I have been using long Langstroth, or Horizontal hives, for three seasons, and I 100% prefer them over my traditional hives!!! The boxes of vertically stacked Langstroth hives are awfully heavy when they're full of bees, brood, pollen and honey. Horizontal hives don't require any heavy lifting, which allows me to do inspections without a partner. Each hive is custom built hive with our cold winter weather, and pest management in mind, to ensure our bees thrive.
STANDARD HOST HIVE
INSIDE THE HIVE
CUSTOM LONG LANGSTROTH HIVE
My Long Langstrogths are back!!!
So many have been asking about my long hives, but I've not had time or space to build more since I expanded my apiary to 50 hives!! I'm excited to announce though that I've partnered with True Dimensions to get some of these great hives built for our great community!
There are a number of reasons why I decided to use horizontal hives... What do you think?
WEIGHT - A deep, 10 frame brood box, full of bees, brood, and honey should weigh about 80 lbs, and a medium 10 frame super, full of honey, could weigh up to 50 lbs. In peak season, you could be lifting 4-5 (or more) 50 lb supers, and at least one of the 80lb brood boxes in order to inspect. For me, that's just too much... with my horizontal hives I don't have to do any lifting at all, well I guess I have to lift each of the frames, but you get the gist.
LESS STRESS ON BEES - In beekeeping with a vertical Langstroth hive, the hive bodies must be un-stacked and re-stacked every time you do an inspection, as you well know this really disturbs the bees... Not the case with a horizontal hive!
FRAMES - As a bonus, my long Langstroth Hives use the same deep Langstroth frames as a vertical hive, so it will be easy to find honey, and wax processing equipment, and if you already have processing equipment, it will still be functional! Since you don't have to lift 10 frames at a time, as you would with a vertical hive, you don't have to worry about the weight of a super, and can standardize to using deep Langstroth frames, for brood and honey!
INSULATION - Traditional hive boxes, that you would buy from a supplier, are made of 1" (or less) thick boards. My Long hives are made from 2 by material, which provide much better insulation for our cold, long winters. My hives also have built in insulation in the lid to keep the girls cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
CONDENSATION - Bee's release quite a bit of moisture while they eat through their winter honey stores. The moisture condenses on the sides and tops of the bee hive, and can cause mold and can be very detrimental to them if they dripped on. My long hives are equipped with a moisture pillow made of wood chips, which actually has two benefits, it absorbs excess moisture, and insulates!
MULTIPLE COLONIES - In a vertical Langstroth hive, you are limited to keeping only one colony. With my long hive, I provide 2x divider/follower boards which replaces a frame, and will allow you to break your hive into 3 separate sections. This might come in handy for a swarm that needs a temporary place to stay, or overwintering two-three smaller colonies to help conserve heat.
COMFORTABLE WORKING HEIGHT - The frames of my horizontal hives sit at approximately 2'-6" tall, to make for a comfortable work zone. I should add, the height is completely customizable, if you need shorter... maybe for kids, or taller... if you're so blessed with those genes, let me know!
LESS MONITORING & SWARMING - In a vertical hive, you have to constantly modify the hive volume by adding boxes, and you must do so at just the right time to avoid cramping their style and encouraging them to swarm. Because warm air will rise to the empty top box and leave the lower story chilled, you can’t put all of the boxes on at once. Horizontal hives don’t create the same chimney effect, so you can add many frames to give your bees the freedom to expand at their own pace throughout the season, and to give you a break from constant monitoring. Less beekeeper monitoring, means less disruption to the girls, allowing them to be bees!
Honeyside Gates -
HORIZONTAL HIVE ARCHITECTURE
Built-in Frame Holder - To make inspections just a little bit easier - you won't have to carry around a frame holder or find a clear spot on the ground anymore.
Canvas Inner - To allow for plenty of ventilation and quick visual inspections. You can lift one end at a time to avoid disturbing the whole colony.
Moisture Pillow - The moisture pillow helps insulate (in both summer and winter), absorbs condensation, and also acts as a secondary inner cover. There are 3, to avoid agitating all of the girls if you don't need to check the entire hive.
Vented Roof - With our hot summer climate, a vented roof will prevent the girls from over heating, and in the winter, it will help to remove excess moisture. It may even help the girls cure their honey a bit faster and with a bit less effort, as moisture can easily escape the hive.
Frames - Each hive hold's up to 30 Deep Langstroth frames, no more messing with the mishmash of deeps, mediums, and shallows!
Built in Hive Stand - With it's tall legs built right in, you wont have to deal with making or buying a separate stand.
Entrance Holes with Landing Strips - Each hive has five, one inch, entrance holes, with landing strips.
Why Holes? Holes are easy for the bees to defend, and mimic what they might use in nature. They are easily plugged with a cork when they don't need to be open.
Why Five? The first 3 holes are for their main entrance, the middle and end holes, can act as either 2nd and 3rd entrances which will allow forager bees to head directly to their honeycomb, or will allow you to keep 2-3 small hives (nucs) in the single hive.
Hinged Bottom Board - The bottom of the hive can easily be opened to allow you to clean out dead bees in the winter.
Divider or Follower Boards - Allow you to host multiple colonies, or open up hive space as needed.
Opens from the Back - This will allow you to do inspections without blocking the entrances and disturbing the foragers' return home.
White Paint - Helps to keep the colony cool in the heat of summer.
CUSTOMIZATIONS - Each beekeeper has their own needs and preferences, if you have any suggestions, or customization requests, let me know, I'd love to work with you on that!
HORIZONTAL HIVE PRICING
Each Long hive is made with fir lumber and includes:
Built-in Frame Holder
Canvas Inner Cover
Built in Hive Stand
5 Front Entrance Holes with Honeyside Gates installed
Hinged Bottom Board
Polycarbonate Corrugated Roof - 3 Colors to Choose From.
Assembled Frames with Waxed Rite-Cell Foundation +$4.25 each
Divide or Follower Boards +$10 each
Landing Pad +$20 each
Primed and Painted White +$75
Rooftop Insulation +$50
Local Delivery +$40