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Discussion Starter #1
Got to get my mind right about this.
What I envision is basically long, deep horizontal hive, the length and height of 3 10 frame deeps using standard frames. Entrance about the same size as in a standard Lang only at the top centered along the long side. Follower boards so the bees start in the center and expand horizontally, left, right or both. With 3,4 or more migratory covers so I can open things up in specific places and not disturb the whole freaking colony. Naturally an observation window in back.
Ya'll think it would work?:scratch:
 

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Would it work? At a pinch, yes.

But it is not the way bees prefer to work naturally, they like to work up & down rather than horizontally, remember they evolved in trees.
I've seen numerous feral colonies in cavities in which they must build horizontally rather than vertically and they are doing fine. It is true that most trees are vertical, however, there are definitely situations in which a tree becomes horizontal and a honey bee colony will still take up residence and thrive. To say that they "prefer" to work up and down is reaching...

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess it would depend on the space available. I've never seen a feral colony in a hollow tree. Seen quite a few in attics and soffits, shed roofs and such.
They seem to do just fine horizontally. I would do a TBH but I am a bit concerned about the comb holding up in our 105 degree heat. I just like the ease and covienience of a TBH with the orderliness of a frame system.
 

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Well if you built it right and made sure it had a bottom screen and top ventilation plus some shade during the day or sometime in the afternoon then i dont see why it wouldnt be able to hold up! There are plenty of top bar hives in Texas that do just fine if you manage it correctly! That also means having a water source near by as well, the bees will fan under the hive right on the bottom screen and keep the hive at the right temp. with no problem!
 

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I've seen numerous feral colonies in cavities in which they must build horizontally rather than vertically and they are doing fine. It is true that most trees are vertical, however, there are definitely situations in which a tree becomes horizontal and a honey bee colony will still take up residence and thrive. To say that they "prefer" to work up and down is reaching...

Matt
I agree. Bees live in cavities. And there are all kinds of them. Horizontal and vertical.
 

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Got to get my mind right about this.
What I envision is basically long, deep horizontal hive, the length and height of 3 10 frame deeps using standard frames. Entrance about the same size as in a standard Lang only at the top centered along the long side. Follower boards so the bees start in the center and expand horizontally, left, right or both. With 3,4 or more migratory covers so I can open things up in specific places and not disturb the whole freaking colony. Naturally an observation window in back.
Ya'll think it would work?:scratch:
go 2/3rds the way down the page and read my article, "A Long Hive"

http://longlangwithlegs.blogspot.com/2009_06_01_archive.html

i now have 2 of my 3 hives going gang busters 'on the horizontal'..................keeping in mind they are new from nucs installed Ap 5/10
 

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Can't really agree it's "reaching", at all.

Why is it that my "up and down" hives that get boxes added on top, have bees that appear healthy happy and busy, and make 200 lbs honey minimum yearly, while my neighbours "long" top bar hive, is lucky to make 20 lbs honey per year?

Not saying a long hive won't work, bees are very adaptable. But work with them in the way they naturally do best, and the results will be superior.
"200 lbs minimum yearly"......quite true, no doubt at all, but, what was the harvest from each of the other 20 hives...........................30 hives...............yadda
 

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Growing Boy, I think your idea will work and I built two last winter except using med frames instead of deep frames. I built one with solid bottom and one with double screen, I have the solid bottom in operation. I had trouble with the screen bottom, when building it and gluing in the bottom slats as the glue dried it pulled up and warped the top about 1/4" so I didn't use it. You can design these hives about any way you want, all kinds of ways. I am using 2 supers one on both ends, migratory cover in the center, right now I'm feeding on one end. I installed a swarm in it during late spring and it is doing great, should be in good shape for winter. i say go for it and build it the way you want. Here are some pics:

http://s774.photobucket.com/albums/yy25/twocreekfarm/Bee hive construction/Long Hive/
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for your replies. Forgive me if I chuckle a bit but I got pretty much the answers I expected.
Yes, the Lang is an industrial honey producing design, I think we can all agree on that. Do these alternative designs work? I think there's enough evidence out there to prove they do and pretty darn well. ( Thanks Tom OB, Now that's what I'm talking about!)
Let me be clear. I AM a hobbyist. My other hobbies include furniture making, horticulture and Antique Rose growing all three of which I expect to make a bit of cash on in the next few years as the wife and I wind down into our 'golden years.' Beekeeping seems a perfect addition.
At most I plan on putting maybe 5 or 6 hives on this acre and if I get the equivalent of the 30-35 pounds of honey per super the old time beeks around here say is average I'll be a happy guy.
As it stands now I'm going to build a standard KTBH and a Long Lang.
We shall see what we shall see.
Thanks again guys!
 

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My long top bar hive has the dimensions of medium lang and is 33 bars. Bee do just fine. If you plan on running normal frames should be fine, if top bar a deep may be tad tall for the heat.
 

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I now make my tbh's to the same dimensions as my Warre boxes ( only longer) and they make great multi-nucs as well as independent hives.

The honey production potential of a long tbh is more on how much you choose to leave the bees and how often you work the hive in terms of how they fill the space.

Tbh is not meant to be worked the same as a lang which is typically considered a 'production' hive and designed for the beekeepers convenience.

The tbh is designed more for the bees convenience and the emphasis not on production as much as 'colony building' or breeding. At least, that's how I've discovered their greatest effectiveness.

Big Bear
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Over the weekend I had an experience pretty much sums up my attraction to these types of hives. Last Thursday one of the hives went into what (after consulting on this forum) seemed to be pre-swarming behavior even though this is a first year package with a young clipped queen in the middle of a dearth.
Being a fairly responsible beek the only thing to do was to dive in.
Doing a little search around the ground by the side of the hive I found a small cluster of bees. Ah-ha! That might just be the queen.
I put together a 5 frame nuc in hopes of saving the girl and doing an emergency split. Steel myself, suit up, fire up the smoker ready to do battle.
First get the little cluster into the nuc. A quick search turns up no queen just a hundred or so confused bees. Have I been duped?!!!!!
Smoke up the hive a bit and crack it open. The girls are behaving themselves pretty well and I have only lost a pound or two in sweat. Go through the top super quickly. As I expected not much happening though they're getting nectar from someplace as two frames had been drawn and were full of honey. I grab a frame of honey and an empty one along with the attendant bees and put it into the nuc just in case in my haste I missed the Queen.
On to the next medium. Hmmmmm, was that a bee throwing its self against the side of my veil?
One by one I pulled the frames. Picture perfect with no swarm cells. Just thousands of bees getting a bit more impatient. A little more smoke and into the deep.
To make a long story short, everything was in good order. I found one swarm cell which I left thinking the origional queen had absconded. Took a frame of brood and one of honey from the first medium for the nuc, whipped the top super back on and buttoned her up.
By this time needless to say I've got one mess of angry bees on me everywhere.
Calmly I go over to the nuc put the frames in and button that up.
Head for the house and the A/C. Stop at the back door to brush the bees off of me and enter.
Total elapsed time, 25 minutes. Total stings 2. What did I accomplish? Too early to tell.The bees in the nuc were gone in the morning which I kind of expected. Their home hive goes on as normal.
The point is (finally!) with a TBH or long Lang that whole process could have been done in half the time with much less disturbance to the bees and I might have been able to spend the weekend with out my left arm looking like Popeye's and my right hand looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy's.
Just sayin.
 

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I built a hive along the same concept - 31 frames long, but all medium. I just use standard lang frames and let them draw their own foundation in them. They are doing fine - in fact, I would say that my TBH and this long hive draw comb and fill up faster (both from packages this year) than other packages have in my traditional Lang hives. However, there are a LOT of variables that could account for that impression beyond just hive design (not to mention that bees will finish drawing a medium frame much faster than a deep frame).

I think that the reason medium configurations for these types of hives are more popular over deep configurations is the weight. If you have to move the hive, you are going to have to move 30+ drawn, potentially full DEEP frames. That could weigh over 240lbs. :eek: Good luck!

 

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Discussion Starter #17
You're right about using mediums.
I'm overthinking this thing.
I was worrying about core temperature and somehow forgot that we get 2 months of what they call winter down here with temps rarely below freezing.
I live in a house where all the plumbing is underneath and exposed for cryin' out loud.:doh:
 
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