Drayton style long hive

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Joined
Sep 13, 2011
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Location
Somerset
Hive Type
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Number of Hives
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Last winter I decided to make a Drayton style long hive out of pallet boards holding 20 frames of 14 x 12. Mad - perhaps !! However advacing years and a sore back decided me to give it a go now rather than not have an option in years to come and have to give up vertical hives with the lifting that can entail. To say the least this been good fun so far with a nucleus going in about first week in May from when it built up beautifully and now has 9 frames of brood and 11 frames of honey. The queen is slowing now although still strong and the brood shrinking slowly and being back filled with the remaining dwindling flow. I could extract 10 fully capped frames - I have an extractor to do this with tangential screens. I used wired foundation but to prevent collapse of comb I divided each frame into 3 with bamboo skewers pushed on either side of the foundation through holes drilled into the frame top bar - see the attached photos. These have proved really resilient and hve remained very straight and to me most importantly the bees do not nibble around the edges which has always concerned me during inspections seeing brood waving about not well attached to side bars- scary stuff. Problem solved? The hive is double walled with polystyrene sheet in the gap with a 5cm Celotex crownboard and dummy boards. The floor in the brood area is open mesh and the hive has an 8 x 100mm entrance so easily defended from wasps. I use a small flightboard.

However one small problem on my horizon. On how many frames of brood and stores should I aim to over winter my colony ? Any advice anyone could offer will be appreciated. There is no problem feeding fondant if needed in late winter.
 

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Last winter I decided to make a Drayton style long hive out of pallet boards holding 20 frames of 14 x 12. Mad - perhaps !! However advacing years and a sore back decided me to give it a go now rather than not have an option in years to come and have to give up vertical hives with the lifting that can entail. To say the least this been good fun so far with a nucleus going in about first week in May from when it built up beautifully and now has 9 frames of brood and 11 frames of honey. The queen is slowing now although still strong and the brood shrinking slowly and being back filled with the remaining dwindling flow. I could extract 10 fully capped frames - I have an extractor to do this with tangential screens. I used wired foundation but to prevent collapse of comb I divided each frame into 3 with bamboo skewers pushed on either side of the foundation through holes drilled into the frame top bar - see the attached photos. These have proved really resilient and hve remained very straight and to me most importantly the bees do not nibble around the edges which has always concerned me during inspections seeing brood waving about not well attached to side bars- scary stuff. Problem solved? The hive is double walled with polystyrene sheet in the gap with a 5cm Celotex crownboard and dummy boards. The floor in the brood area is open mesh and the hive has an 8 x 100mm entrance so easily defended from wasps. I use a small flightboard.

However one small problem on my horizon. On how many frames of brood and stores should I aim to over winter my colony ? Any advice anyone could offer will be appreciated. There is no problem feeding fondant if needed in late winter.

I'd leave them 10 frames, put in a divider board and place a 10kg lump fondant above with the insulation. Job done.
 
Last winter I decided to make a Drayton style long hive out of pallet boards holding 20 frames of 14 x 12. Mad - perhaps !! However advacing years and a sore back decided me to give it a go now rather than not have an option in years to come and have to give up vertical hives with the lifting that can entail. To say the least this been good fun so far with a nucleus going in about first week in May from when it built up beautifully and now has 9 frames of brood and 11 frames of honey. The queen is slowing now although still strong and the brood shrinking slowly and being back filled with the remaining dwindling flow. I could extract 10 fully capped frames - I have an extractor to do this with tangential screens. I used wired foundation but to prevent collapse of comb I divided each frame into 3 with bamboo skewers pushed on either side of the foundation through holes drilled into the frame top bar - see the attached photos. These have proved really resilient and hve remained very straight and to me most importantly the bees do not nibble around the edges which has always concerned me during inspections seeing brood waving about not well attached to side bars- scary stuff. Problem solved? The hive is double walled with polystyrene sheet in the gap with a 5cm Celotex crownboard and dummy boards. The floor in the brood area is open mesh and the hive has an 8 x 100mm entrance so easily defended from wasps. I use a small flightboard.

However one small problem on my horizon. On how many frames of brood and stores should I aim to over winter my colony ? Any advice anyone could offer will be appreciated. There is no problem feeding fondant if needed in late winter.
Well ... I have had more or less the same Hive for 12 years now ... overwintered successfully on all the occasions when it has been occupied over winter ...at least 8 out of the last 12 years.

I've found that leaving them with 5 No. 14 x 12 frames of capped honey is usually enough to see them through winter .. So, I'd leave 10 frames in there including the frames of honey and when it gets to the end of August I would put a feeder on with either Invertbee (which I prefer) or 2:1 syrup if you can be bothered to make it up. They will take down a good few litres and back fill any space previously occupied by brood. I prefer my bees to have a fair percentage of honey to overwinter on and only top them up with Invertbee - in fact, I don't usually start feeding until after the Ivy has bloomed down here in Hampshire which is normally October.

Fondant, in my opinion, is for emergency feeding in spring when you have not got your autumn feeding right or it's a particularly late spring - I'm not a fan of the 'slap on a lump of fondant and job done' philosophy. Might be OK for beginners who don't know any better but it's not proper beekeeping.

The thing you should do with a long hive is adjust the brood area so that the sfores are all to one side of the brood nest - I tend to move the brood to one side of the entrance and then put the stores frames between the brood nest and the entrance. I also fill any space in the hive with Kingspan blocks behind a divider board. I store any spare brood frames elsewhere rather than leave them in the hive.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/99514363@N06/albums/72157634865981506
 
Fondant, in my opinion, is for emergency feeding in spring when you have not got your autumn feeding right or it's a particularly late spring - I'm not a fan of the 'slap on a lump of fondant and job done' philosophy. Might be OK for beginners who don't know any better but it's not proper beekeeping.

Knife to the heart , devastated :laughing-smiley-014
 
Sorry... each to their own ... as always, what you do in beekeeping is your decision and what you decide to do is right ... for you ....( even if it's wrong ! )
Got the idea off BMH , tried it last winter and worked a treat , didn't even have to think about them until the spring and the brood box wasn't rammed with stores but as you say ......... each to their own.;)
 
Last winter I decided to make a Drayton style long hive out of pallet boards holding 20 frames of 14 x 12. Mad - perhaps !! However advacing years and a sore back decided me to give it a go now rather than not have an option in years to come and have to give up vertical hives with the lifting that can entail. To say the least this been good fun so far with a nucleus going in about first week in May from when it built up beautifully and now has 9 frames of brood and 11 frames of honey. The queen is slowing now although still strong and the brood shrinking slowly and being back filled with the remaining dwindling flow. I could extract 10 fully capped frames - I have an extractor to do this with tangential screens. I used wired foundation but to prevent collapse of comb I divided each frame into 3 with bamboo skewers pushed on either side of the foundation through holes drilled into the frame top bar - see the attached photos. These have proved really resilient and hve remained very straight and to me most importantly the bees do not nibble around the edges which has always concerned me during inspections seeing brood waving about not well attached to side bars- scary stuff. Problem solved? The hive is double walled with polystyrene sheet in the gap with a 5cm Celotex crownboard and dummy boards. The floor in the brood area is open mesh and the hive has an 8 x 100mm entrance so easily defended from wasps. I use a small flightboard.

However one small problem on my horizon. On how many frames of brood and stores should I aim to over winter my colony ? Any advice anyone could offer will be appreciated. There is no problem feeding fondant if needed in late winter.
Hi Garry,

Interesting! I have been thinking of making a horizontal framed hive and I am awaiting delivery of the Drayton manual and plans , hoping that they have found some of the solutions for me. I like the idea of a well insulated hive and the Warre style thick quilt over the cover cloth. Mine I think will use foundationless Langstroth frames. Not sure if it will have a viewing window and not sure of the bottom configuration yet.

I see we are both in Somerset.
 
Hi Garry,

Interesting! I have been thinking of making a horizontal framed hive and I am awaiting delivery of the Drayton manual and plans , hoping that they have found some of the solutions for me. I like the idea of a well insulated hive and the Warre style thick quilt over the cover cloth. Mine I think will use foundationless Langstroth frames. Not sure if it will have a viewing window and not sure of the bottom configuration yet.

I see we are both in Somerset.
Forget the viewing window .. largely waste of time - will rapidly get obscured by wax and propolis - and defeats the insulation ... if you want to look at the bees - go for top bee space and clear polycarbonate crown boards.

Oh ... and block off the silly ventilators in the roof ... and instead of woodshavings - celotex or other PIR is better... and whilst you are doing it . single timber walls could be made of a sandwich construction with an infil of polystyrene between the inner and outer skin.

Perhaps like this one ?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/99514363@N06/albums/72157634865981506
 
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Forget the viewing window .. largely waste of time - will rapidt get obscured by wax and propolis - defeats the insulation ... if you want to look at the bees - go for top bee space and clear polycarbonate crown boards.

Nice job!
The official Drayton Hive book arrived this morning.
You might have a look for Robin Dartington's books as well .. He's been running Long Deep Hives (Dartington Hives) since before Adam was a lad ... He's also a member of this forum.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20396369...8KevymYjPZgQ4r0FdnzgbTO6Q=|tkp:Bk9SR-rp-PO0YQ
 
I have a couple of Dartington hives , had them for years. If I had the inclination of building another Long hive I would go for twin walled insulated. Pargle's hive has some features that are genius. I Wouldn't be too slavish following specific plans. Langstroth frames tend to be cheaper than 14 x 12.
 
I built this (see avatar) hive using two Swienty poly national boxes which allows about 30 frames. Means you do not have to worry about bee space in the brood. However I would make a few mods like Pargyle. An under drawer for muck collection is a great idea and will incorporate this into the one I am currently building. The challenge for me was to build a Drayton type hive for less than £100 and I could do this even paying for the two polyboxes and using scrap timber. The actual Drayton one I built for 14x12" frames was insulated (double wall) and the outers from pallet boards and it has been great. After 44 years of beekeeping you need a fresh challenge and for me this is it!!
 
I have a couple of Dartington hives , had them for years. If I had the inclination of building another Long hive I would go for twin walled insulated. Pargle's hive has some features that are genius. I Wouldn't be too slavish following specific plans. Langstroth frames tend to be cheaper than 14 x 12.
Dartington hives have moved on a bit from 1975 when first developed. All my own hives are now insulated by simply adding 25mm Celotex to the oitside of the long walls, covered by 9mm of softwood slats - that fills up the 34mm ‘recesses’ on each side - I add 25mm Cleotex inside each eand wall, again covered by 9mm of, in this case, plywood. That educes the internal length but leaves plenty. The 14x12 frames enable a reasonable circular brood patch, better than the Langstroth I feel as that sqashes the brood nest, requring more energy to maintain heat and so using up more honey - and probably o soace for foragers at night.

This view of HoneyWorks Apiary yesterday shows a DLD, then a DLS (standard frames (4x8,5) as a pure long hive (no supers) so like a top-bar, then a DLS worked as double brood, then three DLD, then two extra-deep, one with 14x18ins frames and the other 11x18 ins so can be extracted. - better for the bees I think but still at trial stage.
1673645764613.jpeg
 
I have a couple of Dartington hives , had them for years. If I had the inclination of building another Long hive I would go for twin walled insulated. Pargle's hive has some features that are genius. I Wouldn't be too slavish following specific plans. Langstroth frames tend to be cheaper than 14 x 12.
Well thank you kindly .... it's still a work in progress though.
 

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