Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Wise county,Texas
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    339

    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    I use hardwood dowels from amazon and they work perfect, pack of 100 and all str8 as an arrow. They also slide thru the pre-drilled holes in the end bars just a tad snug, no glue needed.

    I take a 36" DR slide it thru one hole, slide over to the opposing hole on the far side of the frame, when the end just touches the opposite end bar, I use a pair of wire cutters and cut the rod off about 3/16" extra then push the dowel in to the hole on the far end. Noe drilling and no gluing, has worked great all last year done horizontal and I can do one frame in less than 60 seconds if I want.

    These are the ones I use. I only use 2 in a deep frame, midway and towards bottom, so one rod per frame. Comes out to about 40 cents a frame, but easy to work with. If they ever need replaced, they aren't hard to pull out once you clear away wax.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic”

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    Brilliant link - never seen that company before - thanks

    BTW, by 'hardwood', they mean birch. If you order from https://www.craftparts.com (which is in Texas), they also supply in oak ... and will even supply dowels 48 inches long, from 1/4" upwards.

    For long dowel rod, that has to be an excellent source. Again, thanks.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post

    I don't know what the situation is in the States, but in the UK regular 'off-the-shelf' commercially-made frames are pre-set with a 35mm spacing. This appears to work well enough with standard foundation, but is too wide a spacing for foundationless use, and there is always a tendency for the combs to 'wander' slightly to one side of the frame in order that the bees preserve their desired spacing.

    This tendency can be thwarted by ensuring that bare frames are drawn-out whilst being sandwiched between either pre-drawn combs or a follower board - but a much better solution is to employ some means of frame-spacing adjustment. My girls seem to have levelled-out at around 33-34mm spacing, and I believe Michael Bush's are around 32mm.
    My frames came at 1 3/8” (35mm). I have read from a couple of sources (I believe Micheal Bush and a top bar site) that bees prefer 1 1/4" (32mm) in the brood nest and 1 1/2" (38mm) in the honey supers.

    I was unclear on whether the bees have to regress first in order to use the 1 1/4” spacing. Would you recommend going ahead and shaving my frames down before I even get bees?

  5. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Foundationless beekeeping does involve a few more 'issues' which need to be dealt with than when working with standard foundation, and so I do have some sympathy with mbear's earlier comment, although it could perhaps have been worded rather more diplomatically. [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.beesource.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]

    'best
    LJ
    What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironclad View Post
    What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment.
    LOL - - join the club ...

    Re: the spacing - I'd suggest just getting the bees installed first, and see how things pan out. If you should run into spacing problems, that could always be adjusted later. Things will probably be ok anyway for the first year or two - it's only later-on that regression takes place - and then it's a very gradual process.


    A suggestion between now and when you get your first bees:

    Seeing as you're handy with woodworking tools, you might want to consider making a couple of nuc boxes - the sort which could double as swarm traps. When starting-out, having a few extra bees is always a good idea, and catching a swarm costs next to nothing, and is always a bonus if you should get lucky. Also, having at least two colonies is highly recommended, just in case anything should go pear-shaped. And it can happen, even to the 'best' (undefined) of us.

    I don't know where you live (btw - suggest updating your profile ...) but if you're anywhere near a centre of population, or other beekeepers, then there's a pretty good chance of some free bees come April/May time.
    'best,
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    If you haven't seen these plans already, here is a link to a nice and inexpensive swarm trap you can build. They can double as 6 frame nucs when you dont have them hanging in trees.
    https://horizontalhive.com/how-to-bu...ee-plans.shtml
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #27

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    Got it. The nuc I'm buying is supposed to come with a wooden nuc box that I intended to use as a swarm trap afterwords. If the timing doesn't line up right I will build one.

    I am in mid Missouri. I tried to update my profile but for whatever reason I can't do it on my phone. I will do it next time I'm at a computer.

    There are bees around. I got the idea to get into beekeeping when I was splitting wood this winter and there were thousands of bees after the fresh cut logs, not bothering me as I split and stacked it all, brushing bees aside the whole time.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,372

    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironclad View Post
    Well if you are going to start with pictures, here is the setup I built. Obviously it still needs the exterior finished.
    Welcome Ironclad, and here is hoping you enjoy your new hobby. Your hive build looks very nice but I have a couple of concerns. The first is about your long hive legs from an engineering standpoint and one concern from an operation standpoint about your inner covers.


    A loaded 30 frame deep hive could weight more than 300 lbs (~250 lbs of frames plus the box weight). It has to withstand wind loads and also you leaning on it when fully loaded. My concern is with the way the legs are secured into the sides of the hive. That connection point appears to be rather minimal, especially for an angled leg. The top edge of the miter on the 2x4 leg is a fulcrum against the side of your hive body and it creates a class two lever working on your fasteners into the wall of the hive. This creates tension and bending forces on the wood and the fasteners much the same way a claw hammer pulls a nail or screw from wood. I suggest that you add a stretcher to each pair of opposite splayed hive legs just below the hive box. The stretcher converts the individual legs to an A frame with the stretcher as the — in the A. This will absorb tension and bending forces where the leg joins box side so that the load there is only a shear load. It also keeps the leg angle fixed. Loosing a leg on that thing in the second or third year and having it tip over fully loaded is an avoidable tragedy.

    It appears from the picture that your inner cover rests directly on the top bars of your frames. You should have a space, 5-16" to 3/8", between the inner cover and your frames. Most long Langstroth designs employ a double rabbet. The lower inner rabbet is the frame rest, and the upper one is for the inner covers, supporting the inner cover at least one bee space above the frame. If you put the inner cover directly on the frames then the bees will propolize it in place and you'll have a very difficult time removing it and it will be nearly impossible to lift without also lifting frames. This beespace above the frames is one crucial way that a Langstrogh differs from a Kenyan top bar type hive. I suspect you were unaware of that distinction when you built your hive box. In the KTB the top bars close off the hive top, bees can't get at the space above the bar and the bar top is outside the hive cavity. Langstroth frames don't close off the space between frame top bars and the frame top is inside the hive cavity, so you must keep one beespace above to keep them from gluing the frames and inner cover together. The additional space is also useful for pollen patty or sugar brick feeding.

    If you need to modify the hive box I suggest you get both modifications made before you get bees in it.

    I use a combination of foundationless and foundation. I use plastic foundation in my honey supers because it is durable and withstands centrifugal extraction very well. If you plan on doing centrifugal extraction you might want to consider this advantage. This is moot if you are doing crush and strain extraction. I let them build some foundationless comb in brood boxes just because foundationless is free. I use monfilament fishing line to support the comb as others have mentioned. I intersperse foundationless frames with foundation to keep the comb straight. I do install starter strips of wax foundation in my foundationless frames, it seems to help them get started straight.
    Zone 6B

  10. #29

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    JConnolly,

    Thanks for taking the time to critique my design.

    I fully agree with you on the bracing for the legs. It is strong enough right now but over time will be a weak point. I will definitely be bracing side to side and I am considering cross bracing end to end as well. 2x4s are cheaper than bees. I will also probably be anchoring the legs to the ground with rebar and pinning the outer cover on. We get a lot of wind up here on the ridge.

    The inner cover issue I had not considered. You are correct, it was a bad hybrid of top bar and horizontal lang. Shouldn't be too tough to make it right.

    I do not plan to extract at this point. I would like to do comb honey if it looks decent.

  11. #30
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    Four possible ways of dealing with the 'top space' issue:

    a) router-out all new rebates (rabbets) - but that's a lot of work.

    b) attach 1/4" - 3.8" battens along the hive side top surfaces.

    c) attach 1/4" - 3.8" battens along the edges of the Crown Board (inner cover), where they contact the hive's sides.

    d) no nothing - just lay a sheet of thick plastic/ canvas/ woven feed bag etc. directly onto the Top Bars.


    Re: legs - FWIW - this is about the nearest to what you've made:



    That hive was 4ft long, with frames 12" deep - so it got pretty heavy when fully loaded-up. The removable legs were 3.5" x 1.5" section, and each had two 6mm through-bolts which were fitted with penny washers on either end together with wing nuts. The main box was later cut in half to make a pair of more traditional hives. The roof and legs were then removed.
    I still have half-a-dozen hives with this leg arrangement, although my current preference is for separate stands onto which each hive body is placed.
    'Best
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  12. #31

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    Yeah, I will probably attach pieces to the edges of the top covers so they index off the top of the hive body instead of the frames.

    I like your leg arrangement. Unfortunately I have I screened bottom with a removable 1/2" plywood solid bottom underneath that pulls out from the end of the hive. Putting the legs on the end would interfere with that, and I didn't think vertical legs would be stable enough.

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Windsor, Colorado, USA
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    17

    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    I second the separate stand idea. I have some top bar hives I built. But after the first one, which had the legs attached, all the newer ones have separate stands. Separate stands make the hive much easier to transport. Also, if you want to catch a swarm and the swarm is in an easy location, you can bring the whole hive over to catch them. Then when you bring them home you can just put the hive on the stand. Works for me anyway.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hot Springs, AR, USA
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    61

    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironclad View Post
    I will be getting my first bees this spring. I have pre ordered a local 5 frame nuc.

    I originally was thinking about doing a top bar hive but then started thinking about compatibility with other beekeepers and decided to build a 30 deep frame horizontal Langstroth. I still may use some top bars in it as things progress.

    I would like to try to start out foundationless. From what I have gathered, the bees will draw straighter comb if I sandwich empty frames between drawn comb.

    I have built a divider, so I have the flexibility to start the bees with however many frames would be best. What would be the optimal configuration to install 3 frames of brood, 2 frames of honey and pollen, and the empty frames? Do I need to leave the existing brood frames together or should I put empties in between?

    I was thinking something like this to start out:
    Entrance - BBEBEHEH - divider

    To pre-emt a bunch of responses, I am aware that foundationless will be more difficult starting out than using foundation. I have read pros and cons exhaustively. I would still like to give it a try. I am pretty hard headed and if there is a way to make it work I will do it.
    I would get a few sheets of wax foundation, install two of these as full sheets, and cut another into ~3/4" strips ( wedge-top frames are recommended). Secure the strips with the wedge and use wire or monofilament as comb supports. Start with a food frame, then a starter strip frame, then the brood frames, then full sheet, food frame, starter strip, full sheet, starter strip and follower board. If you want, mark the full wax frames to remove later if you want. Look up Les Crowder or buy his book on top bar frame manipulation. Good Luck. I'm in zone 7-b and this long Lang. works great( so do my 10 and 8 frame Langs). I mainly use mine as a resource colony that I can take from as needed.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Albany NY
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    Welcome aboard ic. Your hive looks nice and with those mods should be good to go. (Fwiw I think screened bottom boards are good for ventilation if you live in a swamp and need too much and are good for mite control if you do confectioners sugar dusting so the mites fall through and good for mite assessments if you want to know how many mites WERE on your bees.)
    I use foundationless deeps in langs also for honey extraction. I may have more than 1000 now, not sure. No supports or wires. I have had blowouts in radial extractor: means I need to be picky about which frames get extracted.
    I would definitely shave down frames to 32mm. I use narrow frames in brood area and wider in honey. Of course a narrow frame can be spaced wider, a wide one not narrower.... Narrow frames allow fewer bees to raise more brood in spring build up. Side bars need to be shaved to 32mm. Bottom of side bars may need to be modified to allow bee space below the shoulder so it's not propolized. To make top bar compatible with vertical langs it will need to be shaved as well so it does not act like a queen excluder. Its a pita to modify frames like this but a fun winter project and you only need about ten. I Mark my top bars "NF" so I know at a glance.
    Not sure how early you are getting your nuc for your season. If it is really cold I would leave nuc intact and add an empty frame on one side (hbbbhe). If it is a bit warmer put one empty frame in between brood and honey and one beyond h (hbbbehe). If it is really warm as sp suggested above (hebbbeh). If your entrance is on a gable end and it is warm enough to break up the nuc then do (entrance on left, follower board on right) bbbehh or ebbbehh and keep pushing honey farther back. If entrance is in middle center the brood over the entrance and expand follower boards as needed. Keep the e frame next to brood as that will be a better template than a honey frame. Only if it is really warm and they are threatening to get ahead of you can you separate 2 brood combs with an e. I find they draw the comb faster and straighter this way but at the cost of violating the brood nest.
    Have fun! I think you are on the right track!

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Holyoke, MA
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    15

    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    More simply than making beespace above the top bars is to secure a piece of plastic or canvas or other cloth to set over the bees. It allows for greater heat conservation as well.

    (There are a number of good youtube vids from beeks in eastern europe. Although I do not understand the language their techniques are illuminating. They almost exclusively use cloth as an inner cover. One of the great advantages is that the cloth can be progressively peeled back to examine single frames rather than exposing the entire brood nest as would be required with a hardboard inner cover.)

    I'm not sure where you plan to locate your entrance(s). I would suggest lower rather than higher, and perhaps more than one spaced end, mid, end. They can be opened progressively as the colony grows.

    I would place your nuc at one end, with a single small lower entrance, with a styrofoam (or other material) divider frame/spacer, limiting access to the rest of the space (also limits their need to heat the whole box, which would be tremendously stressful).

    Conserving the integrity of the brood nest whilst reducing stress to heat unnecessary space will go far toward enhancing your success.

    Wish you the best in your new adventure.

  17. #36
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Middlesex county, Massachusetts, USA
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    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    Welcome, Ironclad!

    Thank you for posting these questions. I am borrowing a Horizontal Hive from a club member soon. And plan to put a nuc in is this spring. I am in the middle of going foundationless and am about to trim a couple of millimeters from hundreds of frames too. If only I had known before I assembled them. Doh!

    I already used vertical bamboo skews in my medium superframes. I drill a 1/8" hole in the tope and drive the bamboo home. I used a drop of glue in the past, but I have found once the frame is in the humid environment of the hive and the bees have propolis the hole, it will never come out.

    I do love Show-n-Tell with pictures too. I wish people posted more images.

    Might I suggest you pick an English book on the Darington Hive, his management book is the best I have found for a horizontal hive. He takes the HHEEBB method of description to an art form. The book describes the management of the colony from a nuc/swarms to a full hive and out to the second year management.

    Darington is in it for the pure joy of beekeeping. Walmart's website has the book cheaper sometimes than you can order the book from England. I want to build a Darrington in a couple of years.

    The advice above is all great. I would add since the English are more experienced with end boards. You might want to make some insolated endboards for the spring & winter too. Ware bees are more happy and productive.

    @JWPalmer What is the fascination with horizontal spans of dowl or skews? Is it familiarity? Structurally speaking, vertical skews are more straightforward and, in most frames, shorter. The only CON I found is that you have to cut the popsicle sticks to fit in the grooves.

    @bobo What keywords did you use to find the Easter European videos? Or do you have a playlist?

    I have so enjoyed this thread. It combines several things I want to try in the next couple of years.

    BernieBe

    Ref: NEW BEEKEEPING in a Long Deep Hive by Robin Darington.
    Last edited by BernieBe; 01-30-2020 at 04:27 PM. Reason: gramar n spelling

  18. #37
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    Oct 2016
    Location
    Albany NY
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    Bernie, for 1.25 inch spacing you don't need to do all your frames. (Though it is easier to shave pre assembly.) Only the brood frames matter. Honey frames should be spaced farther anyway. And at that only the middle frames are most important. If you add new narrow frames 1 or 2 at a time to existing brood nest you can move towards narrow spacing without needing hundreds of frames. If it's all new equipment and you don't have any bees yet just shave about 5 / brood box. It'll take a whole for a few packages to draw a hundred frames.... Have fun!

  19. #38
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    BernieBe, I prefer horizontal just because. I do notice that when the bees are festooning they tend to hang onto the next horizontal guide string and the hope is that they draw straighter comb as a result. Whether this actually is the case is not yet confirmed. I am at the point where I don't mind experimenting with different ideas just to see what happens. So far the horizontal fishing line has worked out well, provided there is a flat surface next to the foundationless frame. I already have found out what happens if you give the bees an entire box of foundationless frames with nothing to guide them. Not pretty.

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Holyoke, MA
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    Default Re: Installing Nuc in Horizontal Langstroth

    Bernie,
    I looked up an english to ukrainian translator on google, inserted beekeeping words like beekeeping, hive, honey, queen.

    This is what came up: бджільництво, королева, вулик, медонос

    If you copy and paste into the You tube page many videos will appear.

    This is the website of one of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWgJ_nr7ipQ

    Have fun!

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Darlington Co., SC
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    36

    Default

    On the subject of bamboo skewers. Walmart, 100 skewers for $.98, and they are plenty long enough to go top to bottom of deep frame.

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