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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

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    I am becoming aware that the top bar hives are more difficult in the area of space managment. When a hive is booming they work fine but if it's struggling I can't easily decrease the space, unless I build a follower board. I guess it's time to build one. I have a dwindling TBH and the wax moths have destroyed a lot of very nicely drawn comb.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

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    Michael,

    I built some up front for use in getting them populated
    they're pretty simple, nice to have around
    I built 2 long hives last winter and 2 more this spring
    the second two I had the forsight to cut some grooves in that you can slide follower boards into, kinda like you describe doing with sections of queen excluder for running a two queen hive
    then you just make the follower boards from the signs the politicians litter the road with [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Dave

    [edit] hmm, lightbulb moment
    I guess it's a bit more difficult with sloped sides
    I really like the long hives [img]smile.gif[/img]

    [size="1"][ July 24, 2006, 09:34 PM: Message edited by: drobbins ][/size]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Post

    Michael

    I have been thinking about adding another entrance to the other side to keep them using the entire hive. Otherwise they don't seem to want to work clear to the back in a mature hive, leaving it vulnerable.

    I think I will try adding another entrance, then close it up in the winter

    has anyone ever tried this?

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

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    After a season with a single entrance, all my tbhs have two entrances, toward the ends, on the long side. This second entrance is closed during the winter, unless I'm running a nuc behind a follower board there.

    I haven't found that the second entrance increased the bees use of the hive. It does provide some additional ventilation and will be used as an entrance by a few bees. But the bees still orient toward the main entrance.

    The space management options on a tbh are extremely limited. It seems that once the bees get to an optimum broodnest volume, equivalent to about two deep supers, most horizontal expansion stops.

    And there isn't a convient way to vertically manage them by taking advantage of the broodnest packing/backfilling behaviors like one can with a Lang. That makes a tbh, in my climate, much less productive than a Lang.

    In a taller tbh, like mine, the bees require absolutely no maintenance and almost no management. They do quite well without any intervention from me. As they can pack enough stores to overwinter and build enough small cell comb to be healthy. But harvesting surplus honey is another story. In my climate, the bees are quite happy, to quit working for me, when they pack their optimum broodnest volume.

    With a shorter tbh, that volume, and the honey storage combs are pushed out over a greater distance. That makes frequently harvesting storage comb easier. But it makes winter preparations much more difficult. And less small cell sized comb gets drawn out.

    Getting back to the two entrance question. My long hives are setup like my tbhs with an entrance toward each end. I've found brood oriented toward both entrances with honey in the middle.

    Some rambling thoughts.

    Regards
    Dennis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Rhea County, Tennessee
    Posts
    127

    Post

    Good subject...
    I've found that the TBHs seem to be a bit less aggressive as to honey storage...will not know sure until later...could be the queens of course.
    I'd like to reverse queens next season in my test hives and see it the TBH compares with the Lang. One year's difference shouldn't matter, they all got older by one year...
    Still the TBHs seemed t do well, just less uniform...the price we pay for letting the bees decide...

    RBAR

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Post

    I DID put the grooves for the horizontal queen excluders in several of my long hives. I should take advantage of them. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Thornton Colorado
    Posts
    2,003

    Post

    If I move the brood area from the end towards the middle will they put honey on both sides before they quit?
    JohnF INTP

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Post

    >If I move the brood area from the end towards the middle will they put honey on both sides before they quit?

    They will do whatever they want. [img]smile.gif[/img] I have not found that to be consistent. I try to get the brood to one end because it lets me super the other end and it gets them to start the winter at one end.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Plano, North Texas
    Posts
    318

    Post

    I decided to try a follower board one day while I was out in the field and didn't have one. But I did have a cardboard box. I cut a big section of cardboard and held it against the end of the TBH to get the angles right as I bent over the edges. Then I put it in the hive with the bent-over flaps holding it in place. Worked great. A few bees crawled under it sometimes and got into the end space, but they didn't seem to stay long. After almost a year, I finally pulled it out because a. the cardboard was getting warped from being moist on one side, and b. the hive had grown to where it didn't need a follower anymore.

    One surprise: the bees didn't chew on the cardboard very much.
    "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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Thornton Colorado
    Posts
    2,003

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    Michael, so if you are supering the other end are you supering over comb or is the space empty? Do you use topbar in the topbar fashion (against each other) on the brood end and then topbars/frames in the other end that they also fill with honey?

    I build followers for my hives. They are basically a topbar with plywood hanging down that mostly fits the shape of the hive. I put boxes at the bottom opposite the hive side with #8 hardware cloth tops and holes through to the hive side so that I can put 2 quart jars of feed on them. At first I would fill the gap along the edges, sort of a cardboard gasket. I have found that the small gap hasn't seemed to matter with a few bees checking out the other side every now and then but no real activity. And they haven't glued it shut either. I think keeping an empty bar on the hive side helps keep them from turning the corner and making comb on the other side.
    JohnF INTP

  11. #11

    Post

    Well, I found in one of my old books some articles about long hives,depicting them as hives with two three even four entrances.Entrances are on the long side ,thats also what I think is better than entrances (on the end side) described on tbh related web sites.
    On the three entrance long hive which is deep,like Bwrangler tbh,the third entrance is a upper entrance in the middle of the hive ,between two lower entrances.The broodnest is located in the middle of the hive and queen excluders(two of them ) are used to leave the space for honey storage.
    The author claims big honey surpluses with this scheme.
    "Do nothing. Time is too precious to waste." Buddha

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Post

    >Michael, so if you are supering the other end are you supering over comb or is the space empty?

    I'm supering over a full hive at the entrance end. The entrance is THROUGH the super.

    > Do you use topbar in the topbar fashion (against each other) on the brood end and then topbars/frames in the other end that they also fill with honey?

    Top bars all the way with the gap in the front the entrance. The super on top has a propped up migratory cover for the entrnace.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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