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  1. #1

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    I have two quick questions. First, after introducing a feral swarm into my TBH, they started building comb in the middle of the hive. I have 28 bars, they are building around 12-15. Is this normal? I would prefer them build at the front, leaving the rear for honey. Should I move these bars to the front and if so, when would be the best time to do that?

    Second question - doing a thorough search onling for TBHs I've noticed some on stands, some are hung, and then some were sitting on the ground. What are the potential problems with a hive sitting on the ground? Most stands don't seem to be high enough to prevent a possum or coon from damaging it. Those that are hung seem safe enough. But on the ground? Ants I can see as a problem, but then again ants can climb up the stands in most cases as well. If it is secure enough on the ground so a possum or coon couldn't knock it over, would there be any other drawbacks?

    My reason for asking this is I make "fake rocks" used for landscaping, covering meters etc. I was thinking of making a TBH as a rock, using something for form the inside to the right shape and dimensions. I could make it in two parts, one the base which is the hive, and another part, possibly hinged at the bottom that will open the top. I would disguise the seam as a crack to make it unnoticeable. I could make the bee's entrance a crack as well. The problem I have is that you hardly ever see a large rock either on a stand or hanging from a tree [img]smile.gif[/img] It would only work asthetically if it were sitting on the ground. Please let me know what you think, and I'll send some pics when it is done!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

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    >after introducing a feral swarm into my TBH, they started building comb in the middle of the hive. I have 28 bars, they are building around 12-15. Is this normal?

    Anywhere in the hive is normal.

    >I would prefer them build at the front, leaving the rear for honey. Should I move these bars to the front and if so, when would be the best time to do that?

    You can if you like. But why not just let the bees take care of things?

    > What are the potential problems with a hive sitting on the ground?

    Skunks and ants.

    >If it is secure enough on the ground so a possum or coon couldn't knock it over, would there be any other drawbacks?

    Skunks, mice, opposums. They don't knock a hive over, they just scratch on the front until the bees fly out. Mine is on the ground and I dealt with the skunks and mice by having a top entrance.

    >I was thinking of making a TBH as a rock, using something for form the inside to the right shape and dimensions.

    I have no prediction as to the effects of this. Certainly the thermodynamics of rock (concrete, I assume) will be dramatically different than wood.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3

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    I wondered about a top entrance after I posted above. Does this work well for the bees? I have heard that the queen doesn't like to lay eggs below the entrance - is there any truth to that?

    I would actually build the hive out of foam (similar to the GreatStuff expanding foam insulation) and then cover with a portland cement mixture for water proofing and rigidity. The foam might help with insulation in cooler weather, and should insulate from the heat as well.

    That all said, I have seen a wide range in sizes here and on other sites. My hive I think might bee too large (maybe some feedback?) It is 28 bars (1 3/8) long, about 24 inches wide, and about 11 inches deep. I have seen some that were quite a bit smaller than that. What would be the ideal size, not too big, not too small, somewhere middle of the road?

    I've been having a blast with my bees so far, hope they decide to stick around. I've removed the limbs in the hive (from collecting the swarm)and reduced the entrance to about 2 inches long 3/4 inches high. I've spent some time just sitting and watching them come and go. They really are amazing creatures.

    I hate to bother everyone with too many questions but one more please? I have built a peaked roof on my hive, the peak being about 8 inches above the top of the bars. This sits good and tight, I don't think any bees can get under it, or get out if they get caught under it while replacing it. Should I drill a couple of holes in it to allow any to escape and maybe ventilate it to keep the "attic" space from getting too hot, thus affecting the hive below, or just don't worry about it? Any feedback?

    Thanks for all the help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    >I wondered about a top entrance after I posted above. Does this work well for the bees?

    Yes.

    >I have heard that the queen doesn't like to lay eggs below the entrance - is there any truth to that?

    No there is not.

    >I would actually build the hive out of foam (similar to the GreatStuff expanding foam insulation) and then cover with a portland cement mixture for water proofing and rigidity. The foam might help with insulation in cooler weather, and should insulate from the heat as well.

    I'd love to hear how it works out for you. What part of the country are you located in?

    >That all said, I have seen a wide range in sizes here and on other sites. My hive I think might bee too large (maybe some feedback?) It is 28 bars (1 3/8) long, about 24 inches wide, and about 11 inches deep. I have seen some that were quite a bit smaller than that. What would be the ideal size, not too big, not too small, somewhere middle of the road?

    Mine is quite a bit smaller. I'm trying a slightly larger one to see how it goes. My current KTBH is 15" long bars 1 1/4" wide in the brood area and 1 1/2" in the honey area and the hive is about 10 3/8" deep. My new one will be 19" wide but otherwise the same.

    The one I build that was 10 3/8" deep and 19" wide and TTBH (square sides) had a complete comb collapse. Basically it was a standard Langstroth deep with bars in it.

    >Should I drill a couple of holes in it to allow any to escape and maybe ventilate it to keep the "attic" space from getting too hot, thus affecting the hive below, or just don't worry about it? Any feedback?

    I would drill vents and cover with #8 hardware cloth.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the input! I am in Virginia about 40 miles SW of Richmond.

    Drilling vents and covering with hardware cloth will of course help with air circulation - I will do that, but what about bees getting trapped inside? There is no bottom board on it, just the roof itself and two end pieces forming the peak. A third support is in the middle and simple rests on the bars. When I take it off and bees are buzzing around the hive, I don't want to trap any under the roof with no way to get out, but if I make a way out, would they begin to build in my roof? Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

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    Hey Heritage! I love the rock idea! let us know how it works! I have 2 of those fake rocks covering up my well heads. It would be cool to have a bee hive in there!

    Like MB said don't worry about how they are building the comb as long as it is somewhat straight and not cross comb like some guys are haveing trouble with

    Did you use melted wax on the top barS?

    I don't think they will build in the roof.

  7. #7

    Post

    It appears that they are building it pretty straight and not crossed up, it's just not where I want it. I'm still not too comfortable about working with them and would prefer they be as far away from my hands as possible! hehe [img]smile.gif[/img] I'll probably just let them do what they want for now. I guess I could move them to the front someday later right?

    I made my bars 1-3/8 X appx. 24. I cut a saw kerf in the middle, inserted a short spline, and brushed the spline with wax. I glanced in this evening when I put in another feeder and they were all in one mass on some of the bars and the side of the hive. Just to give you an idea of the size of this swarm, it is about the size of a regulation football. I used to do pest control and had to handle a number of swarms, but I've never seen one that big.

    I will keep you posted on the rock project. I'm planning on building another hive tomorrow just in case I find another swarm. I'd hate to find a swarm and not have a place to put it. I might play around some with the rock deal then. Thanks for all the help!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

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    >That all said, I have seen a wide range in sizes here and on other sites. My hive I think might bee too large (maybe some feedback?) It is 28 bars (1 3/8) long, about 24 inches wide, and about 11 inches deep. I have seen some that were quite a bit smaller than that. What would be the ideal size, not too big, not too small, somewhere middle of the road?<

    I make mine 24 inches wide and 16 inches deep I was thinking about reducing a little, but first i want too see the max size comb the bees will build acroos and then adjust to that. With a hive this size a follower board is a necessary when you start a package or swarm, but in the heat I just pull it and find that the bees spread out inside and don't hang out on the porch. I over wintered a hive this size last season without a folllower and had no problems. You can see it here www.mikisbees.bravehost.com
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    Heritage

    Sounds good, they are drawing comb.

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