TBH vs. Long Lang vs. Layens - what are the management differences?
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  1. #1
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    Default TBH vs. Long Lang vs. Layens - what are the management differences?

    ruthiesbees says:

    "I feel very strongly that true topbar hive (with only topbars not frames, and bars that touch) are managed very differently than Long langstroth hives or double deep Layens hives".

    Discuss?
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: TBH vs. Long Lang vs. Layens - what are the management differences?

    similarities (all three):
    - brood nest near the entrance of the hive.
    - add bars for honey to be made on in the back of the hive.
    - comb will be drawn straight if placed between two already-straight combs
    - important for hive to be level horizontally if foundationless
    - divider boards can be used to split hive and expand/contract accessible area of hive.
    - touching top bars are usable in all three hives, also non-touching top bars are also usable if a cover cloth is used (see Einraumbeute video)
    - broken comb can be re-attached with careful use of tape or string
    - spring hive maintenance: move honey to the front, move empty straight old brood comb to the back, space with empty bars/frames to ensure it is drawn straight
    - winter prep is similar: let the bees prepare, and don't mess with the brood nest/cluster, make sure they have enough honey on the edge of the cluster.
    - combining hives: newspaper between, and pinch a queen.
    - very important to insulate above the bars/frames.
    - people argue both directions for ventilation and insulation.

    differences KTBH:
    - no frames, usually no foundation (though foundation could be affixed to a ktbh bar...)
    - highly important to cut brace comb from side of box before moving a bar in ktbh or other non-framed hive.
    - pretty darn important not to rotate the comb the way langstroth beekeepers are taught to do it.
    - extra steps if installing a nucleus
    - shaped like a trapezoid.

    differences long langstroth:
    - uses frames, but doesn't really need to.
    - frames allow for foundation to be used (though foundation isn't required)
    - if bars don't touch, cover cloth can be used
    - easy to install a nucleus from a different hive, just move the frames.

    differences Layens or other extra-deep frame:
    - less bars/frames per hive (20ish vs 30 or so), more multi-purpose combs
    - uses frames, but also doesn't need to
    - frames allow for foundation to be used (though foundation isn't required)
    - multi purpose extra-deep combs allow for vertical movement of the cluster in winter as well as horizontal
    - extra steps if installing a nucleus (potentially easy though)
    - readily available plans are all insulated in one way or another
    - the Layens plans on www.horizontalhive.com are all touching top bars too, but if they do not touch a cover cloth is usable (like Warre, Einraumbeute, Lazutin, etc)


    that's all i have for now... i'm sure i missed things.
    the key similarity is that they are all first and foremost horizontal hives, and need to be managed sideways.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: TBH vs. Long Lang vs. Layens - what are the management differences?

    I think you pretty much covered it. Let's try a list based on qualities people are looking for (or not):

    Natural comb (all can have that if you use foundationless)
    Cheap and simple to build (only the top bar hive and a Warre' which is a kind of top bar hive really, since frames are trickier to build)
    Horizontal (no boxes to lift all of the long hives have this. If you run a Warre' you don't get this, but you can get the Cheap and Natural comb)

    Of course you can put just top bars in any of them. A long Langstroth can be used as a top bar hive or with frames. Layen's can be used with top bars only or frames, but the depth of the frames may cause some issues with heavy new comb on just top bars.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #4
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    Default Re: TBH vs. Long Lang vs. Layens - what are the management differences?

    I wonder if a major benefit of many of these designs is the "being different" factor. Perversity can pay immeasurable dividends!
    Frank

  6. #5
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    Default Re: TBH vs. Long Lang vs. Layens - what are the management differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I wonder if a major benefit of many of these designs is the "being different" factor. Perversity can pay immeasurable dividends!
    Each generation - or at least a few individuals from each generation - will always seek to question the technologies and achievements of previous generations. If this were not so, then we'd still be living in caves or mud huts and hunting with bows and arrows. Human progress has always come about by the questioning of existing norms.

    I think one also needs to bear in mind that many historical beehive designs did not result from comparative analysis of which features 'worked best' for either beekeeper or bees (Emile Warre being an obvious exception to this), but rather were based on existing soap or champagne boxes which were readily available at that time for little money - then, once those particular hive measurements had been documented and published they then became set in stone, as it were - for other people to copy religiously ...

    Some of the Russian designs which Greg has been trawling-up are real eye-openers, for Russsians are well-known for their "no-nonsense, no unnecessary frills" approach to life - and yet a whole range of innovative designs have been created there over the years.

    This idea of a standardised one-design-for-all approach to beekeeping is, in my view, flawed from the outset. Ideal for manufacturers and commercial beekeepers without doubt, but let the rest of us not behave like so many sheep ...
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #6
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    Default Re: TBH vs. Long Lang vs. Layens - what are the management differences?

    LJ

    I be rattling your chain I am not big on being one with the flock either. Sometimes there are jewels to be found in the old ways and they should be kept alive. When a person is not forced to hew to the line some very inexpensive and interesting methods can get the job done.
    Frank

  8. #7
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    Default Re: TBH vs. Long Lang vs. Layens - what are the management differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    LJ

    I be rattling your chain
    LOL - well done, Frank ...

    One thing which has been fascinating me for some time is that in the immediate post-Langstroth era, a number of different sized frames came into use - somewhere around a dozen. Now apart from a couple of non hanging-frames (Quinby's) these could be divided into two groups: those with Langstroth-sized top bars - a family of frames which ranged in depth from the very shallow Heddon to the 'barn-door' frames of Dadant, with the modern-day Langstroth 'standards' being somewhere in-between; and 3 smaller square frames - these being the American, the Adair, and the Gallup.

    One of the Root dynasty conducted a survey of frame popularity in 'Gleanings' which revealed that the Gallup frame was the second most popular, behind the mid-range Langstroth - and yet in the ensuing years it has become an extinct animal - which I find most curious. The second most popular frame size becoming completely non-existent ? Something there doesn't fit quite right with me.
    And over on this side of the water, our Standard frame size was chosen by a committee of guys with (no doubt) vested interests - so they may have been heavily biased in their choice - perhaps ?

    So, I'm resurrecting the Gallup Frame this coming year and will be trying it out in both horizontal and vertical hives - well, a guy has to have something to keep him busy and away from strong liquor ...
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  9. #8
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    Default Re: TBH vs. Long Lang vs. Layens - what are the management differences?

    I think one of the traits of beekeepers in general is that we like to TINKER with things and we don't have a lot of limitations as to what we can try. I'm a beek because I enjoy handling bees, Most people run the other way. I'm 73, retired, fat, back and knee problems, and when I open a hive I forget about all of that; it's a medicinal experience. I've built 3 top bars over the years; the first having the angled sides was frustrating to build and use. My second was a 48" longhive which made more sense to me, and then my 3rd was a Redneck Hybrid Longhive 48" X 33 bars and oil pans to fight SHB. I made this from 60 year old cedar boards pulled of a beach cottage tat was being updated. Some of my bars have sides and bottom bars, some have sides only, some are wired for comb support. Trying STUFF makes it fun and bringing back old methods for another look is great. I have some Langstroths too but even the medium boxes are getting heavy. When I get older I think longhives will be the way to go.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: TBH vs. Long Lang vs. Layens - what are the management differences?

    A lot of truth in that (the 'tinkering' bit). I'm a year behind you - so - just being curious: what's 'older' - maybe 85 ? When (if) we get to 85, it'll probably then be 90. LOL
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  11. #10
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    Default Re: TBH vs. Long Lang vs. Layens - what are the management differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by nickhefferan View Post
    .........

    that's all i have for now... i'm sure i missed things.
    the key similarity is that they are all first and foremost horizontal hives, and need to be managed sideways.

    Thanks for the good effort, nickhefferan.

    So basically - single-level system to manage movable combs that allows for huge flexibility in terms of technical variations and expense levels.
    And yet so very similar.
    These are all horizontal hives.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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