Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions
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  1. #1

    Default Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions

    Hi, all:

    I have read in one source that bees are more likely to attach comb to the side-walls if they are slanted, and in another source that this is more likely if they are vertical. Which is true?

    Also, if I wanted to try to circumvent the problem entirely and use frames as in a horizontal, or long, Langstroth hive, is there anything magical about the frame dimensions other than the convenience of their standard size?

    I ask this because I donít have space for a typical long Langstroth hive, but I would have space for a smaller, improvised horizontal hive or for a home-built Kenyan or Tanzanian TBH. I donít mind milling custom frames or top bars.

    Any advice?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions

    My brief experience (2-3 years, 5 if you count Warres) with Top Bar Hives is that attachments are pretty-much guaranteed with vertical walls. Slanted walls (KTBH) are a little better, but not that much - it still happens. However, I found that when cutting the comb away from the walls, if the cut is made such that a good-sized beespace (around 8-10mm) is created all around the comb, then occurrences of re-attachment are significantly reduced.

    I'm a tad confused about your question, because typical Langstroth, Tanzanian or Kenyan Long Hives have more-or-less the same footprint. But - in order to create a smaller footprint (if that is what you mean by not having much space), then one solution you may wish to consider is a somewhat shorter, but deeper Langstroth 'Long Hive', using (say) Jumbo-sized frames.

    There's nothing really 'magical' about any beehive - they're all about creating a box with a particular volume. Horizontal, Vertical, Depth of Frames and so forth each have their own positive and negative aspects - and so a trade-off is created between different formats. My own most successful format is a 16-frame hive with 12" deep frames - but there isn't a hive design in the world (afaik) which uses such a format. But then, the bees don't know that

    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    .. My own most successful format is a 16-frame hive with 12" deep frames - but there isn't a hive design in the world (afaik) which uses such a format. ..

    LJ
    Well, 16-frame horizontal Dadant is what you essentially have (you have 1/2 inch or so deeper, to be technical, but not terribly essential).
    Very common model for small scale keeps.
    Available for sale in E. Europe all over.
    So, not entirely unique design that you have.
    It is rather well known I would say.
    16 frame seems to be a good # for such designs; I am happy with mine 16 framers.

    Pics:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=16+%...uFFWKxxene0vM:


    Regarding the original question, I use ad-hoc top bar with about 1/2 deep end bars - this prevents most of the side attachments.
    And agree - once the comb is cut from walls, they hardly ever re-attach it back.

    PS: regarding the small space - I assume the foot print space here;
    a deep horizontal hive will take less space for the same or bigger volume (unlike a shallow horizontal);
    we have many discussion just about this (especially if you are wanting to go custom - check it out)
    Last edited by GregV; 07-03-2018 at 09:49 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions

    I am experimenting with a horizontal hive. Trying to deal with the side attachment thing with frames.

    Dimensions of a DIY hive would be determined by what is most convenient for you. If you are making a deep frame horizontal hive, you can rig two langstroth frames together.

    I made my horizontal hive based on the dimensions of what materials I had handy. So I ended up with a hive that is 33" long, 22" tall and 17" wide.

    Quote Originally Posted by nottlerack View Post
    Hi, all:

    I have read in one source that bees are more likely to attach comb to the side-walls if they are slanted, and in another source that this is more likely if they are vertical. Which is true?

    Also, if I wanted to try to circumvent the problem entirely and use frames as in a horizontal, or long, Langstroth hive, is there anything magical about the frame dimensions other than the convenience of their standard size?

    I ask this because I donít have space for a typical long Langstroth hive, but I would have space for a smaller, improvised horizontal hive or for a home-built Kenyan or Tanzanian TBH. I donít mind milling custom frames or top bars.

    Any advice?
    Last edited by Yunzow; 07-03-2018 at 07:40 PM. Reason: more details
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancťe's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions

    Make your frames so that the side bars have about 8mm - 9mm (5/16" - 3/8") of space between the side bars and the sides of the hive body if using straight sides. You don't actually have to put a bottom bar on the frames but you might want to for strength if the frame has a large span. The space between the side bars and hive side is called bee space. Its one bee high. The bees won't build comb in that size space.

    This is my Warre hive, but you can see how the frame sides with bee space have kept the girls from attaching comb to the vertical box sides. Also you can see how the girls rounded off the comb and finished the edge without a bottom bar.

    If you are pressed for space then consider a Warre as an option. I would suggest that if you do consider that that you download Warre's book Beekeeping for All (its a free download from several sites) and read it all.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Zone 5B

  7. #6

    Default Re: Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions

    Thanks to all for the helpful suggestions. I will indeed download Warre’s book...if it’s for free, it’s for me!
    I think I expressed myself poorly about “footprint”...I think it is the weight of a long Langstroth that worries me a bit. Most of the plans for them seem to use 2x12 lumber, and they then weight 90 lbs. empty! Like dragging a credenza out into your yard. Probably good insulation though.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nottlerack View Post
    ...they then weight 90 lbs. empty!
    No, they don't.
    I (being a small, skinny guy) move my deep 16 framers around alone (when empty).
    These are compatible to 20-22 frames in deep Lang configuration.
    The body made from 2x wood.
    The roof/bottom from 1x and ply.
    I say 40-50 lbs for the entire rig (when empty and fully assembled).

    Yes - it takes two people when the rig is loaded.
    20161001_172806.jpg

    PS: to be sure, long skinny hives are less ergonomic to handle (with the same weight);
    more compact objects are easier to handle (by the well known laws of physics about leverages).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions

    >I have read in one source that bees are more likely to attach comb to the side-walls if they are slanted, and in another source that this is more likely if they are vertical. Which is true?

    It doesn't make any difference. The only real advantages to sloped is more attachment at the top to support the comb, easier to not bump the sides as you remove the comb (space gets bigger as you lift it), and the corners don't pull so much. I.e. if you hold a square comb perfectly level it works fine but if you let it hang from one hand the upper corner of comb pulls if the wax is soft and can cause a collapse where a slope sided comb won't.

    >Also, if I wanted to try to circumvent the problem entirely and use frames as in a horizontal, or long, Langstroth hive, is there anything magical about the frame dimensions other than the convenience of their standard size?

    Don't underestimate the "convenience of their standard size". It is HUGE.

    >I ask this because I don’t have space for a typical long Langstroth hive, but I would have space for a smaller, improvised horizontal hive or for a home-built Kenyan or Tanzanian TBH. I don’t mind milling custom frames or top bars.

    I don't understand the "don't have the space" issue. A hives footprint is not big no matter what kind of hive it is.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions

    FWIW - I've had a half-hour to kill before leaving on a journey, so have just weighed a couple of hives which are currently in the shop having work done to them. These are National-based hives, which have slightly shorter frames than Langs.

    A 29" Long Hive (standard depth frames 14"x 8.5"):
    Body (made from 1" timber) = 25 lbs; Feeder Shell = 12 lbs; Roof = 10 lbs ; Crown Boards (inner covers) = 4 lbs.

    A 24" 'short' Long Hive (16x Extra Deep Frames 14"x 12"):
    Body (made from 1.5" scaffold boards) = 32 lbs; Feeder Shell = 10 lbs; Crown Boards = 4 lbs; (Roof not made yet)

    Stands extra of course.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions

    I have 5 long lang/tanzanian hive hybrids (mostly bars). It will weigh a lot. The 2x12 lumber isn't the weight - and I used that to minimize warping, because having a wonky hive means the follower board won't slide well, and that's a real pain. And comb might get too close to the walls.

    The real weight is the honey. Each bar (or frame) is about 8 lbs of honey. If the bees have 10 filled with honey... well, 2 people can lift and walk a hive a short distance.

    I also have dadant deeps - I only had to (have my husband) make the side bars, the rest was off-the shelf. You can find any carpenter who could take a wooden frame with sides that are langstroth in dimension and then make you longer ones. I bought 100 shallow honey super frames and half are being used for the dadant deeps - just tossing those sidebars but using the tops and bottoms.

    I strongly advise against using just a top and sides, because you will not have something that is 90 degrees in all dimensions - moisture, how it's attached, pushing things hard to move them - and this could result in wonky comb. Perhaps there is a trick but I see more problems that solutions there.

    If you can, find a top bar beek nearby and visit their apiary. You will see how quick it is to deal with side attachments. I had a blacksmith friend make an L-shaped tool so I can stick it between the walls and the comb and pull up. You can do this with a J-tool hive tool as well. Don't pull up on the bar every, just push it apart from its neighbor, and no problems....

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Kenyans vs. Tanzanians vs. Longstroths questions

    Michael made the point above that a TBH's angled sides make it easier to not bump the comb, etc. I found this to be true, and in most cases if there was an attachment it was not alllll the way down on one side and I could free it with a knife. Typically it was not reattached each time. I helped with my friend's Warre the other day and the whole box had attachments the whole way down on each side...eeks.
    Meghan

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