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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made a long hive that holds 23 or 24 deep frames and am wondering how to best winter the bees. Would it be better to
1.--Make it a "split level" by setting a deep hive body on top of the brood area (with their winter honey supply) and close off the back half of the hive or
2.--leave everything as it is now-"ranch style"?

Seems like option 1. would give easier access to the pantry but maybe the bees would have more trouble keeping warm with the extra closed-off space?

Thanks

Bob
 

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Bob
I'm a newbee tobut I would think option #1 would be better as bees move up in the winter. As for the warmth I've read in several places that bees heat the cluster not the box so as far as warmth they should be fine
 

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Well, since you asked twice, I'll give mine. "Wanted or not"

Buy three langstroth hive bodies and add enough empty frames to fill the third box. The bees can care for a vertical nest better than a horizontal nest, and we can advise better on setups we are familiar with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks iddee--your opinion is definitely wanted and appreciated!

I didn't explain it well, but my intent with the long hive was to try a "top bar" type hive but with empty frames instead of only top bars. I had some old hive bodies so I cut the side off of a couple and fastened them together to make a "double wide" langstroth and made a follower board to restrict the space and a screened base to mount it on. I started it with four or five frames of brood/honey/pollen in late May and let the bees raise their own queen. I had hoped the bees would build it up enough to let me steal a comb or two of honey.

That didn't happen but they did build up enough to cover 10 or 12 frames and gather a fair amount of honey. I also have 7 or 8 frames of capped honey I took from one of my other two (langstroth) hives that I thought was honey bound that I will give them for winter.

Anyway I will take your advice (sorta) by closing off one end of the long hive and putting their stores overhead.

There's so many neat ideas on this forum I may never get done experimenting!

Bob
 

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I would like to have a top bar or two myself, but in my opinion, I am too far north. I think the top bar is fantastic for the tropics, but since I lived in the quad-cities for ten years, I think I can safely say you DO NOT live in the tropics. :D
The bees in the colder climates need more vertical area.


Remember, It's just an old *******'s opinion, with no scientific evidence to back it up.
 

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If you have a horizontal hive, I would remove all the supers and make sure the cluster is at one end or the other. It really doesn't matter WHICH end, just pick the one that is already the closest to the cluster. Pull the frames on the smaller side and slide over the frames with the cluster. This way they start at one end and work their way to the other end. If the start in the middle they will work their way one way and get stuck at the end. If you leave a super on and they work up into the super, they will be even less likely to go back and pick up the stores below and behind them.
 
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