The Story of Castle Buchanan. Part One!

Buchanan inspection

My first hive was a top bar hive (see previous post). Of course I was fascinated by this hive. I was also fascinated by everything beekeeping! I wanted a hive of every configuration. Wanted to learn it all. I mentioned to my mentor at the time, Alan Kramer, that it would be wonderful if there was a horizontal Langstroth type hive and by golly he referred me to Michael Bush.

It took some years and some experience with regular Langstroth beekeeping for me to get around to it. Alan and I had planned to build an experimental “long-Lang” but we never got to that. What makes “Langs” work is bee space (future post) AND almost as important is the interchangeability of standardized components, especially the frames the bees use to build their comb. And in order to make the frames work in a hive, there must be rabbeted frame rests for the frames to seat themselves nicely in the hive boxes. There are a few ways to accomplish this. The main method is a “dado” blade in a table saw. Alan has a table saw; I did not. Time passed……

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I pondered the question for what seemed like forever about the build itself and EUREKA!!  – the solution presented it self. What if I BOUGHT lang boxes which were ALREADY rabbeted, and cut and pasted ’em all together all nice-like and all????…….

The trick was to cut off the dovetailed joints on the rabbeted sides. Not all of them, just the ends which were “butt” joined. The bits on the ground above show the first effort…..


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That-there is the basic configuration!! AND it would fit 30 deep frames!! which was monstrous, indeed! the question was would the bees like it? STAY TUNED!!


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