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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westfield, MA, USA
    Posts
    28

    Post

    I got alot of ideas from the Cal-Kenyan and all the other TBH's I've seen. My idea for the roof is to overlap the pitch of the two end pieces and use a simple peg to lock the roof on securely, that way I wont have to use weights on top.
    Mike

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804
    Hello Airbalancer and Everyone,

    I like the roof and now it's attachments. A beautiful hive keeps getting better.

    The tbh is a great forum for trying and sharing new beekeeping ideas.

    It sure bets nailing tens of thousands of frames and building the umteenth super.

    Thanks
    Dennis

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sapulpa,OK USA
    Posts
    174

    Exclamation

    Wow what a work of art! I would bet that if you stained that and varnished it, it would be beautiful. You might even be able to market that to non carpenter types. The more that I study this out; the more I'm thinking that I will not be buying any more standard equipment - at least not as long as I'm in the hobby stage.

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Post

    >The more that I study this out; the more I'm thinking that I will not be buying any more standard equipment - at least not as long as I'm in the hobby stage.

    What I do is build my top bar equipment the same dimensions as Langstroth stuff. I build the boxes some multiple of standard Langstroth boxes wide and then you can use standard supers, excluders, inner covers, lids etc. or you can put frames in the brood chamber and use top bars for the honey. Interchangeability means you haven't wasted anything and all it costs you is get interchangeability is the trouble to make the measurements come out right.

    I think it's the best way to get started rasing bees cheaply.

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Post

    I like the looks of Txbeeguy's hive. Especially the arms on the end. I have contemplated putting something like that on mine to hang bars on. This is especially nice on a top bar hive as you can't set the frames on the ground. I have always built mine to Langstroth dimensions which lets me use one of those frame rests that hang on the end but the arms sticking out would be even more convenient.

    For those of you who haven't done top bars, you may want to think about where you will put the bars when working the hive. One option on a sloped hive is add some 1 x 2 arms a little below the top so the space between them is correct. for the length of the bar. If it's a square sided box, you could put a couple of long deck screws in the end spaced correctly for the bar. Another is use your follower board to leave some space on the end inside to put them.

  6. #106

    Post

    Those "arms" on the end came from my laziness to cut them off! Since I was using scrap wood, I decided to just leave them - later I discovered they would make an excellent place to put the top bars when I'm working the hive. My top bars are also 19 inches long so they will fit a standard brood box (if need be). I have been feeding my bees heavy so as to encourage a quick buildup this Spring - should be ready to do a split and 'populate' the TBH very soon!
    As soon as they get it going, I'll post a few more photos.

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Post

    Hello Txbeeguy and Everyone,

    I also thought those side extensions were designed as frame rests. I'm going to incorporate that idea into my 'fancy' tbh. If a cross piece was placed to connect the two sides of the rests they could be used as handles to move the hive. Think I've read about the handles on James S.'s site.

    Looking forward to the shots of bees in the tbh and the mangement techniques.

    Now this is beekeeping at it's best. Thanks guys for the ideas.

    Happy TBHing
    Dennis

  8. #108

    Post

    Actually there is a cross piece on each end (made from the same wood) and it is how I move the hive. It's these two cross pieces that have the 22 deg angle cut which forms the overall shape of the hive. The hive doesn't have to be supported by underneath (by sawhorses like in my photos), it could also be suspended by rope under a tree (as an example). One of these days, I'll try to draw up some basic construction drawings with dimensions. I think it has absolutely the fewest saw cuts necessary and would lend itself to replication very readily.

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westfield, MA, USA
    Posts
    28

    Post

    Hello all

    I have ordered a 3LB package of bees for my TBH, and I am just wondering, is there anything special I should do to introduce them to the new hive? Would you use a wire or something to hang the queen cage up by the top bars?

    Mike

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Post

    Whatever works for you. I usually staple a piece of card stock (like 3 x 5 cards are made of) to the queen cage. Or better yet a piece of hardware cloth if I have a scrap of it around. Run this up through the crack of the top bar and bend it and staple it to the top bar. Make sure you don't get too deep of a staple that would block the exit on the cage or staple the queen. Of course with the hardware cloth you won't even need to staple it. A tight 90 degree bend will keep it there.

    I'm sure there are a 100 other ways too that are just as good, but this is what I've done in the past.

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Brigham City, Utah, Box Elder
    Posts
    10

    Post

    Hi guys,
    I'm new at doing the top bar hives. I am running 8 of them this year and built them using the instructions from James Satterfield's website. I am running into a problem with the top bars swelling so that I can't get them in and out very easily. Is this because the bees inside are trying to evaporate the moisture from the nectar? Do I need to have some ventilation holes near the back of the hive; and if I do ventilate, how do I keep the bees from using this hole? (My entrance holes are in the front of the hive)
    I'm glad I stumbled on to this site...Have any of you been successful commercially with the top bar hives? I am a school teacher that would like to get into this a little more and wondering if it is feasable to do the beekeeping in the tbh's a little more than a hobby.

  12. #112
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Brigham City, Utah, Box Elder
    Posts
    10

    Post

    Hi guys,
    I'm new at doing the top bar hives. I am running 8 of them this year and built them using the instructions from James Satterfield's website. I am running into a problem with the top bars swelling so that I can't get them in and out very easily. Is this because the bees inside are trying to evaporate the moisture from the nectar? Do I need to have some ventilation holes near the back of the hive; and if I do ventilate, how do I keep the bees from using this hole? (My entrance holes are in the front of the hive)
    I'm glad I stumbled on to this site...Have any of you been successful commercially with the top bar hives? I am a school teacher that would like to get into this a little more and wondering if it is feasable to do the beekeeping in the tbh's a little more than a hobby.

  13. #113
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Post

    >I am running into a problem with the top bars swelling so that I can't get them in and out very easily. Is this because the bees inside are trying to evaporate the moisture from the nectar? Do I need to have some ventilation holes near the back of the hive; and if I do ventilate, how do I keep the bees from using this hole? (My entrance holes are in the front of the hive)

    The environment in a hive has to be moist for the brood to live. Are the bars too long or too wide after they swell? If they are too long, you should just cut them shorter. If they are too wide, you need a follower on the end so you can remove it and them pry them apart.

    You do need some ventilation somwhere. A screened area under the brood nest with #8 hardware cloth could allow mite fall while providing ventilation. You could cut a hole in the back and cover it with #8 hardware cloth. It will work for a while until the bees propolize it closed. If you do some kind of hole in the back with the hardware cloth but block the light coming in then they won't propolize it nearly as much.

    >I'm glad I stumbled on to this site...Have any of you been successful commercially with the top bar hives?

    I have never tried to do it commercially. I think it would be advantageous to run a "clean" (as in no chemicals) hive and then you could get a premioum for the wax. You'll have lots of it if you press comb for extracted honey. Of course you can sell comb honey, that seems to be a big market anyway.

    It has the advantage of low investment which means less overhead. Also it has the advantage of less labor because you're not lifting all those supers off everytime you want to check the brood chamber.


    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited April 30, 2003).]

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Brigham City, Utah, Box Elder
    Posts
    10

    Post

    Thanks Mike,
    I'll try the ventilation holes with the screen. My bars are swelling against each other which makes sense from your reply. This discussion board has given me a lot of ideas. I'm sure I'll need your help in the future.
    Thanks again...Hal

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Post

    Hello Hal and Everyone,

    >I'm glad I stumbled on to this site...Have any of you been successful commercially with the top bar hives?

    I think the tbh has some great commercial potential for a non-migratory sideliner. Some of my thoughts were noted in a previous post and I had planned to expand this year and test some of those ideas.

    Unfortunately that will not be possible this year. Maybe next.

    The short term commercial possibilities are especially exciting. If raw material for the hives can be scrounged, the possibility exists for turning a profit much earlier than with the more expensive standard equipment.

    Regards
    Dennis

  16. #116

    Post

    I don't experience this problem with my top bars. The main reason is that I built my TBH a little longer (wider?) than the 30 top bars to allow for a 'follower board'. And to this follower board I put a strip of that self-adheasive, high-density weather striping. This seals the gap between the follower board and the last top bar and since the weather striping is a little "spongy", it expands or contracts to allow for the top bars to fit in nicely under any moisture conditions. This is visible in several of my photos and can been seen as the 'grey' line across the TBH.

  17. #117
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Brigham City, Utah, Box Elder
    Posts
    10

    Post

    Thanks...That's a great idea. I glued in a thin board at the end becasue of a little space when I was building these hives. I'll just take the board out and modify it...Great idea!

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Post

    Here's a picture of the box I put my top bars in for starting out. It's a lanstroth deep box with a plexiglass window on it. The top bars are 1 1/2" wide with a blank starter strip (no embossing) on it. I' curious to see the orientation, size etc.
    http://www.beesource.com/eob/althive/bush/bush3.htm

    Here's a view of the cluster of bees inside:
    http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/ima...sOnTopBars.jpg

  19. #119

    Post

    Wow Michael, I'm impressed. (Good job)
    That's quite a cluster of bees!

    I'm sure you're planning on posting the
    results of your bees drawing out wax and
    it's orientation. I'm a little skeptical
    about this center comb idea (as well as
    the cell orientation) making any kind of
    REAL difference in the hive.

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Post

    I have to admit a problem with the center comb concept. The orientation makes some sense to me having had foundation that they wouldn't draw until I reveresed it, even though I didn't know anything about positioning. But I am both open minded and skeptical when it comes to anything.

    I will let you know what I observe. I just don't want to disturb them at this point. Probably I won't disturb them as long as things look good, until they start running out of room. Then I will transfer them to a long trough hive.



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