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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Chapel Hill, N.C.
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    Has anyone tried to raise queens in top bar nucs on a commercial level?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Not me. But it's doable. My Tansanian top bar hives are the same dimensions as medium frames and could easily be used in my medium nucs. A Jenter box could easily be used on a frame in the top bar hive as could a frame with cell bars on it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Chapel Hill, N.C.
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    Do you have any pictures/drawings of these hives?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    tarheel bee, welcome aboard
    lot's of good info here

    There are a series of pictures on Michael's website.

    Michael, do you use medium frames or just pure topbars in your tthb?
    I ask because I'm building 2 and have just finished the boxes (will post pictures when I'm done). 1 of my reasons is the reported ease of working the hives due to eliminating the light/noise that enters a lang thru the gaps in the frames that allow vertical motion for the bee's, so I'm gonna need to make my own frames.
    Pure topbars are obviously much easier to make, but frames would eliminate attachment to the sides and probably make interchabeablity with a lang easier.

    Thought's??
    Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Michael, do you use medium frames or just pure topbars in your tthb?

    I have run only top bars in the ones with top bars and only frames in the ones with frames, but both are the same dimensions. You could mix them if you wanted, which was part of my reason for doing them.

    Pictures on my web site:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Chapel Hill, N.C.
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    37

    Post

    Michael,
    The ktbh on your site looks like it would lend itself to easy mass production. I am curios though, do you think 4 nucs could be run out of each side? I vaguely recollect seeing a rather simplistic style of follower board/feeder in these pages that would lend itself to mass production as well. Would insulation in the cover make sense or is this purely a nicety or perhaps a local conditions feature? Also i was wondering if you have ever grafted any cellbars into one of these hives, Can they be stocked as a conventional queenless cell puller with relative ease? Thank you for answering my questions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Chapel Hill, N.C.
    Posts
    37

    Post

    4 nucs to a hive, not to the side.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    >The ktbh on your site looks like it would lend itself to easy mass production.

    All sqaure cuts and no ripping. It is very simple to make.

    >I am curios though, do you think 4 nucs could be run out of each side?

    No. If you cut a bevel on the sides so there is no gap where the angled sides meet the flat bottom then maybe, but I've never had a lot of luck with followers. I'd just make seperate nucs or build partitions that fit in a groove. It's lways difficult to get them beeproof and if you don't they will kill the queen in the next one.

    >Would insulation in the cover make sense or is this purely a nicety or perhaps a local conditions feature?

    I put a piece of styrofoam on it this last winter (but not the winter before). It's a nice idea and it didn't hurt any. I took it off in the spring.

    >Also i was wondering if you have ever grafted any cellbars into one of these hives

    I haven't.

    > Can they be stocked as a conventional queenless cell puller with relative ease? Thank you for answering my questions.

    If you have the right boxes built to do whatever method of queen rearing you like that hold the appropriate amount of frames and bees there is no reason they couldn't work. My Tansanian Top Bar Hive will take the same frames as I already use and the top bars will already fit in the same mating nucs I already use. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    I actually use a piece of fiberglass reineforced PU foam as my cover. Seems to work very well, but only time will tell how it holds up under constant exposure to the sun.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    bert

    where did you find this fiberglass unobtanium? [img]smile.gif[/img]
    building supply store?
    I'm building 2 tbh's and haven't quite figured out what to do about tops.
    sure would be nice if they were light

    Dave

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    If you wanted a sytrofoam one and you wanted the high density styrofoam to last you could cut it out and then paint it and then set a couple of bricks on it. But if it weighed more you wouldn't need the bricks. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    3,598

    Post

    the frustrated woodworker in me has escaped and I'm building 2 "cadillac" tbh's [img]smile.gif[/img]
    I really like the tops in this picture

    http://www2.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/main.htm

    crowned so they shed rain
    I was planning on putting styrofoam sheet inside for insullation, but I'm trying to figure out that top /curved surface without it being to heavy.
    the picture looks kinda like sheetmetal but the sharp edges would scare me

    Dave

    [edit]
    ya know, I just realized I have half a sheet of 3/4" styrofoam laying around
    It's not flexible enough to curve like I want but I bet the 1/2" stuff might be.
    will have to inverstigate
    nice and waterproof.
    might even lay 1 layer of fiberglass on it

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Chapel Hill, N.C.
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    37

    Post

    Dave, Those are some sweet tops.You may want to check in with Will Hicks, he has some tbh's that are old. He indicated to me that he felt they were rather unique.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    I saw him the other day
    me and a friend are rookies this year and Will came over and checked my friends hives. I stoped by and watched.
    he's a heck of a nice guy
    I told him I was building these, I'm gonna get him over here when I get em done

    Dave

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Plano, North Texas
    Posts
    318

    Post

    Why not lay a piece of foam flat over the topbars, then add a piece of fiberglass (the wavy stuff) arched over the top of that?

    IMHO, you don't need more insulation, though. The top bars should be at least as thick as the wood on the sides, and wood is very good insulation. If you lived in the frigid north, insulation might be a good idea, but in No. Car. I don't think the bees will care much either way.
    "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

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    TX

    ya know, I'm also thinking that if I make it arched and fancy to be lite, it will be flimsy and prone to blow off.
    being flimsy it wouldn't support a brick to weigh it down.
    what you're suggesting is sounding like the way to go.

    on another note, thanks for the post about the JTB's
    I'm also thinking about frames vs pure topbars.
    I built the box the size of 3 mediums end to end and I'd like the frames to be interchangeble with an ordinary medium box.
    I'm afraid without a frame the bee's will build to far vertically. (and make attachments)
    JTB's look a lot easier to build than regular frames.

    Dave

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/

    to see my hives. My covers are pitched like roofs also, it provides attic space with venting on the sides and has worked very well for me.

    I don't like using frames at all, the complexity of the construction kinda defeats the purpose and also increases the cost of contruction a bit. Further if you plan on any size of operation, you are making your life very hard when you have to build and replace frames for 500 hives. You'd have to hire a seasonal person just to do that alone.

    When the combs have had a chance to age, they get very strong and the frame part isn't necessary. Honey comb as well only gets heavy as its ready to be capped, and when its capped you harvest it anyway. Keep it simple.

    Rasing queens in TBHs is easy, I did it this past year. You can make frames with 2 tiers. Let the bees fill it and queen lay it. Dequeen hive, then cut out comb to make enough room for queen cells to be built between each tier, and let them raise new queens.

    Create as many splits as you need from as many donor hives as you can afford, put cut out ripe queen cells and press into bottom corner of a comb you cut some space out of for each split. Let hatch and mate.

    Simple and same as rasing queens in a lang, just different equipment. Management methods for langs and TBHs aren't really that different, the only adjustment the beekeeper needs to make is for a hive that explands horizontally as oppsed to vertically and that changes some dynamics of the nest, but that's about it.
    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>

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A french guy living in Chester, UK
    Posts
    133

    Post

    Hello Michael
    I have just visited your site and as I saw some pics of varroa, I was wondering what how your bees are doing regarding varroa at the moment?

    are you just using small cell to fight varroa?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    I got my Polyurethane fiberglass board at Bayer directly off of their scrap test line. I do not know where it can be purchased. I don't even know if it sold to consumers.
    And it is light too. I painted it and it still only weighs about 3 pounds for a 48"x24" panel.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    &gt;I have just visited your site and as I saw some pics of varroa, I was wondering what how your bees are doing regarding varroa at the moment?

    One hive of Cordovans, in town (I have two of them in town) has signs of mite problems. I requeened with a feral queen and we'll see how they do. I haven't treated those for the last year and a half.

    The hives in my yard (all ferals except for one Carniolan) are doing fine with no treatments. The hives in my yard in Sidney (one Ontario Italian and several ferals) appear to be doing fine with no treatments. But I really should get out there and do a mite count to verify.

    &gt;are you just using small cell to fight varroa?

    Yes. While regressing I have used FGMO fog (no thymol no cords) and Oxalic Acid vapor. I have a bunch of recently aquired large cell bees in deeps that I haven't gotten regressed yet and I haven't done mite counts on them yet. So we'll have to see how they are doing, but currently I'm hoping to not treat them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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