A beekeeper in Kenya, Nicholas Mbugua, is looking for some advice on keeping bees in the extra-long Langstroth hives shown below. His objective is to have fewer hives that are more productive and well managed instead of many small hives that are difficult to manage. Nicholas writes:
I have been keeping bees since 2008 in Central Kenya and have been thinking of ways to increase honey production.
One way I came up with one year ago was to make my Langstroth bee hives 4 times as long. They also have multiple super boxes on top, of the same size as the brooding box below. These supers have screened vents for aeration but no access holes as shown in [your] article.
My intention was to increase the volume of bees in each hive that will in turn increase the volume of honey.
So far, I have not moved any bees into these extra large Langstroth bee hives as my dad informed me that what I was up to was suicidal [because] the number of bees would be too many and, in case of any mishap, the stings from such a number of bees would be lethal. Bees in Africa are more than often quite aggressive.
So far, I have not taken steps to have them occupied as the bee hives are in a forest that is just 500 meters from our home.
Hope to hear your views on my predicament. Kindly let me know the pros and cons of my idea.
Nicholas says he is a business manager by profession but deeply loves farming since he was brought up on a small family farm just 20 kilometers from Nairobi in Kenya. He is currently working in Kampala in Uganda. Although he doesn’t have a farm in Uganda, he offers advice to the local farmers, especially about beekeeping and how to set up Langstroth bee hives. He adds, “My beekeeping activities in Kenya do give our family, customers and friends raw honey that is truly nice.”
So what do you think about the large Langstroths? What would be the pros and cons? Nicolas is eagerly awaiting some input.
Thanks so much!