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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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To take not lifting to the next level, how about a hive that's all on one level?

I currently have nine horizontal hives and they have done well. There are some slight adjustments to how to manage them, but the principles are the same. You just can't juggle boxes around. Only frames. But then you can put super on a long hive if you like.

I inherited a few deeps and I already had a dadant deep, so I currently have three horizontal deeps (9 5/8"), one horizontal Dadant Deep (11 5/8"), four horizontal mediums and one Kenya top bar hive.

I wonder how many old beekeepers, who are being forced to give up their bees, could keep a couple of these without hurting themselves and without much stress?

I wonder how many commercial beekeepers could minimize the labor involved in their operation with these?

I wonder how many hobbiests could just make their life easier with less lifting?

Thoughts anyone?
 

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Horizontal hives sound interesting. How do the horizontal deeps (or mediums) connect to each other?
In what arrangement do bees place brood and honey?
 

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As much as I enjoy my lang, I intend on building myself a long hive this winter. Surprisingly enough, here in New Mexico (at least as far as the membership of the beekeeping association seems to go) a majority of the non-commercial beekeepers keep a top bar hive in some form.

Do you have any particular preferences to size of a super-able long hive? I'm thinking about going for the equivalents of three horizontal deeps with three individual mediums to super it. This would give the bees the equivalents of 20 deep frames for stores and brood, leaving me with 10 deep for honey/wax collection and maybe, just maybe 30 mediums frames for honey. Am I going over board, is this way too big?

I intend on using standard wedge top bars (with a wax foundation starter strip) to fill out the the main box, is this an OK plan?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Discussion Starter #5
>Horizontal hives sound interesting. How do the horizontal deeps (or mediums) connect to each other?

Most of the ones I'm running now are just one long box. Not regular boxes connected.

The mediums are 48 3/4" long (the width of three boxes, holds about 33 frames). The Deeps and Dadant deep are 32 1/2" long (the width of two ten frame boxes and holds 22 frames)

>In what arrangement do bees place brood and honey?

Whatever they like.
I try to work the brood nest to the back so I can stack supers on the front. Mostly so I can force the bees through the supers to get in (since I have a top entrance) and so I can inspect the brood nest without moving the supers. But as in any hive the brood is in one area and honey get's put everywhere else.

>As much as I enjoy my lang, I intend on building myself a long hive this winter. Surprisingly enough, here in New Mexico (at least as far as the membership of the beekeeping association seems to go) a majority of the non-commercial beekeepers keep a top bar hive in some form.

That is surprising.

>Do you have any particular preferences to size of a super-able long hive? I'm thinking about going for the equivalents of three horizontal deeps with three individual mediums to super it. This would give the bees the equivalents of 20 deep frames for stores and brood, leaving me with 10 deep for honey/wax collection and maybe, just maybe 30 mediums frames for honey. Am I going over board, is this way too big?

So far, I've had good luck with the three box long mediums and the two box long deeps and the two box long Dadant deeps. The three box long deep would probably work and you may not need many or any supers if you harvest periodically.

>I intend on using standard wedge top bars (with a wax foundation starter strip) to fill out the the main box, is this an OK plan?

It's ok. Starter strips work fine. But just like foundation, you still have to keep them from getting hot and sagging. I would put them in the frames just before you put them in the hive.

A beveled top bar for foundationless doesn't sag.
 

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How well do they winter? Does going horizontal allow bees to move the cluster effectively? I would think that vertical placement has some benifit as the cluster is moving up to warmed stores. This may not be an issue in warmwe climates
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>How well do they winter?

I'm in USDA zone 5a. Dennis Murrel I think is in 4a or 3b. He has a lot of top bar hives which are long hives and a "combo" hive that is a long hive. I have several long hives with langstroth frames and three that are Top Bar Hives. They have wintered just as well as the vertical ones.

>Does going horizontal allow bees to move the cluster effectively?

They just move vertically instead of horizontally.

> I would think that vertical placement has some benifit as the cluster is moving up to warmed stores. This may not be an issue in warmwe climates

I don't live in a warmer climate. But it works fine here.

In my observation the bees seem to winter slightly better in any system where there is limited direction to move. In other words they don't get lost wondering around in a big hive. They just keep moving the same direction through the winter. The eight frame mediums seem to provide this in a vertical configuration and the long mediums seem to provide this in a horizontal configuration.
 
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