Home » Get Started » Which Hive? » Dartington


Dartington Long Deep Hive

The Dartington long deep hive was developed in 1975 by Robin Dartington, an engineer.

The hives are intended for use in gardens and on roof top locations, not for commercial or migratory beekeeping.

They are designed to keep the weight of individual parts below 7kg (16 lbs), which observes the safety guidance issued by the UK Health & Safety Executive. The hive is therefore safe for use by everyone.

The design is derived from classic log hives used around the world where honey is stored by the bees at the back of the cavity away from the entrance. However, the system is very flexible as the brood chamber can be divided to house two or more colonies plus honey boxes may be added above the brood chamber to provide as much honey storage as required.

Brood frame 14″ x 12″ 14″ x 12″ 14″ x 12″
Super frame 14″ x 5½” 14″ x 5½” 14″ x 5½”
Frames / brood box 11 21 22
Cells / brood box 80,000 80,000 80,000
Lug length 1½” 1½” 1½”

The construction uses widely available modern materials such as plywood. Essentially, the hive is a rectangular brood chamber based on the National 14 x 12 frame with top bee space.

The hive holds 21 frames (14” wide x 12” deep) with an insulated dummy board front and back. The body is raised to a convenient working height on long legs and supports four or more honey-boxes above the brood chamber each holding five Manley frames or six National shallow frames (14” x  5½”).

A fifth honey-box is provided to allow exchange of a full box for an empty one or it can be used as a queen mating hive.

Accessories include two carry-boxes, each holding six 14 x 12 frames for winter storage. A carry-box can also be used in summer as a nucleus hive using the fifth cover board as a roof.

Diagram of the Dartington hive
The Dartington comes with a division board to split the body into two separate compartments, enabling effective swarm control.


Latest updates:

2019 Honiton Show Report

News & Events

The selfish case for saving bees: it’s how to save ourselves
These crucial pollinators keep our world alive. Yes, they are under threat – but all is not lost.  Click here to read the article.
World’s largest bumblebee under threat.
The Patagonian bumblebee, the worlds largest bumblebee, is under threat from the import of species native to Europe.The growth of the bumblebee trade for agricultural pollination since the 1980s has been identified as one of the top emerging environmental issues likely to affect global diversity.Follow this link to read the article.
Best plants for bees: 5 yr study results by RosyBee
Follow the link to see the results of 5 years of monitoring which bees visit a variety of ‘bee-friendly’ plants.
What’s that Buzz? Plants hear when bees are coming
New research has shown that plants can ‘hear’ sounds around them and flowers respond to the buzz of approaching bees by producing sweeter nectar. The research biologists from Tel Aviv University played recordings of flying bee sounds to evening primrose flowers and found that after a few minutes the sugar concentration in the flower’s nectar had increased by 20% on average when compared with flowers left in silence or submitted to higher pitched sounds.
The authors of the report say that, for the first time, they have shown plants can rapidly respond to pollinator sounds in an ecologically relevant way.
Producing sweeter nectar in response to the sounds of bees can help entice the insects to visit the flowers and increase the chances of its pollen being distributed.
Thanks to Ann P. for spotting this article in the Times.
Scientists sew trackers to Asian Hornets to find and destroy nests before they kill honeybees
Britain’s beekeepers are turning to technology to prevent aggressive Asian hornets destroying their colonies. In a first successful trial, experts at the University of Exeter attached tracking devices to the backs of the voracious hornets and then followed them back to their nests.