Musings on Horizontal or Long Langstroth Hives

After chatting with another keeper, and I have to say… I’m starting to warm up to the variant “long” version of the Langstroth hive. Seems friendly to keepers struggling with high/heavy stacks of the traditional layout, less hassle to inspect larger hives and easier to make your own stuff. There is also leeway for custom features whereas a traditional Langstroth is pretty precise format.


While it does use standard deep frames, some Langstroth gear that must be oriented horizontally might not be usable. Also, you are limited to a maximum size based on your original design, though a triple deep would be about as much hive real estate as I typically get (1 deep, plus 2-3 mediums).

Seems to have a lot of the advantages of the Top Bar hive without the limitations of that hive. Almost a best of both worlds.

Napkin Math

Did some napkin math on how large a horizontal Langstroth would need to be to replace one of my current vertical hives.

Typically I use one deep super for brood chamber, and stack multiple medium supers on top of that for honey. An average season results in three or so of these filled with honey.

Vertical Langstroth

  • Deep Super (10 Frames), 1340 square inches
  • Medium Super (10 Frames) , 1005 square inches
  • Medium Super (10 Frames) , 1005 square inches
  • Medium Super (10 Frames) , 1005 square inches
    Total: 4355 square inches*

Horizontal Langstroth

  • 1 Feeder Frame
  • 1 Excluder Frame
  • 1 Follower Frame
  • 33 Deep Frames (134 square inches each)
    Total: 4422 square inches*

On the horizontal version, I would need to use frame space for feeder, excluder and follower because I typically put these between the supers in a vertical hive. So 36 Deep frames total, rounding up.

However, because harvesting is so much easier in a horizontal hive, I might be able to do multiple harvests instead of being limited (by time and labor) to a single big harvest (one reason I use more supers), meaning that the horizontal hive might get by with less overall foundation surface area.

Also, the Follower frame is redundant once the hive is full of frames (as is the Feeder during much of the year).

30 Deep Frames total might be fine, in this case. That would keep the “footprint” of the entire hive to about 4′ long and 2′ wide.

Excellent Example

Dear Community

It is with deep regrets and sadness that I must announce there will be no honey harvest this year. The usual challenges of beekeeping, coupled with the increasingly erratic climate since Winter have been really hard on the hives this year and there will not be a harvest-able surplus. Thank you for all your support in the past, we hope to be able to bounce back next season.