    With asymmetric entrance, bees will take care of the rest.
    Honey stores will be consolidated to one side only (away from the entrance - exactly as you said - "on the other end").
    This configuration sets up the cluster for good wintering.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame experimentation.

  14. #13
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    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    I make my LHs with entrances at both ends - with holes drilled into the 'end boards' (i.e. 'warm-way') - then, in spring - swap the entrances over.

    I find Long Hives are particularly good in the role of 'support hives' - somewhere handy to stash a brood comb or three when (say) queen-rearing - simply by moving a partition board to make room for them.

    No heavy lifting, no box shifting - honey yield isn't so good, but for me that's not important.

    Rather than having a 'long' Long Hive, I'm finding that sixteen 12" deep frames are proving adequate, having a larger capacity than the 12-frame Modified Dadant as used by Brother Adam. (4600 sq in of comb space vs 4000) Mind you, he did super them.
    I do have one twenty-frame LH 12 inches deep (same capacity as a Layens) - but they've never completely filled that one yet !
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    Yep, somehow that 14-16 frame sizing feels as the best compromise (for both people and bees).
    This is assuming a large frame (Dadant and larger).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame experimentation.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Langstroth long hive question

    I see two issues. One is getting them to expand when that wall (even with holes) creates a partial barrier. The other is the winter cluster encountering the same partial barrier. I did something similar and it was hard to get the bees to move to the next box.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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