The hives are quite impressive. Thanks so much for the photos.
With the help of my neighbor, we have just finished building mine (he has a nice woodworking shop and the mad skillz to go along with it).
We opted for a cement ply-board that is attached directly to the wooden portion of the roof. The bees will only have direct contact in the hive to the natural wood. But the cement ply-board will protect the bee-landing area from much of the rain (see how it extends outward) and also protect the wooden roof.
My question to all of you is, do any of you recommend any type of sealant for the outside portion? Could this be toxic for the bees?
Thanks so much in advance.
I didn't apply any sort of finish on mine. I plan on building a custom hive this year as the golden mean hive is too short for my taste. I wouldn't doubt if the designers did it to promote swarming. ;)
Blist, how many times have you had issues with swarms absconding altogether?
Was it here that I read where someone suggested to place a top bar of brood in the newly loaded hive because a swarm would never abandon brood?
I don't have another hive with bees in it though.
they typically shouldn't swarm unless the colony has built up and is healthy enough to split...
my point about the golden mean hive was that even a package can fill that hive in a very short amount of time
you can do things to try to discourage swarming but a small hive obviously isn't on your side...you should be able to go to about 4' without any problems on a TBH according to some of the "masters" who have written on the subject
Hive length: 30"
Hive width at top: 16"
Hive width at floor: 10"
Top bars: 17 3/4"
Lid is 31" by 19"
Like several mentioned above, the plans had to be amended in a couple of different areas. I thought the biggest ball-drop of the plans was the explanation of the false back. The window retainers were a bit weird. They should have listed the 18-degree angle in addition to the 108-degree angle on the sides (no biggie...just had to do some math). A few other vague things kinda pissed-off my neighbor who helped me build it. But it will be much easier in future attempts.
Regarding sealing or painting the hive, I found this interesting article on Corwin Bell's site:
Should I weatherize my new top bar hive?
We've made two Golden Mean hives. I put a package of bees in one 8 weeks ago (I don't have bars for the second hive yet). The hive with bees is already getting crowded and I have 4 queen cells and I think they're about to swarm.
Just this morning I was told that the hives are about a foot too short to be useful and to expect multiple swarms.
I'm wondering if any of you have had your hives for longer than this season. If so, what has your experience been like?
I'm also going to post this with a different thread title to see if I can get some responses. It sounds like you folks are all new, like me, but I'm not sure. I think it would be interesting for all of us to know.
I've had two for a while. Built straight from the plans or bought...bottom line, they will probably swarm every year. If you ask me, I think they did that on purpose (to encourage swarming).
We actually built a copy modified hives this year that are basically longer. We even swapped bars from one of the old ones to the new longer one. If building, do yourself a favor and make it longer. :)
Mine now has a very small crew in it from a cut-out I did on April 30th.
I'm hoping they beat the 'bee math'. Their lives are so short.
Anyhow, here's how my Golden Mean hive sits now:
Here's a photo I took of my small crew a couple of weeks ago building new comb. They now have capped brood, but hopefully it will be enough:
I have even made new uniforms for all my bees:
looks similar to a setup I have on two of mine...I will post some pics of the old and new next to each other
One other thing I'd like to point out - it seems how the angled top bars are constructed that the bees almost automatically build straight comb, right down the middle point.
They are very time-consuming to construct, but probably worth it.
I won't be building one that nice for a long time. In fact, here are two others I've slapped together since:
Well, admittedly mine have only build about 3 small combs, but they are right on target.
I'm sure you have heard this before, but place a guide-comb in there, even with hairclips if need-be, and they will build straight comb after that one, at least for awhile.
But yes, it needs to be monitored frequently and remedied before it gets out of hand.
yep, even with beautifully crafted top bars...as you said above, monitor frequently and use guide comb if you have it, you still have to watch it because of bee space though, one of my hives started out great and was straight until about half way through the hive, then slowly but surely they got off track until the last few bars weren't under the actual top bar correctly at all
The only issue I have ever had with comb building was a little wave in the edge of the combs after they had filled out about 50% of the hive. Straighten out the edge and put a straight comb behind it from elsewhere in the hive and you are golden.