Trench Style Configuration
The trench style hive, also called a "long hive", is a hive that can model itself after a Top Bar Hive. In the top bar hive configuration, there are no frames used except the top bar and perhaps a small side bar guide in the construction of the comb. (see picture above) It can be said that this type of hive is also basically the same as the Tanzanian Top Bar Hive, although some suggest there are actual set dimensions with the Tanzanian hive, which we do not agree.
You can also use full frames in a long or trench style hive. Instead of a stackable box arrangement in the standard Langstroth setup, you arrange the frames (21 or more) in a horizantal arrangement. We just don't see the reasoning of using long hives if your just using standard frames.
The downside of a trench or long hive, is that it now becomes a hive that is not easily moved if needed.
The advantages of this type setup is the possible use of equipment possibly already on-hand if you have Langstroth boxes. (This would be advantagious to those who would like to try a top bar hive setup, yet do not want to buy or make additional equipment.) It utilizes two deep brood boxes with the sides (one per box) cut off. And then they are fastened together making a long trench like brood chamber where up to 21 frames (or more) can be used. Since standard Langstroth boxes are used, you can also traditionally super, remove honey, and manage like a standard hive.
As with any free hanging comb configuration (if you decide to not use frames) used in Top Bar Hive beekeeping, you also are not using foundation, allowing the bees to make comb dictated by need and desire, and may require some additional management knowledge to successfully keep bees in these type hives. A full explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of Top Bar Hive Beekeeping can be found on the "Top Bar Beekeeping" page of this website.