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  1. #1

    Post

    Dec. 23, 04

    Hello All,

    With the kind help of some of the members of this group I was able to build and display an example of a TBH to my class in Natural Energy at a rural university extension on the near Coroico, on the Eastern slope of the Andes. They have an active bee keeping program, but had never heard of TBHs. At least one of more studends will do their thesis on TBHs. Are there any Spanish speaking TBH enthusiasists on this site? If so, I am sure that the students would like to hear from you. They have just obtained broadband service.

    Now I have built another TBH and would like the opinion of the members on the design.
    It is somewhat smaller than the last one.
    The inside is 2 ft. long, 16 inches wide across the top, and 8 1/4 inches deep. The floor is 9 1/2 inches across. The entrance on the end is 1/2 inch high. It has a 2 inch wide landing porch.
    I made the 1/4 inch spacers on either end of the line of top bars removable so as to help make the top bars themselves easier to remove when full.
    The top bars are 1 3/8 inches wide. ( We seem to have both Africanized and European bees here.)
    The tops of the ends of the hive are curved to give a little curve to the corrugated metal roof. I will use corrugated roofing with small size corrugations, which will look nicer.
    (I have a photo--how do I put it on this site?)

    This time the wood I used is what is called cedar here, actually a light type of mahogeny which has the smell of N.American cedar. It is used to build boats for Lake Titicaca, and is known to resist insect damage.
    One of the problems with beekeeping here is hive theft. These unusual looking TBH hives will help prevent theft somewhat, but does anyone know any more effective measures?

    p.s. Do these hives need more ventalation than what is provided by the entrance? It is pretty warm and humid where this hive will be used.

    Ron Davis, www.watermotor.net


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    >Are there any Spanish speaking TBH enthusiasists on this site? If so, I am sure that the students would like to hear from you. They have just obtained broadband service.

    I'm not Spanish speaking, but my daughter is learning Spanish, and I know a bit. I'd be interested if anyone wants to correspond by email. My email is: bush at inebraska dot com (encoded to prevent spam crawlers from getting it).

    >The inside is 2 ft. long

    I think you'll wish it was longer eventually, but that doesn't mean it won't be nice for a small swarm or a nuc or a package starting out.

    >16 inches wide across the top

    That's about the width I arrived at after a collapse.

    > and 8 1/4 inches deep.

    Also about the dimensions I arrived at.

    >The floor is 9 1/2 inches across.

    Not quite as steep a slope as mine, but close. I think it will work fine.

    >The entrance on the end is 1/2 inch high. It has a 2 inch wide landing porch.

    I've decided a porch is unnecessary. The entrance is probably large enough.

    >I made the 1/4 inch spacers on either end of the line of top bars removable so as to help make the top bars themselves easier to remove when full.

    That will probably work. I just leave the extra space at the front for the entrance. But the problem with spacers is that with propolis and whatever else, the spacing will not stay the same, so eventually they will be too small.

    >The top bars are 1 3/8 inches wide. ( We seem to have both Africanized and European bees here.)

    Both do well on 1 1/4" spacing in the brood nest (32mm). 1 3/8" is correct for over-sized bees, but yours will end up natural sized. But when they start storing honey they start making wider combs and you may want some wider bars then.

    >The tops of the ends of the hive are curved to give a little curve to the corrugated metal roof. I will use corrugated roofing with small size corrugations, which will look nicer.

    I think a bit of air space (attic space?) is a good thing.

    >(I have a photo--how do I put it on this site?)

    Hmmm.. Most people just insert a link to somewhere they have posted it. You could post it on Yahoo if you set up an ID there.

    >This time the wood I used is what is called cedar here, actually a light type of mahogeny which has the smell of N.American cedar.

    I bet it will work great.

    >One of the problems with beekeeping here is hive theft. These unusual looking TBH hives will help prevent theft somewhat, but does anyone know any more effective measures?

    Around here branding is popular. Your name burned into the wood is hard to hide. Africanized bees probably help.

    >p.s. Do these hives need more ventilation than what is provided by the entrance?

    Here in my climate they don't. I'm guessing they won't there either. Ventilating is something bees are very good at. I have found you have less problems with comb collapse if you put the TBH in the shade though.


    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited December 23, 2004).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    Your water motor is intriguing.

    Have you considered a trompe for places without enough of a drop in the water?
    http://nxtwave.tripod.com/gaiatech/pulser/comment.htm

    Perhaps you could use the trompe to pump the water high enough for the water motor to use.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Post

    I agree with Michael that you may find 24" too short. My first TBH was 32" and that seems about right for my local bees and conditions.

    I am now a big fan of open mesh floors, which give good ventilation and allow varroa to fall through. I will be modifying by TBH accordingly this winter - in fact I have designed a variant, which I will photograph soon (oh no, not another beekeeper who thinks he can improve on hive design!).

    Having just spent a week boiling up a mountain of frames and re-filling with foundation, I'm steadily coming to the conclusion that conventional hives are way more trouble than they are worth. TBHs may produce less honey, but we could keep twice as many with less effort and energy cost than our current stock of monster MDs.

    I think we should be looking seriously at more sustainable beekeeping - that's the way I'm heading, anyway.


  5. #5

    Post


    Thank you for your comments.

    This is a great opportunity to introduce the TBH to rural Bolivians by way of the bee keeping program at the university agricultural extension at Carmen Pampa.
    We know the program director quite well.
    A successful trial of the TBH design would be the best way I can think of to make it a permanent part of the indigenous culture here--something that I would very much like to see.
    I will build a few more of these hives and turn them over to the bee keeping program for testing. I'm sure the students will have questions and I will try to help with those by translating and presenting them to the group.
    For me it would be a real appropriate technology triumph to see this project succeed.
    Michael, you asked about the trompe air compressor. I built a small one several years ago. It worked quite well, but I was deeply involved with the development of the Watermotor at the time, so never returned to it.
    Frizell improved the previous trompe design about 100 years ago and said that there was one in Germany producing 4000 h.p.! Why was this simple design not developed?
    I think a little brainwork could improve the design still further. Perhaps a combination of the trompe and a hydraulic ram pump principle.
    You might be surprised at how little work has been done in this field (microhydro)over the last 100 years.
    For an example, as far as we know our Watermotor is the only modern turbine designed to directly drive machines other than generators.
    One thing is clear--need has nothing to do with it.

    Ron Davis, www.watermotor.net




  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,466

    Post

    >(I have a photo--how do I put it on this site?)
    http://www.bee-l.com/bulletinboard/index.htm

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