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Discussion Starter #1
I am inclined to say that open mesh floors work very well for my couple vertical hives in my climate. I was wondering though, whether a full open mesh floor on a horizontal hive would be too much. I'm tempted to just do a solid floor. Any thoughts?
 

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FWIW, it doesn't have to be one or t'other - I'm in a totally different climate to yours, but find that a strip of mesh inserted along one side of the floor works pretty well. Then, if the hive is tilted a few degrees, any excess condensation formed inside the hive will exit via the mesh rather than pooling on the floor.

The other way of achieving the same thing would be to make the floor from strips of wood, spaced (say) 2mm apart. And then there'd be no need to buy any mesh (hardware cloth). :)
LJ
 

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Thanks LJ. I was thinking about spacing out the bottom planks but wasn’t sure whether the gaps get blocked over time. I prefer that idea over mesh.
 

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I am inclined to say that open mesh floors work very well for my couple vertical hives in my climate. I was wondering though, whether a full open mesh floor on a horizontal hive would be too much. I'm tempted to just do a solid floor. Any thoughts?
Mesh floors for vertical hives - consider how small the ratio of the opening to the hive volume is.
Now - consider the same if you open up the floor of a long hive.
See the difference in the ratio?
OK, this will depend how much of the floor you will open up - thus controllable.

Also, consider the positioning of the mesh with respect to the nest (vertical vs. horizontal).
It is an important consideration.

What works well in moisture laden around the year location of LJ, may not have much benefit (and even have the opposite effect) elsewhere.
 

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Thanks LJ. I was thinking about spacing out the bottom planks but wasn’t sure whether the gaps get blocked over time. I prefer that idea over mesh.
Spaced out bottom planks - exactly what I am testing in my current CVH project.
20200919_142250.jpg

The non-bee-passable slots between the planks (1/16" for me) can be easily cleaned out by some wire hook/blade/etc, what not.
Importantly, these slots are small enough for the bees to close them too IF desired (which would be fine with me).

Here is a guy making his version of ventilated bottoms (6:00 is a good start to watch).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Lir6z3loxg&t=493s
OK, this is cool.
But simply spacing the planks (using a penny or a ruler, what not) it much more trivial to make.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting video Greg. These Russian guys that you post videos of have some very good ideas.

Didn’t understand what he was saying - did he mention any particular reason for his design?
 

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You can always use captions/auto-translate - helps.

The fellow experiments with mid-way solutions between totally solid floors vs. totally open floors - they too have the same old discussion of open vs. closed floors. Lots of bad/good experiences with both approaches.
Some kind of a no-brainer middle-of-the road solution would be great to have - hence the slotted wooden floors.

For my own location - I hear beeks who tried the open floors are coming back to the closed floor camp (the winters are too cold and too dry). Once the mite-control feature of the open floors was debunked, there is nothing else in them to be fond of - in my locality.
 

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The other way of achieving the same thing would be to make the floor from strips of wood, spaced (say) 2mm apart.....LJ
In my original long hives I tried something of L. Sharashkin design.
See "ventilation slot" in the floor here:
https://horizontalhive.com/how-to-build/layens-beehive-design.shtml

But now me thinks why bother with yet another detail of limited value (hard to clean too - what a PITA).
Spaced planks will work just as well (entire floor OR a section of a floor).
Conveniently, strategically placed plank spaces will indeed drain any bulk water (if any builds up), unlike a "ventilation slot".
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes I’ve been looking at Leo’s designs too and saw his vent hole, but I thought that for water to drain out, a centre hole is not ideal because water can still pool on one side, or corner. I think the spaced planks is really the best solution.

Change of subject - from your experience did you find that long hives produce the same, or less honey compared to a similar size vertical hive? I’m reading that they might produce less, not that it is a deal breaker for me. My plan at this stage is to not use a queen excluder, so not sure whether that might make the brood nest spread out a bit further, reducing the amount of honey frames that can be extracted.
 

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FWIW, it doesn't have to be one or t'other - I'm in a totally different climate to yours, but find that a strip of mesh inserted along one side of the floor works pretty well. Then, if the hive is tilted a few degrees, any excess condensation formed inside the hive will exit via the mesh rather than pooling on the floor.

The other way of achieving the same thing would be to make the floor from strips of wood, spaced (say) 2mm apart. And then there'd be no need to buy any mesh (hardware cloth). :)
LJ
You are right, you are the best for sharing this!
 

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Yes I’ve been looking at Leo’s designs too and saw his vent hole, but I thought that for water to drain out, a centre hole is not ideal because water can still pool on one side, or corner. I think the spaced planks is really the best solution.
Yep - I found that out the hard way in my first Long Hive build - I installed a central strip of mesh, as I'd had a 'central strip' in my former KTBH. Tunnel vision. Soon realised that error.

Change of subject - from your experience did you find that long hives produce the same, or less honey compared to a similar size vertical hive? I’m reading that they might produce less, not that it is a deal breaker for me.
Depends how they're run. If you run them in a more-or-less 'leave alone' mode, perhaps just expanding the brood nest from time to time, then they probably produce less - but - if you follow D.L. Adair's method: his so-called "New Idea" (which was a system of management, NOT a Long Hive - although he used a Long Hive to demonstrate it - thus most people at that time thought the "New Idea" and the "Long Hive" were one and the same), the harvest can be very high. Doolittle pulled over a quarter of a ton of extracted honey from one Long Hive run on Adair's principle.
In essence, Adair's method was - once the colony had enlarged prior to the main flow - to then reverse the position of the brood nest from being at the front of the hive, to being right at the back. By doing that, the foragers would then store honey in combs at the front, to which they had immediate access, rather than nectar needing to be carried right through the hive to stores combs at the back.

My plan at this stage is to not use a queen excluder, so not sure whether that might make the brood nest spread out a bit further, reducing the amount of honey frames that can be extracted.
The main problem faced by all Long Hive beekeepers is the formation of a honey barrier immediately adjacent to the brood nest. This is formed because the bees want a supply of honey and pollen as close as possible to where they are raising brood. Unfortunately the queen will not willingly cross such a comb, as she's looking for places in which to lay - so the brood-nest size is effectively limited to whatever size it happens to be when that first adjacent stores comb is established.

So - there are two ways around this (both requiring beekeeper management) - the first is to move the honey barrier further away, and insert a new frame or comb in it's place at the side of the brood nest. If you can be absolutely sure of fine weather conditions, then that frame or comb can be inserted directly into the brood nest - but this risks chilling the brood if the temperatures should suddenly drop. So - additions to the side of the brood-nest are always safer.

The second method is that of Adair - already mentioned - to completely remove and so 'disconnect' the brood nest from the stores combs.

BTW - if you ever want to use a QX in a Long Hive, all that's necessary is to insert a dummy frame in the appropriate position, ensuring that there's a gap of a couple of inches at the bottom. The Bienenkiste Beehive has such a QX in place permanently.
'best
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you LJ. Much appreciated, and very informative as always.

There is a very busy feral hive in a horizontal log on the ground... just a couple hundred metres away in the park behind my house.... if only I can go and have a peek inside.....
 

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BTW - if you ever want to use a QX in a Long Hive, all that's necessary is to insert a dummy frame in the appropriate position, ensuring that there's a gap of a couple of inches at the bottom. The Bienenkiste Beehive has such a QX in place permanently.
'best
LJ
Hehe.. be aware.
This exact implementation of QX failed me this summer.

I kept a limited brood nest in 16-frame long hive using a dummy frame - well, the bees had other ideas.
So it happened they plugged up the proper brood nest while the unit was queen-less, BUT outside of the QX was free comb space - last season honey frames as a supplemental feed.

So the young queen traversed around the QX, found the empty combs and this is where they established the new nest.
I thought my queen mating failed - until I flipped through empty frames OUTSIDE of the QX - I almost did not check since the chance of queen crossing was pretty low (well...... LOL... she did not care of the statistics).
 

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Change of subject - from your experience did you find that long hives produce the same, or less honey compared to a similar size vertical hive? I’m reading that they might produce less, not that it is a deal breaker for me. My plan at this stage is to not use a queen excluder, so not sure whether that might make the brood nest spread out a bit further, reducing the amount of honey frames that can be extracted.
Very roughly, you'd expect less honey - but without a specific, proper side-by-side investigation you don't really know.

Also, with large frame horizontals (Dadant, Layens), you'd expect more mixed frames - which is detrimental for conventional harvest.
But with smaller frames (long Lang), you'd expect more clear brood/honey separation - better for conventional harvest.
A combination of entrance design (an end entrance or a corner entrance) and a dummy frame QX, I'd still expect pretty compact brood nest.
 
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