Horizontal Hives

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maungaturoto
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That is the problem with all mini hives or top bar hives.
yes.
typically height is not a big problem. just a matter of having something else to stand on.
the real issue is typically box weight. this is where 3/4 size is quite handy.
or something like a warre hive where the boxes are a bit smaller than a FD. you end up with a tall skinny hive but lighter boxes.
 

NickWallingford

BOP Club
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Tauranga
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Where I grew up in Texas, we had 10 frame Langstroth hives like here (NZ), but also had 8 frame Langstroth, narrow little boxes that would never stand up to wind and cattle in NZ.
 

mischief

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Putaruru
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I have two horizontal hives...bought the first one at the end of 2016 and had the colony installed on the 1st of Jan 2017. That one uses standard deeps.
The second is one I knocked together myself, using jumbo deep boxes and frames from BeeQuip.
They have mesh floors with sliding drawers underneath so I can do my OAV treatments from below as well as do the mite counts.

The biggest problem is that the frames are designed for lang hives.....that gap along the top is not needed for horizontals because the bees do not need to go up. What they do is form burr comb between the tops of the frames and the inner covers, which is annoying to have to scrape off all the time.
This has to be done especially when frames are moved over, even slightly to make sure the inner covers fit snug along the top of the hive.

So far both hives are still live and doing quite well.
Do what is best for you.
 
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8,288
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maungaturoto
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The biggest problem is that the frames are designed for lang hives.....that gap along the top is not needed for horizontals because the bees do not need to go up. What they do is form burr comb between the tops of the frames and the inner covers, which is annoying to have to scrape off all the time.
the gap is controlled by the ledge the frame sits on rather than the frame. eg nz runs bottom space langs while other countries tend to run top space langs. same frames, just a change in how deep you cut the frame ledge in the box.
are the old metal frame ledge still available? you can use that to make them fit.
however with no bee space at the top they will propolise the frames to the lid. to much space and they will fill it with comb.
 

yesbut

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Nelson
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The conventional thinking with top bar frames is the top bar is the same width as the side pieces ie +/_ 32mm wide so they push hard together.
 
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3,238
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Hawksbay
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The conventional thinking with top bar frames is the top bar is the same width as the side pieces ie +/_ 32mm wide so they push hard together.
For me this is one of the biggest drawbacks of top bar hives as you have to pull a whole hive apart to see what's happening. With a conventional hive or a long hive using conventional frames as soon as you take the lid off you can learn a lot about what's happening in the hive. Personally I would put up with having to scrape them occasionally but you could just put top boards of straight plywood on top. Most top boards in New Zealand iincluding all of mine have too much top clearance i.e. more than a bee space above the frames so they are always filled up with honey and wax whenever the hive gets full. Way back in the day when all our hives were on individual floors the vast majority of our lids just sat straight on top of the frames and they worked fine.
 

Mickey

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Maungaturoto Northland
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I have recently been pondering on using nuc boxes, even my 8 frame FD is too heavy, thinking of trying 8 frame 3/4. A reply to my post a few years back was that nucs wouldn’t be practical in NZ .....wonder how it could play out.....I‘m 1.5m so wouldnt want it too high😁
Ive been using 6 frame boxes for a couple of years now, I put them on a 10 frame base, easy to split and have no shortage of honey @ about 20kg a box its not to heavey
 
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Central Otago
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I use top bars in mine that are tight together so don't have that issue, but knowing how bees will do their thing with burr comb and propolis I guess the object is to remove that space that triggers their instinct to fill it. I am thinking wooden spacers cut to fit the gaps could be a solution. You could lift them out to peek between frames. Depends on how many hives how much of a hassle that would be.
 

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