Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    santa cruz, california
    Posts
    31

    Post

    Wow I love the 1 level thing and 33 long bars!!!!!!???????
    The weight of the traditional boxed supers filled with honey is incredibly challenging for my small frame to manage, so its easy to give that up.

    But I'm cringing at crushing the comb, don't you feel the least bit knarly about them having to make all that new comb again? I guess the fact that we are havesting means its not completely biologically wholistic, unless of course Natures plan was for someone to harvest the honey from these amazing beeeeings. But is there no way to uncap the comb and spin and give it back? Has anyone tried anything?

    As far as making top bars, can I just take apart the frames that I currently use - 10 per box for brood or 9 for honey and use the top bar from those standard frames, or is it too skinny? I guess you have to convert all the way to long top bars 33 in a box, because I'm guessing 10 frames just isn't enough to get storage and brood needs met for a 1 level thing.

    If this is the case where do I go to buy a long/tbh. I can't build my own?

    And can I just shake the hives into a long tbh set up, with no comb for them to start up on?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    I'm looking at the crushing part and then looking at my extractor that I paid so much for. But it looks like the only way to get more wax is to crush. Palikaji, There is a step in between Langs and Top Bars. It's called foundationless frames. Just an empty frame, although some folk use a starter strip to show the bees where to start building comb. If you're careful and gentle, you can extract foundationless but I wouldn't be that careful myself. On real top bars, I'll let someone else answer.

    Yop bars are actually thinner than the frames we use. Picture the proportions. As the cells get smaller so does the bee space in between the frames/bars. You've learned that bee space is 1 3/8 in. that works for langs. But regressed small cell bees want 1 1/4 in. That's your top bar width. Some people use 1 1/2 for the honey side.

    You're right 10 top bars is not enough. Since they can go as deep as you want (or as deep as you can without breaking the comb) the length of the tbh is variable. You don't say if you're looking for kenyan or tanzanian. K = that trapezoidal shape and T = rectangle shape. MB uses a Tanzanian that is actually like a medium lang only three times as long. This way he can use frames to transfer stuff back and forth. I think that's neat. I might try it.

    The top bars on your frames are not exactly the same as what you'd use in a tbh. It's gonna be yours and you can use whatever you want, but traditional topbars fit tight against each other. No room for bees to jump up at ya. That's part of why these are so successful against Africanized Honey Bees = AHB. If you look at your frames they have room for bees to move vertically. "Real" topbars don't.

    Keep asking where you can buy one or post in the wanted section. Someone will build you one. First you need to decide what size and what kind.

    Good Luck,

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    You can extract with top bars, but as you said you have to be REAL careful, even more than with foundationless frames. If you can retool your extractor so that the "frames" are placed into splines or cages instead of free hanging in their braces, I think you could have more success, BUT I think the amount of comb failure suring extraction will make the work harder than it needs to be. I prefer cut and crush. Plus it kinda prevents the recycling of old combs which is a good thing from most points of view. The amound of honey that goes into making comb really isn't as much as people think. Yes 8 lbs of honey for 1 lbs of wax, but have you ever weighed the wax from a comb? There isn't a whole lot of wax. I can press the wax from one comb into a ball that I can hold with my fist. Nothing near 1 lb. I think 4 or 5 combs of wax might weight 1 lbs depending on how thick the comb is.
    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>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,591

    Post

    Has anyone on here extracted a top bar? I've never tried it. I always need some cut comb anyway.

    The bees build comb very quickly when there's a flow on and your wax is so nice and clean and new. I woulnd't feel bad about crush and strain. But then I did crush and strain for 26 years before I bought an extractor. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    santa cruz, california
    Posts
    31

    Post

    I have a small electic centrifugal spinner, that holds 9 standard Lang frames. Its easy with the lang frames of course because the comb is consistent, you easily decap and then spin, and I had plasticell foundation that helped the comb deal with the force or you have wires through your wax foundation.

    Since taking this TGH thing on a crash course I've been thinking of how could I still use this extractor. And I think anyone who is using small cell foundation on lang frames can of course, but with the top bar comb even if its older and stronger, you have multiple challenges.

    Uncapping evenly if the comb is inconsistenly flush and then supporting this odd shaped comb that is only secure on the top edge?

    The uncapping problem isn't too big, because if you have to shave off more in one place then the other it goes into the decapping tin, where the honey is drained out anyway.

    The strength to withstand the centrifugal spinner if that is what you're thinking of is - is another thing. I thought if you built a 3 sided frame to connect with your top bar somehow (that is reproduced a framed in comb like lang frames) and then you had a folded piece of gridded wire that sat inside this frame and was secured somehow to all four sides of the frame - which surrounded and stabilized your comb it could work. Sounds like a bit of work until you could design something easily replicable and standardized once you got it down.

    The other variable is that you need bees who consistently make a certain size and shape more or less of naturally drawn comb. You accomplished topbarrers probably have the best shot at that.

    Also the centrifugal extractor is a certain height, so I'm not sure what the typical top bar length is but there is that to consider, as the frames sit into the spinner on one end, lengthwise.

    I know I'm not the one who has extracted but since I'm going to convert to small cell most likely tbh, I am wondering if I can use this extractor. I can easily sell it of course, so no loss, and you've convinced me that crushing isn't so bad, and I know cut comb sells for more.

    Blessings, P.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads