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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
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    643

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    I happened to stumble into some free lumber I have enough to build 10 to 15 TBHs and a few 6 bar nucs. So what I want to know is what would be the ideal design. Looking for ideas and /or improvements on previous designs.

    1. side or front entrance, top or bottom?
    2. SBB or Not?
    3. Different size bars for brood nest as opposed to honey?
    4. Flat or sloped roof?
    5. 22.5 degrees or 30?

    Also I have 3 military foot lockers I will make into long hives and I am open to suggestions here also.


    ------------------
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.

    Gary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,203

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    >I happened to stumble into some free lumber I have enough to build 10 to 15 TBHs and a few 6 bar nucs. So what I want to know is what would be the ideal design. Looking for ideas and /or improvements on previous designs.

    My favorite is the long medium Lanstroth dimensions with 3/8" bars. It's simple. No angles to cut. I can put standard frames in it. I can fit standard supers on top of it.

    My next favorite is a KTBH. Mine is 22 degrees or so and that seems to work well.

    >1. side or front entrance, top or bottom?

    Mine is on the end at the top and I like it a lot that way. I didn't have to put any holes in, just leave the front bar back 3/8 of a inch.

    >2. SBB or Not?

    I put one on the long medium hive and did not put one on the KTBH. Niether has had any problems with ventilation or mites. But the long medium hive is in the sun and the KTBH is in the shade.

    >3. Different size bars for brood nest as opposed to honey?

    I have eneded up with 1 1/4" for brood and 1 1/2" for honey with an occasional 3/8" wide spacer thrown in to make it come out right when the bees want more space.

    >4. Flat or sloped roof?

    Mine is a warped peice of plywood (on the KTB) and that leaves a gap under the top most of the way, but the same thing could have been done by simply putting a strip of wood at either end of the cover.

    The long medium is just three migratory covers for the cover.

    >5. 22.5 degrees or 30?

    My favorite is 90, but the next is 22.5.

    >Also I have 3 military foot lockers I will make into long hives and I am open to suggestions here also.

    Why not just use them as is with top bars on them? How deep are they? I think I have one here somewhere and they are probably a bit too deep.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    Hey Miki, my opinions (reserving the right to change them next spring!):
    <1. side or front entrance, top or bottom?
    Side at one end at bottom
    <2. SBB or Not?
    Not
    <3. Different size bars for brood nest as opposed to honey?
    I don't think it matters that much
    <4. Flat or sloped roof?
    flat is easier
    <5. 22.5 degrees or 30?
    22.5 - gives you more volume

    have fun! Biggest thing IMO is to make top bars interchangeable. I have 3 different ones, nothign is interchangeable, and probably too many variables to really know what works. But that doesn't stop me from giving advice!

    david

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

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    >Mine is on the end at the top and I like it a lot that way. I didn't have to put any holes in, just leave the front bar back 3/8 of a inch.<

    Does this need some type of cover i.e. to sheild from rain?

    >I have eneded up with 1 1/4" for brood and 1 1/2" for honey with an occasional 3/8" wide spacer thrown in to make it come out right when the bees want more space.<

    How many bars do you allow for the brood nest?

    >Why not just use them as is with top bars on them? How deep are they? I think I have one here somewhere and they are probably a bit too deep.<

    I was thinking of three sided frame here and see how long they build. I have not had time to measure them yet.

    David,
    I like 22.5 and flat roofs also.




    ------------------
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.

    Gary

  5. #5
    demerl51 Guest

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    >1. side or front entrance, top or bottom?

    After experimenting with both, I prefer two side entrances at the bottom. They provide more ventilation. Others, running hives with both kinds of entrances on a single hive, report that the bees use the side entrances and propolize the end entrances. I move my hives several times during the year and like the entrances on the sides as the hives can be tightly with the sloped sides providing ventilation and space by the hive entrances.

    >2. SBB or Not?
    I've run SBB on my conventional three story hives. But, in my very windy location with sustained winds of 70 mph during the winter, I prefer the solid bottoms. The cluster is just too close to the bottom of the hive. The solid bottom is simplier to build and the hive is more robust.

    >3. Different size bars for brood nest as >opposed to honey?

    I find that 1 1/4" wide top bars work best in the broodnest. I don't have a good solution for bar width in the honey storage area. I will stick to one size bar for simplicity and just manage multiple bars in the honey storage as a unit to avoid cutting and trimming lots of comb. The worst offenders will be moved to the rear and harvested toward the end of the season.

    >4. Flat or sloped roof?

    I like the looks of the sloped roof and the fact that it sheds precipitation. An insulating pillow easily fits underneath a slopped roof and provides a great seal against the wind.

    But I will stick with the flat one. It's easier to build. Empty hives can be stacked for storage. And its easier to insulate with standard styrofoam insulation than a sloped lid.

    >5. 22.5 degrees or 30?

    I have built hives with 22.5 and 8 degrees slope. There was absolutely no difference in the amount or rate of attachments. I would optimize a tbh design based upon the most expensive or critical material. For me, that's the sheeting used for the cover. It comes in 8' lengths, so my cover is 2' wide.

    Then I would standardize the rest of the hive to simplify construction as much as possible. For me, that means having the sides, bottoms and ends all the same width.

    The slope is the result of the difference between the 2' wide cover and the width of the bottom board.

    A slope makes the comb slightly easier to remove, as the clearance between the comb and the sides rapidly increase as a comb is withdrawn. But it makes no difference to the bees.

    Regards
    Dennis



    [This message has been edited by demerl51 (edited December 20, 2004).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,203

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    >>Mine is on the end at the top and I like it a lot that way. I didn't have to put any holes in, just leave the front bar back 3/8 of a inch.<
    >Does this need some type of cover i.e. to sheild from rain?

    Mine has a 3/4" plywood top that goes over the top bars and hangs over a little on the front and back. There are pictures here:
    http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/bush_bees.htm


    >>I have eneded up with 1 1/4" for brood and 1 1/2" for honey with an occasional 3/8" wide spacer thrown in to make it come out right when the bees want more space.

    >How many bars do you allow for the brood nest?

    My KTBH was 48 3/4" long and I made half the bars 1 1/4" and half 1 1/2" It seemed to work out well. I just kept an eye on them and when the comb changed to honey storage and got fatter I moved the 1 1/2" bars (which I had left at the other end) up to the brood nest.

    >>Why not just use them as is with top bars on them? How deep are they? I think I have one here somewhere and they are probably a bit too deep.

    >I like 22.5 and flat roofs also.

    I like the 22.5 for KTBH with deep combs. Without the slope they seem to not collapse like they do with a square corner. But the medium depth ones seem to hold up all right.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    The dimensions of a military foot locker are: 12.5 inches deep, 16 inches wide and 32 inches long. I have three should I use one for a brood box and the other two for supers or makek three seperate hives.

    ------------------
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.

    Gary

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,203

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    They aren't a bad size for a hive if you can support the combs so they don't collapse. When I've had deep combs like that without support and no slope is when I've had problems. But if you build some kind of frame or support I would think it should work for a hive the size it is without any supers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    I think this will be a good opportunity to try the frames with a top and sides only. I still want to avoid limiting the depth.

    ------------------
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.

    Gary

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