I didn't want to hijack the persons thread about which hive design to use, but I would like to discuss a bit more, Robo and anyone else, if you don't mind, about the movement of bees as to How they move to fill space.
I realize I may not have the same time in beekeeping as you or many others here, However, I would venture to say that from the experience I do have, combined with observations and seeing and hearing what others have seen, bees will fill the space available to them. if the space is 16 inches wide by 5 feet long, bees will build comb horizontally to fill the area as well as vertically making them long enough to fill the void.
Don't take this wrong please, I am not trying to be argumentative, I think best when I 'think out loud' and even better when I can talk things through with other folks as both sounding board and sources of input as well.
I have seen discussion after discussion on various forums and among various people about bee movement and bee 'preferences'.
While I find the notion of bee 'preference' to be on the long side of anthropomorphizing, I have to say from my own limited experiences I don't believe bees have a 'preference' at all. They simply work with whats available to them. They will build comb till they fill out the open space as much as possible.
I once had the 'luck' if you will call it, to find a wooden box, about the size of a coffin while helping the fella who I used to assist with his bees. We found it out back behind the barn as we were moving some other things from the barn to take to his place. We opened the crate and found that comb had been built all the way across the top width wise or shortwise. the combs were then all the way down the length of the crate so we could see what looked like macabre comb piano keyboard.
The box was about 3 foot deep and the combs for the most part ran all the way from top to bottom. Apparently, these bees had been in this box for a very long time. It had set out back of the barn for about as long as he could remember on his uncles property.
Since then , I have been very interested to see how and where bees will make into a hive. The internet and YouTube are great sources as well to find stuff like this.
I am familiar with the 'chimney' effect where some bees will move straight up into the next box and frames instead of filling out the frames on either side all the way first. But, not every colony does this, nor did it seem commonplace to the guy ( Hank is his name) who I helped. It was his opinion that maybe one colony out of maybe every 15 or 20 or so will 'chimney' where most others will fill out all the space or most of it before moving into the next available space. I think that was his own estimation, I can't verify or back that up myself. I took his word for it.
Any thoughts on this?