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Some time ago, I stopped keeping bees as a hobby because of the strain of lifting the supers (I'm older than dirt :) ). So, I am contemplating building a horizontal hive using medium foundationless lang frames and starting with a package.

Question is: With size of hive approx 30 or so frames wide, I understand I will need to add supers over the back 10 frames for honey production. But, it seems to me that, even with the added supers, the colony would soon out-grow the horizontal unit.

To solve this problem, should I add supers to the front end over the 1st 10 frames for the expansion of the brood area, and blocking the bees from entry to the rest of the horizontal hive until the brood has expanded to two or three supers. Any thoughts, advise, suggestions?
 

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Welcome to Beesource!

I don't have a horizontal hive with frames, (my 'horizontal' hives are top bar - no frames), but plenty (most?) of conventional Lang style hive have brood areas of 30 frames or less (3 deep boxes).

I don't see why you would need to complicate things with a vertical brood nest. Save the supers for honey production.

If your brood nest really exceeds 30 bars, split the hive. Your odds of long term success will be better if you have at least two hives anyway. If you don't want the split, sell it. :)
 

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I think you might not have to worry about supers, especially if you use deep frames. The bees will expand the brood nest, with a little help from you, and then the rest of the hive will be honey storage. If you're willing to remove a few frames of honey every couple of weeks, you should be able to keep up with a few hives. Of course, if you have a massive flow, you might want to set your cover boards up so you can super. I use a top entrance that can easily be moved to the top of a super.

colorfulyard.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies!

Maybe I should rethink my plan. I'm interested in producing medium frame cut-comb and medium f0undationless.

If I make a 30 frame deep horizontal hive and dedicate all of it to the brood and super with medium frames for harvesting, that would be the better plan?

Does that seem reasonable?
 

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30 deep frames of brood is a lot of brood. The most I've had in a long hive is 18-20. You can do cut comb with deeps too.

newcomb2.jpg
 

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I have 2 horizontal medium langs . They hold 35 frames each with a bit of room on the end . My frames are 1 1/4 inches wide . I will not be adding supers , instead choosing to watch more closely and if needed , pull honey frames mid season and save them to give back in the fall . In the mean time any frames that get drawn out are like money in the bank to me . its nice to have drawn frames for splits or nucs . I don't use foundation , so when frames are fed in they go between already drawn frames. I like this set-up . I also have traditional langs but so far anyways the horizontal seem easier for me to manage . we will see if I still feel that way in August.....
 

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>Question is: With size of hive approx 30 or so frames wide, I understand I will need to add supers over the back 10 frames for honey production.

Not really. But if you don't you'll have to harvest more frequently. Adding supers kind of overrides the point of the horizontal hive, which is to eliminate lifting boxes... maybe, if you want to super it, you should go for lighter boxes...

>But, it seems to me that, even with the added supers, the colony would soon out-grow the horizontal unit.

A booming hive might. But three mediums is about the volume you have and that's about the volume of two deeps. Many people have managed hives in that space if they manage the space well...

>To solve this problem, should I add supers to the front end over the 1st 10 frames for the expansion of the brood area, and blocking the bees from entry to the rest of the horizontal hive until the brood has expanded to two or three supers. Any thoughts, advise, suggestions?

I don't add any supers until they have filled the entire box (or 80% of it anyway) and then I move the brood all the way to the back, and add the supers to the front and the entrance at the top of the super. The bees now have to come in through the super and so they will recognize it and use it. The brood at the back means I can still avoid lifting boxes to examine the brood nest. And avoiding lifting boxes is what horizontal hives are all about...
 

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Michael, do you think it would work if you put the super on the back of the hive (over the honey) and moved the entrance to the top of the super?

I've got a long hive that's 85% full, mostly brood. I just discovered this yesterday, and put four empty frames in the edges of the brood nest.
 
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