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  1. #21
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Post

    Wow, what a coincidence! I have also met another Clarksville resident who keeps bees through these postings on Beesource.com!
    Sorry to hear you moved away.
    It is always good to know local beekeepers.
    I have little experience, but enjoy learning from others through stories and helping them out with their hives.
    Jason

  2. #22
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Post

    Wow, what a coincidence! I have also met another Clarksville resident who keeps bees through these postings on Beesource.com!
    Sorry to hear you moved away.
    It is always good to know local beekeepers.
    I have little experience, but enjoy learning from others through stories and helping them out with their hives.
    Jason

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    tallahassee, Fl
    Posts
    10

    Post

    Im a newbe here as well as to the concept of top bar hives. I had become so disillusioned with all the expense and work involved with the traditional langstroth methods and had begun the process of devising a simpler method. I imagined that simply cutting all the comb from the frame and running it thru a press would be fairly cost effective (apx .45 per frame)and much easier than uncapping and extracting. I recently shopped on ebay and found an old clothes wringer for 36.00. The system has two 1&3/4 diameter rollers, 10 inches wide, geared together and turned by a hand crank. The tension between the rollers is adjusted by large wing nuts on top. I was getting a history lesson on wringers aka. "mangels" when I came across information on top bar method, ie; kenya and tanzanian. I have kept bees for about 4 years and have never heard about this method! I am very excited to find out that replacing the entire sheet of foundation is unnessary by simply changing the design of the hive.I have found a wealth of information in the past two days but almost nothing on extracting. My clothes wringer arrived via ups today and I gave it a trial run with a waffle since no comb honey is available right now, Seems to work exactly as I expected however, I am concerned that the initial force required to engage the rollers may only crush the edge of the comb without catching it and pulling it through. If anyone has already gone down this road and could save me some trouble I would appreciate it. If however anyone shares my belief that this might actually work, please contact me and I will be glad to share my results.I hope to build a modified kenyan style tbh in the next couple of weeks. I am in construction and have some slightly damaged bathroom partition panels which are 1 inch thick solid plastic panels. I realize the weight will be high but I cant see any other negatives to using this material. Again, any info to keep me from making a fatal error is appreciated.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,369

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,624

    Post

    >Im a newbe here as well as to the concept of top bar hives. I had become so disillusioned with all the expense and work involved with the traditional langstroth methods and had begun the process of devising a simpler method. I imagined that simply cutting all the comb from the frame and running it thru a press would be fairly cost effective (apx .45 per frame)and much easier than uncapping and extracting. I recently shopped on ebay and found an old clothes wringer for 36.00. The system has two 1&3/4 diameter rollers, 10 inches wide, geared together and turned by a hand crank. The tension between the rollers is adjusted by large wing nuts on top. I was getting a history lesson on wringers aka. "mangels" when I came across information on top bar method, ie; kenya and tanzanian. I have kept bees for about 4 years and have never heard about this method! I am very excited to find out that replacing the entire sheet of foundation is unnessary by simply changing the design of the hive.

    But you don't have to change the design of the hive. Not that I'm against top bar hives. You can put a starter strip in the frame and when you harvest just leave the top row of cells for a "starter" strip. The bees will rebuild the comb in the frame. You can also put a peak pointing down on the bottom of the top bar to encorage them to build in the center without any foundation.

    >I have found a wealth of information in the past two days but almost nothing on extracting. My clothes wringer arrived via ups today and I gave it a trial run with a waffle since no comb honey is available right now, Seems to work exactly as I expected however, I am concerned that the initial force required to engage the rollers may only crush the edge of the comb without catching it and pulling it through. If anyone has already gone down this road and could save me some trouble I would appreciate it. If however anyone shares my belief that this might actually work, please contact me and I will be glad to share my results.

    I'm thinking it probably won't pull the comb through, but if you have it it's worth a try. Please let us all know how it works. I've alwyas just crushed the combs with my hands (messy, but not that bad).

    >I hope to build a modified kenyan style tbh in the next couple of weeks. I am in construction and have some slightly damaged bathroom partition panels which are 1 inch thick solid plastic panels. I realize the weight will be high but I cant see any other negatives to using this material. Again, any info to keep me from making a fatal error is appreciated.

    I've noticed bees seem to prefer wood, but they will probably do fine with teh plastic panels. Weight isn't usually a problem because you aren't lifting a full TBH.

  6. #26
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Post

    I have been doing some research on topbar hives and have been in contact with a man who has done work on them in Africa. They successfully built their top bar hives for less than $5. In fact I think it was less than $3.
    That is my goal for the summer.
    I found a website with lots of pictures of a professor in Georgia ( I think it was Georgia) that has various top bar boxes. One is even a converted large wooden drawer with frames built to fit.
    HIS EXTRACTING method is done by placing the comb in a mesh cloth like a mesh laundry bag and hangin it from a frame he built. On the sides of the frame of 4x4s he has a stationary piece of plywood or 2x8 attached on one side and another like piece of wood attached to a car jack (with a hand crank)that is mounted to the other side of the frame of 4x4s and he turns the crank to compress the boards together with the honeybag in between. He places a 5 gallon bucket underneath and catches all of the dripping honey. He says that all that is left is a very tight compact piece of wax that surprisingly comes out easily from the mesh bag.
    Anybody know who I am talking about or know the site?
    Quite interesting and ingenious!
    Jason

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Share the URL with us so we can look and see.

  8. #28
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Post

    Jim Satterfield is his name and here is the website he has about his topbar hives. http://www.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/press.htm
    Very interesting.
    JG in TN

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,624

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    tallahassee, Fl
    Posts
    10

    Post

    Thank you both for the response! I cant get over the completely different train of thought that I am getting here compared to literature and some "traditional" bee keepers that have mentored me. Dont get me wrong, I owe them alot but I can see already that I am on a new road here that could be a lot more rewarding.I have spent the last two hours going through the site that dcross directed me to and have bored my wife to tears calling her to come look at the pictures and explaining the concepts and conclusions. I am attending a bee keepers symposium at Auburn University on the 7th of Feb. and I cant wait to bring some of these points up for discussion.I'll keep you posted of my wringer idea as well as my first attempt at a plastic tbh. I had second thoughts today after considering the moisture factor but now see that traditional concepts are not necessarily true. THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >I am attending a bee keepers symposium at Auburn University on the 7th of Feb. and I cant wait to bring some of these points up for discussion.


    Be careful, a lot of presenters don't like you to bring up nonconventional topics in a seminar. I think it might be because either they are unexperianced or unfamilar, and don't want to give an impression that the might not be up on the latest. It sometimes can be difficult to get them into a private discussion on these things.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    tallahassee, Fl
    Posts
    10

    Post

    Thanks for the warning. I'll be sure to keep it tactful.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    tallahassee, Fl
    Posts
    10

    Post

    Moving right along I built my first Kenyan style tbh yesterday. I used some left over solid plastic panels described as "black paisley". They are 1" thick and have a very slick glossy surface on both sides.I used a skillsaw set to 50 degrees, and a clamped straight edge to cut matching angles (parallel to each other) on the top and bottom of the side panels.I would have used the recommended 60 but my saw wouldnt attain it. Mounted to a 4" wide bottom board this angle gave me a 19" overall width(od)at the top and 1&3/4" wide inside diameter across the bottom.The side panels were cut 14"deep with the expectation that I would have a 13" deep cavity but I ended up with 12" due to extra material removed by angeling the sides to snugly fit the top and bottom.I also gave the ends of the side pieces a 50 degree angle so that the end pieces could be joined to the sides with a mitered joint. In retrospect this was a lot of extra trouble for nothing. The bottom board is 3" longer than the hive body giving the entrance a 3" x 4" landing board. I attempted to attach all the pieces together with counter sunk screws but the difficulty of matching the screw to the angle required not to drive it through the surface of the boards, coupled with the mitered joints, and the slick, heavy material proved to be too dificult for one man.I resorted to a power finish nailer instead which actually worked out well. Once it was all nailed together I used a sander to take the shine off the outside and slightly round the hard edges. Although I have not used it, I understand that they make a paint for vinyl siding so I intend to paint the outside white while leaving the inside its original factory finish. I would not paint at all but I am concerned about the heat. I'll work on bars today and could have the completed box by next week.I can see where the resulting "V" shape will be helpful with mites and have wondered whether the slick finish inside will make it easy for the bees to tumble hive beetles from the comb and have them slide to the bottom. I will use a router to open the bottom up, perhaps almost the entire length, but I dont want to create another problem with wax moths. I suppose 1/4" hardward cloth will keep the moths out but might also keep the beetles in. I understand that beetle larva will seek out the light when it comes time for them to pupate so a pan beneath might still do alot wether it traps any adults or not.? One final admission, I intended to build this hive to hold 30 top bars 1& 3/8" wide x 19" long . A misplaced layout line created a box that will only hold 29 frames, oh well, perhaps the bees will overlook this. I'lll try to get a pictue posted ASAP.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,624

    Post

    > I suppose 1/4" hardward cloth will keep the moths out but might also keep the beetles in. I understand that beetle larva will seek out the light when it comes time for them to pupate so a pan beneath might still do alot wether it traps any adults or not.?

    For a screened bottom board I wouldn't use anything bigger than #8 hardware cloth. #7 will let dropped pollen fall through all the time. #8 will let it fall through some of the time. #4 will let robbers through as well as moths etc.

    I have no experience with SHB.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    tallahassee, Fl
    Posts
    10

    Post

    Thanks Michael. No shb's? Lucky you!I had read that they seemed to pose no significant threat to strong hives so have not treated for them. However, since relocating to Tallahassee, Fl last March, I sometimes noticed a strong sweet smell wafting from the direction of the hives yet standing beside the hive it seemed hardly noticeable. After repeatedly opening the hives and visually inspecting for foulbrood (something I have only read about) I decided that the smell must be coming from the neighbors yard. Recently I read that excrement from the shb will cause honey to ferment and the description of the smell seems to match what I noticed.I would still like to avoid any chemical treatment but I dont think I can just ignore the problem any more.
    I completed all 30 top bars(29 + 1 spare)today. Wow, what a job. To create the double 5 degree slope away from a starter strip took me longer than it took to build the hivebody itself.I have not created the top yet. I would like to do something with sheetmetal which I dont have on hand. I think I will go ahead with a 1/4 dowel inserted into the middle of each top bar, extending downward. I had quiet a few small rectangular strips, 60 in fact, from todays project but dont have the tools or the knowhow to attach them in a sturdy, astetically pleasing, manner.
    I am reconsidering paint for the outside. I know that the black plastic will really soak up the sun and transfer that heat readily, but because of the "V" shape if I make the top a little wider than would normally be necessary, there should be very little direct sun on the surface. In fact it should only get the rising sun on the face of the "V" which could help jump start them in the morning. The rear of the hive is shaded form the settting sun by a tall hedge.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    tallahassee, Fl
    Posts
    10

    Post

    I have looked through the site some for recent info on hive beetles and find a good bit about the beetle, methods of control, damage to brood nest,ect... Does anyone have any information that pertains to the food quality of honey extracted from a hive infested with shb? I do not sell my honey but I give quiet a lot to friends , family and buisness associates.

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