Navigate / search

Valkyrie Long Hive Discussion Page

This is a place for questions and answers about long hives, specifically the Valkyrie long hive. Also, if you have photos of your hives, I can post there here as well.

I always wanted a purple hive. This was my chance! © Rusty Burlew.
Carol Schlaefer’s hives.

Comments

Carol, Snohomish Wa
Reply

I just acquired a Valkyrie long hive. I am painting it today.

This is my 2nd year as a beek, still very new…but did manage to overwinter both my hives (whew).
I am 60, and the boxes are too heavy. Hence the long hive.

Vivien had lots of information. She was great. Really great.

I do need to know…since I am so new…I’ve been running with plastic foundation. I’m not really ready to go foundation-less….I am hoping to split one of my very strong hives into the long hive.

So how do I set up the long hive?…..black plastic in the brood box area ie 1 thru 17ish…….. including on the right a couple frames of black foundation with honey/pollen/nectar…..
Then for the honey… do I put in deep frames with white plastic? as used in the medium supers for honey….? so I can be sure not to harvest/reuse brood stuff? I am very confused about this.

Thanks,

Carol

Rusty
Reply

Naomi? How do you do you arrange your frames?

Linda
Reply

I set up my two Valkyrie hives with a split from my over wintered surviving hive.
I love these hives. I don’t need any help lifting anything, it’s amazing. The inner canvas cover keeps them calm during inspections, they are already over to slot 18 full of honey. I keep putting new frames in front of #3 and #9 frame. I had two observation windows installed. It is amazing to be able watch our precious girls hard at work.
I hope we get more posts about these hives. I’d like to connect with other Valkyrie users. Linda Grinde

Rusty
Reply

Linda,

I agree. It is easy to lift the lid and check on things, and the canvas keeps them calm.

Linda
Reply

One question I have is where in the hive are you placing the inframe feeder, and are you getting a lot of drownings in the feeder?

Rusty
Reply

Hi Linda,

I haven’t used a feeder in the Valkyrie yet.

Carol/Snohomish/Wa
Reply

Linda,

What do you mean “in front of” frames 3 and 9? Does that mean to the right?

C

Carol Schlaefer/Snohomish Wa
Reply

How do I send picture?

Naomi Price
Reply

Carol,

Black plastic foundation on deep frames can be used in the brood area. The white foundation on deep frames can be used in the honey surplus section. The brood area usually consumes frames 1 through 12 and up to 18, depending on the race of honey bee.

My selected option is foundationless frames. I figured out that wedge-top Langstroth frames have a built-in starter strip. Pop off the wedge strip and glue it back onto its top bar, rather than nailing it to hold prepared foundation. For me, foundationless frames work without the cross combing, provided the top bar is aligned magnetic north and south. No division/follower board is necessary. Fill the long hive completely with frames (empty, w/foundation or drawn) from the get go.

Vivien Hight
Reply

Hi Rusty:

I use a feeder, (but not for much longer), cause my colony was stressed and very active when it came to me. It’s a regular boardman feeder, placed inside the Valkyrie in the space where frame #’s 18-22 would be. I keep frames #23 and #24 on the far right just to hold up my canvas and the Triple-Layer Wool blanket that I use. I’m not using a frame feeder nor am I putting any feeding stuff near the bee entrance so that I don’t attract robbers (thank you, Naomi!).

I’ll be removing the feeder in the future but not sure exactly when– I’ll ask Naomi!

Thanks for this site! Vivien

Granny Roberta in nw CT
Reply

I’m only writing a comment so I can subscribe to the comment thread.

My long hives are Langstroth 20-frame double-wides, not Valkyries. I could try to send pictures, but my camera is a tablet, not even a phone, and my photography skills are just barely good enough for friends and family.

Carol, Snohomish Wa
Reply

I just made my first split ever…I did about 50/50 from my very full overwintered Langstroth hive into my new Valkyrie.

Despite a lot of looking I could not find the queen…there were SO many bees in there…but there were multiple frames of capped/uncapped and eggs and very young larvae available to choose from. There were no swarm cells yet, but multiple cups on the bottom of the frames. I shook a LOT of nurse bees to the long hive too.

I’ll go back in to look for eggs and/or queen cells in a few days.

I’ve been very anxious about doing a split…now I’ve got my fingers crossed the bees figure it out.

I had to have my neighbor and associate bee geek come over to help, as the honey supers are so heavy and just thinking of having to manipulate all the boxes is enough to make me put off going into the hives. I can tell already the long hive is going to be much easier to deal with.

My neighbor is drooling. She wants!!

Carol

Carol, Snohomish Wa
Reply

Hi Rusty,

Here are my hives, the long hive having just been leveled and set in place (hence the tractor).

I needed to do a split, so I didn’t get to take the time to paint it up like I wanted, but my 21 yr old daughter has suggested she cold do a mural, we will see (20 yr olds being who they are).

I did do my very first split today from my strongest hive. I could not find the queen but had lots of frames with eggs and young brood to choose from. No swarm cells, which I was expecting. I also found brood in the lowest honey super, a lot. That may be why I missed finding her!! I was expecting her in the brood boxes.

As advised by many people, I shook more nurse bees than I thought necessary. So the bees in the honey supers hanging out are they typically foragers? Or nurse bees?

After hefting around all those boxes today (we did my friends hives too) I am hoping the long hives perform. They certainly already seem easier.

Rusty
Reply

Carol,

Thanks for the photo. If you every get a bigger one, send that along was well.

As for bees in honey supers, they are workers but not foragers or nurses. Some folks call them “receivers” because they receive the nectar from the foragers and place it in the cells.

Granny Roberta in nw Connecticut USA
Reply

Apparently I failed at the comments subscription, so here I go again. Feel free to delete this comment, unless it might help others feel better about their technological screwups.

Carol Schlaefer
Reply

Hello again. I’m hoping for more responders to this thread…:)

Have the receivers in the supers flown and oriented? I shook a lot of super bees into my split (easy to get to)just wondering if they will fly-back as the foragers will.

And as winter is coming I’m assuming I lay sugar cakes and eventually pollen on top of the bars as usual and drape the canvas over top?

And then with my 4-day-old split into a new long hive, I couldn’t find the queen when the split was done. So I was in looking today. I found multiple (15+) emergency cells all charged with larvae (fast girls).

I dropped everything and ran to the local bee place and got a queen as I didn’t want to wait the three weeks for a new one (blackberries are coming). And I now know where the original queen is…not in the split!!

But rather than lifting off a few boxes, (look at frames) then lifting all those boxes back on. (Run to town) then lift them off again (install queen) then put them back ON again…(done).

I lifted a lid twice and rolled up a canvas, Ha! the smoker was even still going when I got back from town! I think I’m going to be a walking advertisement for Langstroth compatible long hives. Can I get paid

Carol

Rusty
Reply

Carol,

It sometimes takes a while to get attention to a new thread like this. I will try to promote it more, and see if that helps.

I don’t know where to put winter patties and feed. Like you, I’m totally new to this.

Granny Roberta in nw Connecticut USA
Reply

I still wasn’t getting the emails about new comments, but I finally noticed that I have been checking the “notify me of new posts” box. The “notify me of follow-up comments” option is completely missing. Is that just me?

Rusty
Reply

Roberta,

I’m learning here, too. I set up this discussion as a page rather than a post. The reason being, I wanted to me able to put it on the drip-down menus. Turns out, pages don’t have the same notification options as posts. Who knew? So, I may change it to a post, but I’m not sure yet. Anyway, not your fault.

Granny Roberta in nw Connecticut USA
Reply

Oh thank goodness it’s not me. Also, here, have armsful of sympathy. Wouldn’t the internet be a wonderful thing if it would just do what we want instead of what it thinks we ought to want. You could then just take all your various mentions (and our various comments) of how the site isn’t doing what you/we want, and put them on their own post/page, instead of clogging up the bee stuff.

Dori, Whidbey Island, WA
Reply

So, so happy to find this thread, and I’ve bookmarked it. I’m a brand new beekeeper using a 31 frame long Lang. We installed a 5 frame nuc on May 2, so am in a steeeeeep learning curve at the moment, but all appears well at this point. Fortunately, my husband and I joined our local club. Most members use traditional Langs, there are a few top bar keepers, and I think we are the only ones with a long hive. Will be checking in here frequently. : )

Carol near Snohomish
Reply

My long hive was being robbed. I have sent Rusty pics of my 4 minute and 20 minute assembly time, home made robber screens I threw together….the 4 minute one worked about that long… (well…an afternoon actually). The 20 min one seems to be working.

Vivien Hight
Reply

I thought my hive was being robbed also!! So Scary!

Naomi, Larry and I split my first hive the day after I delivered Carol’s Valkyrie to her. Left the girls alone (not that I knew how to do otherwise,) to let the new queen do her thing. About 8 days later I described to Naomi what we both felt was certainly robbing activity, so I took away the feeders from both the Valkyries and covered them with wet sheets during the day to confuse the robbers.

On Naomi’s advice, I screwed up my courage to do a double inspection, looking carefully for ragged, torn cells on the frames which Naomi assured me couldn’t be mistaken. Here’s the mystery: NO DAMAGE at all in either Valkyrie, AND, in the new colony– voila! a new queen happily going about her business. Sooo…. I’ll look in on both colonies on Saturday. It seems that what I mistook in my neophyte-ness was a “feeding frenzy”?? Another beekeeper just a mile from me was going through the same thing: bees flying like fighter-pilots in large numbers due to an overwhelming nectar flow… like I knew that. :’)

Carol, let me know how yours are doing, ok?

Vivien

Carol, Snohomish Wa
Reply

Hi,

When I pulled the bottom board a few days ago there was torn ragged comb pieces all over the place and the frames of nectar/pollen I had added with the split were empty and ragged.

I did the split on 5/21, found emergency queen cells on 5/24 and introduced a mated marked queen on 5/24 too, after destroying all the emergency cells. The queen cage was empty and I removed it on 5/27. Then the robbing began. I do have syrup in there.

I looked for eggs or the queen after seeing all the damage on 5/29…..couldn’t find her or eggs. I’m debating going back in to look for her again today. I hate I’ve been in there so much, but if she isn’t laying after 8 days, is she likely dead and gone?

There are still nurse bees and some capped brood, debating getting a frame more of capped brood from another hive to add. I’m thinking I should have just let them raise a queen. I’m not saving much time or money doing it this way!!!

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Carol

Carol, Snohomish Wa
Reply

Good news, the robber screen seems to be working well.

I got into the long hive and found eggs….yay! The queen survived.

So I got into one of the other hives and got a frame with both sides solid with capped brood and added it to the long hive, which still has a lot of nurse bees to cover it. Added a piece of pollen patty too.

Hopefully its all good for a bit now.

Carol

Rusty
Reply

Carol,

I don’t know why she took so long to lay, although a newly-mated queen sometimes gets off to a slow start—maybe just a few eggs the first day, and then a few more. It sounds like you’ve got the problem cleared up.

Dori, Whidbey Island, WA
Reply

Oh boy, now what do we new beeks do? We installed a 5 frame nuc into our new horizontal lang on May 2. The bees were very reluctant to build on new foundation, but the queen kept laying, and although spotty pattern, the population built up. Late last week, just as the Himalayan blackberries started blooming, activity out front picked up dramatically. We went in and did a complete inspection yesterday. Found the queen. Again noted no new brood frames, frames absolutely packed with bees, swarm cells on bottom of three frames, one frame being drawn for honey and partially full. I said I was concerned that with no expansion of the brood area, and the high population, the girls were going to swarm. Sometime today they did just that.

Went back in to quickly check. Population dropped by at least 1/3. No queen found. Larvae in at least two of those swarm cells. Still some eggs, larvae, and plenty of capped brood. Now into our main honey flow, do I order and overnight a queen, or let them requeen?

Rusty
Reply

Dori,

That’s a judgement call. If it were me, I’d let them requeen themselves because I prefer locally adapted queens. The workers will keep bringing in nectar during the time the queen is maturing and mating. Everything you describe sounds normal, so I wouldn’t worry.

Dori
Reply

Thanks so much, Rusty. That’s what we’ll do. When I walked by this morning, the activity at the hive was so much calmer and pleasant. A nice steady hummmming, instead of the near roar we heard for a few days. Learning curve is fun, but steep! 🙂

Leave a comment

name*

email* (not published)

website

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.