Manley Long Lang

Hi Rebecca @Outbeck you asked for some details around my medium frame LL that I’ve built. Medium, manley frames, are 169mm heigh, which is ~70% of a deep which is 241mm. The WSP is 195mm or ~80% of a deep frame.

The medium was built to provide a queen mating castle in my backyard. As you can imagine space is limited and I wanted something that would allow for mating on two Manly frames but the divides where adjustable so that I could provide additional space as required.

So using 30mm wood 185mm wide I made a LL that can be divided up into nine by 2frames. There is a “collar” around the top to hold cover boards in place. Each compartment has its own entrance and “colour” code to stop queen drift when mating. And each compartment has its own cover board so it can be opened up individually. The dividers are removable and when removed I can add an additional frame, so removing one divider changes that sport from 2x2f to 1x5f. Overall with the dividers removed it holds 25ish manley frames.

I haven’t run it as a queen castle as yet, still planning to on the Marri flow this year in the coming weeks.

I needed to draw out the manly frames and initially ran two new season queens in it with a central solid divider between the two. They quickly built it out and over populated it. I removed one queen and now have a single queen and a queen excluder (15f brood and 10f honey). I’m still working out how to run it but am enjoying the smaller frames and management.

My intention for the hive is queen/nuc production rather than honey. To date I’ve taken 10 splits from the hive as well while managing the population.

I’ve since also changed the roof from the poly carbonate to a painted ply.

Hopefully the pictures explain it better.


It looks great Adam! I wasn’t familiar with queen mating castles, but have now looked it up to see how they work. I didn’t see too many castles run on Manley frames, so assume it was more to see how the size worked for you? I pulled out a frame choc-full of honey from the LL and it was sooo heavy. I look forward to seeing how it goes for you when up and running.

A couple of questions on the build. How are you finding 30mm exterior wall v 45mm? Are the roof sides 30mm as well or narrower?

Assuming the polycarbonate roof didn’t work for you, what thickness ply did you replace it with?

As always, love your work :+1:

I’m going to be using Manley frames in my queen rearing system and thought this would also be a good source for frames with resources (capped larvae or food). The wood to make a manley long is more readily available than a deep long. The frames are still more area than a mini mating nuc. Just seemed a better compromise for what I was trying to do.

The insulation seems to be fine with this size hive 30mm Vs 45mm on the deep Long Langs I have. The cover boards are 19mm rather than 30mm which I have on the deep.

The roof sides are 19mm as well. I had some 25mm foam insulation under the polycarbonate roof that warped and slipped. Rather than redoing and lining them in I opted to put a slightly larger 12mm play roof on top. I wasn’t happy with the overhang of the polycarbonate roof on the long sides of this hive. The ply sheet gave me a better option.

Great food for thought there for when I start tinkering with a second LL over winter. Nice job!
Did you use the foam insulation under the 12mm ply or just the ply?
Thanks again

Just the ply.

My feeling is that the Manley long lang will be just as productive as a deep long lang. given the relative size of the LL - 1.2m. Even the Manley LL with manley frames which are narrower than the deeps (32mm Vs 35mm) gives you approximately 36 manley frames which are the equivalent to 24 deeps, a tripple deck 8f. One of our older (over 90) beekeepers here in WA runs Manley equipment exclusively as it is easier for him to manage and comments on the productivity and simplicity of the system in vertical hives.

I don’t deal with cold winters so a LL should work just as well.

The wood is readily available from hardware shops rather than specialist wood shops. It is just one rabbet cut for the frame rests and a collar to hold the cover boards in place. A much easier LL to make or lean on a wood worker or cabinet maker to make one complicated cut. The rest can be done with hand tools.

I’ve also made “hungry boards” for one of the sections so that I can place two deep frames in that section (it is one of the reasons the lid is so deep). So you could made a modification up or down to accommodate Flow Frames if you wanted.

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I did wonder why the roof was so tall. Great thinking to be able to accommodate deeps and flow frames within your system. I look forward to hearing about the queen rearing side of it down the track.

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