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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another total newbie question- does anyone ever use top bar “frames” with Langstroth hives? I bought a Langstroth and frames (medium 8) and was planning on going foundationless/with starter strips. However, I would really like to modify my hive to have an observation window in at least one of the boxes. Is it a horrible idea to cut my frames into top bars?
 

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Kateowp,

Great question. I've been talking to lots of my friends about this same thought. My thought has always been to standardize my TBH to fit the Langstroth topbar. It would only make sense to me. Cutting the top bars in a TBH it typically the most difficult or time consuming part depending on how you build them. I have adopted this for my hives and think its the right thing to do. You can use starter strips if you like.
 

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Yes, I am using TBs in Lang-dimension bodies. I am using truncated frames without bottom bar, just top bars from regular frames and/or home-made "sticks." All of them served me great. Last picture is just top bar from the reg frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Beautiful comb cerezha! Without the side and bottom parts of the frame, do you have to cut it from the hive each time you inspect?
 

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When I started Beekeeping I built top bar hives, so my 36 swarm traps are all mini TBH with 17" top bars 1-1/4" wide. Now that I've switched to Langs I just screw a 1" by 19-7/8" piece on the top bar so they fit in the frame rest of the Lang. I just caught a massive swarm (3-4 lbs of bees) that I was tardy checking the trap, they had built comb on every bar of my mini TBH trap. Seven of the combs were just the right depth for a Lang deep so I added 3 frames with foundation to get more drawn comb and removed the 3 small starts from the ends. These girls are going to need another box soon.
 

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Yes, I have seen others make horizontal Langstroth. I created one, sort of.

As I wrote before I grew up with Nagy Boczonádi (NB) hives. They are up to 24 large frames horizontally. When I moved to the US, I made a hive identical but with the Langstroth jumbo frames (Dadant brood I think at 11.25" depth). NB frames are 400mm (inner width) x 340mm (inner depth)
A 50%/50% split, hinged lid opened from the back to the hive (normal NB hives are single, hinged lid from back). This allowed removing one of the lids and placing a normal (any depth) Langstroth box on top on one side.
The whole box was made of tongue & groove planks, so replacing part of it with double-pane glass or plexiglass would have been easy.

It never got put in use.
 

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Beautiful comb cerezha! Without the side and bottom parts of the frame, do you have to cut it from the hive each time you inspect?
Thank you for nice words. In most cases the comb is not attached to the walls. Sometime it is attached just in few places and it is easy to release it. Interestingly, I noticed that comb is practically free in full-size boxes. There are more attachments (especially at the bottom) in medium-size box. But, the truth is that because I "crush-and-strain" it is unimportant if comb damaged during removal from the hive. Brood frames are less attached.
 

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Yes, I have seen others make horizontal Langstroth. I created one, sort of....
I made horizontal (long) Lang 20 frames, Lang-deep size. It is little bit small. Full-size horizontal beehive should have at least 30 deep frames. I am very happy with my horizontal hive, but as rightly stated by Oldtimer thousand posts ago - horizontal hive produces less honey than classical vertical Lang. It is true, but bees are doing great in horizontal one and much-much calmer. Inspection is just a pleasure. Since I am limited in number of hives permitted (city), I am thinking of making 30 deep frame monster.
 

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I really like my long horizontal Langstroths. I like them so well I wrote a little booklet about building and keeping them.

bookcover.jpg
 

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Серёжа, nice work there. I presume the production is because of the size. After all, 30 frames is still just three deep boxes, right?

Mr. Anderson, how is the book doing?
 

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Серёжа, nice work there. I presume the production is because of the size. After all, 30 frames is still just three deep boxes, right?....
Right! In my case - only 20 deep frames. Thank you for idea! I was hypnotized by Oldtimer's authority and did not think :( Perfect explanation! I feel better about my long hive now!
 

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but as rightly stated by Oldtimer thousand posts ago - horizontal hive produces less honey than classical vertical Lang. It is true, but bees are doing great in horizontal one and much-much calmer.
Actually I got to cede you some ground Cerezha, part of what I said thousands posts ago was based on the way I was managing my long hives at the time, the primary object of them was a queen cell making method I was trying, rather than honey production so I did not manipulate it with a view to help the bees make more honey.

But since then I've tried moving empty frames from the far end of the box in close to the brood nest and pushing near finished honeycombs outwards. This has increased production by putting empty comb in a place where the bees actually want to fill it and I've been surprised how much honey I've had to remove just to keep the bees busy. So it might be just about doing a bit more manipulation / fiddling.

Just to speak to Kateowp's original question, the reason most TBH's have slanted sides is because it makes that much less risk of breaking combs when pulling them out. IE, if you have a straight sided lang box and it gets full of comb with all of it joined to the side of the box it is virtually impossible to get the first one out without breaking stuff. In a long hive it's less of an issue because you have the option to start at the far end where it's unlikely the comb is fully joined & therefore easier to get out, & then you got room to cut down the sides on subsequent combs.
Just incase you do find yourself in this predicament with your lang at some future time though, here's a tip. Put the whole box down upside down. Then from the bottom (now the top), push your hive tool down to cut the sides of an outside comb or two, plus cut any joins between the combs. Put the box back right way up & you should be able to safely remove those combs.
 

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You can also make a tool, by putting two 90 degree bends in a piece of brazing rod. The distance between the two bends must be longer than your boxes are deep. Make one bend long enough to fit your hand. Make the other bend long enough to be a little wider than your brood combs. The brood comb end can be sharpened with a file to a near knife edge and then the tool can be used to vertically cut any comb attachments, even with the frame that is nearest a hive wall. This is not my design, I copied it from Wyatt Mangum.
 

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What a beautiful hive! Is that the landing board? What are those red stripes? Is that a ventilation SBB all along the bottom? I have a traditional TBH (in my backyard, minus the bees) which I fixed up this year, but never captured a swarm for. I think it would be a lot easier to do inspections etc.
 

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What a beautiful hive! Is that the landing board? What are those red stripes? Is that a ventilation SBB all along the bottom? I have a traditional TBH (in my backyard, minus the bees) which I fixed up this year, but never captured a swarm for. I think it would be a lot easier to do inspections etc.
Ooooo
Thank you!
Yes, they have a landing board and landing strip. On the picture, bees are not happy, because I placed the entrance away from the landing pattern. It is corrected now. Red stripes is my coding for TBs - white is 32 mm distance between TBs, red -35 mm. 35 mm works better for my bees. Bottom, yes, it's screen-solid board sandwich.
 

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Actually I got to cede you some ground Cerezha, part of what I said thousands posts ago was based on the way I was managing my long hives at the time, the primary object of them was a queen cell making method I was trying, rather than honey production so I did not manipulate it with a view to help the bees make more honey....
Well, it just shows how dangerous is to implement authority on less experienced users - your comments made me feel that my long hive is a looser. You need to apologize to my bees :)
 

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Hmm well I didn't know I actually had any authority or that I implemented it. It's a chat site and I chat.

However If I have made you feel your long hive is a looser I apologize to you and your bees although to be fair I don't recall saying that, and pretty sure I would not say that.

I think I probably commented about long hive comparative honey production, and as you said in post #9 it turned out to be correct and you now agree. I hope you found whatever I contributed to the conversation useful.

Rather pleased there are not too many people here that ask for an apology every time I comment on a hive type, management method, or whatever, and they don't like it, even though discovering it was correct.
 

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No worry, Oldtimer!
I personally do not care if you right or not. But, it is nice to know, that my bees are doing OK. You can "chat," but it is useless to me. I was thinking, you are serious :( and seriously offer advise...
 

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Thanks. That will be at the forefront of my mind.

Here's a plan. You do not have to read my useless chat. ;)
 
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