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Author Topic: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )  (Read 1599 times)

Offline gilligan

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Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« on: June 01, 2016, 01:47:20 AM »
So, I'm liking the idea of a Long Hive as I like the idea of plowing into any aspect of the hive I want to while still really keeping things "non-disruptive" as possible.

Couple of issues... I run all mediums and I'm not trying to have an 8' hive (sarcasm... sorta) and I have a partner that wants to focus on honey production as well.

So I was thinking about building a 4' hive and potentially supering it up during the flow.

I have a few ideas on how I might do that:

Just do like everyone else does and super on top of the hive either front or the back.  MB says he does the entrance side and uses top entrances and just moves the entrance up, forcing them to go through the supers.  I like this and here is where I have the question for Michael.  Could one then safely use an excluder with minimum negative side effects since they would come in loaded with the nectar and the queen would have 30+ frames to roam around in down below in the horizontal hive?  Does this typically place the honey on top of the brood?  This is the exact opposite of what I'm wanting with the long hive.  I want easy access to the brood during the honey flow to see how she is doing and how the hive is doing.

My "3rd" option, for lack of a better description, is like a smoker stack on a BBQ, like in the picture:



This would allow me to just stack them up up up and it would be all honey with no real issues down below.  I could even go up and down with them if I was clever enough.

What is everyone's thoughts?

Offline cao

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2016, 02:02:35 AM »
If I'm understanding correctly I think there would be an issue using a queen excluder under the supers if the only entrance is above the excluder.  Remember the drones need to get out too.

Offline gilligan

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2016, 04:21:47 PM »
If I'm understanding correctly I think there would be an issue using a queen excluder under the supers if the only entrance is above the excluder.  Remember the drones need to get out too.

Good point... my queen excluder is still sitting in the box from when I bought it 3 years ago. :)

I guess I could do Drone Escapes if that makes any sense.  Basically a lot like my pollen trap (that I don't really use).

I thought about also having multiple entrances (top and bottom)... not sure if this would help/hurt/confuse.

Offline cao

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2016, 05:03:45 PM »
There are beeks that use both top and bottom entrances on regular hives.   I don't see why it wouldn't work in your case.  There's only one way to find out.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 12:45:28 PM »
I am now using top and bottom entrances. I will be pulling honey this week. Some hives are bottom only, some are top only and about half are both. I will be recording how it works out as far as getting the honey capped.
Jim
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Offline gilligan

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 06:06:30 PM »
I've been trying to figure out the best way to do a medium long.  4' is just too short, that's like 4 medium 8 frame boxes... kind of weak.  Obviously I could just keep that for "brood" and go vertical for honey but still kind of lame.

I thought about a double depth model, but then that kind of starts to ruin the point of the long hive... harder to get to the bottom frames and you are exposing a large part of the hive vs just a little bit at a time.  I'm hoping to get more older people involved in beekeeping that might not want to deal with moving boxes around or might be intimidated by a lot of bees boiling out of a hive.

I thought about some crazy hinged top box in a double depth, but again... defeats the purpose.

I think I am now set on a 6' long hive.  That would be 6 boxes which is a little better plus I could stack vertical or something if I need to do honey production and can't stay on top of it and pull a frame or 3 at a time.

Only real draw back is that I can't make 2 hives from one sheet of plywood, but I could use the drops for end panels instead of using 2x8's for the ends.  So, one hive per sheet of plywood vs two.

Offline little john

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2016, 08:20:37 PM »
I appreciate that you run mediums in all your other hives, but running mediums within a long 'Long Hive' may not be a wise choice.

When people use Langstroth medium boxes in a conventional expandable vertical beehive, they use several - one above the other.  Doing this enables a spherical winter cluster to form across two or more sets of frames.

However, if medium frames are used within a horizontal Long Hive, there is no longer any way in which a spherical winter cluster can form.  A 6ft hive with a depth of only 6.5" or so will result in the formation of a long flattish cluster, which will lose heat rapidly due to it's increased surface area.

Long Hives are essentially fixed-volume hives, within which individual frames are lifted rather than a box-full of frames at one go - ergo, there is no longer any justification (on weight grounds) for the use of shallow frames within Long Hives. 

Indeed, the deeper the frame, the shorter can be the Long Hive for a given volume.  I run a large number of 3ft Long Hives with 9" deep frames, and just four of similar volume having 12" deep frames - with these latter four significantly out-performing the others.

LJ
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Offline gilligan

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2016, 09:43:07 PM »
John, your advice is well noted and I completely agree with what you are saying.

Only reasons for me sticking with Mediums is that our extractor only will do deeps tangential and not radially.  As soon as we upgrade that (which we actually just bought that one), I will switch to deeps for all the reasons stated above.

The other thing that allows me to "cheat" the system here is that I'm in South Louisiana.  Our winters are almost non-existent.  I'll still reduce the size of the hive down during the winter with a follower board... I might run a cheater follower board to keep them clustered in the center if I see a problem.

We are lucky though and we don't have much issues with winter here.  I'm hoping the "inner cover" will help insulate and I'll be able to really clamp down on the drafts by reducing the entrance better than I can with standard langs and just a better seal overall.  My boxes are a mess and have many cracks and places that they vent or just entrances they have made.

Offline little john

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2016, 08:07:48 AM »
I was on the road this morning for a couple of hours, during which time I found myself mulling over your idea of a Long Hive using mediums ...

I'm mindful that there is a precedent for using shallow boxes in the beehives of Anton Janscha, way back in the 18th Century.  He modified the krainer-bauernstock-offen, or 'Farmer's Hive' which was very popular in his day.  Although there was some variation in size, these were typically 30"x 12"x 6".

This shows the opened hive (upside-down, which is how it would have been inspected) showing the lengthwise combs which are more representative of how bees draw their combs if given free licence to do so.  As beekeepers we hang frames across the shorter dimension of a Long Hive for our convenience, whereas bees would much rather have the longest combs possible - even if this means drawing them diagonally !




This second graphic shows the modification that Janscha made : a second story to the basic box, which allowed honey storage and provided a facility for making 'splits'.




I've often thought about butting two sets of brood frames end-to-end to achieve this longitudinal format myself - the only reason I haven't is because of the exceptionally long lugs our frames have.  But Langstroths don't.

So - imagine if you will a Long Hive of 'double-frame' length, with the same width as your standard boxes are long.  Between the two sets of frames would be a fixed fenestrated partition supporting the frame lugs where they meet.  I haven't done the sums, but at a guess I'd say that would provide a cavity for 26 or so medium frames - would that be enough ?  If not you could always make a box 'three-frames' long, with two partitions.

OK - now here comes the neat bit.  Because you've made the width of the lower box equal to the length of your standard boxes, you can now place those standard boxes over the lower story - crosswise - as supers.  If all are not needed, then a sheet of plastic or thin plywood could be inserted between layers to blank-off unused boxes.  Alternatively, they could be filled with insulation and/or used as feeder shells.

The advantage in having a full length set of supers, is that the same roof may then be used, as would be fitted to the lower box alone.  This is the principle behind the Dartington Hive which has 3 nuc-width supers over it's extra-deep frames,  whereas here we'd be looking at 3 or more full-width supers.

Hopefully there's the kernel of an idea somewhere amongst that lot to get you started on this interesting project.

'best
LJ
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Offline gilligan

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2016, 06:19:18 PM »
If I understand you right you are saying run the frames end to end to make a "double wide" (you saying my bees are trailer trash?) ;)

Like this?:

[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]



I've thought about that.  Only issues I foresee is it would have top be done end to end because it would be too hard to reach across one hole set of frames to get to the back set.

Another issue is I would suspect they would create a ton of bur comb between the frames.  You would almost have to do some sort of slatted all between the frames so they could traverse but not be enough space to build comb.

Or am I just WAY off?

Offline cao

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2016, 06:55:11 PM »
Another issue is I would suspect they would create a ton of bur comb between the frames.  You would almost have to do some sort of slatted all between the frames so they could traverse but not be enough space to build comb.

I was thinking the same thing.

Offline little john

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2016, 08:19:53 PM »
If I understand you right you are saying run the frames end to end to make a "double wide"

Well, I'd call that 'double-length' - but yes.

Quote
I've thought about that.  Only issues I foresee is it would have top be done end to end because it would be too hard to reach across one hole set of frames to get to the back set.

Errr - why not stand at one (long) side of the hive ?  And if 20" or so is too far to reach across - then move around to the other side of the hive.  Simples.

Quote
Another issue is I would suspect they would create a ton of bur comb between the frames.  You would almost have to do some sort of slatted all between the frames so they could traverse but not be enough space to build comb.  Or am I just WAY off? 

No - you have the right idea.  As I suggested, use a fenestrated partition to support the frame lugs.  Here is a pic of a fenestrated (windowed, or slatted) dummy frame I made to house a Cupkit laying cage.  I kept it as simple as possible - 10mm battens with 10mm gaps between them.  That picture was taken before it was used, but zero comb has been built upon it after 3 years of frequent use:




So - you'd need to make a fixed partition using the same style of construction.  I really do think this kind of format could work with short-lugged frames.  Unusual, of course, I don't know of anyone else who's tried this.

It might even be possible to run such a shallow-depth Long Hive without supers - the honey area being a third set of frames, with the additional support partition between the second and third sets of frames being solid but truncated, to act as a queen excluder, thusly:




Which is a shot of the Die Bienenkiste hive (upside down), showing the Q/X.  The honey stores combs fit in the 1/3 area nearest the camera, but their starter-strips have not yet been installed.
You may have already guessed that the Die Bienenkiste beehive is a modern, improved - and deeper - version of the boxes originally used by Anton Janscha.

LJ
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Offline gilligan

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2016, 01:28:53 AM »
I was wanting to hinge my top, this is for ease of use, not only for me but if I get any older people into bees.  I'm trying to keep it as easy as I can for them.  It's not the first 20" that is hard to reach, it's the next 20" to the far side that is hard to get at! :)


Offline little john

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2016, 04:03:20 AM »
Hmmm - we're not singing from the same hymn sheet on this one ...  Perhaps a picture might help ?

Now this is a dual 'deep' Long Hive - but it'll do to explain the ease of access I'm talking about.  This one is 4ft long and as you can see it has a hinged roof.




Ok - here's a shot with the roof open.  What I'm suggesting is that the solid divider shown here be replaced by a fenestrated partition to support the lugs of the frames which would run lengthwise along the cavity.




As I'm sure you can envisage, the beekeeper stands next to the long edge to perform inspections.  With this particular hive there's a maximum reach of some 18" or so - in your case it would be an inch or two more, but there's no way one would ever need to reach over two sets of frames, unless you're trying to inspect by standing at one end - but why on earth do that ?

Because - another advantage of running frames lengthwise, is that they then present to the beekeeper as running from left to right - it would then become much easier to lift them when standing at the long side.  The frames in the hive shown run across the cavities, and are indeed a little awkward to lift, as they are running at 90 degrees to the natural grasping position of the arms and hands.  But - it's manageable like that, just not ideal.

Another consideration - in view of your wish to fit a hinged top - is that with hinged tops supering becomes far less straightforward.

LJ
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Offline gilligan

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2016, 11:02:13 AM »
But in the end aren't you really just running the same amount of frames and just rotating them?  Your depth will still be ~20" meaning you will have 13 frames going back.  So in 4' of length you have 26 frames. Basically the same as you were running before.  I do like the idea of the arrangement better, I just don't know if it's worth the extra fabrication and challenges it brings.

I agree that the hinged top brings extra challenges to supering.  I haven't quite sorted out exactly how I would do that.  This is one reason for my side stack BBQ smoker thoughts.  Pop open a panel and strap on a special super that mates up to the opening.  From there it's standard migratory top for that offset stack.

Like so:

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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2016, 11:19:03 AM »
I run a long hive with mediums most of the time.  (don't have bees in one right now).  It works fine.  An excluder has never worked well for me in a long hive.  It seems to stop the bees in their tracks.  I try to have a top entrance at one end and IF I add supers I add it there and move the entrance up.  Otherwise it's hard to get the bees to acknowledge the supers and use them.  I move the brood nest to the back so I won't have to lift boxes to get to it.  But most of the fun of a horizontal hive is not having to lift boxes... so I usually don't do supers on them.
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Offline gilligan

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Re: Queen Excluder on a Long Lang Hive (looking at you MB ;) )
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2016, 12:18:34 PM »
Thanks for your input Mr. Bush.

That definitely makes me think about how I should do it, if I choose to go with my smoke stack route or even just super them up.