In Part Three of our five-part Hive Types Series, we talk with Colorado Master Beekeeper and columnist Tina Sebestyen about the Long or Horizontal Langstroth. Horizontal hives are very much like the traditional Langstroth hives, which are vertical...
In Part Three of our five-part Hive Types Series, we talk with Colorado Master Beekeeper and columnist Tina Sebestyen about the Long or Horizontal Langstroth. Horizontal hives are very much like the traditional Langstroth hives, which are vertical stacks of boxes, except horizontal hives are only one box high and about three boxes long. The very best thing about horizontal hives is that you never have to lift a very heavy box off the top of a hive to get to what’s below that box. Essentially, no lifting for the beekeeper.
Horizontal hives, using 30 frames, can have the front door on either or both ends, or in the middle. If there is just one opening, it should be on the end, so the bees build their nest a frame or two of honey right next to the entrance, behind that some of the bee bread, then the brood next, and at the end away from the front door will be the honey. Not up, but back.
Burlap can be used instead of inner covers, using 4 or 5 pieces laid on top of the top bars. The bees will stick some of this to the top bars with propolis, but also leave passageways so they can go over the top of the frames. This very much resembles what a nest in a tree would be like. Propolis is good.
Tina explains there are additional advantages for the beekeeper: You use much less equipment. It’s all in one box. No more supers in the garage, with frames, feeders and the like. Plus, swarm control gets a lot easier, especially if you have entrances on both ends. If you find swarm cells in the brood area, simply find the queen, move her to the other end with some brood and bees, and move the divider board from the very end to the middle, open the second entrance and you’re set. You’ve made a split without using any more equipment.
Tina has written several articles on horizontal hive keeping for Bee Culture magazine (starting with the February 2020 issue), has loads of info on her web page and is in the process of writing a book on the topic.
She shares it all in this podcast. Listen today!
Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:
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Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"; Musicalman, "Epilogue". Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott
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Colorado Master Beekeeper, Author
Tina started keeping bees in 2007 with her father. She found an “old guy” a commercial beekeeper who agreed to take her to his apiary as an introduction to bees, and who subsequently mentored her. A few years later, as she began to understand how much there is to learn about beekeeping, and realized that old guy mentors were few and far between, she started what is now the Four Corners Beekeepers Association, so that beekeepers could share their experience and knowledge with one another. Through this, as she began mentoring others, her experience grew quickly, and she also gained new mentors of her own. Her passion is beekeeping, and sharing the knowledge and experience gained through trial and error with other beekeepers.
She writes for the American Bee Journal, Bee Culture magazine, and has written for a couple of overseas magazines. She teaches classes and speaks frequently on all kinds of topics, and is working on a book about horizontal beekeeping. Producing and coordinating the Colorado State Beekeepers Assoc. Master Beekeeper program is occupying most of the time she isn’t out in the beeyard raising queens and caring for her bees.