Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    8

    Post

    Hi - I'm new to beekeeping, attracted to TBHs after learning that "less is more" in other areas of agriculture. Also wood is expensive here, as are conventional kits.

    After much reading, I am sitting down to finalize my hive design.

    SO:
    Is there conclusive opinion from the more experienced folks about the value of sloped sides?

    Reading back through this forum, I see that Mr. Murrell and Mr. Bush don't think there's much to it, while Mr. McPherson does - just taking the folks who seem to have the most extensive beekeeping experience.

    The Internet turns up conflicting reports and claims. In general, reports from developing regions support the traditional, sloped design. Here's an example:

    http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/in...n-of-top.shtml

    Of course, these are largely pure-blooded African bees being kept in the tropics. So that may influence the bee-havior.

    Bottom, bottom line - before I finalize a design and start sawing precious wood: is there conclusive evidence one way or another?

    Thanks!
    If ignorance is bliss - why aren\'t more people happy?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    8

    Big Grin

    - and Happy New Year, too!
    If ignorance is bliss - why aren\'t more people happy?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Blanco, Texas
    Posts
    74

    Post

    I have a TBH and several langstroth hives. I stopped using foundation in both of them about a two years ago. I would use the 120 Deg. sloped sides because it makes the comb more stable. The sloped sides make triangular shaped comb sections that have a large attached surface with the weight of the comb decreasing as it goes farther out. I am bad at explaining this. Think of is this way: picture a square shaped comb and a triangle shaped comb. The square shaped comb has MUCH more weight along the bottom because of its square shape; the bottom has the same width (and therfore weight) as the top. With the triangle you only have about 1/3 the width (and threfore weight) along the bottom as the square. To make a long story boring, I can take my TBH combs (triangular) and hold them on a horizontal plane and the combs do not fail. If I did the same with my foundationless langstroth frames the comb would definitely fail. as always with any TBH you need to be ready to trim comb and attachments.
    Sorry if I am confusing (and for the run-on sentences)
    Brandon
    Live Removals & Local Honey in Austin, Texas. www.austinbees.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    If you want deeper comb, I think what Baloo (Brandon) is saying is valid. The sloped sided ones are more staple as there isn't a "floppy" corner of comb that tends to get stressed. Think of it this way on a 90 degree comb anytime the corner is anything but vertical, one corner is stressed. With a slope that corner has to be more than the angle of the slope to be stressed.

    With shallow square sided combs this has not been a problem for me so I went with the medium dept Langstroth sized box for my straight sided one without any problems. My KTBH is deeper and the bars are shorter also without any problems.

    I don't see a lot of attachments on either and I do see some on both. Have you read Satterfield's site?

    http://www.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/main.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    8

    Post

    Yes, I have read John's site - and yours, and Dennis Murrell's.

    Because of our mild climate, I assume that we are talking about managing several small flows of nectar - and the advice seems to be that periodic harvest of smaller combs is better in this case. (Still trying to get confirmation of this from the local Beekeeping Association, which is not really geared towards hobbyists.)

    So I am sketching a box whose front face is approximately 30 by 50-60 centimeters - that's roughly 1 ft. high and 2 ft. wide for those not used to metric.

    20 bars at roughly 3.5 cm. per bar (somewhere between 1-1/4 and 1-3/8 inches) gives me a length of 70-80 cm.

    As a square box, that's 120 liters or roughly 30 gallons. Using sides sloped at 120 degrees, the volume is cut to around 72 liters.

    Does this sound right?
    If ignorance is bliss - why aren\'t more people happy?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    8

    Post

    Oops, I meant James Satterfield, not John!
    A bit too much to drink last night....
    If ignorance is bliss - why aren\'t more people happy?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    If I were going to do anything other than match the Langstroth top bar width, I'd go shorter. The bees stay straighter on a shorter bar. The want to make a curved comb and that curve gets off of the bar more at the ends of a long bar than a short bar. My KTBH has top bars only 15" long and 7/8" of that is hanging over the side, so the comb is only about 12 5/8" wide. They stay on the bar much better on that than the 19" bars in the Langstroth sized one. I'd say 19" is about the maximum I'd want to go.

    Also, I'm not convinced that square is a good way to get the volume. A small cluster seems to do better with the walls closer not further.

    I probably won't build any more slope sided ones since interchangeability with the Langstroths is such a nice feature.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Post

    I back Baloo on this one - I had a vertical wall TBH but it was the devil of a job to raise a bar with comb still attached - esp in hot weather. Sloping sides - while trickier to build - actually save on wood and I've had no attachment problems since I started using them - and no comb breakages.

    I use 17" top bars as I originally planned to build hybrids that would take British standard frames as well, but the attachment problem put an end to that idea. This length works well for me and is easy to handle even when full of brood and honey.

    I'm taking Michael's advice on hive volume though - mine are a bit short at 36".
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    chatsworth, calif usa
    Posts
    405

    Post

    > I had a vertical wall TBH but it was the devil of a job to raise a bar with comb still attached

    I have found this to be true also. It's even difficult with the attachments cut as the comb is just a tad bit smaller than the inside of the hive all the way up until it clears the top. Not true for the sloped-sided variety.

    >I probably won't build any more slope sided ones since interchangeability with the Langstroths is such a nice feature.

    This is a nice feature, but i have built a sloped-sided hive to see what it's like first hand.

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    ask two differant beekeepers get three differant answers.
    i don't think the original poster will get any once and for all or bottom, bottom line [img]smile.gif[/img]
    all that is gold does not glitter

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    West Africa
    Posts
    46

    Post

    My first ones are square sided, with 30 bars/framed. The width and height are determined by the standard width of planks here, 1' resp 30 cm. Height is one plank, width one and a half

    Top bars without spaces in between, so that when I remove the cover nothing of the hive interior is exposed until I remove any top bar(s), When dealing with what you call "pure-blooded African bees" you want to disturb them as little as possible.

    Framed to avoid them attaching to the sides and to make certain management practices easier to execute. Although I have used wood for the framing, other material could be used as well. The funniest I have seen so far was re-cycled wire coat hangers.

    You might also have a look at "Rupert's Honey" and their J.H.H.

    > http://www.rupertshoney.co.za/rh/index.htm

    My own closely resembles a J.H.H. too, a basic design which I expect to become adopted by many keepers here in Africa, just because it makes a lot of sense. My next hive version will have SBB (Screened Bottom Board).

    Considering your cost of wood as well as the mild climate, you may find another material to build your hive which could be a lot cheaper. "Rupert's" use plastic sheeting for the hive body. Here in Africa, people use all kinds of materials apart from wood to build their hives, like cement, mud (clay), burlap sacking, woven plant materials, etc. A lot depends on rainfall and whether or not the hives are under a roof, like a simple beehouse.

    > http://www.apiconsult.com/bee-houses-kenya.htm

    I would consider increasing the number of top bars to 30 and a screened bottom.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    18

    Post

    Hello all,

    I am in the process of designing my hives as well. I like the idea of straight sided hives. Reading empilolo's entry, I must pose the question-Why WOULDN'T one frame the top bars, as he suggests? Assuming one has the needed wood, and can build accurately enough to respect the bee space around the frames, wouldn't such a method utilize the best aspects of TBH's and Langsroth hives?
    Food for thought.

    John (Moersch)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    Frames with solid top bars (no gaps) work fine. It just takes more work and more wood.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14

    Post

    Moersch: Assuming one has the needed wood, and can build accurately enough to respect the bee space around the frames, wouldn't such a method utilize the best aspects of TBH's and Langsroth hives?

    Yes, it's called the long hive. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    "Do nothing. Time is too precious to waste." Buddha

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    Of course if you don't care about the gaps, you can just build a long hive that takes standard frames...

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

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
    Posts
    1,083

    Post

    I don't know if I should put this in a seperate thread or not but if it doesn't fit here let me know.

    I have several nucs that I used to winter over my excess queens in my queen bank. I have bee thinking about modifying a couple of langs so they will hold two or three standard frames and partitioning the inside walls of the rest of the box so they can only build comb that will fit a KTB hive. I plan to put these nucs in the new configuration until they build some natural comb or SC comb on the TBH part, then move them into a full size KTB hive. I'm thinking this could speed up the process of regression if I give them SC starter strips. I know this is a lot of extra work and might just end up being one more piece of equipment stashed in the back of the barn if it doesn't work, but I would like any advice or opinions anyone has to offer.
    doug

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Blanco, Texas
    Posts
    74

    Post

    I'm not trying to be difficult, but if you are going with straight sided hive in langstroth fashion... Why not just make your life easier and make foundationless frames. You get the advantages of a TBH with all the integration of a langstroth. It is easier to add a wedge to a langstroth frame and go foundationless than to build an entire TBH. In my opinion you build a TBH to simplify beekeeping, not to have worry about sides and supers etc...


    THIS IS NOT MEANT TO DISCOURAGE SUCH TBH ADVANCEMENTS.
    I use these frames in my langstroth hives.
    Cheers
    Brandon
    Live Removals & Local Honey in Austin, Texas. www.austinbees.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    West Africa
    Posts
    46

    Post

    The TBH as we mostly see them now were developed in Africa. The issues, apart from producing honey and wax, were low cost and easy to build under local conditions. A frame will add to the cost as well as tax some of Africa's carpenter's beyond their limits, because precision is not required to build a simple TBH, but you need to keep to beespace once you make frames.

    But in no way does this mean you can not use frames. While conventional Langstroth hives are normally not "tampered" with, a horizontal hive offers a lot of additional scope for experiments. Check out MB's site for horizontalhives. Individual bars are more readily accessible throughout the hive.

    Working with somewhat mean bees, a TBH is a clear winner. Top bars without spaces but with frames to support comb are a bonus in hot climates and if you would like to do splits and other more advanced management practices they sure help too.

    Moersch. You go right ahead with what seems good to you.

    Baloo, I would not consider your comments to be difficult. You have a different opinion, is all, as have I. Long live diversity.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    18

    Post

    Few things in this life are written in stone, true and constant under ALL conditions. Beekeeping exemplifies this. That's one of the things which keeps drawing me to it- the opportunity and the necessity for creation and innovation.
    Thanks to everyone for all the valuable input and encouragement. I find myself taking notes from nearly every posting.

    Moersch

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    sierra bees,
    i think your plan has merit and the "insert" doesn't have to be fancy as long as the resulting comb fits into a slope sided hive. i've gotten away from sloped sides but if i'd never had a sloped sided hive i would have to try one.
    i don't use starter strips i use comb guides. they're only meant to guide the bees to make an attatchment where i want it so i have an on going question wether it makes a hill of beans weather a person uses sc or a piece of what ever. i know my bees tend to have a cap of honey on single story hives anyway thus negating brood rearing at the top of the comb.
    all that said i'm a proponent of sc and natural comb.
    all that is gold does not glitter

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads