Long Hive / Valkyrie Hive

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Please email me at sydneybeeshop@gmail.com for details on the current version of this hive and all options.

The Long Langstroth Hive (aka Long Hive or Valkyrie Hive) is gaining popularity due to all frames being on one level, with no heavy boxes to lift. This makes it impractical for migratory beekeepers who want to fit 4 hives on one pallet, but perfect for backyard beekeepers who want to save their backs.

Hive price starts at $580. This includes a follower board (to reduce open space), a vertical queen excluder, and inner covers. The roof will have white primer. Options include viewing windows, screened bottoms, peaked roofs and a version that accepts FLOW FRAMES.

The hive fits 33 standard Langstroth deep frames, which are not included. They cost $1.65 each (Hornsby Beekeeping) if you run foundationless, which is easy with a Long Hive: simply insert each empty frame between two drawn frames so the bees draw nice straight combs. Shuffle the frames along as you do this (easy, because they are all on one level). You only need to open one panel above the target frames, leaving the rest of the hive undisturbed…

I include a queen excluder but it is not usually necessary. The queen will want to lay eggs close to the entrance. Frames at the other end of hive will be 100% honey. If you are using plastic foundation, you can harvest mixed brood/honey frames by simply scraping the honey comb off of the foundation and leaving the eggs/brood undisturbed. Running without a queen excluder is also more friendly and more natural to the bees (no tight bars to squeeze through). Current queen excluders are plastic (not metal as shown in photos). These work better in vertical orientation…

Photos below show the 20mm roof insulation, which prevents condensation on the glass panel. Roof top is fibre-cement for weather-resistance. Joints are rebated for durability. Heavy galvanized screws are used for all main joints, as well as to keep the legs off of the ground for longevity. Chain on lid is also galvanized.

Courier of the 36kg hive in flat-pack form is possible and costs about $160 to VIC/ACT/NSW/SA locations. WA is a bit more. The roof is assembled/primed. Assembling the rest is easier than most Ikea furniture and requires only a Phillips-head screwdriver and an Allen key.

I occasionally have hives made predominantly with recycled timber. This is often repurposed bookshelves or tables with 30 – 40mm-thick timber. They are potentially more durable. They are much heavier, so are only available for local pickup. Let me know if you are interested in this option.

I STRONGLY recommend the Long Hive above. For your curiosity, I have also made the following hives and can do these on a build-to-order basis, usually with a 4 – 8 week lead-time:

CATHEDRAL HIVE

cathedral-11

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CATHEDRAL HIVE

Full credit for this design goes to Corwin Bell (https://backyardhive.com/collections/the-cathedral-hive). I built this one for a collector of unique beehives. The original design was modified to include 30mm of rigid foam insulation in both roof and lower body to help with cold Canberra winters. In the lower body, the insulation is sandwiched between wood to prevent contact with the bees. The last frame is vented and I included a glass panel for viewing (in addition to a lower viewing window with a hinged door). Almost 100% cedar construction, shingled roof, and copper top made this a true luxury hive.

Price for a similar hive will be between $600 and $1200 depending on materials and construction.

Top Bar Hive – Kenyan Hive

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Above is a more traditional, Kenyan-style Top Bar Hive.  Made-to-Order, about $400. They are cheaper when ordered in pairs…

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Above is a more modern Kenyan Top-Bar Style hive. Features a viewing window, insulated roof, pressure-treated legs, and stainless/brass hinges. 1.2M wide with 36 top-bars for plenty of space for brood and honey. $650 for model shown in photo.

In this video, I describe an essential management technique for Top Bar Hives. It is not hard, but is critical to do regularly. This activity is the main “challenge” and “reward” in having a TBH. If this does not look interesting to you, you should get a Langstroth hive.

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Above is the TBH in video. The peaked roof in mini-corrugated steel (galvanized) looks really good… $650.

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