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Long Lang with Flow Frames


#1

Been busy making a new long lang with my Dad. Just need to do some of the finer details and give it a lick of paint.

42mm walls, 25mm base, 30mm inner covers. 1.2m total length.






#2

I look forward to seeing how your Flow Lang goes :slight_smile:


#3

That looks like a well made hive Adam, you both deserve to pat each other on the back.
Cheers


#4

Looks very solid Adam,

I’ll be interested to see how it goes with 6 frames like that- my hive is very similar but has just 4. Last season the bees managed to fill the three innermost ones but never fully capped the 4th. I am hoping that was just because they were set back a bit in early spring when they requeened themselves. When I make some more long hives I am going to try with 3 frames at each end- instead of all at one end. In my hive the standard frames at the other end were all capped honey 3 frames in.

Have you made your queen excluder yet? I had some difficulty with that- I really wanted to find a purpose built vertical excluder- there are some overseas but I couldn’t find any in Australia. In the end I cut down a metal one and framed it in wood. I designed mine so it could be moved along like a regular frame so that if I want I can move it and put a brood frame on the super side to let bees hatch out and for it to be filled with honey for removal.

You might want to consider putting some long poles on the base so two people can lift the hive like a stretcher. these hives are not really easy to move- and ideally they stay where they are put- but I had to move mine a few months ago and I was very happy I put the handles on it as otherwise moving would have been very difficult.


#5

Jack I weighed up the placement of the flow frames based on your observation and future build. I’m hope the colony will be strong enough to fill all of them. Otherwise I might be able to modify. Time will tell.

I’m going to cut down a metal queen excluder too. This one will slot in place next to the flow frames and not be moveable.

I’m hoping not to move it for a good while. If I need to in the future I’ll get some batons and tek screw or coach bolt them on.


#6

I hope they fill all six too.

With the QX- make sure that you can easilyremove it for cleaning- as I found you get more brace comb in the vertical configuration than in the normal set up.

Here’s what mine looked like- after the bees half filled it with honey:

The issue I had was the frame I made for the QX to sit in made the QX sit bit too far from the adjacent frames- and the bees didn’t waste that extra space… I got nearly 1 kg of honey out of the QX!

Another thought I just had: you have a solid bottom- are you going to tilt the entire hive for the flow frame tilt? If so you might want to drill some drain holes at the rear side of the floor


#7

I have made it so the queen excluder is removable.

I’m going to tilt the whole hive to get the 2.5-5 degree tilt. I thought about water and honey spills and water and there it can get out. My entrances are also sloped so that water can not flow in them during rain.

Adam


#8

98% done now. Just need to cut a couple of feeding/vent holes, add an entrance slide and wait for the paint to cure.


#9

Looks fantastic Andrew!

be sure to put some heavy duty handles on your inner covers- and also I recommend using vinyl hive mats to cover your frames- as I had real issues with my bees attaching my frames to the inner covers. The vinyl solved this. Also make sure that you leave a few mm at least gap between all the inner covers: if they are a very tight fit they will expand and lock into place. I had a gap of around 8mm when I pushed all of mine to one side- I used a shim on one cover to get rid of that gap- but then I had to remove it later when the inner covers expanded and locked tight. Now I space them evenly with a +/- 2mm gap between them all and all is good.

If you don’t have one get a frame grabber tool - as lifting frames out of this configuration is not as easy using a hive tool as it is with regular hives.

Another small issue on my hive- is that spot above the flow frames where you insert the keys: I see you have a metal strip at that point: on my hive the bees where able to walk over that spot and exit the rear of the hive when I remove the cover for the flow key. I have to tweak mine to stop them getting out there- I can’t quite tell but it looks to me like the bees might be able to do the same on your hive? It’s a bit annoying when you harvest and bees come out there.


#10

Jack I’ve not had any issues with propolis or expanding cover boards on my other long but I’ll watch for it. I let a little bigger gap between cover board and edge of hive to get a lever in. As you said handles may be wise. Im hoping my 30mm thick boards want be too bad for expansion and warping.

I was worried about bees exiting were the tool access is too. Not the clearest photo but I think I have got the gap down to 2mm or so. If I need to I’ll put a thin strip of wood under the coverboards to cover that gap if my measurements have failed.

Adam


#11

you may be OK- my inner covers are only 19mm. But they are wax dipped- and still expanded. They didn’t warp though. I have ventilation holes in several of them but the bees propolised over most of the screen mesh. I made holes with plugs so that I could feed with a jar if I want to.


#12

I use the same hole for ventilation and feeding. I use a rapid feeder, normally 1l.

Like everything I might have a plan, but the bees may have a different one…


#13

Bees installed 1 Sept 2018 ready for summer. They came from a double brood 8fr Lang. Reduced to 14 frames with no access to flow frames at this stage.


#14

Please keep us updated. Very interested to hear about progress - good, bad, and indifferent.


#15

No photos but I removed the follower board so the bees can access the flow frames on Saturday 22 Sept. I also placed a flow frames on top of a traditional 8 frame lang.

Looking forward to seeing how it goes.


#16

Thanks! I’m also looking forward to hearing how it goes :slight_smile:

If it works I might see if I can commission you to build me one, and I’ll take a drive to pick it up :wink:


#17

The bees have increasingly been working the flow frames. Not the best photo but they are accessing and preparing the flow frames. I had 17 frames of mostly brood and added another two frames a week or so ago. Lots of nurse bees and starting to see an increase in foragers as they age.


#18

Oh my! That is a MONSTER hive! Seventeen frames of brood? I find mine hard to handle when I get to 10 frames. You should get a ton of honey, maybe even literally! :smile:


#19

I’m expecting some fun and games but at the moment they are being pussy cats. Maybe it is the long hive and not having to lift supers apart when I inspect. I’ll let you know what happens through the season. I hope to get some honey from this hive.


#20

I think a good part of it is the hive design: I find inspecting my own long hive very relaxed- the bees are never agro. By only uncovering the frames you are looking at at that moment- and not having to remove supers or a second brood box- disturbance is kept to a minimum. I bet that later int he season you will find that the brood frames at the opposite end of the hive are filled with honey- I am able to harvest from both ends of my hive. I think you could probably get away with not using a queen excluder at all- as the brood tends to stay towards the center of the hive- but I am too cautious to test the theory…