Long Langstroth plans

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Bob Wilson:
These plans are for a long langstroth, a horizontal beehive which holds 30 standard, deep langstroth frames. It is the equivalent of three deep langstroth boxes. Long langs have the benefit of using standard, deep langstroth frames, so frames of honey, pollen or brood can be given or received from any other beekeeper. However, there are not any stacked, heavy boxes to lift. Once in place, the heaviest lifting required is a single frame of honey.

The plans for this hive call for...
-One 2X12X12 foot board, untreated.
-One 4X4 sheet of 3/4 inch plywood, exterior grade, untreated.
-One 2X4X10 foot board. It is OK for the legs (only) to be pressure treated lumber.
-Wood, screws, and exterior wood glue.

A: Sides and ends.
Cut the 2X12X12 into the following sizes.
2 sides: 2x10x44 1/2 inches
2 ends: 2x10x21 3/8 inches
A 2X10 is actually only 9.5 inches wide, therefore a 2X12 has to be used and then cut down to 10 inches wide.

B: Frame rests.
The side pieces need to be cut to create a frame rest 3/4 inches from the top and 3/8 inches into the side.
When migratory top boards are used, it creates 3/8 inch bee space between the top of frame and the lid. This hive has bee space on all four sides of the frame.

Bob Wilson:
C: Bottom:
Cut a 21 3/8x 47 inch bottom from the plywood.
The reason why the hive body is only 47 1/2 inches long is that the 48 inch long migratory top will be cut into several sections (lids), and those cuts will shorten the length of the top to a little less than 48 inches. The top will only be about 47 1/2 inches.

D: Migratory top
Cut the remaining plywood into a 21 3/8 X 48 inch piece for the top. Cut the top into three separate pieces, which reduces the length to about 47 1/2 inches. Keeping the top as one long piece is unwieldy and cumbersome to remove and put back on. One of the benefits of a long hive is removing only one lid/top at a time, leaving the rest of the hive undisturbed. Some plans call for a gabled roof set on a long hinge.

E: Entrance
Cut a 3/8 inch deep piece from the top of one end. Save this piece to use for closing the entrance in winter or during robbing. In the USA Southeast, it is hot and humid. A top entrance lets out condensation all year long. Whatever kind of entrance you choose to make, place it at one end of the hive, and not at the middle or at both ends. The queen will keep her brood nest near the entrance at one end.

F: Legs
Cut the 2X4X10 into 4 equal pieces for legs (30 inches each). Measure 36 inches from the top of the box to the foot of the legs and then screw the legs into the hive body. 36 inches is standard countertop level and is a comfortable height to work the frames. A scrap piece of lumber can be added for bracing to the legs. It is probably unneeded. Use 4 long screws for each leg. Beehives are very heavy when full of honey.

Bob Wilson:
G: Weather
Because the migratory covering is cut into three separate tops, rain can enter through the cracks. A covering sheet of vinyl, hanging over the sides keeps out the rain. Depending on the climate, a piece of reflective insulation can be used to keep the top cool.

H: Beetle trap
Some long hives have compartments underneath for placing pans of oil for beetle control. This hive has circular holes cut to the size of a wide mouth Mason jar in two bottom corners of the hive. Insert the jar lids into the holes, secure with heavy staples, and caulk with wood putty as needed. Mason jars (painted black on the outside) can be screwed from underneath with an inch of food grade mineral oil in them. #7 hardware cloth can be stapled inside, over the holes, which keeps the bees out, but lets the beetles fall through to drown in the oil.

Bill Murray:
Ok. being as Ive never ran one of these bob, I guess the question is would 1Xs work do you think? Im thinking of making one for all mediums for a x-mass gift for My granddaughter.

Bob Wilson:
I have made them from 1X lumber, but with a 4 foot length, they warp. The sides bowed out at the top, and the frames kept slipping off the frame rests into the box. Very frustrating.
I don't think 2X planks will warp much at all over just a 4 foot span, especially when screwed at the ends and along the bottom. I made a 2x lumber hive a few years ago (the last one I built), and it seems to be doing very well. Weight is not an issue with a long hive. Limited space is.


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