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Layens Hive

Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Conventional and miscellaneous hives
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House Bee

Joined: 16 Jun 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:35 pm    Post subject: Layens Hive Reply with quote

I was wondering if any members are using or have used layens hives? they caught my attention lately and I really like what I've been reading, but would appreciate the learned experience of others before I'd venture into yet another hive.
At the moment I have a mixture of Rose hives and Nationals.
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Scout Bee

Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 404
Location: Bicker, Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Dolmen

I'm running a Deep Long Hive at the moment which is quite close to the Layens 'a grenier' (granary) format, albeit with central frames which are only 12" deep. The colony within it has come through winter without any difficulties.

That, unfortunately, is the sum total of my experience thus far with anything approaching a pukka de Layen hive. However, just in case it may be of passing interest to you, I'll briefly mention here something I'm currently working on - which is to some degree based on de Layens' thinking.

Emile Warre (in 'Beekeeping for All'), spoke well of the Layens frame format, but wasn't keen on the horizontal format of the hive itself.

The A-Z Hive, much favoured by Slovenians and which has been enthusiastically 'discovered' by experimental Americans recently (despite it's complexity and the requirement for uber-precision in manufacture) has, over the years, been enlarged to accommodate two sets of brood frames, one stacked above the other. Whilst understandably pursuing a common frame standard, it seems not to have occurred to anyone to make a double-height frame instead. Doing so would bring the frame dimensions very close to those of de Layens, and at the same time (hopefully) eliminate much of the A-Z hive's existing complexity. So - that's what I'm currently working on.

The frames have now been made and fitted with starter strips and temporary top bars. The intention now is to get these drawn-out within a stack of two National deep brood boxes before being installed into a much simplified A-Z hive body. Here's an example:

I'll post about progress with this project, if it should be of any interest to anyone.
Bees build Brace Comb for a reason, not just to be bloody-minded.
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House Bee

Joined: 16 Jun 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Colin, very interesting and I look forward to further updates.

I bumped into another bee keeper that just happened to have built himself the ERB hive, larger again than Layens. He never had any bees in it, however he has agreed to build me one in the next few weeks, so that is something I'm looking forward to receiving, hopefully in time for the swarm season.
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