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Thread: Frame width

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Question

    I am building two TBHs. One will be using 4.9 starter strips and the other will be using the pointed notch (? - not sure what the proper term is) on each frame to have them draw comb with no guidnace at all.

    Knowing one is using 4.9 starter strips, what would be the width of the frames? (I suppose its a given that all the frames are tight together.) And since I will not be using regressed bees to start with the other, would those frames be different?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    My first one I build I made them 1 1/2" and the bees cheated on the brood comb quite a bit. After that I made half of mine 1 1/4" and half 1 1/2". I try to get them in the 1 1/4" section to start off for brood. At first (unregressed) they will cheat a little bigger but if they get off you can add a spacer. Just rip a few 1/4" wide strips you can put in. The 1 1/4" seems to ecourage them more to build smaller cells. But once they start building honey storage they will space them further, no matter where the comb guide is, so the 1 1/2" seems to work better.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    chatsworth, calif usa
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    405

    Post

    BjornBee-

    Using the term "frames" loosely, or do you know something special that you would like to share with us?

    Happy Washington's Birthday! -j
    My Mom's other kids are smarter than me, but i'm not nearly as nice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    ive been using 1 3/8" BARS. while the two differant sizes sound better i went with uniformity. i can throw in any bar and not have to check for size. i just finished enough bars tonight for thirty hives. next is thirty lids and i'll be ready for packages in april.
    i hope youll be able to keep the forum posted on any cell size differances you see between the two types of guides.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Post

    Thanks MB and Stan.

    Jim, I know alot of special things. Way too much to mention here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Bjornbee,

    I've tried tbhs with 1 1/4" and 1 3/8". Each seems to have problems, as the bees just don't build all comb at the same spacing.

    In the broodnest, 1 1/4" works perfectly. But the comb spacing increases as the bees work toward the honey storage area. I find that after about 10 to 12 bars, the bees will begin offsetting the comb, toward the rear of the hive about 1/8" to 1/4" per bar. Generally, a top bar width of 1 1/4" gives straigher comb.

    Offsetting occured farther back when using a 1 3/8" width. But the bees tended to curve the broodnest comb more. And sometimes inter-twine two adjacent combs.

    I've settled on the 1 1/4" width for my top bars. But, I build a couple of extra top bars and then rip them to produce "Bush spacers". When the bees start offsetting the comb, I just insert a spacer and give the bees what they want.

    Regards
    Dennis

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    88

    Post

    I like the Bush spacer idea. I'm going to give it a try.
    What are we, men or Beekeepers?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    27

    Post

    Hi all,
    I'm wondering - if I use foundation starter strips (no wire, just wax) on my top bars, how big should they be? Do I just cut the ones I ordered, and wax them in? Also, do you think I should put those towards the front of the TBH, and the ones with a wood starter strip towards the back? Thanks for any help! My bees arrive soon, and it's my first hive. I'm very excited, but still have lots of questions [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Beebee

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Post

    >I'm wondering - if I use foundation starter strips (no wire, just wax) on my top bars, how big should they be?

    When I do it I make them 3/4" wide.

    > Do I just cut the ones I ordered, and wax them in?

    I've done that. I've also made my own plain wax sheets and cut them. The plain wax sheets were much thicker and more durable and less likely to get messed up or bent.

    I've also used wooden comb guides and prefer them.

    >Also, do you think I should put those towards the front of the TBH, and the ones with a wood starter strip towards the back?

    They both will work the same excpet that the wood guide won't get bent or fall out. If you want to experiment with both, put them where ever you want. If you just want to keep life simple, just do the wooden guides.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10

    Post

    My experience with starter strips is that my captured swarms only accepted a few bars' worth of strips, and tore out/tore apart the ones further back. I will try and avoid them this year also. My current single hive of bees build pretty straight, though- that seems to be genetic and other bees I"ve had in the past are more prone to building crooked horseshoes.

    The Bush strips make a tremendous amount of sense, THANK YOU Michael for yet another great contribution! I"ve observed the same offsetting behavior at times and it's always a challenge to deal with (I usually harvest those combs, or keep two bars connected and never take them apart till harvest, but i'ts not what I'd prefer to do!)


    Mark
    urban top bar hives in Oakland and Berkeley, CA...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Thornton Colorado
    Posts
    2,003

    Post

    I went with 1 1/4 inch wide bars. As I was playing with them on the hive I pushed them around a bit and it occurred to me that if I needed to space them a bit I could just leave a small gap. Now my way of thinking is that this gap would be less than a beespace so the bees would propolyse the gap and I shouldn't need spacers.

    Of course I've never had bees before so I could be asking for trouble. Perhaps the bees ar so good at gluing that the bars won't come apart?

    I don't know, why do I need spacers?

    John
    JohnF INTP

  12. #12

    Post

    >I've also used wooden comb guides and prefer them
    do you have a picture of these?
    Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms should be a convenience store not a government agency

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Post

    >Of course I've never had bees before so I could be asking for trouble. Perhaps the bees ar so good at gluing that the bars won't come apart?

    They will be difficult to get apart.

    >>I've also used wooden comb guides and prefer them
    >do you have a picture of these?

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/KTBH4.JPG
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/KTBHComb.JPG
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/KTBHOpen.jpg
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    928

    Post

    Question I trying Mini Mating Nucs with TOP Bar i Put a 2" strip of foundation on the 4 top bars they drew out worker cells on all 4 But the one closes to the entrance and the one next to the inside feeder TB 1 and 4 After building the strip i Put in, they started to build Drone Comb Was wondering is this the norm with top Bar hives to build lots of drone comb.

    Thanks

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