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Thread: TBH hive tool

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Plano, North Texas
    Posts
    318

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    I built my TBH with straight sides, 20" top bars, and 10" deep. At this point, if I were doing it over, I'd probably make them smaller, but with 5 hives and a couple hundred top bars already built and bees in the hives, I'll probably stick with it for a while (forever?)

    So, about comb attachment. I tried my trusty old hive tool, but wasn't happy with the results when cutting comb free from the sides. It is a bit thicker than is really needed for a TBH and it tends to grab a wad of comb at the cutting edge and tear some comb. Also the cutting edge is on the end, so it's impossible to cut the comb from bottom to top, which is the only logical way to do it in a TBH. I wanted a knife that is sharp and thin to cut the comb free from the sides. So, I took an old hacksaw blade and sharpened both sides on my grinder like this: \_______/ With both bevels on the same side of the blade.
    So there is a bevel to use on either side of the hive. The blade is very thin, so it doesn't grab wax much. It's long enough to reach to the bottom of the hive easily.

    I put a handle on it by cutting a dowel lengthwise, did a bit of hand-chisel inletting, and riveted it through the hole already in the blade. The blade goes into the handle about 3".

    Works like a charm. It is stiff enough to insert between top bars and twist to break propolis free. It's very light and quick. And it cuts the comb right at the sides of the box. My old hive tool is still useful for other things, but has been replaced for everyday use at my hives.

    And it was cheap. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Next time I fire up my lathe, I'll turn a nicer handle, but only because I want to.
    "Before I speak, I have something I'd like to say. . . . I will try to keep this short as long as I can." Yogi Berra

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    chatsworth, calif usa
    Posts
    405

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    I took a 10" file and ground it to a long point and sharpened both edges. Did this before i knew any bees, but drug it out the other day to have on a sorta cut out. Used it almost exclusively.
    Dont know if it is long enough for the tbh though. Someday i'll give it a try.
    Think i'll try your ides with some band-saw blade material. I've not had to cut any attachments yet, but i sure do want something with me for that day.
    Thanks for the idea. jim
    My Mom's other kids are smarter than me, but i'm not nearly as nice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

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    Good idea Tex, thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Honey on the hive tool is a good lubricant to help prevent tearing. It is thick and viscous. Most of my comb attachments are on new honey combs anyway and the cutting of attachments usually provides all the lubrication I need. Wax doesn't stick to the tool when its coated with honey. I usually leave the tool laid up infront of one of the hives' entrances for cleaning.
    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>

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Aurora, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    49

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    I have used a number of long kitchen knives that I have bought at Savers (like a Goodwill Store)
    Cost less than $2.00 each. Much less work than grinding files or hacksaw blades and making handles and some of the knives are as flexible as a hacksaw blade. I misplaced my hive tool several seasons ago but don't miss it.
    Tom Patterson<br />Aurora, CO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

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    Hi Tom,

    It's been awhile since I heard from you. I haven't had any problems with comb failures caused by heat since taking your advice.

    Any new experiences beyond the bee ordinance problems, ideas?

    Regards
    Dennis
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Aurora, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    49

    Post

    Hi Dennis,

    Glad to hear that your comb failure problem has been solved.

    Between recovery from the stroke of november '03 that was caused by a congenital anomoly of my heart, having an addition built on our home, moving my chiropractic practice from it's old location of 23 years to the new addition that hasn't been finished, trying to remodel the basement for my father-in-law to move into and a number of other things of similar urgency I have kind of let my bees take a back seat. My goal for this season is to have the hives survive with absolutely no management. Of the 4 hives I currently have, all look like they are well on task. I want to try the poured wax starter strips on the top bars, but I am planning to do that in '06 as it's already August. Haven't even done any reading of beekeeping newsgroups/forums since April till this weekend.

    Hope all is well for you. How is your website? I haven't checked that since last fall.
    Tom Patterson<br />Aurora, CO

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Post

    Hi Tom,

    Oh my goodness! My best regards go out to you.

    Beekeeping, which has been my life long passion, has also been serverly challenged this last year. I'd had some severe family challenges and I must confess, beekeeping just doesn't occupy the same place in my life that it did over the past four decades. I never thought I would feel this way about my bees. I taken a new job and that has just about eliminated all my free time.

    My beekeeping, this year, has been without any kind of management also. I've only been in the hives about 4 times this season. Not having to treat for mites has made that possible. And a tbh hive can pretty much run itself which is a good thing.

    My website now resides at http://www.bwrangler.com

    I had too many problems at the other web site host. I had plans to expand my website with additional new info I've observed but will leave it pretty much as is for now.

    I had planned to try some derivations of the poured starter strip. They are simple and seem to work well enough. But I've notice that if I leave
    a cell or so of comb, on the top bar, in my cut comb frames, the bees will align the comb with the top bar regardless of its spacing or orientation.

    A two piece mold consisting of a slit down the middle and offsetting notches could mimic that pattern. It would be similar to the rollers made by the Swiss to emboss top bars, sort of a horizontal foundation pattern. Well, maybe next year for me too.

    Best Regards
    Dennis
    Last edited by BWrangler; 11-07-2007 at 07:04 PM.
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

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    &gt;A two piece mold consisting of a slit down the middle and offsetting notches could mimic that pattern. It would be similar to the rollers made by the Swiss to emboss top bars, sort of a horizontal foundation pattern. Well, maybe next year for me too.

    That's a great idea. If we could think of a simple way to make the device to do it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Aurora, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    49

    Post

    &gt;&gt;A two piece mold consisting of a slit down the middle and offsetting notches could mimic that pattern. It would be similar to the rollers made by the Swiss to emboss top bars, sort of a horizontal foundation pattern. Well, maybe next year for me too.

    &gt;That's a great idea. If we could think of a simple way to make the device to do it...

    Based on how the ideas for different topbar hives have proliferated in the last five years, we should hopefully have a number of different idesas for this in the next 12 months.
    Tom Patterson<br />Aurora, CO

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