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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Wojtek,

    I can't speak a word of Polish(sure wish I could) and there aren't any web translators for your pages. But what great pictures and tbhs you have. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    It appears your podcinacz has a flexible cutting blade on it. What do you use to build such a blade? Also, I like the handle. I bet it's easy to use when it gets sticky with honey, a feature not seen with our round, slick handles.

    Regards
    Dennis

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi David,

    What's your website address?

    Regards
    Dennis

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi ABB,

    > * What is the adantages/disadvantages of 'T' topbars against normal ones


    I initially used the 'T' topbar but have abandoned it since then. New comb is very fragile and the 'T' keeps the comb from failing due to mishandling. The comb won't 'flap'. And the 'T' provides a support to rest the comb on. I could handle a top bar with one hand and shoot pictures with the other.

    A 'T' is pretty handy for a seasoned Lang type beekeeper, as they often have developed some very unconsious ways of flapping comb. A new beekeeper might not have developed these bad habits :&gt

    Once comb gets seasoned, it is much stronger. And as a beekeeper learns to work tbh comb without flapping it, the 'T' support isn't needed to prevent comb failures. A top bar stand can be used to hold comb.

    As an example, I can rotate one of my huge, seasoned combs, full of honey, 180 degrees within it's plane. That is switch end for end, which results in the top bar below the upside down comb. Then set this comb down on a flat surface, on its top bar with the comb point upward. The comb is completely safe unless the wind comes up or is bumped and falls over.

    If this was done with a new comb, it wouldn't survive the first 90 degrees of rotation without seperating from the top bar and falling to the ground.

    I've found the added construct complication, although minor, isn't really worth the effort after my initial learning experience.

    And a 'T' also complicates cutting comb free from a top bar when it's embedded in the comb. With a standard top bar, zip, the combs cut off. With the 'T' one has to cut around the T and then scrap off the adhereing comb, which takes time and can be messy. Also, I've accidently cut a few 'T's off of the thinner, parallel kind of 'T' support, while cutting comb.

    When I built my first tbh, I though of comb as a capital asset. But I now think of it as an expendible item which should be replaced every three years or so. A tbh and top bars without 'T's make this a very easy process.

    Some Thoughts
    Dennis

    [size="1"][ December 11, 2005, 09:32 PM: Message edited by: B Wrangler ][/size]

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    Just some more comments on the 'T'.

    I also initially abandoned the 'T' for another reason as well. If you look at the pictures of my broodnest comb at:

    www.bwrangler.com/bee/tdev.htm

    You will notice that almost all of the broodnest comb has worker comb on the leftside of the 'T' and drone comb to the right. I thought that the 'T'might have provided some kind of barrier or divider to broodnest construction. But when I abandoned the 'T', the bees built the comb the same way. So, if you decide to use the 'T', don't worry about it interferring with the broodnest structure.

    Incidentily, the left-right split in worker-drone comb provided me with another opportunity to experiment. I've tried to 'manage' the comb to obtain worker sized cells across the entire top bar. But haven't been successful.

    Regards
    Dennis

    [SIZE=1][ September 05, 2006, 11:48 AM: Message edited by: B Wrangler ][/SIZE]
    Last edited by D. Murrell; 11-07-2007 at 07:57 PM.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    Hey Dave, that's not my carpentry or even my web page. I was just quoting from Dave Robbins. Can't take credit for his work. Before now I didn't see a reason to post mine if his was available. But i'm not sure on the slatted rack stuff.

    This newer push for ventilation scares me. Unless the bees propolize everything, there are plenty of leaks in the hives I build. The mountain winds are humongous. Last week over 100 mph. We got ventilation, brother. I'm not even using SBBs. I stick in a board that's been painted white and Pammed.

    I'm really excited about the podcinacz. I hope this doesn't offend our Polish speakers, but could we just call it an undercutter? Then i won't have to scroll back up and cut and paste everytime. Let me know if this turns into a social faux pas.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boonsboro, MD, USA
    Posts
    67

    Post

    <It will work fine except for the expansion issue. If you add boxes on top then your top bars would need spacers or gaps to allow the bees to move up and down and then there would be the problem of them attaching the bottom of the comb to the top bar of the box below...>

    I am not sure that comb attachment is a problem. My bees have not yet connected any comb to the floor of the hive. It seems that if the opening to the second story were made against a wall that the bees would make very little if any attachments as long as the bars were solid like most top bars they would simply be seen as a floor. I bet it would even work if a series of holes were drilled in a pair of top bars, with the center line of the holes on the seam between the bars. It might be worth a shot, but I don't think I will try it any time soon. I am pretty happy with the horizontal arangement and all the ease and simplicity that goes with it.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    Hi David,

    What's your website address?
    My web page

    Not really a web site, just a place to post pictures.

    Great Polish Web site! I like the tool! nice job with the top bars.

    Anyone ever try to design a TBH with a removable end so you don't lose the comb from the first top bar?

    I have been thinking that one way to build top bars with a middle lip would be to use a dado blade with a spacer in the middle the width of your tongue. you could initially make the bar twice as thick as you need, groove both sides, then rip it.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boonsboro, MD, USA
    Posts
    67

    Post

    I have a small spacer built into the end of the box that holds the first top bar away from the end wall, That way there is only a bee space between that comb and the end wall. As this is often not one of the first combs built a completed comb (I use 1 1/2 inch honey storage combs for the fist couple before the broodnest starts) can be placed there. That way there is very little attachment and the comb does not get lost. On the other end of the hive, I just keep loosing those and they are tasty [img]smile.gif[/img] .
    Cool idea with the dado it might be qucker than making the angled cuts like I have done. Although to be honest there have been times that i needed another bar, and have been too lazy to make one and I just put a board with no type of gude whatsoever between drawn combs and these get built up just fine too. I think they are a bit weaker though with less surface area for attachment.

  9. #29

    Post

    I see some questions regarding "podcinacz", so I will try to answer and, by the way, to present two more thing.
    The blade is some kind thin ( about 0.5mm, or slightly more) spring-like steel, which I shaped on rotary grinder. Important thing is the width of the neck of this blade because this determine stiffness and flexibility. Too flexible or too stiff or too long is not practical.
    The first one I made was too delicate and too flexible. Good for undercutting and excellent for undercutting from a floor requiring 90 degree angle but for scrubbing it was too flexible, also a bit too flexible for cutting off combs with honey during harvesting. This one I can bend much over 90 degrees without loosing original shape. Handle, - any kind of a hard wood. Dennis, - if you like the handle, look at the picture I added to my home page. Probably you will like it even more.
    http://homepage.interaccess.com/~net...l_poziomy.html

    How to use it? Just press sufficiently strong so the blade will be flat on a surface you try to cut something off it ( as on the pictures)and move up along a surface, or horizontally on a bottom, (rarely necessary).
    Application: Undercutting attached combs to a side walls or a bottom.
    Scrubbing wax or propolis.
    Picking up some pieces of wax fallen on a bottom.
    Cutting off combs with honey from a bar during harvesting.
    And, the most necessary….: This is the second related subject. We all know how difficult it is to get to a combs from the brood side. I solved this problem with something I called “ślepy plaster” or, in English could be “phantom comb”. This is 2”wide bar with attached
    the same thickness pink styrofoam shaped exactly as transverse internal shape of hive. This the first bar and is removable. (Serves also as insulation)
    When we want to inspect combs from this side this “phantom comb” is slide up living 2” wide space free to get to the first brood comb. This 2” is sufficient space to use easily “podcinacz” to do all necessary cuts. Works beautifully!!

    Hawk.
    Certainly, you all may call it “undercutter” and it is OK. You even call me a Bill instead of Wojtek
    I mention before what “podcinacz” means in English and the word “undercutter” defines equally well in English what “podcinacz” defines in Polish. This is too little think to elaborate on it. This is quite natural think that certain words are adaptable from language to language or substituted by local language. Most of English words are adopted Latin and not only.

    The second think I wonted to share are this two holes in TB in the picture, but I will write about it in separate post. In the meantime use your imagination.
    Wojtek

  10. #30

    Post

    Initially I wonted to wait till next year to share my future experience on today’s theory related to this two holes in the top bar I posted in my home page.
    http://homepage.interaccess.com/~net...l_poziomy.html
    Impatience prevailed and was fortified by a notion that some of you in wormer climate may test this earlier than I can do in this cold Chicago.
    My thinking is based on the fact that bees in TBH have less mobility than in a classical hives.
    In classical hives bees can walk from comb to comb from 4 sides. In TBH the most important area of commuting, the top, is completely restricted. Some times bees are making a hole “communicating hole” but not too often. Besides, attachment on side walls also making communications more difficult. This could be a reason for different behavior of bees in TBH comparing to hives with frames in which they walk also on a top of frames and getting to a next comb faster and easier if they did not find a place to deposit nectar or pollen on a comb they found themselves. A few full combs with honey and difficulties to get farther could be a reason for stopping depositing nectar earlier than in hives with frames in which communication and access to all part of hive in much easier.
    One of my hive has 23 ¾” long TB. This is a long way to walk from wall to wall. Besides when they reach a wall they will find another barrier in a form of side attachment.
    This theory combined with some other observation lead me to a conclusion that we have to make this easer for them.
    I have made two holes but I think that it will never be too many holes, for a reason of easer communication and ventilation between combs. I did only two just to see how it affect behavior of bees in initiation of building combs.
    I didn’t have time to test this because this idea came to me too late for last season. The only thing I noticed was that they started to build combs almost exactly in the middle between holes. The bees has only time to initiate 3 combs. Too little to make any conclusion, but I think that there is something important in it.
    So, you have enough time to start to make holes for the next season, if you are as curious as I am.
    Wojtek

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boonsboro, MD, USA
    Posts
    67

    Post

    Wojtek,
    I love your "phantom comb" Idea. I think I will make a couple for next year, simple and elegant it doesn't get any better than that.
    As far as the holes goes, I think the bees will build what they need (anyway I am too lazy to try it, at least until I need to build more top bars). In my hives there are very few side attachments and the bottom is allways open. That said there are always some holes near the top of a few combs, especially in the honey storage areas. Maybe they like the extra air movement for ripening the honey?

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    Woj

    I like the hole idea a lot. I am thinking it might even encourage them to make straight comb alinged more precisly on the bar.

    I also think the bigger the holes, or the more holes, the easier it will be for the cluster to move during the winter.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,894

    Post

    >In TBH the most important area of commuting, the top, is completely restricted.

    Since all natural hives have this same restriction, I don't believe the top is the most important area of communicating (or maybe you actually did mean commuting since they travel that way?). If it was, then I think the bees would leave more communication holes. It may be that shorter top bars or shallower combs are wiser (from a TBH design POV) since the bees can get from one comb to the next with less distance to travel to get to the end or the bottom. Of course they can move from comb to comb quite well with only a 3/8" hole. If you put a 3/8" hole in the center at the top of every comb it might make some difference. I've considered doing a 3/8" hole in the center of the Dadant deeps I have. But I haven't gotten it done.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #34

    Post

    Michael. All this is my theory. Certainly shorter bars and shallow hive should be considered, but very long hive is not quite comfortable for me so I am trying to find some different solution.
    I put a picture of the bar with two holes initially, because this was done some time ago. In the meantime I have made a few new versions of such bars, photo it, and put in my home page yesterday. Look again in:
    http://homepage.interaccess.com/~net...l_poziomy.html
    I know that to have many choices is a biiiiig problem
    Wojtek

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,894

    Post

    >I like the hole idea a lot. I am thinking it might even encourage them to make straight comb alinged more precisly on the bar.

    That's an interesting thought. If the hole was at the very top and they were using it (and not just filling it in) they might leave the comb thinner than they currently do at the top to facilate travel. (Currently they make the tops of the combs pretty much touch.) It would be fun to see what they do. But I wouldn't count on it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Grinton, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    102

    Post

    Just one more point - Do I make the top bars the same width of normal spacers? (1 1/2") Do I need to plane them down as the bees regress to small cell? If so, by how much and how many 'generations' of comb does it take for them to regress?

    Many thanks,

    ABB

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,894

    Post

    >Just one more point - Do I make the top bars the same width of normal spacers? (1 1/2") Do I need to plane them down as the bees regress to small cell? If so, by how much and how many 'generations' of comb does it take for them to regress?

    I've had the best luck making half of them 1 1/4" and half of them 1 1/2". I use the 1 1/4" ones in the brood nest and when they start building thicker honey storage I juggle them around to get the 1 1/2" ones up against the cluster. A few spares of each and a few 3/8" spacers for when the get carried away building a really fat comb are handy.

    My first TBH I gave them all 1 1/2" bars. The brood nest was too narrow and they ignored my starter strips and the honey was fatter and they still ignored my starter strips other than the first couple of combs. They bees will build the brood combs about 1 1/4" no matter how wide your bars are and they will make the honey 1 1/2" or MORE no matter how wide your bars are. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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