How do you ventilate Layens hives?
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  1. #1
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    Default How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    We have quilt boxes with vents on our Langstroth hives. Air comes through the bottom screen and up through the spaces between the frames. In Winter we close the bottom screen but still get venting through the quilt box – venting is arguably more important in Winter to evaporate moisture.

    I just built a Layens hive to the spec below. It has vents in the bottom and cover; and the cover is set up so that there’s a ~2” space between the frames and the inside of the cover.

    But Layens frames touch side-to-side so the air can’t go up between frames as it does on a Langstroth.

    You could of course space the frames eg. 1/8”/side. But Layens frames are made to maintain the bee-space with top-bars touching so you’d have too much space inside if you spaced them apart.

    Anyone have experience with Layens hives and/or ideas about venting Horizontal hives? Or just venting in general?

    https://horizontalhive.com/how-to-bu...ngstroth.shtml

    …’Layens horizontal hives have many advantages over Long Langstroth hives. Layens frames are better size for colony development and wintering. Top bars of Layens frames touch, minimizing heat loss during winter and bee disturbance during inspections. The space above Layens frames is well-ventilated, removing moisture and preventing overheating in the summer. In winter, this space can be filled with insulation.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    On The link that you sent I see 2 bars
    with a hole drilled in them with screen wire
    attached to the bar to keep the bees
    from using it as another entrance.....

    ventilation-hive-screen.jpg
    Last edited by John T; 07-01-2019 at 03:10 PM.
    If You Learn From A Mistake... It Is Not A Mistake...
    It Is A Learning Experience

  4. #3
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    Yes, there are holes in the cover. But because the top bars touch, with no gap between them, there's no way for air to get from the colony below the top bar up to the vents.

    You could add vents to the body below the top bar but you'd want to close them before Winter.





    layans hive.jpg

  5. #4
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by jfh00jfh View Post
    But Layens frames touch side-to-side so the air can’t go up between frames as it does on a Langstroth.
    Do they ?


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

  6. #5
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    Yes, I see pics showing both styles. Some make Layens-type hive bodies to take standard Langstroth frames.

    But the pic I posted above - from the site below - has the top bars touching. Other pics on the same site show frames covered with a piece or pieces of wood.

    So, if the top bars touch, or are covered: how does air circulate up to the vents?

    http://www.horizontalhive.com/how-to...e-design.shtml

  7. #6
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    First, you need to show your location.
    It could be in Montana or Georgia or anything in between (and that defines the context).

    OK, there are two things disconnected from each other:

    1) the "attic" ventilation - as the metal cover get hot, attic space below it gets hot too - hence you see the screened holes around the roof to help with the attic ventilation;
    notice, bees should not be in the attic - this is similar to people's houses attics (attic is not a conditioned space);
    in my case, I have enough space in the attic for a honey super - just installed one today;
    The frames are not required to be tightly locked - mine are not tight (handy for a honey super use-case).
    I personally depend on burlap over the frames.

    Ventilation in winter is a non-issue.
    It is rather too much ventilation that I personally need to reduce some.
    20171029_162125.jpg
    20171029_162036.jpg
    20171029_162018.jpg

    2) the actual bee volume ventilation - today (July 1st) my Layens' hives have pretty much all entrances open (both ends);
    this is end-to-end ventilation facilitated with 2-3 inch under frame space and so the bees are free to push air around as they see fit;
    as long as the hive is not over-filled with bees, they hardly ever beard out for (if they start doing that - time for swarm interception moves)
    all it is to it.
    Last edited by GregV; 07-01-2019 at 10:51 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by jfh00jfh View Post
    Yes, I see pics showing both styles. Some make Layens-type hive bodies to take standard Langstroth frames.

    But the pic I posted above - from the site below - has the top bars touching. Other pics on the same site show frames covered with a piece or pieces of wood.

    So, if the top bars touch, or are covered: how does air circulate up to the vents?
    http://www.horizontalhive.com/how-to...e-design.shtml
    Couldn't say. (via the open sides perhaps ?)
    The graphic I posted is from Georges De Layens' book (12th Edition). If other people are making non-authentic versions of the Layens Hive, then I guess it's down to them to explain the apparent absence of ventilation.

    For myself, I've made a Deep Long Hive similar to that of the Layens 'a grenier' format, but dimensioned for British National extra-deep frames (for intra-apiary compatibility), fitted with a strip OMF (SBB) along one side of the floor - which works extremely well in practice - but it's certainly not a pukka Layens Hive. This is one version of the genuine article (again, showing open-sided frames):



    and this is what I constructed:



    After trials, I found that having the entrance located at one end of the hive, with the stores combs located towards the back of the hive, works better than having a central entrance with stores at both ends. I'm further considering replacing the space-occupying blocks with a slatted-rack arrangement, but the existing format works reasonably well-enough 'as is'.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  9. #8
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    I think part of the problem here is a modification of the Layens Hive into something approaching a Top-Bar Hive.

    As you may or may not know, there are currently three variations of the original Layens Hive which have emerged over the years:



    The 'a grenier' (granary) format was the first, but suffered from the same two problems as the original: the first being occasional separation of the cluster from one half of it's stores during winter; the other problem being the 'honey-barrier' which is created (as happens within nearly all Long Hives) when the colony completes the first few combs of honey - which then impede access and storage into the combs behind them.

    The 'pastorale' format was thus designed in order to address this, as the honey combs of vertical hives are all readily accessible and therefore the same kind of 'honey barrier' is never created.

    The 'divisible' followed this, employing a uniform size of frame throughout - but as you can see, the hive is by now pretty-much indistinguishable from many other vertical-format beehives.

    My own solution to the first problem was to place stores at one end - the number of honeycombs depending upon local conditions, thusly:

    Because of the more-or-less non-existent honey-harvest in my own location, I've never yet witnessed a significant 'honey-barrier', and my bees rely mostly on stores held within their brood area - but for those beekeepers who enjoy a honey-harvest I can see two possibilities. The first is to rotate the shorter stores frames through 90 degrees, thus rendering them 'end-on'. The second is to fit a slatted rack underneath the existing array of stores combs, such that access from underneath those combs is vastly improved (as well as improved ventilation for 'honey-curing').

    But - both of these ideas would of course need to pass 'the bee-test' before being considered as improvements.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  10. #9
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    .....
    After trials, I found that having the entrance located at one end of the hive, with the stores combs located towards the back of the hive, works better than having a central entrance with stores at both ends. ...........LJ
    +1
    Essentially, once the nest is formed by one end (by the active entrance), later in summer the opposite entrance can be open temporarily too (for ventilation and secondary usage).
    This will not change the original allocation of the nest being by the entrance and the stores being deeper into the hive.
    Bees are already attached to their primary entrance and continue to be attached - not a problem.
    Last edited by GregV; 07-02-2019 at 08:23 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    ...... the other problem being the 'honey-barrier' which is created (as happens within nearly all Long Hives) when the colony completes the first few combs of honey - which then impede access and storage into the combs behind them. .....
    LJ
    Unsure if this is really the case IF the cross-section of the hive is large enough and passages are abundant.
    I can see a long and skinny hive having such issue (say, a very long Land or a typical TBH - hives with small cross-section/small frame will have this issue IF very long).
    Passage from an asymmetric entrance at one end to the opposing end of the hive - not a very ergonomic/efficient path.

    However, if the hive is approaching a cuboid - less of an issue (requires larger frame/larger cross-section, of course - frames of Dadant/Layen's proper/Ukrainian dimensions).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    (I added my location. Sorry, I thought I'd put it in when I signed up).

    Thanks much for the thoughtful reply.

    1. Good point about attic vs house (hive body) ventilation. We have moisture quilt boxes on our Langstroths which are a layer between the hot (or cold) roof and the hive bodies.

    You wrote "Ventilation in winter is a non-issue."

    Some Langstroth folks argue that Winter ventilation is key - moisture is harder on bees than cold.

    But of course the Layens hive is different setup. I'll keep reading about it.

    Maybe the vertical nature nature with heat and moisture rising to condense on the cold roof is the problem.

    2. My Layens hive has 2 entrances in one of the long sides but I see that others have one at each end.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #12
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    Thanks for the reply. I have the same book, 2017, ed. by Leo Sharashkin. I used his plans to build our Layens hives (link below)

    I'm about to reread the book as I think there are significant differences in method.

    Mine has 2 entrances on one long side, not on the ends, per the pic I uploaded above.

    Your entrances look like separate holes - or are they slots with guards?

    Thanks again

    https://www.horizontalhive.com/how-t...arm-trap.shtml

  14. #13
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    Thanks for the additional info.

    OK, I'm starting to get it: the "Layens hive" has variations and mods.

    The 3 I built are something like a top-bar.

    (Where are you in England BTW? I lived and worked in Reading for a bit.)

    One I see is the addition of more space under the frames - 4" in one type.

    https://borrowedvesselsbeeworks.com/...d-layens-hive/

  15. #14
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    My Layens is more rectangle than cuboid - length 2Xwidth.

    I see what you mean about passage-way size and traveling distance. There isn't much side clearance in mine; and the underneath space is ~2" or less

  16. #15
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by jfh00jfh View Post
    Yes, there are holes in the cover. But because the top bars touch, with no gap between them, there's no way for air to get from the colony below the top bar up to the vents.

    You could add vents to the body below the top bar but you'd want to close them before Winter.





    layans hive.jpg
    The hole i was talking about is in the top bar...
    you also need them in the cover
    if you make 2 or 3 bars like this...
    you can add a quilt box
    ventilation-long-hive Marked.jpg

    This is from the same link you put in your 1st post and where the pics i posted came from....

    (This is because the space under the boards is more humid than the space above them.) Two of the boards have ventilation holes in the middle: 1-1/2” diameter, covered with metallic insect screen stapled into place from the bottom side. I place these vented cover boards towards each end of the box. Use insect screen to cover these openings (not 1/8” wire mesh, which will let small hive beetles and other vermin pass through it).
    If You Learn From A Mistake... It Is Not A Mistake...
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  17. #16
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    with my Layens hives I built top bars that don't touch (like the ones in this link, but with Layens dimensions: http://horizontalhive.com/how-to-bui...yourself.shtml ) and use a cover cloth as an inner-cover. Easier to build the frames, the cover cloth still keeps the hive shut when the lid is lifted up, and a bit less opportunity for cross-combing when running foundationless.

    I think with Dr. Leo's plans there is supposed to be a slight gap on either short end of the hive for air to vent up through the holes in the top cover, but other than that the only venting he builds into the plans are the entrances and the slot on the bottom of the hive. I think the idea there is that the hive is insulated enough to not have an issue with condensation forming in the winter, but I don't know if that's what happens or not. The touching top bars are a nice idea, but they can cause as many headaches as they cure.
    - Nick - SW Michigan, Zone 6b (Lake Effect, ya know?). Extra Deep Horizontal Hives.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    Thanks John T. I see now how he shows multiple versions: Layens hive with frames touching; Layens hive with end frame pulled for ventilation; Layens hive with Langstroth-type frames, covered, with holes drilled in some (your pic).

    In another version one of the frame slots is replaced with a small screen.

    Net, you have a variety of ways to vent.

    I'm going to reread the Layens book and then see what makes sense for the hives I've built.

    And, yes, I use screen (fine mesh, not 1/8) over the vent holes.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    I built my top bars to touch as this matched "Layens Hive — DR. LEO’S CHOICE" (link below).

    He mentions leaving the end open - removing a frame or 2 - which is what Layens says also.

    But there are other folks with long hives who cover the frames with foam insulation for Winter. This would block any airflow up. ( But perhaps there are vents in the side I didn't see.)

    I'm going to try pulling an end frame - or making a screen frame and covering with burlap - and we'll see. If I open it up some warm Winter day and find moisture, I'll know there's a problem.

    Thanks for your comments



    https://horizontalhive.com/how-to-bu...e-design.shtml

  20. #19
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    [This has some info about insulating a long hive. I wouldn't have expected much heat to be escaping through the bottom.]

    ...'The standard Valkyrie comes with a canvas cover that fits over the top bars. The canvas is multipurpose, keeping the bees calm during inspection and conserving heat in the winter. An optional wool blanket fits in the space above the canvas cover. Naomi has found that the wool blanket not only keeps the bees warmer in winter, but temperature readings confirms it keeps the bees cooler in summer as well. Like a well-insulated home, the hive interior is protected from temperature extremes.
    The optional hive stand

    A really cool option to this hive is the insulated hive stand. Last winter, Naomi decided to use an infrared camera to monitor her hives in winter. What she discovered was a surprise. Her hives were insulated on top with the canvas covers and folded army blankets, so no heat was escaping through the lid. But much to her surprise (and mine!) heat was escaping from the bottom of the hive. She decided she needed a system to insulate the underside.

    https://honeybeesuite.com/the-valkyr...ilt-with-love/

  21. #20
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    Default Re: How do you ventilate Layens hives?

    Why don't you review the existing discussions?

    Here is a good start:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...from-elsewhere
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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