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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    310

    Default Question about leveling hive

    Ok, I admit it, I can be pretty dense when it comes to some things. I am about to pick up a swarm this afternoon that is in a tree, 9ft up. My first top bar hive is ready, all I need to do is set it up. Which brings me to my question...I read on several occasions that the hive needs to be as level as possible. Does that mean level in both directions (that is parallel to the bars and level from front to back? Am I over-thinking this (wouldn't be the first time... )?

    Thanks in advance. And let's hope that swarm is still there when I want to pick it up this afternoon... :-)
    Marc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Medford,WI,USA
    Posts
    33

    Default

    For sure you would want it to be exactly level perpendicular to the bars (long length of the hive) but I would also get it as level as possible 'short' way also. No sense taking a chance with crooked comb and it will be much easier to get it right when the hive is empty!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Slovenia
    Posts
    325

    Default

    Level the hive for sure. Don't think about it since it is kind of a must and it looks better too
    Sig

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    Level from side to side is a good idea so the frames don't drift against each other. As far as front to rear if you are in a rainy area I would have a slight decline from the rear to the front to allow any water that may get into the hive to run out the front entrance.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Paso Robles, California
    Posts
    155

    Default

    So, if my TBH is not level...and I have bees in it building comb, can/should I level it now...I dont think its to far off.

    Also, because of settling with the weight and seasonal change, how often should I check for levelness?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    310
    Ok, I am totally dense totay. Taking REWERT's description I should level perpendicular to the length of the bars, but alpha 6 stated (at least that's the way I read it) that is should first be level from side to side, parallel the length of the bars. You guys are killing me...lol Just to be sure I'll level it in every direction, however it would eb nice to understad it for sure though...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jefferson Co., Washington
    Posts
    78

    Default

    side to side is most important, less so with a tbh than foundationless langs. I eyeball it & don't worry about getting it perfect but it certainly wouldn't hurt.

    You want the best possible chance of bees building along your comb guide, the more you are off side to side the greater the chances of them building curved comb or attaching one piece of comb to the next/ etc

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,346

    Default

    Picture the bees building comb from top bars or frames. If the frames/top bars, run front to back, then you want the hive to be level from side to side. Being level from front to back isn't as important. If the hive isn't quite level parallel to the direction of the frames/top bars, then it may affect which side of the frame/top bar gets finished first, or where the combs are started, but if it isn't level at right angles to the frames/top bars, then the combs could potentially be connected to their adjacent bottom bars or the top bar equivalent.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Weymouth, Massachusetts
    Posts
    220

    Default

    I used a level to do mine so I understand your concern to get it right
    I have heard though that you are suppose to raise the back a smidge by using a shim to keep water from settling in the bottom of the hive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jefferson Co., Washington
    Posts
    78

    Default

    sorry for the confusion-- I think most of it comes from the fact that many of us are primarily using langs.

    Listen to what Joseph said!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    310

    Default

    I need more coffee! :-) Thanks everyone for your explanations!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default

    hmm may have missed it but it looks like no one addressd the basic issue, which is this, in a TBH the comb will hang verticly, if your hive is way out of level you won't be able to turn the comb around without screwing up the beespace. In a langstroth we often tip the front foward for water issues, but not side to side.
    Same with a top bar, if you tip the wrong way your comb will hang at an angle. A cpl degrees is not a big deal though.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,104

    Default

    I use a level and do it both ways.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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