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.....I am abandoning vertical hives. But still have boxes, supers, and frames for Langstroth deep, medium and shallow. ........
I am going to say a heresy now, but being a long-hive advocate, I am now looking to experiment with the verticals.
Not the Lang stuff. No way.
The compact verticals.
There is plenty of materials posted under "Warre and other Compact Vertical Hives Forum".
Main reason for this - portability.
Long hives really are not great in terms of portability.
If the portability is a non-issue, then long hives are great.

Speaking of the Lang stuff - whatever Lang stuff I got on hand will get retro-fitted into the compact vertical setting.
So if the self-made equipment is an option and going non-standard is OK, the compact vertical hives are a valid alternative.
Handily, the 10-frame Lang boxes are easily cut, trimmed into smaller sizes, and reassembled into compact hives.

In short, vertical hives <> Lang hives.
Vertical hive world is vast.
You probably should investigate it a bit for the possibilities for you personally, before abandoning the "vertical hives" for good.

Speaking of NC, it is very mild I understand.
You should not be probably concerned about the lateral moves or depth of your hives.

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12,122 Posts
... I have what I am considering 5 years of unsuccessful beekeeping. I am willing to give it another 5 years with some kind of plan to get to a point of success, and determine that either it is something I can do, or I am willing to accept that "I gave it a good run, and it is just not something I am capable of."
I see you have decided that "the hive" is the root of all the causes and thus "the hive" must be fixed.
Not so.
A complex, multifaceted problem you have.
Fixing your "wrong" hives and making them "right" will not entirely fix your bee survivability (if fix at all).

For some reason, you never mentioned once your bee management as a whole.
Well, have fun.
I too enjoy building the bee hardware. The bees will come along.

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12,122 Posts
....... vertical with less management than horizontal ........
Horizontal vs. vertical solve different problems.
This is not about plain and simple "less management".
Define "less management".

IF specifically want less management, indeed, a very large horizontal (aka Lazutin style) means less management (as in - fewer physical manipulations of the bee hardware).
Notice, less management <> bee survivabiltiy (since this is your stated goal).
But you can read about that.

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12,122 Posts
Greg, this is one of the reasons I dislike the internet, and text based forums in particular. You have completely taken away almost the opposite of what I am intending, what I have done, and what I am doing. Not to mention, misunderstood my reason for asking about the horizontals and tbh etc. Let me try to be very clear, and perhaps we can be on the same sheet of music.

Sorry for being so long and wordy.
Without all this context (just now, finally provided) what am I to think?

One can not ask questions and expect useful answers in return w/o providing the necessary context.

However, using OA and rolls, and feeding, and all that stuff, I can still slay bees, and repurchase them every year.
I lost lots of bees too.
But at least I did spend any money to buy them. No books either.

Speaking of
and their Profit was Dr Leo Sharashkin.
Keep in mind one very important point - the local feral population.
Dr. Leo Sharashkin is plugged into a well established and reasonably isolated local population of feral bees.
He can do many things and get away with it.
If you try the same you may not expect similar results.

Speaking of Lazutin himself (RIP) - I read his very original book (free online).
He was reasonably well isolated AND he eventually was able to acquire the local bees after scouting the area for some old beekeepers
For sure Lazutin never lived under the migratory bee/package bee pressure.
He was able to keep his bees without chemicals just fine.

Did you research into your own bee population status?
For example, if you dwell in a package bee-infested suburbia you can not do what Dr. Leo Sharashkin can in his back yard.
I know because I have tried just that.
So, the local context is pretty much everything.

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12,122 Posts
Okay, I will reserve judgement on him for a while. I still feel a little "taken" but that is on me.

Let's see how the swarm season goes, and I will figure out what to do from there.
Leo Sharashkin's web site got me started - Thanks to him for that.

Took me a while to understand I can NOT follow his methods at 100% - this was up to me to learn.
I wish he made it very clear in his materials.
Well, I understand he needs to earn his living somehow too. :)

So, strategies for living better? In 8 frame Langstroths...
Don't be afraid to try 6-frame, 7-frame, 8-frame Lang since these will only require incremental changes to your current hardware.
If I did not build my stuff around modified Layens frame per Sharashkin, I'd try these above as the next logical step.

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12,122 Posts
So I put out 2 hives with old comb and a bunch of LGO in a couple places. I am sure I am catching huge swarms of world class earwigs presently! :).
You will catch.
Do realize you have a huge advantage already - well used hives with old combs are the swarm catching monsters.
Just don't overdo the LGO (may actually chase the bees away).

My very first season I made a bunch of brand new shiny traps and had never seen a bee once.
There must be no bees around I thought.
Well, it turned out the old, half-rotten equipment was the swarm catching key in my area.
That took some learning.

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12,122 Posts
I wish I had shared your confidence :). But I will wait and see. Hopefully I didn't overdo the LGO, I guess I can take the bag out completely, and open them up overnight to let it evap off, but how would I know if it is too much?
I don't know what "a bunch of LGO" means, but technically implies as if a lot (probably too much).

2-3 drops of LGO is enough, especially in well used equipment.

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12,122 Posts

But the wood shop is calling... still not sure which horizontal format to do.
Sounds like you have the time and an itch.

Clearly, few practical questions need answers (which you kinda need to know after 5 years of doing this).

For example - your current traps are in Lang format.
Having all the equipment on hand it is reasonable to set it all out and use for trapping.

Next, it only makes sense to make it so that you easily transfer frames with a swarm from a trap into your horizontal hive.
So why create yourself unnecessary headaches and go for a "classic" KTBH so that even a trivial frame move between hives becomes a major project.
Both Lang and Layens style long hives support easy cross-hive frame transfers.

One should simply play forward several typical scenarios as you will move forward and see what horizontal hive layout will support those scenarios.
Anyway, you should know all of this. I don't need to be telling.
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