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Author Topic: Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.  (Read 332 times)

Offline bobll

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Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.
« on: June 15, 2019, 04:44:55 pm »
I have experienced the wavy or bulging way that bees build honey comb in my foundationless frames. I have added some new, empty frames between brood frames to get some more straight comb. When is it too late to be inserting empty frames in the brood area, and is it safe this time of year to move a brood frame to the end of my long Lang in the honey area, to encourage straight honey comb production?

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2019, 05:07:33 pm »
Your answers are all based on the flow. As long as there is a good supply of nectar coming in and no cold snaps you should bee good.
Jim Altmiller

Offline cao

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Re: Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2019, 08:33:47 pm »
I wouldn't move a frame with brood to the end.  I would just continue adding empty frames between brood frames.  As long as there is enough bees to fill the empty space where you inserted the new frame, you should be O.K. inserting the empty frames.  If you keep adding frames in the brood nest, those frames will eventually make it  to the end where the honey is being stored.  In my long langs I don't worry to much about what the last few frames look like.  They just keep sliding to the back as I add more frames.  Eventually you can harvest those wavy combs if you like.

Offline bobll

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Re: Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2019, 10:19:50 pm »
Really Cao? You just keep adding frames in the brood area? The queen starts laying in them, and the old frames slowly migrate to the end of the box, where the workers fill them with honey. The end ones are the ones you pull a few at a time for honey.
Do you stop during summer dearth and begin inserting them again in the fall flow?
Also, you went into the first winter with 13 frames in your long lang. That was enough to get them through that first winter in _____ state? I assume that means you didn't remove any frames for honey yourself that first year.

Offline cao

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Re: Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2019, 11:50:35 pm »
I added empties in the brood nest any time let started to look crowded.  I did on occasion add a frame in the honey area, but only ones with some sort of foundation.  The frames added to the brood nest will be used by the queen before it gets completely drawn out. 
Do you stop during summer dearth and begin inserting them again in the fall flow?

It all depends on how crowded they are.  The nice thing about a long lang with a follower board, is that you can control the space better than a regular lang.

Also, you went into the first winter with 13 frames in your long lang. That was enough to get them through that first winter in _____ state? I assume that means you didn't remove any frames for honey yourself that first year.

The first long lang of mine was a little bit of an experiment.  I was able to put a good sized swarm in it and the first year I just let it do what it wanted.  All I did was add frames and increased the space when needed.  I tried to keep a frame or two empty so they had room to grow.  Going into the first winter, I figured with the added insulation(thicker wood) that they would be alright since they had more than a deep 10 frame box.  In my area, my regular hives that are one deep and one medium overwinter fine without any extra feed.  You are correct in assuming that I didn't remove any honey the first year.  I think that I only removed a couple honey frames last year.  My long lang hives are not for honey production.  I have other hives for that.  I mainly like them because I have access to the entire hive without lifting multiple boxes in case I need to steal a frame of brood or eggs.

Offline bobll

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Re: Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2019, 11:03:17 am »
> My long lang hives are not for honey production.  I have other hives for that.  I mainly like them because I have access to the entire hive without lifting multiple boxes in case I need to steal a frame of brood or eggs.

Cao. Do you not think of your long langs as honey producers, because you don't think they can make as much honey as a traditional lang, or because you just tend to use them for pulling brood instead?

Offline cao

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Re: Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2019, 01:33:13 pm »
Cao. Do you not think of your long langs as honey producers, because you don't think they can make as much honey as a traditional lang, or because you just tend to use them for pulling brood instead?

They could definitely be used for honey production.  Although the tricky part of a long hive is that the bees like to have a little honey above the brood so your brood nest tends to be a little longer.  You would need to control the brood nest some by having a honey frame as a barrier or possibly a queen excluder.  I have about 90 hives right now.  5 of them are long hives.  I don't need them for honey.  They are just so handy when you need a frame of brood, or for pulling the queen and making a nuc to sell.

Offline bobll

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Re: Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2019, 05:17:35 pm »
I saw a Youtube video with a guy dismantling his longlangs and complaining that they were nothing but brood producers. I only plan to run a few hives to keep me, and the people I know, in honey. I am not going into sales. Out of a four foot long hive, what percentage on average of your full longlangs actually becomes capped honey?

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Re: Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2019, 07:09:17 pm »
It all depends on the queen. Some produce bees that make lots of honey with little brood. Some produce lots and lots of brood and use the nectar to feed that brood.
I have had Queens in my observation hive that produced 6 frames of honey twice with only 2 frames of brood. Most of the queens have 6 to 8 frames of brood.
Jim Altmiller

Offline cao

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Re: Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2019, 10:09:07 pm »
In my 3 year old long lang, it is pretty much full now and there is probably brood in 2/3 of the frames.  Like I said they tend to keep honey on top of each frame of the brood nest therefore it takes up more frames because it is longer.  I don't think you could harvest as much honey from a long hive because it is harder to restrict the queen's movement.  On a typical lang you can put a queen excluder above the first box and have the next two for honey.  It could probably be done but it would be a lot harder to get that ratio of honey frames to brood frames in a long lang.  In your case, it would probably be ideal with a few hives, getting enough honey for yourself and friends with honey. 

Offline bobll

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Re: Adding foundationless frames in a long Lang.
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2019, 10:23:53 pm »
Hmmm. Thanks Jim and Cao. I have speculated a lot about whether a long lang produces more brood than a standard langstroth. However, I didn't think about the queen's role in it. Next time I open it up, I will do a better job of counting brood frames.
Cao. Don't the bees build frames the same regardless of the hive body style? Brood at center and bottom, surrounded by pollen above that, and then capped honey at the very top of the frame? Or does a standard langstroth with a honey super sitting above, make it so they don't put honey in the brood frames? Not sure I understand.