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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    I'm nearly there anyway. I have a bunch of ideas to try and such but am stuck with one question:

    How do you start a package in a TBH? Lot's of things to read explain how you stick the queen cage between the frames in other hives. Do I need to hang the queen from the top somehow? Can I just set her in the bottom and the bees will get busy making here a new home on the rafters?

    Hmm, quit counting the questions...

    And if I start with a nuc, how will that work? Can I set it on the bottom with the queen excluded on the outside (of nuc, inside TBH) and expect that the bees will begin their new comb and the brood in the nuc will eventually move?

    JohnF
    JohnF INTP

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I just dump in the bees and direct release the queen into the hive and close it up.

    If you start with a nuc things get fairly complicated. Personally, I think I'd build some "swarm catching frames. basically you cut some 3/4" by 3/8" strips and cut it to make frames that will be at least 3/8" from the sides and bottom and make plastic hinges from squares of plastic cut from 2 liter bottles to hinge the bottom and wires to hold the comb in and do a "cut out" from the nuc.

    Sort of like this but adjusted to the dimensions of your hive:

    http://www.beesource.com/plans/swarmfrm.pdf

    Used like this:

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Kernersville, N.C.
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    110

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    John:

    Welcome to TBH. What style are you building? Straight sides that will accomodate standard lang equipment or slope (angle sides) as in Kenya style?

    I started 2 packages last year on KTBH. I wired the queen cage to the 4th bar from the front of both. In both cases, the cage did not end up centered and pependicular under the bar. Both hives started building comb at the angle of the cage and started crossing comb to the next bar.
    It took me a couple of visits to straighten the comb on the bars that were crossed, but all ended up well. Once you get a couple of straight combs, your bees will usually draw straight from there.

    This year, as an experiment, I am going to free release the queen from the package immediately into the hive and see if they start comb construction straighter. Before releasing her, I will sray her and the package with a diluted sugar water. From what others say here, by the time they get themselves cleaned up, queen acceptance will go smoothly. As a precaution, just in case they ball and kill her, I have another queen on hand to introduce to the package in the traditional caged manner. I'll let you know how that goes.

    Top bar hives are really fun, and I learned alot from them last year. If all goes well, I'm looking forward to some good comb honey this year.

    Have fun with your bees.

    Miles

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Queen acceptance with a package that has been together for four days or more usually goes very smoothly. The bees already only have one queen and have had several days to get used to her. Unless you're picking the package up and they just shook it out today, I wouldn't worry about queen acceptance.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    <Michael Bush>
    I just dump in the bees and direct release the queen into the hive and close it up.

    I'll assume that this carries the implied, "and it works great!"

    <Michael Bush>
    I think I'd build some...

    These are cool and look like a great solution. First, this is not the simple approach I would expect from a lazy beekeeper. The lazy newbee(keeper) want's it simplier. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Next, if this route is taken, do I slowly move this thing from the broodnest until I get it so that it is broodfree so I can take it out of the hive?

    <MGBee>
    Welcome to TBH. What style are you building?

    Miles, thanks! Okay, here goes: I've spent a bit of time at BWrangler's site. (and at the links he provides and here...) I've been reading all over the place. I was in the internal battle of "do I build a box joint jig for my table saw or my router table. I can see swapping blades on the table saw but will it be too much. How many supers should I build..." and then read the $300 TBH post.

    You're wondering how this all relates, aren't you.

    Anyway, It wasn't the beautiful piece they sell that got me on this kick, it was what they said. They are trying to get folks involved in beekeeping. Newbees. Like me. Well, my first inclination was that their hive is too expensive; a newbee knows he has to invest cash into something that might not work out.

    To speed things up:

    It will be straight sided and rectangular.
    It will be buildable by someone that owns or can borrow a hammer, screwdriver, and a handsaw.
    The volume will be close to BWranglers.
    It will have a top (or nearly top) entrance.
    It will not have a screened bottom.
    I will minimize ripping.
    It is built from pallets, which I (and most everyone) can get for free.
    I won't plank up boards.
    It will set up off the ground a few inches.

    If all goes well, a person will be able to put together a couple of these in an afternoon without specialized tools and with cheap stuff. (And I will have put together a couple of hives in an afternoon with cheap stuff. I will probably use at least the chop saw.) And, in the spirit BWrangler has introduced, it will be the best TBH ever! [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I just haven't figured out the topbars yet. Those dastardly devils want different sizes, one of which I can't figure out how to make without ripping.

    I will look into some sort of wedge/triangular molding to glue to the topbars to act as my recess (don't need to rabbet) and starter.

    So, any ideas for making topbars and for something to be the wedgies would be cool.
    JohnF INTP

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >>I just dump in the bees and direct release the queen into the hive and close it up.

    >I'll assume that this carries the implied, "and it works great!"

    I hasn't failed yet, but I can see the potential for absconding. Since they haven't I won't worry about it. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    >>I think I'd build some...
    >These are cool and look like a great solution. First, this is not the simple approach I would expect from a lazy beekeeper. The lazy newbee(keeper) want's it simplier.

    But these frames will come in handy when a comb falls off the top bar or when you do a cut out of a wild hive or the bees build a comb crossways that's full of brood.

    >Next, if this route is taken, do I slowly move this thing from the broodnest until I get it so that it is broodfree so I can take it out of the hive?

    If you like. I probably would eventually, but there's no reason that you have to hurry.

    >I just haven't figured out the topbars yet. Those dastardly devils want different sizes, one of which I can't figure out how to make without ripping.

    I'm afriad the 1 1/4" for brood is pretty fixed. They won't go more than 1 3/8" or less than 1 1/4" for a brood comb. They will, however be much more flexible (sometimes TOO flexible) on the honey comb.

    >I will look into some sort of wedge/triangular molding to glue to the topbars to act as my recess (don't need to rabbet) and starter.

    That's what I've had the best luck with.

    >So, any ideas for making topbars and for something to be the wedgies would be cool.

    It's easy enough to cut the corner off of a one by at a 45 degree angle. That makes a triangle 3/4" by 3/4" by 1 1/16".
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    <Michael Bush>
    But these frames will come in handy...

    I understand. Sometime practical gets in the way of being truly lazy. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    <Michael Bush>
    I'm afriad the 1 1/4" for brood is pretty fixed.

    I like how they picked out the hard one to come by.

    <Michael Bush>
    It's easy enough to cut the corner off of a one by at a 45 degree angle. That makes a triangle 3/4" by 3/4" by 1 1/16".

    Thanks for the dimensions that work for you. As far as easy: Well, yeah, for those of us with table saws. (or access to a table saw) I still might go this route.

    JohnF
    JohnF INTP

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    chatsworth, calif usa
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    405

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    The 'swarm-trapper' frames can become abit involved in the construction, depending on design, but in use- that's where lazy shines brightest. Lay it in, slap it shut, drop it in. Just that quick and easy- well..almost.

    [size="1"][ December 22, 2005, 08:23 PM: Message edited by: jim b ][/size]
    My Mom's other kids are smarter than me, but i'm not nearly as nice.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Thanks for the dimensions that work for you. As far as easy: Well, yeah, for those of us with table saws. (or access to a table saw) I still might go this route.

    The table saw is the easiest but I made lot of them with a skill saw before I bought the table saw.

    If you don't have a table saw, you could cut a groove in the bar and put popscicle sticks in the groove. But you still need a saw to cut the groove.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    El Dorado County, CA
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    >Well, yeah, for those of us with table saws.

    if you have a table saw dont be afraid to use it. i dont understand what good it will do not to use tools at hand. in some of the above posts i saw referance to lazy and using pallets for material-the two do not go hand in hand. im in the process of building thirty hives from scraps right now and what your doing is spending time instead of money.

    >If you don't have a table saw, you could cut a groove in the bar and put popscicle sticks in the groove. But you still need a saw to cut the groove.

    dont forget about hemp twine it works good. i must admit im cutting all top bars 1 3/8 if i ever use up all my scrap lumber and have to buy (fat chance in u.s.a.) ill take my tape measure with me to the big orange box and buy stock that just needs to be cut to 19"(or whatever)
    all that is gold does not glitter

  11. #11
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    <stangardener>
    if you have a table saw dont be afraid to use it. i dont understand what good it will do not to use tools at hand. in some of the above posts i saw referance to lazy and using pallets for material-the two do not go hand in hand. im in the process of building thirty hives from scraps right now and what your doing is spending time instead of money.

    I do have a table saw and I'm not afraid to use it. But you are asking a good question.

    The project started when I read the $300 TBH thread. One of the points brought up was an interest in getting folks started into beekeeping. Michael Bush (in another thread) mentioned that it seemed that most beeks are generally on the older side. It also seems that most of these woodenware projects assume a certain high level tool set.

    So I mashed the above around in my head and thought, what would an interested kid do to get started. Just so you know, when I was a kid I would do things just like this.

    Ok, the KTBH on Michael's site is a perfect example of a simple, small handheld tool, kid and beginner friendly hive to build. This is one very good choice. But we only have one. What if you couldn't buy the wood and you didn't know how to plank boards. Maybe you have to convince your parents to go along. Around here (Denver area) pallets are all over the place and they give them away. What if you wanted a larger volume?

    <general>

    I stopped at Home Depot last night to check out stuff for top bars. In the moulding aisle there exists the perfect top bar material. There is this 1 1/4 inch wide hardwood trim piece with an embossed rope down the middle. Cost was $10 an 8 ft stick though. I'll rip boards first.

    Also, you can get 3/4 inch cove that is basically the triangle piece that Michael described.

    What about round topbars like a dowel if you did something along the edge to close the gap and keep them from rolling away. (I don't know if there is a 1 1/4 inch round stock) Just brainstorming.

    JohnF
    JohnF INTP

  12. #12
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    The Greek Basket hives just used the rounded bars like a section of dowel. But scraps are cheaper than large dowels. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
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    Alright, this must be one of those "let the boy learn on his own" moments.

    Anyway, I had a free moment yesterday and took the time to check out the pile of pallets I have. Hoo boy! If this is supposed to be kid friendly then pallets around here won't do. I think this wood would frustrate me. I pulled out my sawsall and took a couple boards off. It will take quite a bit of work and quite a few pallets.

    So now I am again looking at Michael's KTBH on his site. I figured that BWrangler had generations of these under his belt and he sticks with a certain volume in the hive. BWrangler and Michael, what can you tell me about the volume of your hives? Is the KTBH too small? It appeared from BWrangler's observations that at some point the bees quit making honey. Is this a volume or distance issue? (maybe a new discussion?)

    And I still think I will need to rip topbars on the table saw.

    JohnF
    JohnF INTP

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
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    605

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    pallets are put together with pallet nails of all things. theyre threaded and dont want to come out without breaking something. then if you cut the 1 bys from the 2 bys the 2 bys still have nails hiding in them. i had a great supply of 2x4s from a local landscape supply company till recently. the 44" 2x4s are used to bind 20' sticks of pvc pipe. dont stop your web research. mr bush and wrangler have great sites but theres more out there. mr satterfield has a must read site with many links. the bee wiki is very good. you should start to see some referance to your location as it relates to hive volume. theres a thread on this site "why less honey in a tbh?" that gives some feed back on yield variables. it might turn out that less is still quite abit when the inputs are calculated in.

    [size="1"][ January 03, 2006, 10:54 PM: Message edited by: stangardener ][/size]
    all that is gold does not glitter

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    > Is the KTBH too small? It appeared from BWrangler's observations that at some point the bees quit making honey. Is this a volume or distance issue?

    It worked pretty well for me. I shoot for approximately the volume of two deeps. Same as three mediums. You have to harves more often with a hive that size, of coure, or put on supers. I do have to feed some empty bars into the brood nest to keep them from swarming.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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