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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    23

    Post

    I'm designing my first TBH. I started beekeeping with all medium Lang boxes. I would like to be able to insert a medium frame into my TBH (splits, moving honey, etc.). With 30 degree slope on the sides, the top of the TBH would need to be 25.75 inches clear. That seems to be very wide. Is that long enough to cause any problems? Or does it matter?

    All you TBHer's out there, have you encountered problems that you attribute to the top bars being too long?

    Thanks.

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

    Post

    I built most of mine with stright sides to take both medium frames and top bars. That's what I'd recommend if you want to be able to interchange equipment. I start most of these in a five frame nuc, then an eight, then a ten and finally move them into the long hive.

    Pictures of them are on my web site:
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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

    Post

    You can go to the beewiki to see the dimensions I use.

    To answer your question directly. The longer the top bar, the greater the chance and extent that that comb can/will drift. I prefer comb lengths of 16" for high end tolerance.
    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
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Post

    My latest TBH design has stright sides to the depth of a brood frame, then angled in towards the centre below that depth, with a 9.5" floor width. This will be either mesh covered or bottomless, depending on how experimental I feel. I will post some pics when they are ready.

    The idea is that I can transfer frames between TBH and standard hive at will, making the whole thing more flexible. Because I use British National frames as standard, that gives me a TB length of 17", which seems comfortable to me. Very wide frames are going to get heavy, with associated problems of comb breaking off at awkward moments.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    23

    Post

    Thanks to all.

    Michael, I see on your web site that you have both straight-sided long hives with top bars and angle-sided TBHs. Have you noticed any benefit to sloping the sides? Less attachment, ease of removing the bar/comb? Also, when you move frames from a medium to a TBH, do you block off the space created at the top by the traditional frames? For the split/nuc process, would a follower board in the long hive work just as well as moving them about?

    Buckbee, I'm planning full mesh bottoms. I wouldn't be averse to leaving it fully open, but we have lots of skunks, possoms, raccoons, and other critters around here. I'm thinking the mesh will give them some protection. I'm assuming you have no problems with the straight sides.??? That design sounds a lot more flexible.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    &gt;I see on your web site that you have both straight-sided long hives with top bars and angle-sided TBHs. Have you noticed any benefit to sloping the sides?

    Only if the combs are deep and then it lessens the stress on the corners of the comb. In medium depth I see no advantage at all.

    &gt; Less attachment

    No more or less attachment.

    &gt; ease of removing the bar/comb?

    Again, if the combs were deeper, it might make a difference on ease of removing the comb. In medium depth it makes no difference as far as I see.

    &gt;Also, when you move frames from a medium to a TBH, do you block off the space created at the top by the traditional frames?

    I don't interchange the bars and frames much at all, but since I built the long boxes with a 3/4" frame rest rabbet it leaves a 3/8" beespace above the top bars. Putting a frame in doesn't hurt it just lets the bees into that 3/8" space, but they could already get in it from the front.

    &gt; For the split/nuc process, would a follower board in the long hive work just as well as moving them about?

    Probably. But I already have the nucs and eight frame and ten frame boxes and I don't already have a follower.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Post

    &gt;Buckbee, I'm planning full mesh bottoms. I wouldn't be averse to leaving it fully open, but we have lots of skunks, possoms, raccoons, and other critters around here. I'm thinking the mesh will give them some protection. I'm assuming you have no problems with the straight sides.??? That design sounds a lot more flexible.&lt;

    I built a straigh-sided TBH a couple of years ago, but they attached comb all the way down both sides, making it almost impossible to remove in one piece. Beautiful comb though.

    Certainly it is easier to build vertical sides if, like me, most of your woodworking experience has been shelf-building and more-or-less rectangular objects, but angles aren't too difficult. I promise I will post some pics soon!
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    Here is a thought:

    Make the top bar the length of a Lang frame. Make each end square. But instead of the quick and cheap drywall screws, attach the end to the sides with a bolt that runs through the end and screws into the side into an inset with nut. And have TWO patterns on your ends. One for a tapered end and one for a square end. The bottom is attached ONLY to the ends. It has two positions also. One with the sides angled and one with the sides square.

    So you start with the ends in the tapered position. Once the combs are drawn, and have some toughness / strength, you simply unbolt the bottom and middle bolts of the side and the bottom. Drop the bottom board down to the lowest postion. Swing the sides out to the square position, rebolt.

    Now a standard frame could be put in. They will only attach the comb if it is weak and otherwise needs attachment. But they will probably build it out to the new dimension.

    This would give you the abilty to then interchange lang frames with your tbh while not having the problems discussed earlier.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Post

    Great idea! I have also been thinking about how to cover both and have considered making straight sided boxes with drop-in inserts to make the angles. But your idea is better, as (theoretically) you coulod make the adjustment without even removing the bees!

    A refinement could be to make the entire box dismantleable - great for transporting a dozen boxes to a new apiary, for example. Without bees, of course... [img]smile.gif[/img]
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    I think it would be simpler to leave the sides square and just lower the bottom as the comb gets tougher.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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