Author Topic: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?  (Read 4464 times)

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Offline ShannaRose

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Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« on: July 05, 2015, 02:33:19 pm »
So can anyone explain to me why I might want to try a Long Lang, besides the point of being able to get frames from neighbors' Lang hives if needed?  I have 3 TBH's and growing, my neighbors mostly do TBH, but there is so much talk about the Long Lang I am wondering what I am missing??! Since I learned beekeeping with TBH's I'm comfortable manipulating them and building them. I understand why when using wax foundation you get more honey, but when going foundationless I'm guessing honey volumes must be similar.

Perhaps the difference has more to do with the comfort of the beekeeper rather than the bees?

Offline efmesch

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2015, 05:00:17 pm »
I have no experience with TBH's so I can't say anything regarding advantages or disadvantages in comparing the general management of either.  However, from the efficiency standpoint, it seems to me that Langstroths have the upper hand. 

First of all, manipulating a comb that is strongly attached to a frame on several edges and usually strengthened by wires or plastic sheets between the wax foundation is a lot less likely to get broken upon examination.  Whereas the TBH combs must be held only vertically, langstroth frames can be held horizontally too, making examination of both sides easier and less likely to result in broken combs.
Secondly, Langstroth frames are made to fit into extractors (or more correctly, extractors' dimensions are made to accommodate langstroth frames) and enable the extraction of honey without damaging the combs, allowing their re-use.  Said differently, Langstroth frames are made with honey production  and comb preservation in mind, TBH's can't compete on those scores.

Issues such as cell size are irrelevant in comparing the two methods, since TBH's can be given wax foundation as starters forcing the bees to build cells of a chosen size and Langstroth frames can be placed in supers without any foundation, allowing the bees to build cells to any size they choose, yet still build them so as to encompass the foundation wires for strength.

Of course, when one talks about hives that get transported "cross country", there's no comparison in my mind.  Langstroths are more compact, more efficient with their space usage and less likely to suffer comb breakage on route.

So, as I see it, for the backyard beekeeper, the choice is not so much an objective one as a subjective one.  The beek raises bees in the kind of hive that suits her/his fancy.
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Offline pistolpete

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2015, 03:02:20 am »
The main difference is in having re-usable frames.  Once you have a box of drawn frames and you witness a strong hive fill it with 80 lbs. of honey in a week or two, you will understand the difference.  Drawn comb is a very valuable resource for the bees that you're missing out on with TBH.   If honey production is not on your list of priorities, then stick with what you have.  TBH involves less work and less investment and less heavy lifting, so there are definitely advantages there. 
My advice: worth price charged :)

Offline ShannaRose

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2015, 02:30:14 am »
Thanks for explaining that.  In Hawaii honey production is non-stop, so it's not much of an issue, but I'm moving to Oregon and am starting to understand.  So in a long lang the idea is you put in frames of drawn comb and let the bees fill it, but because it's horizontal and not a Box-style Lang you can lift them out one frame at a time, right?

Offline Perry

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 06:54:14 am »
I think the advantage of a long Lang over the TBH is that you can remove, extract, and replace the valuable comb, where as with a TBH you have to crush and strain.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
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Offline Lburou

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2015, 10:45:27 am »
In my first year with the long langs.  I like them.  Used primarily for containing several developing nucleus colonies, It is fast to check on each one.  The reasons to use frames have been mentioned.  I can't imagine inspecting a frame without turning every which way to see everything it has to show.  Also, your frames will transfer to standard Langstroth hives, making it easy to buy and sell bees or get friends started in beekeeping.  :-)

Horizontal hive Plans



Big advantage= NO LIFTING!
Lee_Burough

Offline Newbee

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2015, 06:44:01 pm »
Interesting threat guys, I just had a bunch of those questions myself after watching a video of a TBH hive I was considering:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dtnz29MnpYE

I get the crush-strain vs. extractor, and saving the comb, but... I've got no extractor, nor do I know where to borrow one. If I was planning on attempting some foundationless frames in a langstroth and crush/strain to get honey anyways... Would there be much difference?

- K

Offline lazy shooter

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2015, 08:07:20 pm »
@Lee:

Where are the entries to the top bar langstroth boxes?  It's a cool looking hive.

Offline Perry

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2015, 08:22:28 pm »

I get the crush-strain vs. extractor, and saving the comb, but... I've got no extractor, nor do I know where to borrow one. If I was planning on attempting some foundationless frames in a langstroth and crush/strain to get honey anyways... Would there be much difference?

- K

Not really, there are lots of folks who goes foundationless just because of the outrageous price of foundation these days. They still extract, but there is no real reason why you couldn't crush and strain if you so choose.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
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Offline Newbee

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2015, 09:15:21 pm »
Thanks Perry, I'm just having a hard time getting my head around the Langstroth's... I see a lot of appealing qualities to the TBH style. That other thread w/ the "Horizontal Hive" discussion I think is the best solution for me right now? A TBH that takes standard-sized frames and I can build it on the cheap? Might be the best of both worlds.

- K

Offline Perry

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2015, 07:15:43 am »
Further to the discussion, I see advantages to both, however, one of the limiting factors I (personally) see with elongated hives, be they TBH or long Langs, is that in my opinion, bees work in a vertical format, not horizontal. Bees by their own work, store winter food above the cluster, so standard Langs fit the bill. By placing stores in a horizontal fashion, bees must move laterally.
I am sure there are plenty of examples of TBH's that are successful, nothing about beekeeping is written in stone. I just favour tried and true.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
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Offline iddee

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2015, 07:23:44 am »
"" I just favour tried and true.""

 :yah: :agree:
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline lazy shooter

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2015, 07:35:36 am »
"" I just favour tried and true.""

 Me too:

I can see the advantages of Lee using horizontal hives for nucs because you build it a comfortable working height and make it easier on your back, and in the case of nucs one would not be overwintering in the horizontal hive.

Offline Newbee

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2015, 07:43:34 am »
Thanks guys, great to be able to 'have a conversation' w/ some experienced Beek's! Every time I see something new, it seems the answer to my problems! LOL! I knew the Lang's worked vertically, but I wasn't aware they had such a preference for it? Not that I'm second guessing, but having seen the TBH design work well for some, and thinking about natural hives in a tree-trunk.. they'll expand to fill whatever space they have available, no? While vertical may be their preference (heat rises?), based on some folks having success they appear to be able to accommodate horizontal?

And yes, much like my previous hobby in reefkeeping, there is no one true correct way. Many ways to skin that cat, and you should use whatever works best for you!

Strong back or not, lugging 80 lb. super's off the top of a buzzing hive in August w/ a full suit, DOES NOT SOUND FUN!!!

 :D

Thanks again!

- K

Offline iddee

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2015, 07:47:58 am »
A medium super full of honey is closer to 60 lbs., and it is 11 pieces, not just one. If you had a weight lifting set, would you carry it all at once? Move a frame at a time from hive to truck. It only takes one extra box.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Newbee

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2015, 08:04:59 am »
If you had a weight lifting set, would you carry it all at once?

LOL!
I'm one of those idiot's that thinks fewer trips under immense-strain is preferable to several relaxing trips under more normal circumstances.

See, that's the appeal of the TBH w/ Frames! I can design the hive around _my_ idiotic idiosyncracies! Screw the bee's....

 :laugh:

- K

Offline Perry

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2015, 08:17:42 am »
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

there are days I feel like that too, usually after taking too many hits.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
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Offline iddee

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2015, 08:28:14 am »
So explain to me how you will harvest a TBH without removing frames one at a time.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Newbee

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2015, 08:48:47 am »
So explain to me how you will harvest a TBH without removing frames one at a time.

LOL!
Clearly you aren't used to my Neurosis!
I would put handle's on the side and just drag the whole dang thing up the honey-shak!

No no, I get your point, I'm just not wired that way? If I think I can do it more quickly by busting a nut and lifting the whole thing, I will. If I had a lang-hive and a big box I needed to move 100-feet to the truck... I'd just grab the whole box! Anything else probably wouldn't even occur to me. Now granted, at my size, I've only encountered a few things that are problematic that way... but I've spent my share of days lying prone on the floor nursing a thrown-back, as well.

I think it's an affliction from the municipal water they pump out in the Northeast.
I haven't been in TN long enough for it to wear off yet!  ;D ;D

Being in-experienced in the whole affair makes it harder for me to think ahead like that, too. I've been trying to hook up w/ some of the locals for a hive-tour, to hopefully cement some of the concepts a little better in my head. In the mean time, these conversations are quite useful, which I appreciate! I don't have a hive yet, but am itching to get started. The TBH designs I've seen are quite affordable, and seem easy to make. I've been hoping to build my hive(s) w/ my kids to get them involved and some hands-on woodworking... but Lang's are difficult. More than one person has recommended buying pre-cut kits and assembling them (which would also make a kid-friendly construction project).

- K

Offline iddee

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Re: Differences between a Long Lang and a TBH?
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2015, 09:02:22 am »
Starting with TBH, be sure to stock up on rogain. You will need it as you pull all your hair out the first two years. Then you may get to be successful after that. Langs allow for many more mistakes from newbees.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein