It’s funny- I started designing my hive after watching Joe’s video. I looked around for more ideas more and found this very clean functional design from Trev’s Bees in New Zealand which gave me the idea to make my long hive the length of two standard supers so I could stack up if I wanted to and expand vertically:
Then I came up with some names for it- first was ‘The Honey Barn’ but that was too rustic given the mid-century modernist style of my hive- so I made a play on ‘Bauhaus’ and came up with ‘Das Beehaus’. Then I googled and found those Beehaus hives- and they are similar in operation to what I designed! Drats! back to the drawing board for names…
Then- reading about the Beehaus- I came to the Dartington hive upon which the Beehaus is (clearly) based- and it is very similar in operation to how my design came together. Turns out there is nothing new under the sun. The good news is the Dartington hive comes with some good ideas about Swarm control and hive management using long style hives:
It’s good to know that the concepts of long langstroths are really quite well developed- and that most users report there is no real problem with these types of hives- or issues with productivity- beyond their size and the relative difficulty of moving them compared to standard vertical langstroths. Other than this one drawback there are many advantages: the hives can be easily split into multiple hives, you can inspect particular frames without having to uncover all the frames. There is no need to lift heavy boxes to inspect frames (unless you stack in summer). You can expand and contract the colony - and rotate out old frames easily. They would make good ‘queen castles’. They make excellent demonstration/educational hives. Using langstroth frames they are compatible with a lot of existing equipment. I also believe they would be better suited to heat treating for Varroa control… There a lot to like for the hobby beekeeper- and I am hoping- there is a goodly possibility of using these hives in a semi-commercial manner.
There is one thing my hive is optimised for that all the others lack: Flow Frames! Unfortunately there is another possibly unique factor with my hive: high cost! I have spared nothing with the design, plan to hot wax dip all parts in bees wax and gum rosin, and am using premium pine, precision cut- over 15 meters of 290mm planks in each hive! It has become a monster: