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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

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    OK guys I have been looking at your different designs and a few questions arise?
    What is the bees preference front or side entrance? How do you set up for winter in your tbh's? The look pretty drafty, would you apply top insulation to hold heat down? Now for more hive desighn questions. There seems to be to groups those using 15-16 in top bar and those using 22 in. top bar. In other word larger volume and a smaller volume. Why such a difference, for example dennis' hives a wide and deep and Scott and MB's are much shorter in width and depth. Why is this? Enlighten me? How would production from a commercial stand point be effected by the choice of design here along with winterability?

    Oh ya, why is it none of you are using plywood? Just wondering as I may have excess to 1/2 in. ply at 11 bucks a sheet.

    Clay- more questions to come!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

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    Question: OK guys I have been looking at your different designs and a few questions arise?
    What is the bee’s preference front or side entrance?

    reply: None – it is more a question of wanting your combs to hang the “warm way”, or the “cold way”. Personally I don’t think the bees care one whit. I use an end entrance simply because I like to orient the hive lengthwise in a certain direction. For true flexibility though I would have the entrance on the side, one at either end so that I could put in a divider and make splits.

    Here is something to ponder: Some folks have recently mentioned on the lists that bees prefer an entrance at the top of the hive. I have never seen a TBH with this design – but might be something to try.

    Question: How do you set up for winter in your tbh's? The look pretty drafty, would you apply top insulation to hold heat down?

    reply: I do nothing except make sure there is adequate stores and that they are next to the cluster. Then again, I live in SC, so as long as there is honey, we have no problems. I might reduce the entrance some, but even that is not super important where I am. I guess I would take my cue from all the research that shows that the cold is not the problem.

    Question: Now for more hive design questions. There seems to be to groups those using 15-16 in top bar and those using 22 in. top bar. In other words larger volume and a smaller volume. Why such a difference, for example Dennis' hives a wide and deep and Scott and MB's are much shorter in width and depth. Why is this?

    Reply: Often it is just carpenters preference. The one I made was wide enough for me to zip-tie standard frames to the bars should I ever want to (I never did – but I thought I might), was 30 bars long and 15 inches deep. Waaaaay too big, they will never use all the space in my location. When I make more they will be smaller – more like Scott’s. Because the beekeeper cannot continually open up the top of the honey cap, there seems to be a limit as to how big a colony will get. I think Dennis gave a good description of this on his site or one of the lists. I just don’t see TBHs becoming as big as some of the monster langs you find. I would bet that in all but the more unusual cases a total volume of not more than that contained by two Langstroth deeps would provide more than enough space.

    Question: Enlighten me? How would production from a commercial stand point be effected by the choice of design here along with winterability?

    Reply: This one is beyond me.

    Question: Oh ya, why is it none of you are using plywood? Just wondering as I may have excess to 1/2 in. ply at 11 bucks a sheet.

    Reply: I did – ¾ inch Plywood. Works well – just be sure to paint the thing well as the layers will separate before they rot.

    just my $0.02

    Keith


    [This message has been edited by kgbenson (edited May 23, 2004).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

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    >What is the bees preference front or side entrance?

    I like it on the end because the breed nest seems to end up by the entrance and I want it at one end. Since I was tired of the skunks I actually didn't MAKE an entrance, I just left the gap in front of the first bar.

    >How do you set up for winter in your tbh's?

    I have overwintered some long hives with screened bottom boards. I close the bottom and just left them otherwise. They did as well or better than some of my other hives. But this was NOT a TBH. I have not ever wintered one yet.

    >The look pretty drafty, would you apply top insulation to hold heat down?

    I haven't.

    >Now for more hive desighn questions. There seems to be to groups those using 15-16 in top bar and those using 22 in. top bar. In other word larger volume and a smaller volume. Why such a difference

    I started with a standard Lanstroth deep hive that was double wide (32 1/2") with 19" bars. After all the comb collapsed I looked at more KTBH and most of them seemed to be closer to the 15" bars. I thought a sloped side and a shorter bar would make for a comb that would hold up better. My other expermient this year is a medium depth lanstroth with bars. That way the comb won't be so heavy and so deep. I'm not sure how that will work yet.

    > for example dennis' hives a wide and deep and Scott and MB's are much shorter in width and depth. Why is this? Enlighten me? How would production from a commercial stand point be effected by the choice of design here along with winterability?

    My choice was bases solely on trying to keep the comb from collapsing

    >Oh ya, why is it none of you are using plywood? Just wondering as I may have excess to 1/2 in. ply at 11 bucks a sheet.

    I was buying the wood and the one by seemed like better insulation and easy enough to work with. But I wouldn't have a problem with plywood. I'd be tempted to add some insulation if I made it out of 1/2".


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Hi Clayton,

    You have a lot of good questions. I don't understand the effects of shape in a tbh very well, yet and definately need more overwintering experience with them.

    One of the reasons for my taller, wider tbh concerned the size and shape of winter clusters that I've observed in vertical Langstroth equipment. Michaels observations with a medium frame based long hive diffuse most of my overwintering concerns about shape.

    The other reason for my tbh dimensions concerned efficient use of materials. My first tbh was designed in the 70's. It's design was optimized for construction efficiency. Wider lumber was more readily available and cheaper then. Now I have to glue up a few sticks to get a good piece of lumber wide enough for a my tbhs.

    Plywood could work good in this regard but my experience with plywood in beekeeping equipment hasn't been too good. It seems to last about half as long as 1" lumber. But I think it should be more than adequate in a tbh which probably wouldn't be exposed to that much abuse.

    I would probably use plywood but would have to buy it new. And it's very expensive around here. If I could get it free by scrapping at construction sites, that's what I would use.

    My side entrances provide for maximum flexibility. A nuc, queen rearing, a two queen hive or ?? could be run by just inserting a division board. The side entrance may also enhance better hive ventilation during the summer.

    With a side entrance tbhs can be stacked tight when moving them. The sloping wall allows for ventilation and prevents bees from being crushed. The hives can be stack in any orientation with the entrances pointed away from the outside of the load.

    I will overwinter my tbhs with the long side facing southwest. Unfortunately that's also the direction of the prevailing winds. An entrance on the end of the box allows winter winds to blast almost directly into the tbh. So I put the entrance on the opposite side.

    Les Crowder report that when he gave his bees entrances on both the sides and the ends that the bees propolized the end entrances closed.
    http://home.att.net/~mcdonald/bees/hive/crowder/

    My initial experience with horizontal hive management is limited. Production potential for a tbh on a hive basis would be less than for a vertical hive unless some way is found to take advantage of the bees urge to compact the broodnest before winter.

    Maybe an easy horizontal way can be found. Right now I just don't have the experience. But I do have a few horizonatal ideas.

    Production based on the dollars invested is another matter entirely. It seems that about 3 tbhs can be setup using new lumber for the cost of a single standard hive.

    Regards
    Dennis

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