The Langstroth Hive

What is a langstroth hive?

Langstroth hives are the most common hives used in North America and Australia. These hives are stacking rectangular boxes with removable frames for the bees to build comb in. 

Langstroth hive configuration is incredibly customizable, allowing the beekeeper to stacked boxes of various heights, to their liking. Boxes come in 3 depths: deep, medium, and shallow, and 2 widths: 10 frame or 8 frame. We recommend starting Langstroth hives with either 2 deeps, or 3 mediums depending on your preference for modularity and maneuverability. Deep boxes can weigh up to 100 lbs, while medium boxes weigh up to 60 lbs. Our preferred Langstroth configuration is all 8-frame mediums. This reduces the weight of the boxes, and makes all parts interchangeable. Shallow boxes are usually used to enclose feeders or other accessories, and not to expand the hive.

Why use a langstroth hive?

Since Langstroth hives are the most common hive style in North America, one major perk is that there are a lot of accessories and resources at your disposal. It’s a relatively inexpensive hive style, so it’s a great option for those aiming to have a large apiary with multiple hives. It is arguably the best hive design for honey production due to large box sizes. It does require heavy lifting, with boxes ranging from 30-100 pounds, so it’s not the ideal hive if you’re limited in mobility.  Finally, the hive style features 4 sided frames which contains the comb in a stable way. 

Advantages of using a Langstroth hive

• Most available resources of any hive style

• Hives are made to an industry standard, so hive components can be mixed and matched between suppliers

• Many accessories and upgrades are available

• 4 sided frame provides comb stability

Langstroth Hive Advantages

history of langstroth hives

This hive style was invented in the mid 1800s by the reverend Lorenzo Langstroth. The most important part of his invention, and that which he is most known for, is the moveable frame. There is much debate as to whether he truly was the first to create the moveable frame, but it is his hive that rose up to dominate the modern beekeeping world. What many don't realize is that when Langstroth first invented his hive, foundation wasn't readily available. Instead, he allowed the bees to build natural combs inside the frames (as they've built for millions of years). This is what we do in all of our hives.

general hive management

When keeping bees in a Langstroth hive, you can choose to expand the hive for a growing colony in 2 ways: Supering (adding boxes to the top of the hive) or Nadiring (adding boxes to the bottom of the hive). Hive checks are relatively infrequent with this hive style, but they can be taxing given the weight of the boxes.

MORE ON Langstroth HIVE MANAGEMENT

what makes bee thinking langstroth hives special?

OUR MATERIALS

The finest hives begin with top-quality lumber. We're proud to offer lumber options that are not only ideal for housing bees, but are environmentally conscious and long-lasting. Both of our wood options are FSC® certified. That means they come from forests that are strictly audited to promote growth, protect ecosystems, protect indigenous right, support surrounding communities and prohibit illegal logging. We don’t compromise our environmental standards when we source our wood, and we don’t compromise quality either. Both Western Red Cedar and Sugar Pine are stable, long-lasting woods that provide excellent insulation for bees. Both are harvested just a few hours from our mill in the Pacific Northwest. Whichever wood you choose, you're choosing a hive that is not only kind to the bees, but kind to the environment and the beekeeper. 

FSC Certified wood beehives
Langstroth Viewing Windows

VIEWING WINDOWS (OPTIONAL)

Unlike most other Langstroth hives on the market, our boxes come with the option of viewing windows. Windows are a great way to observe your bees without having to open the hive which can agitate them. Our window covers comes fitted with a CNC precision cut bee handle for easy removal. We include them on both the front and back of the box so no matter where you're standing, they're easily accessible. 

UNIQUE COMB JOINT

Our signature Comb Joint features interlocking semi-hexagonal pieces similar to honeycomb. We used this shape for the same reasons bees do: it’s highly efficient and it’s  strong. The inset frame rest leaves no weak points, making for an incredibly strong box from top to bottom.

With approximately 9% less end grain exposed compared to a traditional finger joint, there's less area for wood to seep in and damage your hive.

The joint is milled using a CNC machine, which is five times more accurate than a traditional hauncher, allowing us to get the perfect cut every single time. Assembly of our new boxes is quicker and simpler with miniscule opportunity for error. 

Unique Comb Joint

PEAKED ROOF (OPTIONAL)

Our Langstroth hives come with the option of a peaked roof to replace the telescoping cover. Our langstroth roof not only prevents rain accumulation, but it adds extra weight so you won’t need to worry about your roof blowing away in high winds. It provides extra insulation and adds a beautiful finishing touch to your hive.

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Langstroth Peaked Roof
Langstroth Peaked Roof
Easy Grip Handle

EASY GRIP HANDLE

We designed the handle on our Langstroth boxes to be aesthetically pleasing and practical. The half-circle shape is deep enough for a gloved hand to easily lift from. It’s design prevents rain from pooling at the bottom of the handle which can cause damage. We include handles on all four sides of our boxes for convenience. 

EASY ASSEMBLY

All of our components are pre-drilled for easy assembly. The entire hive can easily be assembled with provided screws in 30-45 minutes depending on skill level and tools available. Or you can pay a little more and we’ll assemble the hive for you!

FREE CARBON NEUTRAL SHIPPING

Our top bar hives ship free to the lower 48 United States. We ship anywhere in the world – if you’re outside of the contiguous states, please   contact us and we’ll get you a shipping estimate! We ship a lot of hives and we're incredibly conscious of the environmental impact shipping can cause. That's why Bee Thinking opts into UPS' carbon neutral shipping program. UPS buys certified carbon offsets to balance out the emissions caused by transportation of shipments. UPS has also supported projects involving reforestation, landfill gas destruction, wastewater treatment, and methane destruction. We're proud that we're able to demonstrate our clean climate commitment to our customers every time we ship a package. 

BEE THINKING GUARANTEE

We not only build Langstroth hives, but we use them in our own apiaries in Portland, Oregon. Since 2008 we’ve tested our designs with our own 30+ honeybee colonies; we know they work well. We’re confident we make the best hives on the market, and we stand behind our products. Take a look at our   return policy to learn more.

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