Bees were transferred to Layens hive May 1, 2022 from a 5-frame nuc box ( see HERE ) from a 5-frame nuc box.  bees are now busily bringing yellow pollen and raising brood.

By pollen color and what’s growing around, my best guess is it’s from beech & maple trees.

I always liked big horizontal hives like these Layens hives – less busy back-breaking work, no heavy lifting of juxtaposing supers, plenty of space even for 2 medium-sized colonies, fewer inspections needed and, yes, you can get horizontal Layens frame feeders and Layens or universal extractors.

Each of my 20-frame deep horizontal Layens hives are made with no-formaldehyde thick lumber as 2 separate boxes – the outer & the inner box with a 1.5″ of natural wool insulation in between.  

Although there are 3 entrances in the Layens hive, I use either 1 entrance for a big colony or at most 2 entrances — leftmost and rightmost entrances for medium-sized colonies. The most important reason to have a middle entrance is that at some point you may have to temporarily switch one or both of the outer entrances with the middle entrance.

For example, here’s how I do an equal split for a single colony in early Spring:

  • On a sunny day when the foragers are out and there’s enough brood available, I start with one open central entrance and I divide the brood & honey frames equally moving them to the opposite ends of the hive.
  • I then close the central entrance and put a sealed divider board in the middle and open both outer entrances 
  • Approximately half of the returning forager bees would choose the left entrance and the other half – the right one
  • The bees that will find themselves without the Queen will raise a new Queen!