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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Multi use long hive, my project for this week:

(Two queen production hive)
When you consider the population volume (as shown below) It just makes sense to me to have a two queen hive in TRIPLE the space for the maximum benefit of a extremely large volume of bees.

Post from Beeesource.com:
Post # 457

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?306157-Treatment-free-is-it-really-that-easy

"You have to think in terms of how many bees are available to forage and how many are tied up tending brood. As the population in a bee colony peaks in the range of 50,000 to 60,000 bees, roughly the same number of bees are tied up in the brood nest as in a colony with only 30,000 bees. Think of it like this:

30,000 bees = 20,000 in the brood nest, 10,000 foragers.

60,000 bees = 20,000 in the brood nest, 40,000 foragers.

Note that the colony population doubled, but there are now 4 times as many foragers gathering honey."




10,000 BEES = 2,000 FORAGERS
20,000 BEES = 5,000 FORAGERS
30,000 BEES = 10,000 FORAGERS
40,000 BEES = 20,000 FORAGERS
50,000 BEES = 30,000 FORAGERS
60,000 BEES = 39,000 FORAGERS

Post # 482



Heres my four uses from the same long hive design.
Different uses with the same box just by changing the interior excluders & dividers

-2-queen production hive (I'll call this the 'Honey Maker') Also an excellent way for a cold short season climate to produce-produce- produce..then overwinter.This hive could weight several hundred pounds by fall-so if you make one, be sure to put in on stable ground on a solid bench.
This slideshow also shows the basic construction design of the bottom board, main unit, screened inner covers and lightweight one piece lid.
http://s425.photobucket.com/user/tweety4926/slideshow/2015 2 -queen long hive

-2 breeder queen condo
http://s425.photobucket.com/user/tweety4926/slideshow/2015 2 -breeder queens -condo

-All in one Reproductive unit (Rotational frame schedule)
http://s425.photobucket.com/user/tweety4926/slideshow/2015 All in one reproductive condo

- Single long hive
http://s425.photobucket.com/user/tweety4926/slideshow/2015 superable long hive






2 queen production hive:





Bottom board:



Double breeder queen hive

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
In a 2-queen production hive, are you using 1 or 2 excluders to separate the queens?
No excluders IN the bottom long hive, only a single solid divider, centered in the bottom box.

Queens can move up into a second deep on each end, but not in the center. Then those second deeps are topped with an excluder to keep each queen confined. 3 excluders used total.







Here each queen has about 14 frames in the bottom box + 10 frames in a deep directly above her side. Center second deep has excluder under it.



Now add your supers





I usually make my stuff out of wood I have on hand, so I sometimes have to do a couple extra things to make it all fit.

That 1 1/2 bottom unit is made out of cedar decking. I don't have small hive beatle here, so the interior groves are not an issue for me. I did close them off with silicone behind each divider though. Just to keep the bees from getting though when I want to keep them confined on one side or the other. That thicker hive body would be nice when winters are bitter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since the screened inner covers are build to fit the larger bottom unit, when you put them on the supers they are 1" too long. But perfect for revealing a narrow upper entrance. Handy for ventillation and high volume access during flow. They can be closed at any time by simply pushing them back a bit. By the time winter comes, I'll staple a small 1x2 on the bottom of the deeps to accomodate the exterior size difference between the bottom and supers. (Keep the rain out)




I have two main entrances, but they are offset. Right one goes to the cell builder side, center one feeds left and center sections. If I close off the left entrance, all bees go into cell builder side for high populations to start queen cells.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The all in one reproductive unit holds ether your breeder queen or just a supporting queen in one end section. Followed by an internal excluder divider.
Center section holds frames of brood, transfered on regular intervels from the queenright section. Here in the center is where it matures and is capped. You move frames so you younger brood is closest to the queen, older capped brood closer to the cell builder section.

Cell builder section is seperated by another internal excluder frame unless it is time to get grafts started. Then close off that excluder, brush in several frames of nurse bees from the other supporting portion of the hive. You may or may not need to close off the other entrance to get the volume of bees necessary to get a good start for grafts.

Heres the queen right section/ then frame excluder:



center sections/ frame excluder (cell builder is shown empty.)



Only the oldest capped brood goes into the cell builder side.

Cell builder is occasionally closed off and loaded with bees to start grafts. After 24 hours and you have a good draw, just remove the solid divider and let the entire hive mingle again through the 2 excluer frames.





It's like a vertical cloake board system, except there is NO lifting to reorganize frames and no big reorientation issue if the main entrance is closed.

You can also start a batch of grafts, then place them in the center section for finishing while getting another batch started in the cell builder before letting them all mingle again.

When the frames of brood are all hatched in the cell builder side, it's time to cycle the empty comb back to the queen to get laid up and start over again.

I'd have the end couple frames in the queen right area all feed so she is basically confined to laying in 5 or 6 frames at a time, if you are trying to time larva collection.

This box on a bench about 28" high would sure be easy on your back. Stout saw horses at 24" work good for me.

 

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thats a nice hive and I'm actually going to work on one pretty much exactly the same, for some of the same purposes. I plan to make more bees with hives (overwintered nucs actually) and break it down into 3-6 nucs in a box, and sell them the next march.

Local beek store (one of two in my area) somehow thinks I'm crazy for going horizontal but even a 10 frame medium full of honey can weigh 50+ pounds, and I have trouble at work with 40 pound boxes (5' 1" @ 135 pounds=small framed nerd) so a horizontal hive is really my only option at keeping bees while keeping the price reasonably.

BTW, can you show how your entrances work in closer detail?
 

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Laurie.
You are such an asset to beekeeper around the globe. You always seem to trust but verify and then improve. Thank you for all your contributions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Snowfighter.

I had made one of these a couple years ago as a divided queen castle. I liked it, but it had some flaws. I fixed the things I wanted to change in the design.

As I made this new one, I kept thinking of other ways the long hive could be used. Now I need to make a couple more to try them all out :)

Heres what that queen castle looked like. My spacing was a little off and the bottom was fully screened which I changed. My new lid is lighter and more water proof.



http://s425.photobucket.com/user/tweety4926/slideshow/2012 quen castle long hive
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I see you repeated the grooved sides from your old design. Is it worth the effort for the bees to hang on or is there another objective?
That is an example of just using material I have on hand. I bought a unit of 2x6 cedar decking a couple years ago. It already had those groves cut into the back side to keep it from cupping when used in a deck application. No benefit for this use, and not a good idea if you have small hive beatles.

I could rip those into some nice top bar frames though. Just about the right size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
A fall update for these hives. I really, really , really like them so far! Really :)
Although they sat empty most of the summer, due to my busy year, I did get two of them filled and in use.
One with a single colony that looks about like you'd expect. Very functional for a handicapped person to work.
Here is a mid August photo:



And taken today, mid November. Clustered up:

\

But the 2 queen hive is the one I'm most interested in. Oh, the possibilities!

Started late summer with a capped queen cell on each side, they grew to fill each side of the 1 1/2" thick long hive body. That's a plastic sheet (or crown board as the Europeans would call it) to keep them totally separate and keep them from building comb on top the frames.



I covered the center temporarily with a plastic sheet and gave each colony another deep with drawn frames to move up to and fill. Empty deep in the center kept it even for the lid



Here you see they've moved up and have filled all frames well. Time to allow workers mingle above an excluder.







Since this hive was started kind of late, I filled the center deep with good frames from another hive with brood and some feed. Some empty drawn frames to fill.
Here's how they looked in September. Volume of 6 deeps.



The whole reason behind this is to take advantage of 2 queens ( or even 3) to get the largest forager force possible for nectar collection during flow periods.

Queens have plenty of room to lay, yet broodnest is kept compact (24 deep frames) and not strung out as overly tall hives can be.

Supporting bees and foragers have plenty of room for massive populations and feed storage, yet still in close proximity to the queens pheromone.

Before the Maple flow this spring, I will top the two outside deeps with a queen excluder and super the whole triple length. It will likely need several supers during flow periods. Possibly the volume of 9-12 deeps? More? We'll see.

Now here's the Frankenstein aspect:
Between the Maple and Blackberry flow, I plan to temporarily replace the center lower excluder once again with the plastic to completely section it off and give that center deep a queen cell (With a couple frames of brood & empty drawn comb). I'll reverse the entrance in the inner cover so she will orient and return on the opposite side from the queen right sides. Once she is mated, I'll change the entrance back to the original side.
Trying to do this so this center deep is full of brood at the beginning of the Blackberry main flow. Then remove that newly mated queen and let the whole unit combine again through the excluder.
This will give the unit a huge amount of brood, but with much of it capped, more bees will be available to forage-less bees needed to tend brood.

(Or..you could just fill the center section with filled brood frames from another hive if you want to skip the virgin queen step or didn't want to risk a virgin queen mishap)

(Remember to work the numbers I posted in the OP)

10,000 BEES = 2,000 FORAGERS
20,000 BEES = 5,000 FORAGERS
30,000 BEES = 10,000 FORAGERS
40,000 BEES = 20,000 FORAGERS
50,000 BEES = 30,000 FORAGERS
60,000 BEES = 39,000 FORAGERS
What would 150, 000 bees do for you? :eek:

The forager force during the main flow should be beyond massive.

Am I scaring you yet?

And yes, I will have several swarm traps out!

But if it works, it will be something to think about. Even on a more typical scale with just 2 queens to manage, it is a very cool unit. It is on it's own heavy pressure treated pallet to it can be lifted with a fork lift and readjusted if it settles with the weight.

Here's how it sits over winter. I'll post again this spring and bring you all up to date.

Folks in Alaska, Canada and states with bitter winters & short seasons, this one is for you.

 

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I wish I had viewed your presentation before building mine. You have put a lot of thought into your design and the bottom structure is pure genius! Thanx for sharing all this with us. I hope I can go to sleep tonight with all this buzzing around in my head. I am an "old fat man" and I can't be on my feet for too long at a time. My reason for building a Langstroth long hive was to be able to sit on my stool and work the hive. You have made me a much better Bee Keeper and I want to thank you wish you well.

Don't get weak! LP
 

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Lauri, if the two colonies have access to the middle/center super and thus exchange with the other colony, most likely the bees will get rid of one queen over the course of the winter. In winter the two queen hives have to have the two queens separated.
 

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Yes, in the winter time the bees like to go with their
favorite queen usually the one with the stronger queen hormones.
So I separated the 2 queens with a center divider board. At least they
can still share the heat in the middle of a cold winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Lauri, if the two colonies have access to the middle/center super and thus exchange with the other colony, most likely the bees will get rid of one queen over the course of the winter. In winter the two queen hives have to have the two queens separated.
I've overwintered divided deep 2 queen colonies for a couple years. Your question is valid if one queen was inferior to the other.


In 2 queens hives where bees could mingle, but the queens were kept separate, they sometimes jumped ship to the other side. Was it because the queen on one side died? Or did she die because her crew left her? I'm not really sure.

But in 98 % or more of my cases, they do not eliminate one of the queens over the course of the winter. It's taken me some time and testing to become comfortable with the process.

Here's what I've found:

The only time they need total seclusion is when they are virgin queens and newly mated. I give them time to become well established and the colony to fall into a routine of efficiency and contentment.
Once they reach this stage, I've had no issues with allowing the bees from both colonies to mingle. There's no fighting if done properly.

You could always add a sheet of newspaper over the center excluder for a slower combine if you were concerned about it.

I combine colonies and add occupied frames to colonies routinely with no introduction period. I'm comfortable with doing it and never have to slow the combining process.

I also overwinter divided deep mating nucs with a deep of standard frames and a feeder over an excluder. This gives me the opportunity to strengthen the populations below and get more feed into them than I could with a mason jar feeder. I have no problems doing this.

But here's what I do before prepping to combine for winter.

The most important thing is both sides need to be close to the same strength.
Both queens need to be GOOD queens. Well fed during rearing, good genetics, well mated.


I install capped queen cells (from the same batch of grafts) at the same time so the queens are related and exactly the same age. Not sure if this is necessary, but it certainly doesn't hurt. I don't always do this, but do when I can.

If one side is a smaller colony going into fall, the bees may be apt to jump over to the other side at some point.



I do have some trouble with dividers shrinking a bit. Queens do have to be kept separate, so some window gasket(You see the two sizes I use here) works well when closing up any division gaps under the excluder. Gasket tape is sticky on one side.







In late summer when I remove a queen out of mating nucs on standard frames, I'll use those good frames filled with brood, bees and honey to add to this box. Quickly strengthening the colonies below. Once these frames hatch out and are backfilled with fall nectar or 2:1, the bees overwinter below with the queens.



In early spring I will remove one of the queens to make up early nucs (far earlier that I could do normally with new crop queens), remove the excluder and let the remaining queen take over all the frames. She'll quickly lay them up and the double deep will be packed with bees about 30 days from that time.

The most important part of this type of overwintering is not the just extra queens I get( and the early nucs I get to make) but the mini frames full of brood and feed that are ready for a new season of queen rearing.


What keeps people from trying things like this is they don't want to lose a single queen and are unwilling to take chances. But because I rear my own queens and always have a surplus, I have the freedom to experiment, which leads to methods that are perhaps unusual, but end up being very beneficial to me.
If nothing else, I understand colony behavior better because of it.
 

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VERY cool! Thanks for putting the effort into sharing all this information.
 
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