horizontal hives

pippomky75

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We have a langstroth bee hive, and I am not too thrilled with it for several reasons. I am 4'10". the hive is almost as tall as I am. I weigh 100. The boxes almost weigh as much as I do. It makes it hard to move them around and do inspections by myself. Also, my bees are just jerks. They do not like me messing around at all with that hive; however I tried draping some canvas over the box as I worked, this seemed to keep them calmer. I've done some reading on the horizontals, they seem like they would be a better set up for vertically challenged bee keepers, more cost effective, and less disruptive to the bees.

Are there any folks out there that use them? I'd love to hear some hands on details, opinions, suggestions or tips. also does anyone have a great plan they would be willing to share?
 

Latestarter

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Do a net search on top bar hives. They are simple to build, the frames do not stack but hang along a horizontal track within an long enclosed horizontal box. No stacking deeps. You can make it as long as you want and plenty low enough that you should be able to work on/in it with ease. Many swear by them, and they are much cheaper to make/operate.
 

CLSranch

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Are there any folks out there that use them? I'd love to hear some hands on details, opinions, suggestions or tips. also does anyone have a great plan they would be willing to share?
Do a net search on top bar hives.
and plenty low enough that you should be able to work on/in it with ease
Latestarter has a good thought.

I'm a 6' 175lb fit construction worker who carrys much more than I weigh up stairs, ladders, etc and way to far.
I STILL went with 8 frame mediums on my Langstroth hives because they were lighter. Not only easier on me but my not construction worker wife. Also I've read in bee keeping books and forums such as beesource the saying
There are 2 types of bee keepers those with bad backs and those who are going to have bad backs.lol
So after a few years of doing it, it should be comfortable as you can make it on yourself. Or your not going to like doing it.
 

soarwitheagles

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I like the Langstroth 10 frame hives very much. Yes, I have tried the 8 framers, and they worked well too. We also built many of the 5 frame nucs and they too work well.

My advice would be to carefully look at how much honey you plan on the bees bringing into your hives...

Your average deep frame full of honey weighs around 8 lbs. Multiply that by 10 frames and you have close to 80lbs. If you are not comfortable moving an 80lb box, then you may want to consider using the medium boxes at 50 lbs, or the 8 framers at about 64 lbs per full box. For me, using medium boxes is a lot more work if you plan upon harvesting a lot of honey...

I am not all that strong, but I am very happy with the 10 framers and plan upon keeping nearly the entire bee-yard at 10 framers simply for consistency and less over all work.

Hope this helps!

Soar

PS My back is strong as can be but I also do crunchies, work out, and diligently practice correct ergonomics.
 

CLSranch

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Hay soar. Haven't heard from you in a while. Although I'm not on here often. I'm glad the 10's work for you. They are a little easier to find.
 

soarwitheagles

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Good to see you back on here, been missing you!
Hay soar. Haven't heard from you in a while. Although I'm not on here often. I'm glad the 10's work for you. They are a little easier to find.
Hi CLS!

Yes, I have been gone for a long, long time and so sorry about that...

But it is good to be back again!

Yes, 10's working well for us. Yes, they are a bit heavy when full of honey, but that is a nice problem to have!

Presently, getting a ship load of calls from the almond farmers. They appear to be short on bees this year. They are asking to rent my bees...sure is tempting...
 

Baymule

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But would it be best for your bees? Do almond farmers spray their trees? If not, then maybe investigate it further.
 

Latestarter

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Hey... I agree! Check and make sure of pesticide usage and let them pay you to make honey for you! They just want the pollenization factor, the honey would be yours!
 

Happy Chooks

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I pull the frames out and carry them in a 5 lb bucket for extraction. Of course, you can't do this for inspections of the brood boxes.
 
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