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I would appreciate any thoughts on coffin-style (with frames) hives. I'm a new beek with some back problems. I'm ending my first year with two hives, one swarm event (recaptured and combined with weak hive) w/nice clusters going into cold weather.
I'm a hobby-guy who likes to tinker. I was thinking of a 20 frame coffin where short honey supers could be added to backend-top. I have a cabinet-carpendar who can do the wooden ware.
I was always troubled by how disruptive tearing into a hive of deeps were to a full house of bees, and we won't even go into the heavy lifting aspect.
I realize coffin-style is not the norm, so that already sends up a flag, but at a hobby level, varying from the norm is a little more ok, I think. I have no interest in the top bar concept.
 

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Before you proceed you should check out the Top Bar Hive section. Apparently lots of folks keep bees in a long box. Properly designed yours could take your existing frames. but do give some thought to warpage on the long sides. It may take some steel or wood spacers (side to side) to prevent standard frames from falling into the box. And no real need for supers on top if the hive is long enough. The bees will always put the honey on the outside of the brood area. So, you would just pull it from the ends as it is capped.
 
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