I started my first hive this spring and they’ve done great so far, but one thing I found during my first year of experience was that I really hated having to unstack the 2 brood boxes to properly inspect them. Each time, I’d destroy cells that bridged the 2 boxes, and larvae would be exposed. Plus, they’re heavy (even with 8-frame equipment) and hard to manage, and I was always so afraid of dropping something and/or crushing my queen when trying to move heavy things.
So… I was debating building a different type of hive for next year. Kind of a hybrid Langstroth and top bar design. It would use standard Langstroth frames but be a long single-story design like a top-bar instead of a stacked design. On one end, I’d install the Flow frames, and I might or might not end up jury-rigging a horizontal queen excluder. I’m still thinking if I should make the entrance in the center or on an end-- which way would be easiest to manage for being able to expand or contract the bee’s space with an end wall, use a queen excluder if I have to, etc.
Also,do you think it would be a problem leaving the hive at the recommended angle all the time, or should I set it up so I can tilt it when it’s time to drain the Flow frames?
Can anyone think of a good reason why I shouldn’t do this? Poke some holes in my plan so I can either figure out how to improve the design or if I should just scrap it and do another standard Langstroth hive.