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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Minerva, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Kenyan Insert for British National Hive

    These are plans to build a Kenyan insert for a British National brood box and assume the dimensions found here:

    http://www.scottishbeekeepers.org.uk...nal%20hive.pdf

    This was designed to accept the same follower boards and 17-inch top bars as Phil Chandler's horizontal top bar hive. Several BN brood boxes could be modified to form a Warré-like vertical top bar hive or it could be used to super a Chandler hive. It could also be used as a bait hive or nuc.

    The first step is to make new top side rails that will hold the top bars and support slanted (Kenyan) Masonite sides. A table saw will be required. Cross cut a piece of 4x4 (3-1/2-inch square) to 16-5/8 inches and rip according to the following profile:



    Save the piece shown shaded in the bottom left-hand corner. It will be trimmed to 3/4-inch high and glued to the top of the new rail to form a lip that will enclose the top bars. The slanted cut is made by raising the blade and rotating it 24.5 degrees. Note that you may need to flip the piece and make a second pass if your table saw does not raise high enough. The triangular piece that is removed will be flipped over and used on the bottom of the Masonite side panel.

    Here's an end view that shows the new side rails fitted into the exisiting BN rebates and Masonite side panels attached.



    The triangular pieces cut from the 4x4 are flipped upside-down and attached to the bottom outside (the non-shiny side) of 12 x 16-5/8 panels of 1/8-inch Masonite - also called hardboard or tempered hardboard - with water-proof wood glue and one-inch wood screws. The Masonite panels should now stand on a flat surface at a 114.5-degree angle. The new side rails are placed in the existing rebates of the British National and the tops of the Masonite panels attached with glue and screws with the shiny (tempered) sides in. The bottoms of the panels should be 5 inches apart. Insure the flat side of the triangular blocks are resting on a level surface while attaching to the side rails. New end rails are cut from 3/4-inch stock and are 2-7/8 x 18-1/8 inches. These are attached to the side rails with glue and 1-1/2-inch wood screws. To make the insert permanant you could drive 1-1/2-inch wood screws through the ends of the BN into the bottom blocks. Flip the whole box upside-down and fill the dead space between the original BN sides and the slanted sides with wood chips and staple a fine mesh screen over the opening. This will help insulate the hive and absorb moisture from the box below when supering. A shallow BN honey super could also be bottomed with mesh and filled with wood chips to make a quilt box. The original floors and roofs can be used as is. Orient the box on the floor so that the entrance is perpindicular to the top bars. This will allow the bees to better ventilate between combs.

    Here's a top view showing the hive filled with 11 top bars and two half-inch follower boards (shaded and labeled "F").



    The follower boards are made by following pages 7-12 of Phil's free hive plans found here:

    http://www.lulu.com/content/815182

    Note that the center 5 bars (numbered 4-8) have 1/2-inch holes drilled between them to serve as bee passages when supering. These can be covered with narrow strips of Masonite when starting with one box and uncovered when a super is added. Insure that the holes are within the center five inches of the top bars if supering with an identically modified box. This area is shown with dotted lines in the top view.

    Anybody want to try this and post some pictures? I imagine that British Nationals may be hard to find in the US.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Santa Clara CA
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Kenyan Insert for British National Hive

    I gotta ask...

    What would be the reason for doing this?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Minerva, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Kenyan Insert for British National Hive

    This is meant for those who have BN equipment who wish to transition later into a Kenyan hTBH but may not be ready to build their own hive. It is also a way to super a top bar hive while minimizing side attachments with the slanted sides. It can be managed like a Warré.

    I did the same thing with some old Lang brood boxes and have a colony well established in a stack of two modified deeps with a honey super modified into a quilt box on top.




  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Kenyan Insert for British National Hive

    Nice drawings and pictures. I can see several usages for this, swarm catchers and bait hives to start with. Very innovative, please post more pictures.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Minerva, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Kenyan Insert for British National Hive

    Here's a couple shots of the modified Lang in the apiary shortly after installing a 3-pound package of Italians.





    I added a second modified deep on April 29th and a third yesterday. Each deep holds 12 14.5-inch top bars. As of yesterday the bees were building comb on the 23rd and 24th bars and 22 had full combs with brood or honey.

    I am using the original Lang roof and floor. The shallow honey super was converted to a quilt box by stapling screen onto the bottom and filling with wood chips.

    The dead space along the slanted sides was filled with wood chips and screen stapled over the bottom:




    The bottom two boxes have holes drilled for bee passages beween the center 5 bars as follows. The top box has solid bars all the way across.


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