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Education The Long Langstroth Project

Discussion in 'General' started by Jumeira_Johnny, 29 Jul 2017.

  1. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    I thought I'd share this, since I always end up sharing my projects that don't really fit anywhere else. The basic premise is that vertical hives are great for making honey and horizontal hives are more suited for making bees. Bees have a better return on investment, so I wanted a big resource hive to plunder for brood and comb to make splits.

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    The hives on the right are mine. The tall one in the back is Monyette, and she will be put into the long hive for the winter. She's in 2 deep and 2 mediums at the moment, but I'll rotate her over to all deep frames in stages.

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    So first I had to figure out how long to make it, what was a rational size. I run 8 frame boxes and she's in 4 boxes now. 48" gives me 37 frames, or 36 and frame feeder.

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    I make my nuc boxes using 1/2 inch plywood and decided to stick with what had worked for me in the past. The inner box is essentially just the frame rests. The outer box will me made with 2x12s to give the sides some insulation.

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    I skinned the bottom in 3/4" planks, ripped to size. There isn't much heat loss there, so using 1 1/2" thick material made little sense and I still had to get it up out of the basement and into the apiary.

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    I fabed up some custom inner covers, which in hindsight need to be trimmed up. I might even do away with them and go to a more traditional canvas inner cover. We'll see.

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    I framed up the lid. I wanted a peaked lid with a gable for ventilation. We have long, cold winters and moisture control is a major factor in the survival of the colony. And I wanted to skin it in aluminium because it's cool.

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    Both sides done and the spacers for the gable.

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    And the ridge peak done. It could be tidier, but I eyeballed the angle.

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    The entrance I just chiseled out. No point in going out and buying a plunge router just for this. Although if I make another one, I will be investing in one.

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    Painted and last fitment test. Man, it's heavy.

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    With the lid on. If it looks like there is a huge space under the lid, there is. I left room for a quilt box that will insulate and absorb moisture during the winter.

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    Here she is after the frames have been transfered and the old hive broken down. The girls are finding the entrance and making their way in. I would have taken pictures of the process, but moving 36 frames of bees and breaking down their home is fairly invasive and I was focused on getting it done quickly and safely.

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    Marching the stragglers in. There was some burr comb on the old inner cover that they didn't want to abandon.

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    And here is how my section looks now. Rosina on the left, the empty hive waiting for a new colony, then Linda in the purple nuc (who will likely be going into the the empty hive next week), Esmeralda in the yellow nuc, and big mamma Monyette.

    I will give them the weekend to settle in. On Monday I'll pull some honey frames to prevent them from becoming honey bound and 4 frames of brood to make my last two splits before winter. That will give me 7 hives and allow me some winter losses while still putting me in a good position to have a healthy spring.

    Hope you enjoyed it.
     
  2. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Really interesting stuff, this. I always enjoy your project threads :)

    Is the plan to farm bees to sell on, or to create new hives to produce more honey? Apologies if that's a stupid question, but I know nothing about bees and beekeeping!
     
  3. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    While we will harvest a bit of honey for mead, we are most interested in selling nucleus colonies in our area. The demand for bees is exploding and the quality of the queens is dropping dramatically as the major breeders can not keep pace.
     
  4. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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  5. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Cheers for the reply. How much do bees sell for, then?
     
  6. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    Five frame nucleus colonies sell for $200. You get usually get 3+ frames of brood in various stages, a food frame and laying queen.
     
  7. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    [​IMG]

    Just a quick update. I added hinges to the lid, which makes it a lot easier to open.
     

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