Horizontal Honeybee Hive

By Matt

I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on how to construct your own beehive parts and accessories, especially ones on building medium and deep supers and swarm traps. I came across a different type of hive in my research called a horizontal hive. Instead of stacking boxes vertically as the hive and honey storage grows, a horizontal hive starts with a horizontal rectangular box that is fully sized with a single layer of deep frames and you just partition it. As the hive grows you slide a divider and give them access to new frames. The benefit to this design are several fold. 1) You have access to the entire hive without having to take it apart 2) The hive never has to be lifted so you can build it with thicker walls increasing the insulative properties of the hive. 3) The hive can be partitioned and you can have more than one colony in a single hive.

These hives are popular in eastern Europe and Russia and are advocated for in America by Dr. Leo Sharashkin who has written several books on the subject and is the founder of HorizontalHive.com. HorizontalHive.com has several construction plans for horizontal hives and swarm traps at no charge. So I got some construction materials and sawed, mitered and pocket screwed my own horizontal hive in which this years 2lb package of bees were installed. Here is the result.

Here is the full view of the horizontal hive next to the typical Langstroth hive containing last years overwintered bees. There are three entrances (only the one on the left is open. And there is a hinged aluminium flashed roof.
Here is a closeup of the entrance. There is a metal flashing panel that can be slid in and out depending if you want the door open or closed.
The inside of the hive is accessible by removing these boards that line the top of the hive.
One of the boards can be outfitted with mason jars with sugar water to feed the bees when there is no nectar flow on. The boards holes are covered with 1/8th hardware cloth and the mason jars have several holes which the bees can use to extract the sugar.
Some of the boards have vent holes to ensure proper ventilation so the bees dont get too hot and assist them in drying there nectar down to honey.
The top has a vent hole to help circulate air and vent moisture. Cattle panel green house in the background.
The boards can be incrementally removed to have access to just one part of the hive. On the left (white topped boards) are the divider boards so the bees only have access to part of the hive.
There is a screened bottom so hive waste and pests like mites can fall through. At the bottom of hive after falling through the screen the waste can be collected on lunch trays. These lunch trays will eventually have diatomaceous earth added which kills pests.
Access to the bottom of the hive and the lunch trays is through a little panel that flips down.

This years 2 lb package has been installed. The queen was added and kept in a queen cage to make sure they accepted her. Two days later the queen was released. They are now out collecting dandelion and wild plum nectar and pollen.

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