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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Adams County, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    42

    Default My Tanzanian Top Bar Hive

    As a neophyte beekeeper, I enjoy seeing photo's of hives that I am interested in. As there are not a lot of pics nor information on Tanzanian Top Bar Hives (horizontal hives/long box hives/ etc.), I thought I would share mine.

    I wanted to be able to transfer my frames from the nucs I bought directly into this hive. So my dimensions had to fit accordingly. I was going to go with a box type front and then have it morph into a kenyan top bar hive. But I listened to Michael Bush and went this route instead. I'm glad I did as it was a heck of a lot easier to make.

    Although there are drawbacks to having such a long bar (19"), there are also some benifits. I can interchange frames with langstroth hives, or with an adjustment to my lid, I could add supers or other boxes above.

    I went with old wood so that it has that rustic look. I sanded and cleaned up the insides and left the outside looking like it does. I think it looks a lot nicer in this location this way.

    The lid has plywood and then the metal. The overhang in front is mostly because the metal sheet was that size and I didn't have to cut anything. But it should keep the weather off of their front deck.


    Last edited by DaggerD; 04-22-2009 at 09:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Adams County, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    42

    Default

    The two bars laying on top show the triangle/wedge shaped top bars that I made. Through the opening you can see the follower board. The different colored slats are covering the openings caused by the langstroth frames from the nuc.


    This image shows how I attached the follower board. I shaved a little off of one of the top bars and attached it.

    Here is a shot of the front with the entrance feeder and my super expensive entrance reducer. I think it might be a stake or something that I grabbed when I set the hive up. I just covered the entrance leaving a small opening at one end. I'll just pull to the left to enlarge. It seems to work alright.

    Like I said, I'm a total beginner. My dad used to have them when I was young, but I am just figuring this all out. If anyone see's any problems, let me know. Hope it helps anyone else looking around for something similar.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Weymouth, Massachusetts
    Posts
    220

    Default

    DaggerD, very very nice. I do like the rustic look of the hive, good call leaving the original patina.
    I just got my first tanzanian hive last week, bees are going in the next couple of weeks or so.
    I have 2 kenyan hives as well, I like the concept of the whole topbar hives, although I do have langs too and enjoy them as well.
    It will be interesting to see the differences between them all and to make comparisons.
    Good luck with it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Yadkin, NC
    Posts
    71

    Default

    That is a good looking hive, i like the old wood. I used grooved topbars and inserted some cut up foundation about a quarter inch , then hit them with the blow torch to fasten them in a bit. So far the packages I installed are building good. I really like those angle TBs, I might have to try some of those. Did you melt any wax on them?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Adams County, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Thanks Natalie. I have a langstroth hive as well so that I am able to compare. I personally am drawn more to the top bar hive, but we'll see as the year progresses.

    ncsteeler, I did melt some waz on the tips of them. I just rubbed a bunch of wax on the tips and then hit it with a hair dryer. Although I suppose the torch would have been faster.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Franklin KY
    Posts
    43

    Default

    That is kind of what I am looking for in my back yard hive. Where did you get those plans or did you just wing it? How did you cut the angle TB? Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Rocky Face, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default

    DaggerD,

    How well are the bees moving past the nuc frames to your top bars?
    And I too am curious about how you made your wedge top bars.

    nwgabeeman

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default

    DaggerD, !

    nwgabeeman, I don't know how Dagger does it but here's how I do: pictorial

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Rocky Face, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Aram,

    Thanks for the pictures and detailed instructions. Currently my top bars use a starter strip but I like the wedge bar idea better, it would certainly eliminate a weak point as the bees can attach comb directly to the top bar. I am also thinking about trying wedge bar foundationless frames.


    nwgabeeman

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Adams County, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Thanks for the great step by step Aram. That is exactly how I made mine as well. I then just rubbed some wax on the tips and melted it in with a hair dryer. As for the box... I had drawn up plans but forgot them when I went out to make it. I just grabbed one of my langstroth boxes and took the measurements off of it (making it three times as long).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Default

    Neat photos. I always learn something new. Thanks DaggerD.

    Regards
    BWrangler
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Rocky Face, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Hi All,

    I tried Aram's method of making "Wedge" Top Bars. Works like a charm.
    Thanks Again,

    nwgabeeman.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default

    It looks great. I would shorten the tin so the wind doesn't catch it. I wouldn't have it stick out more than a couple of inches past the front and none is fine too.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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