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With all the intelligence and woodworking skills in the world, I wonder why nobody has designed a langstroth hive where the brood boxes are like bottomless drawers in a filing cabinet, so you can examine brood without removing supers? It just seems so obvious to me, although I realize the big problem would be the bees propolising the drawers.

So if they would propolise or build burr comb in the space between the drawers and the cabinet, why not just make a metal frame with drawer slides without an outer cabinet? The frame would be outside the hive. Obviously you would want very little space between drawers, but if they got stuck together, why couldn't you pop them loose just like you do the boxes?

It would be such a huge time saver and back saver, make inspections quick and easy, and I suspect would be much less disruptive to the hive than tearing it apart every couple of weeks.

What am I missing that has kept this from working or being invented? :scratch:
 

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the biggest fear I would have would be rolling the queen by pulling the drawer out....my luck I would kill her everytime I checked them!
 

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I doubt you would be able to open the drawer after a week because of propolise and wax, we have a hard enough time cracking the boxes of some of these hives.
And cost,
 

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why not just make a metal frame with drawer slides without an outer cabinet?
An company from Israel was advertising a set up just like this in the bee journals about 10 years ago. These were 4-way pallets where you could access each brood chamber separately while leaving the supers in position. Appears the idea was not marketable.
 

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Cost, I work as a general contrator and often work with a custom cabinet company (I will actually be hanging cabinets for them tomorrow). By time you built the cabinet, draws, and installed the draw slides your cost would be four or five time the cost of a hive.
 

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I would think it would get top heavy during a flow and tilt forward when you pull out the honey storage drawers unless you have a heavy base or counter balance.
 

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The AZ hives open at the rear so the frames can be pulled out easily both from the brood chamber or from the honey super above. They are magnificent examples of workmanship with a price that will make your eyes water. Do a search for "AZ Hive" on this forum for discussion, photos and videos.
 

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yup, The AZ hive or Alberti-Znidersic Hive is more or less what you are talking about. I've seen photos of modified versions of these that follow similar principles using horizontal bars as frame rests, but less elaborate boxes. They are much smaller volumetrically, I had a convo long ago with Dave Cushman on these hives.
 

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We had - and still have - a lot of those drawer hives here in Germany. I know noone who converted to box type of hives who converted back to those drawer hives. :wink: To me they are a pain in the a....

Yes, lots of propolising, of bees running on the walls and getting rolled and angry...

Difficult to construct and build.

What works pretty well are horziontal hives that get supered. I use so called T120 hives. I attach a description later. The shallow supers can be slided back and forth so no lifting to get to the brood frames. They are really "honey cows" meaning they are very productive if you know how to work them.

But: you don't move them easily, so you need some sort of honey house or at least a special stand with a roof. You could put them on pallets and use a roof for all the hives on the pallets though. I use them stationary.

Bernhard
 

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It is a called a "trough hive" which is basicly a TBH with frames and supered. You probably get the idea by the pictures. (It is in German.)

http://www.immenfreunde.de/docs/KarlSimshaeuser_TrogbeuteT120_script.pdf Pictures are at the end of the document.

It has two outer and inner entrances and thus a split of the colony can be made within the hive which gets combined back after the swarming urge has gone. You can put two colonies in one trough, too.

Not really diffult to build but as said not easy to move if you move them separately.
 

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@Bernhard, are you referring to something like the Dartington Hive or a German equivalent. I recall seeing a design once on a translated German webpage. I recalled the frames as being narrower and deeper than lang frames, and they had a follow board that allowed multiple queens in one box, if not mistaken.
 

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There are virtually hundreds of sorts of frames sizes used in many different types of drawer hives over here. Well, at least in the past. Few used nowadays. (For some reasons.) Most of them are not sized as a langstroth frame, though.

This is because most of those hives were set up in a beehouse, where the hives were put next to each other. So the beekeepers tried to get as many hives into the bee house as possibly leading to hives and frames that are not horizontal but more vertically orientated. They had shallow type of frames though in some regions. Most of those hives were custom made. I check if I can find some pictures for you.
 

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Basicly, there are two types.

First there is the drawer type where you actually pull out the whole block of frames to access them.

See:


The other type is where you open up the side and look right onto the frames so you can pull frames individually. So without a drawer, the frames resting on wires going across them underneath. (frames do not have ears)

See:
 

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Some had a rebate on either side where the frames with ears had been pushed into.





A russian made a hive with a body you push whole boxes into.



So there is nothing new in the world of beekeeping. :)

Most use hive lifts to overcome the lifting issue. Either a lift which push back the honey supers or a real lift.






 
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