Newby with Horizontal Hive Build
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  1. #1
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    Default Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    First time posting and after I started reading, thought maybe I should start beekeeping with the Langstroth hives then work into the Horizontal Hives. However, living in NE Minnesota where the we have had low temps > -30 without wind chill and talking to local beekeepers about poor overwintering rates (around 40%), I wanted to build an insulated hive based on a cross of the langstroth and Lazutin style hive except with insulation. The walls are made out of two 1/2" plywood sandwiching 2" of EPS insulation. The roof is covered by a sheet of FRP panel. I Built custom double deep frames langstroth width and depth to avoid the brood having to cross any potential barriers between stacked vertical frames in the winter. Also, I built the cover deep enough to accommodate 3 medium supers over top of the double deep brood frames in the event I want to run two colonies out of one hive. Additionally, I can use the space in the lid for moisture absorption and blankets/insulation in the winter. The hive holds 36 double deep frames equivalent to 72 langstroth deeps. I think extraction from a double deep frame will be difficult to impossible from those frames. Anyway, here are a few photos of the hive and a few questions I'm looking for answers for. Constructive criticism and advise are welcomed openly.

    1) How do I transfer a nuc colony into the new hive? Do I just shake the bees into the new hive and lay the nuc box near the opening?

    2) How do I get a nuc colony to build on the double deep frames and then remove the original single deeps from the purchased nuc eventually?

    3) Is there any way to extract honey from the double deep frames without ruining the comb?

    4) What pitfalls do you see in the design of the hive?

    Thanks for the input.

    Chad

    IMG_4114-1.jpgIMG_4053.jpgIMG_4042.jpgIMG_4041.jpg

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    1. Just remove the Double Deep frames and put in the Deep frames from the Nuc.

    2. The bees will just expand sideways into the Double Deeps.

    3. Crush and Strain. Can just cut off bottom half of frame.

    4. Double Deep frames will be very heavy when filled with honey. You would be best to run 3 Colonies in the hive. You only need 10 Double Deeps (equivalent to 20 Deep frames) per Colony. So you could partition it into 3 sections with 2 well fitting follower boards.
    (I just used standard Deep frames will my 3 x Long Hive.)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Welcome to BeeSource Docsmaple!
    The hive looks great!

    answering out of order:

    4) my one concern with the design is the distance between frame and sides, and top of the frame and the wooden cover. Do you have the 3/8" beespace there, or is it bigger/smaller?
    you also can also use a cover cloth above the top bars if the distance is smaller or larger than a beespace between the top bars and the hard cover.
    You definitely want to keep a beespace if there are any gaps, otherwise you'll be fighting against burr comb and propolis.
    (if you don't know what beespace is: http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/bsp.html )

    1)I would say put the frames in the hive and let them build into the double-deep frames over time. you can either hang a partial frame (sans "ears") onto the bottoms of the existing nuc-frames with zip ties.
    Or just stick 'em in there as is and rotate out the standard frames after the brood is moved onto the double-deep frames. I wouldn't shake them out, just use the frames in one way or the other.

    2) to get them to build on the double deep frames, stick them in between the deep frames "checkerboarding" and move the standard deep frames out of the brood nest over time, eventually removing them totally.

    3) not sure on extraction, that isn't my wheelhouse. GregV's method of sideways mounting the deep frames could work well, you don't end up with big pieces of wood they need to vertically traverse in winter, and then you can break the frames in half to extract them.

    hope that helps!

    -Nick

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Wow!
    Great work and thanks for sharing.
    I need to study your pics.
    I am really liking this latest trend of people hanging up the various horizontal designs live.
    Great exchange.
    I can just see it - beekeeping Renaissance is actually happening.

    Docsmaple - please do share your approximate location in your profile; this makes a huge contextual difference.
    Yes - I see you are in MN, just it gets forgotten later.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Hi Chad,

    For a first build I think this is extremely good - in particular your decision to use sandwiched insulation is very wise.

    Thoughts - in no particular order ...

    You've created a hive with a huge volume, and so I'd recommend you make a moveable partition board (often called a 'follower' board - although I've never figured out why) in order that you can initially reduce the volume whilst the colony is relatively small.

    Double-deep honey combs will indeed be very heavy, and so at minimum you may need to use a s/s 'frame-grabber' (or whatever they're called) to lift them out. Finger-tips have their limits !

    Another approach would be to use single deep frames in the honey area, with a lugless dummy deep frame tie-wrapped underneath. I use this technique to mix different depth frames in the same hive, to prevent wild comb being wastefully drawn under the shallower ones. It works well. I'll post pics if needed.

    Removing single deeps after the doubles have been laid-up ? Two ways of doing this:
    If you have one or more combs filled with nectar/honey - pull the single deep brood, ensure the queen isn't on it, then place that frame behind those honey combs.

    The second method (which I prefer) is to use that moveable partition board. If it's made close-fitting at the top and sides, but with a 2"-3" gap at the bottom, it will still act as a 'thermal curtain' and any combs you wish to be cleared can simply be placed behind it. Leave the bees on, but again, ensure the queen isn't riding that comb. Indeed - such a board is very useful, as the queen will never cross over it, and so such boards will function as a very effective queen excluder.

    I find myself agreeing with Greg again - it's really good to see enthusiasm for such new Hive Designs ...

    Two queries - what's your thinking behind having so many entrances to this hive ... and, what's the purpose of the two shelf brackets on the hive front ? Just curious - not being critical.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    .... it's really good to see enthusiasm for such new Hive Designs ...

    LJ
    LJ, I think this forum reformation thing is working for the better.
    In a short order people started coming out of woodwork with some neat projects.
    Now I got some itch!

    Been thinking to do a trial on Lazutin-sized frame too.
    But too many trials lined up - unsure can do it all.
    Wife will move me out to the garage.

    I too have few comments to do - but need to get the head wrapped around it just yet.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Two queries - what's your thinking behind having so many entrances to this hive ... and, what's the purpose of the two shelf brackets on the hive front ? Just curious - not being critical.
    LJ
    The brackets are easy - to support the roof when you swing it open up (can be heavy and must be secure; also wind may push it).

    The entrances (let me only guess) - influence of the "Vladimirsky" hive (Lazutin variant)?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LslJJ8FfehU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzFLX_7NNrg&t=9s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy_gS8rdKVo

    Those are handy for multi-colony usage in the same body (splits and nucs).
    Also handy for wintering moves (just open the entrance where colony ends up for the winter; close the others).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Welcome to Bee Source.

    The bees will probably build off the bottom of the regular deep frames, to match the depth of your double deep frames, so you may not have to rotate them out (regular deep frames). I've had swarms do that when they were in extra deep swam traps and it took me a while to take the traps down and bring them home. I put them into two deep boxes. When I moved the swarms to regular hives, I removed frames from the bottom of the two deeps, then put the "extended" frames with the comb off the bottoms in the top deep with no frames beneath them. Later I cut the extra comb off the bottoms and put it into regular frames with rubber bands.

    The point being, you would have to be careful manipulating the frames with the extra comb off the bottom, but you might not have to be in a rush to change the nuc, regular deep frames, out of your hive.

    Nice looking hive too.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Your hive is very impressive and got me thinking about a horizontal resource hive . Great design awesome build

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Docsmaple View Post

    1) How do I transfer a nuc colony into the new hive? Do I just shake the bees into the new hive and lay the nuc box near the opening?

    2) How do I get a nuc colony to build on the double deep frames and then remove the original single deeps from the purchased nuc eventually?

    3) Is there any way to extract honey from the double deep frames without ruining the comb?

    4) What pitfalls do you see in the design of the hive?

    Thanks for the input.

    Chad
    1) As others have said - just directly put in the nuc frames as-is (use that Lang compatibility you just built-in). What I would do - I would zip additional blank Lang frames - just hanging under. Bees will eventually build the hanging blanks IF done correctly (should keep them compressed).
    Dump the remaining bees right into the hive. Set the nuc box inside in the opposite end and call it a day - the straggles will just move to the frames at their own pace. Retrieve the nuc box later at your convenience.

    Again - take advantage of such huge volume you just created.
    That is what you mean by building a Lazutin hive - you got space - use it.

    2) If you hang additional frames by zips - they will get utilized - here you go - you have make-shift Lasutin frames.
    Be sure to keep follower boards to keep the bees reduced and not letting them grow sideways - eventually they will build down.
    You can use the dummy board hangers if the weather is still cold (per LJ's advice); but if you install the nuc in warm enough weather - just save yourself extra hassle and do the blank frames at once. The follower boards/some insulation on top should suffice.

    3) Extraction is a custom project in such setup. You can still try supering. It will be very hard to have them go up into a honey super if you try (I have the same issue - they just would not go up - because they have no need). One idea is this - in the honey section use doubled-Lang frames connected for easy separation - you can easily split them apart and extract. OR use triple medium Langs - zip them up. The same idea.

    As for me - am not concerned much with extraction of my large frames - they are brood and resources only use. I will cut and strain them as a way to rotate out the older/poor combs - have to do it anyway. Also I harvest perga out of the brood frames - again, comb is destroyed.

    Being custom is a minus in the extraction department - hence I insist on Lang compatibility of my equipment - why more hassles?

    4) Heavy and bulky. But if no need to move - a perfect rig. If space not an issue - have a row of these and enjoy.
    I would think through how to move it if really have to - without injuring yourself. Should be convenient way to two people.
    Holding it by one hand on the each end is a poor idea and a way to injure yourself (like a chest by the swinging side handles - better than nothing - but poor ergo).
    I do these instead:
    20161001_172806.jpg

    Extras:
    - keep in mind with this you will likely only harvest the end of the season honey - how peasants would do it (bad or good - what it is)
    - you can easily keep very, very feisty bees as you hardly need to get in - a winner hands down in my book (mite resistance often comes along with defensiveness - so need to deal with them)
    - this will make a great resource hive as any long hive (but must be sure to handle the compatibility somehow - moving Lang/Dadants frames in and out)
    - keeping nucs in these does not even require divider boards; you just keep them separated by empty space - 1-2 feet apart works fine. Use follower boards and drop some freely overhanging burlap/fabric to keep them kind of contained. They mind their own business and do not cross over for as long as they are small. Handily, you already have multiple-entrances - a perfect setup for a multi-unit.

    Here are useful links (non-English - but those who see, will see plenty of useful detail):
    https://apidomiki.ru/vladimirskiie_uli
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC34...TNbJl4fL3WOHtg
    Last edited by GregV; 02-26-2019 at 11:22 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Here is a mega Lazutin hive.
    You can see how the guy does not even need divider boards.
    Just some fabric thrown on top of the frames - that is basically the colony envelope.
    Her is talking about running three units in this mega box - his main point - it takes a single hive to run entire yard.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HuW...bJ6pssII438mi7
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Thanks to all who commented. It is much appreciated. There is a lot of information that i've garnered from the comments. Thank you all.

    Multiple people have commented on using zip ties and combining two langstroth deeps with the ears cut off the bottom frame. I have yet to see an extractor, but hope someday to grow to the size to need one. Does a radial extractor require the frame to have ears?

    nickhefferean
    4) my one concern with the design is the distance between frame and sides, and top of the frame and the wooden cover. Do you have the 3/8" beespace there, or is it bigger/smaller?
    I do have bee space all around the frames, including the top where there are pieces of plywood. The idea is that the cover can be opened but the entire hive is not disturbed and depending on whether there are multiple hives in the box, I can pull a particular plywood "lid" off and work just in that area without causing problems for the entire hive.

    LJ
    Removing single deeps after the doubles have been laid-up ? Two ways of doing this:
    If you have one or more combs filled with nectar/honey - pull the single deep brood, ensure the queen isn't on it, then place that frame behind those honey combs.

    The second method (which I prefer) is to use that moveable partition board. If it's made close-fitting at the top and sides, but with a 2"-3" gap at the bottom, it will still act as a 'thermal curtain' and any combs you wish to be cleared can simply be placed behind it. Leave the bees on, but again, ensure the queen isn't riding that comb. Indeed - such a board is very useful, as the queen will never cross over it, and so such boards will function as a very effective queen excluder.
    I really like these ideas and use of the follower/divider boards. I do have a few boards made up that fit completely tight on four sides to allow for multiple colonies in the hive but also with follower boards that are short on the bottom. I read somewhere that hives are less likely to swarm if they can see under the follower board and realize there is a larger area to build as the year progresses if I don't expand the brood area quickly enough.

    As far as all the entrances, it gives me options for over wintering multiple colonies, air exchange, etc.

    The angle brackets on the corner are to hold the roof. It is over centered and quite heavy, hence the piano hinge for the roof.

    GregV
    The entrances (let me only guess) - influence of the "Vladimirsky" hive (Lazutin variant)?
    I wish I knew who Vladimirsky was at the time of the build. I put them in the hive box for options moving forward. I thought this might be able to hold multiple hives and was hoping not to be limited by my lack of forethought when building.

    Extras:
    - keep in mind with this you will likely only harvest the end of the season honey - how peasants would do it (bad or good - what it is)
    I'm hoping to be minimally invasive as I learn how to have bees and understand them. I do have a standard Langstroth frame and these are actually an experiment on over wintering with some forethought as to uses of the hive box moving forward.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    If I cut the ears off a deep and then use a regular langstroth deep with the second deep with the ears cut off and zip tied below it, will the bottom "earless" deep work in a radial extractor?

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Docsmaple View Post
    If I cut the ears off a deep and then use a regular langstroth deep with the second deep with the ears cut off and zip tied below it, will the bottom "earless" deep work in a radial extractor?
    From what I understand - why not?
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    LJ
    Another approach would be to use single deep frames in the honey area, with a lugless dummy deep frame tie-wrapped underneath. I use this technique to mix different depth frames in the same hive, to prevent wild comb being wastefully drawn under the shallower ones. It works well. I'll post pics if needed.
    Would you post some pics please. Thank you

    Chad

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Hi Chad

    Ok - firstly - this is the reason 'why':



    This wasteful use of effort (boxes of the stuff !) comes about because I run two different frame depths here: one 8.5" (deep), the other 12" (extra-deep). I also have around thirty 5.5" (shallow) frames which are sometimes used in an emergency - so - I eventually got fed up with this situation and came up with the following ...

    This is a part completed prototype using - as you can see - a frame with thin plywood sides.



    ... and in use:



    It's a very good method for making deep 'dummies', but for a working batch of 3" dummies, I decided instead to make them from solid wood, somewhere around 22 - 25mm thick. This is a shot of one, cable-tied beneath a deep frame, next to an extra-deep for comparison:



    The thinner (2mm ?) cable-ties used there are far more suitable for this job than the standard-sized ties shown in the previous photograph.

    And this is the rig I use to fit them:



    .. which consists of a tall(ish) frame rest, onto which the target frame is hung while a block is tie-wrapped beneath it. Bees can stay on the frame if needs be, and the tying operation takes around 20-30 seconds.

    BTW, I only fit these extender blocks if a frame is going to stay in place semi-permanently - say, several months - for a few days only, I don't bother.
    'best,
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Hi Chad

    Ok - firstly - this is the reason 'why':



    This wasteful use of effort (boxes of the stuff !) ..........
    LJ
    LJ, that box of "stuff" is a treasure trove!
    I imagine some starting swarm chasers will pay money for it.
    When I had nothing and was trying to catch my first bees, I was begging people for old combs.
    Wasted entire season with zero hits on my traps.
    A full box of old combs - I really, really needed that at the moment.

    Also, I totally see how I would plug those pieces into my empty frames for a honey harvest time.

    SO: generating extra comb in itself is not something to sneeze at (however junky it may look to some eyes);
    just coming at it from my angle of a swarm hunter and natural comb keeper.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    LJ

    Thank you for the photos! It helps explain things for me.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    My bees will be coming within the next week or two but I was wondering if I put 2 or 3 nucs into the horizontal hive and have separation boards between them, do the separation boards need to fit tightly (i.e. Top, bottom, and sides) into the hive or can I leave a 1.5" space on the bottom? I thought I read somewhere on the forum that a queen won't go under the divider board. ????
    Chad

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Newby with Horizontal Hive Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Docsmaple View Post
    My bees will be coming within the next week or two but I was wondering if I put 2 or 3 nucs into the horizontal hive and have separation boards between them, do the separation boards need to fit tightly (i.e. Top, bottom, and sides) into the hive or can I leave a 1.5" space on the bottom? I thought I read somewhere on the forum that a queen won't go under the divider board. ????
    You will want your division boards (not the follower boards) fitting tight.
    Else risk loosing a queen or two.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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