Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 49
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Top Bar Hive Plans

    Hello,

    Does anyone know of any good websites with Top Bar Hive plans? I came across three plans, but most use non standard board widths which will require gluing of boards.

    Can I simply make the sides of the hive out of standard boards and just adjust the other dimensions so all fits together? I am guessing this is ok, but this might also cause problems that I do not foresee.

    I did find the THB plans on beesource.com. Still use glued boards. Is there a point that a hive is too shallow?
    Last edited by FindlayBee; 08-06-2009 at 09:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Coal Valley, IL, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

    Link is to Michael Bush's website. I have 2 top bars made using this information and they seem to be working well. 2 swarms caught on June 26. Large swarm has 16 bars drawn out, small swarm has 12 drawn. I use a saw kerf with "popsicle"stick glued in for a guide.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    Thanks a bunch, bookmarked and turned into a .pdf.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    I modified the plans from biobees.com http://www.biobees.com/shop_cb.php
    added a solid floor and dado the ends so the walls fit into them. I am very pleased with the results, I have some pics of my mods if you want.
    If you glue 2 5.5" boards to make one 11" board it wont warp as much as a single 11" board. (reverse the grain direction on each board)

    Sam.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Tarrant Co., TX
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    I found some plans that caught my eye. I really like the simplicity and low-cost design. It wouldn't take long to build a couple of these. I wonder how the bees would like this? A problem I see with this design is the plastic barrel may not provide enough insulation for a Ohio winter. But, I think it would work in my area.
    http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekee...-top-bar-hive/

    Side note: Take a close look at this guys domain name. The name is very similar to another popular bee keeping web site. Coincidence?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Minerva, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    I also modified Phil Chandler's plans - to take 14.5-inch top bars and use US nominal 1x12's for sides.

    http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtop...?p=19576#19576

    I found that the smaller inside dimensions filled up fast - less than 3 months for a package of Italians. I have since built a four-foot version out of Amish rough-sawn poplar and moved the bees out of the three-foot hTBH. If I were to do it all over, I'd stick with Phil's 17-inch top bars and build four feet long from the beginning. Especially now that I have a source for rough-cut wood that's actually 12 inches wide.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    Thanks for all the information. Not sure why I wasn't able to find all those on my own. Lots of good information on the web.

    Are there any major disadvantages to constructing a THB with straight walls? I have started to look at the Tanzanian TBH as it appears to be a bit easier to construct.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    Tanzanian combs are very difficult to move or lift without breakoffs - Kenyan comb is more stable due to the shape.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Minerva, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    Some people think that Kenyan sides are less prone to comb attachments to the sides - others don't think it matters. I like the tapered combs that Kenyans produce and think they are lighter/easier to handle and less prone to collapse. I also think that side entrances in Kenyan sides help keep the rain out.

    Kenyans are not that difficult to build if you follow Phil Chandler's directions and make two follower boards first. You can then assemble the hive upside-down by resting the sides on the follower boards while attaching the ends. This also makes your follower boards more bee-tight than trying to fit followers in after the box is built.








    I see you are Findlay - not too awful far from Minerva where I keep my bees. I believe there's a package supplier close to Mansfield.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    What are some advantages and disadvantages to placing the entrance in the side of the hive vs on one end of the hive? Also, how important is an entrance ramp or platform?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Red Hook Ny
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    I have three kenyan tbhs and all have the entrance on one end. Not really an entrance, just that the first bar is back 1/2 inch from the end. With an end entrance the bees usually start the brood nest at the entrance and work towards the other end.

    Mind you, I have a friend who has a kenyan tbh and his entrance is smack dab in the middle of the side. When we installed his package we put the queen cage at one end, and his bees also have the brood nest at one end and honey at the other. I believe this configuration is ideal for over wintering.

    You don't want to go into winter with a central brood nest and honey stores to either side. Chances are the bees are going to move one way or another as they consume their stores, when they get to the end they may not be able to traverse the empty honey combs and the former brood nest to get to the other half of the honey stores. However I suspect they might on a warmer winter day. These are bugs, you know and they have tiny minds of their own. Sometimes it seems they have not read the same books I have.

    As far as the ramp or landing board goes, my bees don't care. They just land on the vertical surfaces at the end of the hive and walk up. Sometimes they land on the underside of the roof and walk in upside down. That being said, I like the landing board on my lang because it makes a nice stage for photographing the bees.

    I think it was Michael Bush who said that trees don't have landing boards and the bees like them just fine.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    if your in the states i highly recomend making your top bars 19" long and 3/8" thick. they will fit in a langstroth hive that way. making your top bars a couple few inches longer than has been so widely suggested can make your life and others much easier in the long run.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    Landing boards are just mouse ramps...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    1. The use of two followers - one each end of the colony - enables easy inspection from both ends with minimal disturbance of bees. This system requires side entrances.
    2. For the purpose of raising nucs and doing splits/artificial swarming, you can arrange side entrances in various positions, making the hive very versatile.
    3. The followers provide extra insulation in winter, isolating the cluster from the ends of the hive.
    4. Side entrances with a slope-sided hive are more sheltered, particularly from rain and snow, which cannot enter the hive.
    5. Side entrances on this type of hive let very little light into the hive, discouraging potentially fatal cold-weather flying.

    And I don't use mouse ramps!
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Paso Robles, California
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by stangardener View Post
    if your in the states i highly recomend making your top bars 19" long and 3/8" thick. they will fit in a langstroth hive that way. making your top bars a couple few inches longer than has been so widely suggested can make your life and others much easier in the long run.
    Besides the obvious reason of being able to move a Top bar into a lang...why do you suggest making your top bars so they will fit in a Lang hive? Why would it make someone's life easier to have bars that fit into a hive you are not using?

    Most important thing I have discovered with TBH is to make sure the bars all have a guide that is better than a wax-filled kerf... (learned that the hard way, we are going to have A LOT of work in our TBH's next spring)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    Thanks for all the good information. I will be putting my entrance on the side.

    I have been reading that a 1-3/8 inch wide top bar is a good sized bar for Italian bees. However, I have come across several discussion that a 1-1/2 inch wide bar will work better. I know the 1-1/2 inch top bar will be easier to construct as a 1x2 is 1-1/2 inches.

    Thanks again,
    Nick

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Slovenia
    Posts
    325

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by kaisfate View Post
    Besides the obvious reason of being able to move a Top bar into a lang...why do you suggest making your top bars so they will fit in a Lang hive? Why would it make someone's life easier to have bars that fit into a hive you are not using?

    Most important thing I have discovered with TBH is to make sure the bars all have a guide that is better than a wax-filled kerf... (learned that the hard way, we are going to have A LOT of work in our TBH's next spring)
    What you said in bold is certainly not most important thing....

    Waxed kerf works perfectly well in my top bar hives. I have 300+ top bars made by bees with only waxed kerf in 7 TBHs in two seasons.
    You should keep your attention elsewhere...like level or if you install TBH from package you have to watch where you put queen cage...
    Sig

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by FindlayBee View Post
    I have been reading that a 1-3/8 inch wide top bar is a good sized bar for Italian bees. However, I have come across several discussion that a 1-1/2 inch wide bar will work better. I know the 1-1/2 inch top bar will be easier to construct as a 1x2 is 1-1/2 inches.
    Bars should be designed on the basis of what is best for the bees, not what is most convenient for your timber supplier!

    1 1/4 to 1 3/8 seems to be the most effective range - erring towards the smaller width. 1 1/2" would probably be fine for the honey bars.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Paso Robles, California
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by beenovice View Post
    What you said in bold is certainly not most important thing....Waxed kerf works perfectly well in my top bar hives.
    Like I said..."what I have discovered"...ymmv

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