Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few months ago when I decided to get bees this spring I had to decide between langstroth and long hives. I thought what if I combined the two so that I could be able to add and subtract hive space as needed while also not having to lift off upper hive bodies during inspection. My question is: has anyone ever tried making one of the sides of their hive removable or putting it on a hinge so that you could just open it and pull out your frames? As someone who doesn’t have bees yet I don’t know if there is some reason why not to do this but it seemed to obvious to me. If I have come up with a new product that will make millions then great lol.
 

·
Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
Then you'd have to work the bees from the side which seems inconvenient.
You'd also have to remove all the frames in order to get to the middle or the other side.
And you'd have to leave enough space between colonies to access them or plenty of room.

The reason we go from the top is we can pick and choose who we want to look at, get an idea of where the cluster is, how many frames of bees there are, etc. all while just opening the top. Also, moving around a bunch of hives with one side that opens would be a disaster as I'd see it greatly weakening the woodenware.

There are Slovenian hives that are accessed from the rear, typically kept on trailers or in bee houses.

However, I'd encourage you to build something up and test it. Innovation is always made by those willing to experiment. However, I have no issues with a Langstroth and it's been around for as long as it has for good reason. I've done Top Bar Hives and hated them but would like to try a Long Lang, as it removes the need for lifting boxes.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,882 Posts
Wait until you learn about propolis. Just getting frames out one at a time the normal way can involve prybars, jackhammers, and in rare cases, dynamite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input. I think I’ll test it once I have at least two hives. If the hatch was on the right side (the rear) you could pick and choose which frame to pull out. Am I missing something here? Maybe I could add some sort of handle to each frame so you could have something hold onto when pulling out frames. I do see your point about the durability lessening with one of these.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
JWPalmer, wouldn’t using a j hook to pry them out be the same as prying them from the top? With an added piece to get the tool in to pry.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,882 Posts
It is hard to explain, but you will need to pry the frames apart before you can pry them up. I have Caucasian bees which are notorious for their propensity to propolize everything. Then there is the issue of the actual inspection. If you hinge the end of the hive, you would have to take every frame out one at a time and end up with all ten (or eight) on the ground . If you hinge a side, what supports the ends of the frames when the hatch is opened?

Look at the AZ hives. They are the closest thing to what you are talking about, I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You bring up a great point. I could add a removable piece that supports each frame individually. It’s starting to sound like the flow hives, too complicated. I will test it however but I doubt it would be worth it with the added complications.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,882 Posts
It is fun to experiment with the bees and the boxes and once you have bees, I encourage you to do just that. But as mntmyke said earlier, the Langstroth hive has been around for a long time for a good reason. It works and it is simple.
 

·
Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
Once you have bees things will seem a little clearer. The thought of sliding a frame backwards against all the other bees and not being able to access the propolis sounds like a nightmare to me, not to mention a perfect way to roll your qurrn. I like my Langs and have never thought I needed a better way - especially coming from top bar hives.

However, what you are describing fits perfectly with a Slovenia hive, as previously posted. These use entirely different frames and setup to achieve what they do - as well as front and rear spacer to keep everything spaced without the end bars a langstroth uses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
62716

Here is my rough (no measurements) sketch of what I plan to build. No, I am not an artist. The small rod in the bottom right may restrict the bees on the outside frame from moving up into the next hive body but they can just crawl around. I should be able to just cut an ear off a regular frame to get one like the one pictured here and build the hive body from scratch and shazam. This is just a theory and I doubt it will work better than a Langstroth but I don't have anything else to do with my time so. Thank you for your input, it helped me greatly.
 

·
Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
Someone is sure excited to get bees! Keep them for a year or so and that will give you the knowledge to start experimenting. For example, how will you slide a frame in and get the ear of the top frame from crushing bees? Frames can sure weight a lot and if you don't have a slider like the Slovenia hive, I don't see how it would go in.

On that topic, you are still describing an Slovenia hive. These are accessed from the rear via a hinge or removable board. Have you looked into these at all? What don't you like about the Slovenian hive vs what you're proposing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
From what I have seen of them (very little), you can't add or subtract hive space. That is what I am trying to do with this. Be able to add or subtract hive space while not having to lift much. I don't really know why I am trying to make this because I can lift a 60 pound hive body just fine it's just I have lots of time on my hands and enjoy "inventing".
 

·
Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
Do a little more digging. With the use of a follower board you can make a Slovenian hive 1 frame, or 30, depending on how tall it was built. The ones I've seen have three chambers for frames and you can either use one, or all three dividing them with a board.. You can also run a queen excluder for honey, just like a traditional hive.

Seems to have everything you want, already invented and ready to go. However, looking at videos of them they still seem like a lot more work than a Langstroth. The advantage of them is the ability to put them inside a trailer, work on them from the back, and drive them around easily. Only needing to close them up for transport and opening them up again. A langstroth is a bit more work and weight to load onto a trailer for transport...but who's really moving hives around that much unless you're commercial?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,621 Posts
When I first read your post it doesn't make any logical sense to me, as it appeared to be in two separate, completely unconnected parts - the first being about 'combining' Langstroth and Long Hives - which of course has already been done numerous times and in various formats. Such hives avoid the need for heaving lifting and at the same time provide a simple method of adjusting the hive volume 'at will' - just as you describe.

The second part of your post appeared to be unconnected to the above, until I realised that your aim was to specifically combine the avoidance of heavy lifting with the Langstroth hive by adopting side or rear access to the box (or boxes).
As has already been mentioned, this was the technique adopted by the A-Z Hive, but some knowledge of history might help to understand how this unique hive design came into being ...

Back in the 18th Century, long before Langstroth's invention of the movable hanging-frame and in the country of Slovenia, honey-bees were kept within fixed-comb Krainer-Bauernstock hives, the most prominent beekeeper of that time being Anton Janscha. These boxes were stacked-up high within bee-houses or purpose-made shelters.
When, a hundred years later, the advantages of removable framed combs became self-evident, top access within those bee-sheds was seen to be clearly impractical, and yet Slovenian beekeepers wished to retain those buildings - partly because of their cost no doubt, but also because many had simply fallen in love with using them. And so some form of beehive had to be found both which had removable frames, and which could be accessed from the rear - within a bee-house.

The solution was found in the hive of the German Alberti, which had access from the rear - unfortunately it wasn't very practical as the hanging frames were installed broadside-on to the access door, and so an individual frame could not be removed until all of the frames between it and the door had also been removed.
Anton Znidarsic modified the Alberti Hive (hence A-Z, Alberti-Znidarsic) by rotating the frames through ninety degrees, so that they were then 'end-on' to the access door - unfortunately this meant losing the highly successful 'hanging-frame' format, which now became 'standing-frame' instead, with the frames being supported by steel bars, and a far more complex method of ensuring frame registration (i.e. maintaining precise clearances) adopted.

These modifications to the Alberti Hive then ensured that the Slovenian bee-house could continue to be used, more-or-less as before. Rear-entry, in the case of the A-Z Hive, was simply a means to an end - nothing more. Generally speaking, it is not a viable method of hive construction.

The already existing Langstroth-based Long Hive will easily meet your stated requirements.
'best
LJ
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top