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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    807

    Post

    Hello Everyone,

    Hot water and sometimes steam is used to soften wood. That's how our ancestors built those beautiful curved chair backs, etc.

    Techniques similiar to those used by basket makers and probably the same kinds of wood could easily be split and shaped that way.

    Strips cut on a table saw could also be shaped this way.

    Let us know what you come up with.

    Best Wishes
    Dennis

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Marthasville MO
    Posts
    18

    Post

    We have our tbh almost completed, now trying to figure out what kind of foundation to use as a starter strip. Is there a need to use brood comb foundation in the nest area,and then cut comb foundation in the honey part of the hive, or do you use the same foundation throughout the entire hive.I'm sure if youv'e read this far you know I'm very new at this, but it's something that has me confused.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,650

    Big Grin

    Jane -

    I hope I can sway you into not using any foundation or using 4.9 starter strips. Some are having pretty good results with the use of 4.9 comb and not needing chemicals to treat for mites. I'm planning to put my 4.9 bees into a long hive (20 frames wide) using standard frames but using 1" starter strips of wax with no imprint on them and let them do their thing.

    Regards,
    Barry

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    My point about the saplings is you can bend them. You don't have to soak them or steam them etc. Just peel the bark and bend them.

    >We have our tbh almost completed, now trying to figure out what kind of foundation to use as a starter strip. Is there a need to use brood comb foundation in the nest area,and then cut comb foundation in the honey part of the hive, or do you use the same foundation throughout the entire hive.I'm sure if youv'e read this far you know I'm very new at this, but it's something that has me confused.

    If you want to go the easy way I'd use a pair of sissors and cut 4.9mm foundation into starter strips. I don't know how you did your top bars. Most have a slit down the middle. I've done them that way and I've done them with a slope to the middle by cutting them in a shallow "V" shape. If you have the "V" shape you can just rub it with bees wax down the peak (which when put in will be down). If you have a groove you'll either have to fill it with wax (a wax tube fastener from Walter T. Kelly would would do well) or put in a strip. If you use a strip of 4.9mm foudation you won't have to make the foundation. Otherwise, You can take a piece of masonite that is smooth on both sides and dip it in wax server times to make two shees of plain wax (plain as in no embossing) then peel them off of the masonite and cut them into strips. Personally that's what I intend to do, because I want to see what the bees build as far as orientation of the cells (see Housel Positioning other places on this board).

    If you don't give the bees some direction they will build every which way.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Columbiana, AL
    Posts
    69

    Big Grin

    Hi everybody,nice to see so much interest in top-bar hives.I make my starter strips by cutting a groove in the bottom of the top- bar(table saw,an eigth inch deep and wide)Then I just drip a bead of hot wax into the groove.thats it the bees do the rest,have had alot of success with this.They build the size cells they need.Only have one tbh going into this winter,its one i have had going for about three years,seems very healthy again this year.Got lots of wax and a couple of gallons of honey from it this summer.The other one swarmed out and was slowly taken over by waxmoths,I broke it down and cleaned it up for next years splits.Lang type hives are more efficient,but the tbh are interesting and if you want wax they are great....JOHN

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    807

    Post

    Hello Everyone,

    Just getting down to the construction details for my tbh. What are your thoughts concerning the interior angles for the sloping sides of the tbh? What kind of angles do you have experience with?

    Thanks
    Dennis

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    807

    Post

    Hello Everyone,

    Just another thought on tbh construction. If the hive is constructed so that at about 10 inches below the top of the hive, it is at least 18 inches wide, a standard deep frame could be fastened to bottom of a top bar and inserted in the tbh.

    Happy tbhiving
    Dennis


  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    My previous top bar hives I put an angle on the walls of about 15 degrees or so off from vertical. Of course if you are measuring from horizontal that is 105 degrees or so. I don't remember now exactly, but that sounds about right from what they looked like. It seems like the exact number was 17 degrees. But I'm sure it was in that vicinity.

    However, I'm currently running some in a standard Langstroth box with top bars in it. The sides are straight and so far they haven't connected it. Of course I put my grooves in the top bars to only as wide as standard foundation and waxed it in. The bees stopped before the sides so far. I'm not sure what they will do when the box gets more crowded but Satterfield (http://www.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/main.htm) says it's no worse with straight sides.

    I have seen some attachment even when I did the 17 degrees, but not much and you could detach things as long as you were slow and gentle (as you should be anyway). The advatages of using a standard box are that I can mix frames and top bars interchangably, and I can put shallow supers on if I have some frames or notched top bars to let them into the super. Also I can reuse the boxes in either top bar or frame configuration. Also I can buy boxes if I want.


  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Columbiana, AL
    Posts
    69

    Lightbulb

    Hi beekeepers,My tbh are straight sided,I got alot of inspiration from Sattersfields sight.There is some attatchment at the top of the comb,sometimes,but it is easily loosened up with a hive tool,or I keep an old serated knife in my tool box,and run down the side with it ,looosening several tob -bars at once,while working the hive.I built mine to dimensions that would fit either top bars or lang-frames.The only thing is if you end up with alot of frames in it you have to create a wrap around top, to close the openings somewhat.I did this with a piece of plywood and 1by2 band around it.It fits snugly over the top-bars and the frames,almost like an inner cover...JOHN

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    Yes, you can't depend on the bars to seal it up if you use frames. I use standard inner covers with extra vent holes in them and cover all the holes with hardware cloth. Then I put vent boxes on top of that (like a shallow super with a peice of plywood on top and holes around with hardware cloth). Mine are on a table horizontally and only one box deep (usually) so you could just as easily use standard migratory covers.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,650

    Post

    Hi all -

    Been thinking about how do make my TBH this winter. Not having had one before, one tends to think over all the possibilities in hopes of improving on anothers and making the BEST TBH around. Haha, what a pipe dream, right? I enjoy all the ideas being thrown out here.

    I think for myself, there needs to be a bottom that can open for periodic cleaning. I also want to design it in such a way where there won't be comb attaching to the sides. Two ways of accomplishing this it seems. Attention to the angle or slope of the hive sides, and/or using frames instead of just top bars.

    One thought I had was to cut the two end boards in the shape of a half circle trying to mimic the shape of natural comb. Then take either 1x2, 1x3, 1x4's the length you want the hive, say 4 feet, and simply attach the ends of the boards to each end board creating the cavity. You could get fancy and even rip the correct angle on the edge of each 1x so they all fit tight together, but this seems overkill.

    The other idea is to make a top bar that has a shoulder on each end where a thin slot is cut across the width of the bar (1-3/8"). Rip some pieces of wood that are about 1/16" thick and long enough to go from bar end to bar end with a nice hanging curve below the bar, creating a sort of frame. This would give the bees a boundry for the comb and add some strength to the bars/comb also. I hope to make one up this weekend and see how it works.

    Regards,
    Barry

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    http://www.ccdemo.info/GardenBees/KTBH.html

    THe above site is a pretty good one for general ideas about building top bar hives with angled sides. Mine all have straight sides, mostly because of the ease of building, but the guy who does the Cal-Kenyan hives has experimented quite a bit and has come up with what I consider some great ideas.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    I'll try to describe the table I have the boxes on. I have a long table (74" long). This is long enough for four standard Langstroth boxes. I have a double box on the front of this (32 1/2" x 19 7/8")and deep supers behind that box. The table is a frame three sides of 2 x 6 with a 2 x 4 for the cross peice in the front. I cut two dado's for the bottom. This allows me to slide a piece of plywood in for the actual botom and slide it out for cleaning (since the double box is too heavy to lift). Since I have two dados (one 3/4" down and the other 1 1/2" down) I can also slide in a screened bottom board for the top one and still have the option for a solid bottom board below it. I put an "entrace" block on the back of the last box on the table. If I was doing it again I'd make the table longer. It's nice to have space to move things around and still set it down on the table and not have to ever lift from the ground or to the ground or to or from anything higher than the table. The legs are 1 x 12 cut at an angle from 2" in at oppisite ends, so it makes two pieces 2" wide at one end and 9 1/4" wide at the other. These are screwed and glued in pairs at each corner with the wide end at the top. This makes a "V" looking down the leg from the top. It's very strong. Anyway, thought you might like the idea of the table with a bottom that slides out.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,650

    Post

    Okay guys, how about getting the camera out and taking a picture of your TBH. I'd love to start posting photos of all the different ways people are making TBH's. If you can, send me an email with either the photo attached as a jpg or ask me for an address to send by snail mail and I'll start putting them on a web page. More detail the better.

    Regards,
    Barry

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,650

    Lightbulb

    Hi all -

    This is to let you know that a TBH page has now been started. http://www.beesource.com/eob/althive/index.htm

    Photos of your TBH with comments are welcome.

    How is it going with yours, Dennis? I will be posting some more of mine soon. I have it on a stand now, painted, and I'm currently making the top for it. I have the 1x4 hinged bottom on it and just need to make 2 follower boards for it to be complete. Next will be making up a small wax dipping trap so I can get my un-embossed sheets of wax.

    Regards,
    Barry

    [This message has been edited by Barry (edited November 24, 2002).]

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    I finally got a digital camera, but it's dark when I leave for work and dark when I get home and it's been cloudy on the weekends. Hopefully I'll get some pictures.

    Meanwhile, I do like the frames with the bow shaped bottom. It's the natural shape of a comb, it adds strength and is still easier to build from scratch than a regular frame is.

    As to attachments to the side of the hive. I've noticed that you can paint whatever you don't want attached with FGMO and it will deter (but not prevent) attachments. It also weakens the attachments so you can break them loose easier and it cuts down on mites.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    807

    Post

    Hello Everyone,

    I have ordered a digital camera and will post the details on my first tbh. I have settled on a traditional Kenya type hive with sides sloped 17 degrees off of vertical. That seems to be best approximation to a catenary curve with a 24" span and 18" depth. The top bars will be like those Leonard uses in his CalKenya hive.

    I like the idea of having the hives at a working level but will place mine close to the ground due to cattle and high wind conditions.

    Had alot of fun hanging a string and generating different catenary curves. If you try it, a wet string works better than a dry one.

    I hope to build a true catenary hive like the neat one Barry is building after finishing this one.

    Best Wishes
    Dennis

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    Looks great. The curve along the bottom of the frames is basically what I had in mind, but I still haven't started trying to construct them. Been busy building a permanent hive stand that will hold 5 or 6 hives. I figure I still have a couple of months to finish the bar frames in the top bar hive not currently in use. I plan to buy myself a dig cam for xmas and will send photos then. Thanks for posting this.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,650
    Hi Guys -

    Pictures, they're great. I started putting Michael's page together at the link above. It shows just how creative we beekeepers are when it comes to equipment.

    Michael, are you using pine for the construction? What are you using for preservative?

    There is plenty of room for the rest of you to get busy with those new digital cameras and hive construction. Look forward to seeing them.

    -Barry

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    Yes, I used pine and scrap plywood for inner covers and bottom boards.

    I accidently bought some exterior latex paint that was just base without color in it. I liked seeing the wood so I kept buying that. Some of it is weathering because I didn't get around to painting it.

    I put scraps of plywood under the feet to keep them from rotting and to keep them from sinking in. You could use bricks or blocks and make the legs shorter.

    My main goal in designing this was to minimize lifting. The top bars were to minimize both expense and maintanance. I don't have to clean frames and put foundation in them all the time. I am using a mixture of top bars and frames.

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