The Long Hive (aka 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.
This version is offered for $600. This includes a follower board (to reduce open space), a vertical queen excluder, and window panel (to judge comb-building progress). The roof will have white primer. The long sides of the hive may be made 20mm-thick wood (thinner than shown in photos).
The hive fits 30 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 and base is fibre-cement. 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 $150 to VIC/ACT/NSW locations. The roof is assembled/primed. Assembling the rest is easier than most Ikea furniture and requires only a phillips-head screwdriver.
I am currently developing a Long Hive that will accept Flow Hive Frames. Please contact me if you want to be on the wait-list for details.
Full credit for this design goes to Corwin Bell (https://backyardhive.com/collections/the-cathedral-hive). I built it to order for a friend and 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
Above is a more traditional, Kenyan-style Top Bar Hive. Made-to-Order, about $350
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. $500 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.
Above is the TBH in video. The peaked roof in mini-corrugated steel (galvanized) looks really good… $550.
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