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Way to go.........Horizontal Flow Hive


How did the hive do? Any updates? I am going to be making a long hive this winter for next year and like your design just want to know if youre happy with it or if you would change anything about it going forward.



Has anyone tried running their brood and flow frames lengthwise down the long hive. I would think the bees would like it better as it would be easier for them to move around the hive and you’d still get the benefit of not having to lift boxes. My only concern would be the bees finding the flow frames. See the top down view below. I figured I could build it by using existing 8 frame deeps bolted together end to end rather than trying to build from the ground up.


Is your plan to connect existing complete boxes with corresponding entrances or remove the ends to form one long hollow box?
Just reread your plan and you’ve already answered :roll_eyes:


In effect I would probably cut out the centers of the ends of the boxes, maybe 8x10 hole, so the bees could move between sections, or, leave a crawl thru space at the bottom kind of like the entrance to the hive though I think a bigger opening would be better.


An interesting thought and sure you get lots of members who run long hives having their input. I’m a ‘stacker’ but my thought would be to consider having the boxes side by side rather than lengthwise with the middle box having the entrance, my thinking is that way there would be a shorter distance for the bees to travel in the hive to the Flow Frames.
Cheers Randy.


the problem with cutting holes in the side of a box and pushing them up together is you’d end up with a gap from 1.5 to 2 inches inside those holes. That is very big in the world of bees and they would build comb in it. If you had frames running lengthwise the bees would attach frames from one box to frames from the next one.

There are also issues with a vertical queen excluder- it has to be designed so that it can be snug up against the frames on either side- if not the bees will build comb all over it- and bridging to adjacent frames. Bee space is a critical consideration when designing a hive.

My long hive is doing well- however this season it isn’t making any extra honey yet- none of the hives at that apiary have any honey in their supers- it’s been a very lean year so far. Lately conditions seem to have improved and I am still hoping for some late summer and autumn honey.


Any thought on a two colony long hive sharing flow frames in the center?


I think @Michael_Bush or someone else on the forum previously commented on a regular langstroth hive with with one colony on top, another at the bottom, and shared supers (notice the plural). I also vaguely recall someone wanting to go something similar in a long Lang and a discussion taking place but can’t recall if it was ever actually done.

I do seem to recall that the separation distance between the two colonies was important…


Establishing two queens instead of one queen in a honey bee colony Part I

(I’m not a member so can’t access that link but perhaps someone on here can access it and share key learnings)

A Hive With Two Queens



I have no experience running two queen hives so couldn’t say. I know it can be done.

personally I don’t think I would do it for a long hive- and I would have my flow frames on the outside. In a long hive the bees definitely tend to have their brood in the middle and honey at either end. If you had a double queen colony you would need two QX’s: one either side of the central flow frames. QX’s are more of an issue in a long hive as they are vertical- as the bees tend to build bridge comb onto them. You need to be able to remove them for maintenance and take a lot of care with the beespace in how they are positioned up against the adjacent frames to minimise bridging.

Currently I am quite happy with my design of flow frames at one end only- as it limits me to only needing one QX- and I can shrink the colony with a follower board at the other end if I need to.

Unfortunately this has been an awful year here in SA and my own long hive has just survived- and hasn’t put a drop of honey into the flow frames. So I am going to have to wait until next year to really see how well my own design with frames at one end only goes. The season prior the hive was set back by requeening itself- but I still managed to harvest the flow frames twice- and removed full frames of regular comb honey from the other end of the hive.


I really can’t see the point of 2 queen colonies. One young well mated naturally selected queen is all that’s required to build the strongest colony.

Have 2 queens by all means, but have them in separate colonies.


I think that 2 queen colonies are a valid research project, if there was real value in the process the commercial guys would be running this model.

As for 2 Qx in a long hive, my SouthEastScarp Solution long hive is designed for moveable flow frames at either end, with clear follower boards behind the flow frames to keep the bees in and to let me see progress as the outer frames are filled.

My vertical flow hive has bees building cross comb across the Qx from the top of the brood frames to the bottom of the flow frames. I’m convinced they do this to assist in movement between the brood box and flow frames due to excessive bee space between the brood box and flow frames.

In the long hive, provided bee space is correct, there should be no reason for the girls to build cross comb between the brood frames through the Qx and onto the flow frames.


I’ve done several two queen hives over the years starting back in 1974 and then again in the early 2000s. Here’s what I wrote about them:


“You can use any of several methods to get the hive to accept two queens, but they are separated enough to not fight and you have two brood nests and one stack of supers in the middle.”

How did that work out because it is exactly what I am considering.


I think I covered it on that web page… but basically it’s a lot more work than running three or four one queen hives and will make a lot more honey, be a lot more intimidating to work the hive. There are a lot of bees flying and if they are aggressive at all, the added strength tends to make them even more aggressive. All in all I think it’s easier to just run one queen hives. The compromise is to just put an excluder between two brood boxes and let them raise a queen. This usually results in a two queen hive without a lot of extra work and if they don’t end up with two queens, it doesn’t hurt anything. I really think that the benefit is just the pheromones from the two queens. One queen can lay 3,000 eggs a day (Jan Dzierzon, Rational Bee-Keeping, 1882 English edition, Pg 18) and that is more than a typical hive can raise most of the time. I don’t think another queen really adds more eggs, just more pheromones.


I think that two queens would be easy to do in a long hive.
After a little bit of thought on the subject: you could put two nucs in, one on each end. In the centre you could have the flow or traditional frames for storing honey. Right in the middle you could have a dummy frame with several sheets of newspaper creating a barrier. By the time the bees chew through the newspaper, they should unite as friends. After that, remove the dummy frame.

The only advantage I can see for having 2 queen colonies would be in a situation where a limited number of hives are allowed on a property. A 2 queen hive could still be counted as one hive.


Two or more queens can be accommodated depending on the size of the long hive, however, my long is designed as a single queen hive only.

In my Local Government Area, we can only have 2 queens on our block irrespective of the number of hives. :frowning: You may be able to fool a Local Government Inspector (Ranger) with a multi-queen hive, but not the State agriculture inspectors, if the Ag inspector turns up they want to see the inside of your hive and check the frames for compliance, disease or other issues.