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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    So what will you do about the swarm cells? I tore mine out and put in some more frames and moved everything to the back of the hive. Don't know if it will work. In a regular hive I would have done three or four splits and maybe recombined later, but I don't have any equipment this size except for this TBH.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    Well I just went through my KTBH and it has swarmed. I hope they aren't queenless now, since I destroyed all the queen cells I saw the other day hoping to avoid this. There is no open brood but it will take a couple of weeks for a virgin to start laying. I didn't see a queen, but it was getting late and with the sun kind of low it's hard to spot the queens, especially a virgin.

    The population is still pretty healthy so I think it will still do well this year, but probably won't make a lot of surplus.

    I'm still trying to figure out how you manage them.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Cornwall, Pa USA
    Posts
    91

    Post

    I have been watching with great interest your trials of TBH format, and have decided to give it a try. As a newbie, started out with 4 hives this past fall, and have 9 fairly strong hives currently, but can plainly see the disadvantages of stacking heavy boxes. Especially when one gets older, this is just not a good proposition. However, I also see a major hassle as a result of oversimplifying the top bar. Ok, the home made top bars can be made to fit snug against each other, but with all that adjusting of crooked wax and major possibility of catastrophic failure, it just seems to me that the BEST way to go (for me at least) is, since I have already standardized on medium frames, purchase lots of medium frames, use starter strips or just melt wax into the top groove (the latter worked great recently) and build rectangular 3 width medium boxes with SBB style bottom arrangement. This just seems like the natural conclusion of the problems beekeepers are experiencing. It is cheap, easy to manage, you can swap frames with the langs, and no problem with comb failure. What am I missing here?

    Received my 300 frames today, and will build some big boxes in the near future. Please let me know what I might be missing on my assumptions, and wish me luck?

    Once again, this site is a boon for all of us to share ideas and learn from one another. Thanks soooo much!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Cornwall, Pa USA
    Posts
    91

    Post

    duplicate deleted

    [This message has been edited by Bill_newbee (edited July 07, 2004).]

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    >However, I also see a major hassle as a result of oversimplifying the top bar. Ok, the home made top bars can be made to fit snug against each other, but with all that adjusting of crooked wax and major possibility of catastrophic failure, it just seems to me that the BEST way to go (for me at least) is, since I have already standardized on medium frames, purchase lots of medium frames, use starter strips or just melt wax into the top groove (the latter worked great recently) and build rectangular 3 width medium boxes with SBB style bottom arrangement.

    I have two of these in production right now and two more that I need to finish and put in production. I also have one just like this with just top bars. It's also doing well. But the swarming and management issues are still there. Same as the KTBH.

    >This just seems like the natural conclusion of the problems beekeepers are experiencing. It is cheap, easy to manage, you can swap frames with the langs, and no problem with comb failure. What am I missing here?

    Not a thing. Maybe one of the appeals of a TBH is that you can build everything easily. Frames are a bit hard to build yourself. Another appeal for me is all natural comb with no embossing to entice the bees to build a particular size so I can see what they build. You might miss those two things.

    >Received my 300 frames today, and will build some big boxes in the near future. Please let me know what I might be missing on my assumptions, and wish me luck?

    I'm already doing it and my only problems are swarm prevention. They seem to get about two thirds of the way down the length of the box an swarm before they fill it. I think you need to swap more empty frames into the brood nest more often to keep them busy. But I can't say I've mastered managing them yet. I have overwintered them and they did fine. I do make the frame rest a little deeper. I try to get a 3/8" beespace at the top. But 1/4" will do. With PermaComb on their little plastic rests, I need a 3/4" rabbet. I've done these a few different ways. A one by eight with screen on the bottom is about right for depth and then I put some 2 by 2 treated stock on for rails and cut a groove for the tray in the center of the 2 by 2s.

    I just put three migratory covers on for a top, but sometimes the rain causes the tops to expand and then they dry out and contract and leave a gap between the lids where the rain runs in. But I usually set my concrete blocks over the cracks and that helps. I made my own "migratory" tops with just a one by six and cleats on the bottom so it's flat and put multiple ones on and then a sheet of that plastic cardbord on top with some bricks. This seems to be my best arrangment so far. You get more of the calmness of the top bar by only opening a small amount of the hive at a time instead of ten frames at once.

    I guess that is another aspect of top bars as opposed to frames. The clamness that seems to result from the solid top bars with no gaps between them. I'm thinking of taking a top bar and dilling holes to put a standard end and bottom bar on to make a top bar frame, with no gaps and no beespace at the top.

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