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I was thinking this year that I will experiment with one of my new hives of bees.

In order to save lifting brood boxes, I plan to build one long hive the depth of one deep and long enough to fit regular supers side by side on top. I haven't worked out the precise measurements but I'm guessing it will hold 21 or 22 frames.

It will have regular deep frames in the brood area. My only reason in doing this is to experiment with a hive that requires less lifting

Does anyone else have a hive like this? What would be the downsides and the changes in management that I will have to consider for this hive. I figure there probably are some serious drawbacks/tradeoffs or this would be common. I'm quite willing to fuss a little more in management if it will save in lifting but am trying to avoid major unintended consequences.
 

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Hmm... wonder how that would work... double-wide brood chamber (21-22 frames), then possibly 2x10frame (or 9-frame spaced) honey supers side by side.

Downside to all of this, if you ever have to move that brood chamber, it's gonna be HEAVY!

I imagine the 'downsides/drawbacks/tradeoffs' to that setup is that you have to build all your own components... bottom-boards, excluders, covers, etc etc.
 

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here are some pics of one I built that takes mediums

http://drobbins.net/bees/lh/lh.html

I liked it but it currently is empty, will restart in spring
I like having less lifting but mine did make less honey, I didn't super it
I'll try supering it next time and see what happens

look at what Dennis Murrell has to say about topbar hives, a lot of the same ideas apply

http://beenatural.wordpress.com/top-bar-hives/

Dave
 

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I built one of these long hives, mine holds twenty-two deep frames, my original entrance was a 1/2" wide x 6" long slot near the bottom, on one end. Since then I've closed this opening with #8 hardware cloth for ventilation and use upper entrances exclusively. The dimensions accommodate two 10-frame supers, side-by-side on top of it. So, two 8-frame supers, which I now use almost exclusively, easily fit there instead of 10-frame. I use a piece of waxed canvas to close the gap.

Right now I am using this hive to produce frames of eggs and frames of sealed brood, which I use to boost my other hives and nucs.

About 1-1/2 months ago I noticed that their queen had maintained the largest brood nest of any of my colonies (of course this is also physically my largest colony). She had a brood nest about six inches in diameter, stretching across five and a half deep frames. In order to harvest her productiveness, I used a plastic queen excluder to confine her to one 8-frame medium super on the end of the hive immediately above her previous brood nest (the one still in the deep frames).

In this queen confinement chamber I placed two frames of honey/pollen, one on either side of the super. Between them I filled the super with six other empty small-cell combs. I placed a pollen substitute patty on top of the frames and another empty 8-frame medium super above that with the cover slid back for an upper entrance on the confinement super. The queen quickly filled all of the empty comb with eggs and nurse bees moved up from the long hive below to care for the queen and brood. At the same time I set another empty 8-frame medium super right next to the one containing the confined queen, but without an excluder. It does not have an empty super above it, but initially it was empty. Its cover is also slid back to provide an upper entrance - this allows drones to move from the main hive to the queen confinement super and back again, if they so choose.

I check the confinement super every few days and remove frames of eggs to place in other hives/nucs if they appear to need a boost, and appear capable of raising the brood. Most frames of eggs are moved over to the adjacent 8-frame super, for the bees to raise the brood to sealed-brood, or emerging-brood stage. Some of these are given to other hives/nucs, especially if they need a boost and don't appear capable of raising the brood themselves.

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One year, a few years ago, I used my long hive to store finished 8-frame medium supers of honey. I moved them from the colonies that produced them and stacked them into two stacks on the long hive. Soon there were two stacks of honey supers, nine-high. Eighteen supers of honey resting on one long hive. This made it easier to manipulate my other hives, because there were fewer honey supers to move before I could examine the brood nests. This worked very well, I may even build several more long hives, just to use like this, so I can store even more finished honey, out of the way of the hives that produced it.
 
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