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Thread: Starting a TBH

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Perkasie, PA
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    I have some old, unused Lang. top bars. What would be the best way to start a TBH with these.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    Aspera,

    I assume you means the topbars from conventional frames
    Here's some pics of a tbh I'm building
    if you just use the proper dimensions you can interchange with frames (or so goes my theory) [img]smile.gif[/img]

    http://www.drobbins.net/bee's/lh/lh.html

    I built some stands yesterday, will add pics later

    Dave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    A top bar for a top bar hive usually is between 1 1/4" and 1 1/2" wide and there are no gaps.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    El Dorado County, CA
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    i have not tried this yet but very soon i will be will be cutting out a slat of wood the width of my top bars and the heighth so when screwed onto the top of a lang frame it will match up with the top bars when they are side by side in a long hive.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    How long and how deep are your top bars?

    I've had good luck with top bar hives with 3/8" bars with triangular comb guides glued and nailed onto them that fit in a standard medium depth box. Then I put them in a 3 box long box. I CAN (but haven't) mix them with medium frames, but I do like being able to use the standard medium nucs and eight frame boxes for starting the hives.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/TTBHOpen.JPG
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/TTBHComb.JPG
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/LongHive1.JPG
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
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    Jul 2005
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    Thanks for the imput! A picture really is worth a thousand words.

    Michael, can you use your topbars in a standard medium hive box?

  7. #7
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Michael, can you use your topbars in a standard medium hive box?

    As I said, I start them in standard five frame medium nucs and then move them to a standard medium hive and then to the three box long hive. I'm ovewintering an eight frame top bar hive right now in a standard eight frame box.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
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    Mr. Bush, in your middle post above did you mean 1 3/8 instead of 3/8?

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  9. #9
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    They are 3/8" thick to leave a beespace above them. They are 1 1/4" wide. They are 19" long. They have a 3/4" by 3/4" by 1 1/16" by 17 1/2" triangular comb guide glued and nailed to the bottom.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10

    Post

    I just finished making my first TBH this evening and have one quick question I am having trouble figuring out.
    Ripped all the top bars down to 1-3/8" no problem. However, I read somewhere but now cannot find what the dementions are for the spacer at the front of the hive you nail in place before the first top bar for the proper "beespace". I think its somewhere near 1/2 inch, right?

  11. #11
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    I just leave between 1/4" and 3/8" at the front of the hive. I don't have a spacer, but it might be smart to have one. Try one of those "push pin" thumb tacks on each side. [img]smile.gif[/img] 1/2" is a bit big, but might work ok.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12

    Post

    I was guessing with 1/2 inch.
    3/8 inch it is. thank you very much.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2005
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    El Dorado County, CA
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    i dont nail the first or last spacer(s). the bees will glue it themselves and its a place you can adjust, manipulate or even open up for a entrance down the road.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
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    Hi all,
    New to the forum and to beekeeping in general, but I just read something about this and thought I'd chime in.

    Irsqu, check out David Tromp's plans in the Alt Hive Guide here.
    http://www.beesource.com/eob/althive/tromp/

    He uses 3/16 inch spacers, which seem to work well. I suppose working bees in warmer climates would allow you to just skip using spacers entirely.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
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    IRsq
    one thing i found out with my tbh is that te top bars actually do swell over a season. so while it all might fit real nice in the shop, after a month or so it will be almost impossible to get them back in place. So try to make your spacer adjustable. hope this makes sense to you.

    have fun with your tbh!

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    And then the bees put proplis on them... the spacing is not constant.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17

    Post

    I noticed that there are some beekeepers that use conventional (framed) hives and want to try TBH now or combining these two kinds of hives
    When I was starting beekeeping, one day I was standing in front of small box full of bees and reading instruction what to do with it. Removing little box with queen and placing it in a new location was within my imagination, but shaking this energetic little creature, what is more, with wings, through relatively small openings, with plenty of dead bees, completely didn’t fit my imagination. So, after long but successful scratching my head I drilled a hole (about 2” diameter) I the bottom of smaller box, (see picture),
    http://homepage.interaccess.com/~net...Dwa%20male.jpg
    and put this box on the top of packet such way that the hole was above the opening in the packet left after removing a cane with syrup, which I covered with thin cardboard. I slide out this cardboard out and after about an hour or so all bees, still being able to walk, found themselves around their queen in new location leaving only a thick layer of dead bees. Of course, I was very proud of my achievement.
    This lead me to another idea when I was reading some posts about problems with transition from framed hives to TBH. I didn’t realized this idea because I don’t have any framed hives and I don’t want to have anything to do with frames, but for some this could be useful, I think. I made animated simplified drawing to help to understand this.
    http://homepage.interaccess.com/~net...e/Schemat2.gif

    This could serve as a transition from frames to TB’s or with queen excluder and some expansion, as something more permanent to harvest honey in fairly comfortable position.
    With proper utilization of movable partition and adequate positioning an opening in the bottom, paying attention on stability, it could serve both, depending on necessity.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Georgia
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    I've heard the angle of the trapezoid/sides are best done at 30 degrees. Is this the generally accepted angle?
    What are we, men or Beekeepers?

  19. #19
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    My favorite angle is 90 degrees. [img]smile.gif[/img] Really, they won't attach it any more than the angled sides and you can make it with 18" top bars set in a 3/8" wide rabbet and use standard frames interchangably. But if you really want to slope it the one most often used seems to be about 22 1/2 degrees or so. Scot McPhersons theory is you want to match the angle of the side of the cell so that it's a straight line on the edges of the cells. That would probably be the 30 degrees. But the bees actually build combs at all sorts of alignment on the cells. Sometimes in rows horizontally and sometimes in rows vertically and sometimes something in between. So I don't know how much it really matters.

    Here are some pictures of natural comb.
    http://www.bee-l.com/biobeefiles/ian/comb.htm
    Here is someone else's obseration on orientation (Ian Rumsey) .
    http://www.beedata.com/data3/natural-comb.htm
    with these pictures: http://www.beedata.com/htcomb/index.htm

    Look at the two bottom pictures to see cell orientation. Some vertical and some not really one or the other.

    And some speculation by Ian on the survival of feral bees based on comb orientation.
    http://www.bee-l.com/biobeefiles/ian/varroa_cell.htm

    Other natural comb links:
    http://www.badassbees.com/freecomb/freecomb.html

    Gravity-independent Orienation of Honeycomb cells
    http://www.princeton.edu/~spratt/Ass...att%202000.pdf


    And other peoples observations on the subject:
    http://www.bee-l.com/bioarchive/apr2001/msg103.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #20

    Post

    Certainly you will find different opinion about it. Since bees attach combs to sides anyway the angle is less important for me. With my “podcinacz” or if some prefer “undercutter” or different tool, this is no problem at all.
    I think that shorter TB and closer to 30 degree or more walls, will have less tendency to attach in contrast to long (24”) and more steep walls in which will be plenty of attachment, but as I sad, this is no problem for me. What I find important is that trapeze shape of comb is easy to move and remove. Beside this, this shape is closer to natural shape of combs. In my type of construction (full “V” shape). bottom movable cradle is letting me to experiment with deeper or shallower comb. Also trapeze shape comb is stronger than comb with parallel sides.
    Certainly I don’t regard this as generally accepted, and I think that the only generally accepted thing is the width of TB, from 1 ¼” to 1 ½”.

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