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

    Post

    I think it's time to compile data on size/volume observations. I know everyone who built a TBH thinks thiers is the best and most functional, and there is no problem with pride in your work. In the interest of fine tuning TBHs I would like to know the pros and cons of the TBH you built. So stay objective. I'll start:

    24 inches wide and 16 inches deep, 30 bars long.
    Pros:
    large deep comb (some may consider a con)
    east to treat and feed
    Haven't had a swarm yet
    cooler in the heat
    sturdy
    For a TBH this thing is a honey cow!
    Cons:
    Forget moving it
    Bees haven't drawn past 15 bars yet in first season (but they are still working on it)
    The Bees tend to cluster in a front corner when installed.
    Hard to maintain strait comb

    Just some observations, I'm thinking about trimming down a little, but I really want to get to a standard size. Anyone else wish to comment. :confused:
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    If you use the dimensions on the beewiki, you will find standard dimensions. Without standardization its hard to share.

    The dimensions on the beewiki are internal dimesions of

    16" top width, 7 inch bottom width, 10 inches height, and 48 inches long. The length is the variable factor to change to adjust hive volumes.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    &gt;If you use the dimensions on the beewiki, you will find standard dimensions.

    Why are they standard? Was there a vote? A consensus? A standards board? Is there some kind of standard somewhere on the dimensions of a TBH? Just wondering.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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

    Post

    Scot,
    In the last 90 days the only changes on the wiki are yours and one from nature's way. So you must think that you set the standard. O.K, now answer the question, what are the pros and cons of your dimensions
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    I feel that a TB length of 19" outside to outside is nicer because it allows you to "interchange" with langstroth gear. By that I mean I use my nucs to start a TBH out in. If you pay attention they don't attach the comb before you move them into their final home and the nucs make great swarm traps when TB's are istalled. Other than that I have no opinion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    All of my tbhs have about the same volume. I chose that volume because it's about the same as the volume of three deeps and thats what I run for a hive in my standard equipment. I've changed the sidewall slope, but just don't have any experience with anything else.

    Out of 27 top bars, the bees have fully drawn out about 19 during their first season. That leaves about 7 bars or about 9 inches working room.

    I happy with the comb length. I haven't had any problems with it since the first season.

    Regards
    Dennis

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alpine, TX
    Posts
    104

    Post

    Dennis,
    How deep have you found the comb needs to be to get decent small cell development in the brood area?
    I smile like this because I have no idea what I\'m doing :-)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/47mmComb.JPG

    These are in a box that's the same as a dadant Deep for depth but only 15" bars (the top of the comb ends up about 12 3/4" wide and the bottom of the comb is about 4" wide. The depth of the comb is about 9 5/8" or so. Some of the wroker comb cell size is 4.7mm. The small combs are very easy to handle and I've had none collapse.

    But I've also had no problems with the medium depth one in Langstroth medium dimensions.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    65

    Post

    I've been having second thoughts on the volume of my TBHs.
    I'm wondering if I am too small for my lattitude.
    My hives are Kenyon style with:
    19" top bars (16" comb width)
    9" depth
    36" & 48" length or 28 and 32 tbs

    My concern is if the hives will have enough volume to make it through the winter.

    Duane

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Duane,
    Smaller is usually better up north. Just make sure you leave them with enough honey to feed themselves for the whole winter. Usually that's all the honey the first year.

    My hives are largish because I am in Florida.

    You large hives are about the same volume as 2.5 or 3 deep supers. Your shorter hive is the same volume as about 2 or 2.5 deeps, that's plenty.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Post

    Duane

    I think it is the depth & width, more than the lenght or total volume, that is critical in the winter. My next one will be like dennis':

    http://bwrangler.madpage.com/bee/tmyt.htm

    The larger comb provides more room for small cell too.

    If you think about what they are doing in the winter, they are trying to form a cluster. This requires more of a skep shape (round). If the TBH is too narrow or short it restricts the size of the cluster.

    Just some rookie thoughts... I have never actually seen the size of the cluster in the winter or studied it like I should.

    But my failed hives had plenty of stores. Just seemed like they froze out on the edges. Of course I foolishly did not provide them with any insulation. The one that made it was the one with the biggest cross section area. (width x height).

    Dennis has a 16 inch depth! That is quite a difference from your 9 inches! But I would think in Puget Sound you would be ok.

    [size="1"][ September 06, 2006, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: B Wrangler ][/size]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    My KTBH is about 10 3/8" deep and only 15" bars, so the combs are actually only 12 3/4" combs at the top and only 4 3/4" wide at the bottom. The bees have wintered fine in it. In fact I think a limited space on the sides tends to guide them down through the hive to find stores and keep them from wondering off into some corner, leaving many stores behind and then cold starving somewhere.

    The TTBH is similar but more flat. It's 7 1/2" deep (the same as a medium on a bottom board) and 19 7/8" wide, with a 19" top bar. Basically it's a long medium Langstroth hive with top bars in it. I also have a couple of long Langstroth hives. The only time I've had trouble with them wintering is when I left a couple of supers on one and the bees ate their way up into the super and starved with the other end of the TBH full of honey. I don't recommend leaving supers on them.

    I think too much space can lead to them wandering around in the winter and getting stuck somewhere. Crowding them in some direction or another (horizontal or vertical) keeps them going in one direction and prevents them from getting stuck.

    I really like my small combs. They are easy to handle without any comb collapes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Post

    Michael
    Interesting.
    How exposed were your hives to the prairie winds?
    I agree smaller combs should be easier to handle.
    I think though that yours are not tapered, so there is more width at the bottom. Mine were really tapered so they were narrower at the bottom than yours. It would be interesting to get the cross section area of each hive.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    &gt;How exposed were your hives to the prairie winds?

    Well, it blows shingles off my roof several times a year. 60 mph happens a couple of times a year.

    &gt;I agree smaller combs should be easier to handle.
    I think though that yours are not tapered, so there is more width at the bottom.

    My KTBH is tapered from 12 3/4" at the top to 4 3/4" at the bottom. The TTBH is not tapered at all.

    There are pictures of my hives and the combs here:
    www.bushfarms.com
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    Fellows:
    I stocked two tbh's last year; one had a poor queen and did not make even the middle of the winter. The second is l9 bars long, Langstroth width and tapered--don't recall the exact dimension but it corresponds to 1 x 10 dimension with the sides covering the sides of the bottom plank. Winds up being wide and shallow. I put a telescoping top on it.

    The bees in that went into the winter with about half a box of comb. They are now loaded and hanging pendant from the entrance. This is the hive with side entrances, three 3/4 inch holes, about 4 inches from one end. I built this one after reading about Dr.---- in Va who uses this size for pollination and shaking packages.

    I plan to take a comb or two from them tomorrow. The honeyflow is over here and there will be nothing now (unless soybeans make) until the fall weeds.
    Ox
    Oxankle

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