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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    New York City
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    43

    Default Seeking Input on KTBH Design

    I was thinking about how to improve the KTBH design so I built 3 small ones out of poplar measuring 19" x 19" by 10" tall with a 1" left entrance in each. Made the base 19" x 19" x 3/4" plywood so that they can be stacked and drilled six 1" holes so that bees can move up and down. Basically built 3 KTBH supers. Top bars are 1 1/4" for brood and 1 1/2" for honey with 3/8" spacers on just the ends (not running the length of the 19" bars) so that there's bee space for the ladies to move up between bars. My thinking is that the hive will be more modular (a la lang and warre) but will allow for better air movement and overwintering.

    Wanted to get more seasoned beeks' opinions before i build refine the design and build more (for hiving next year). Am i missing something obvious?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Default Re: Seeking Input on KTBH Design

    I would not go less than 48" long as a top bar hive is almost always too small to easily do swarm managment if you go smaller but it's difficult to get them to expand much over that unless it's a real bumper crop year. I would not go wider than 20" as it's hard to keep them on the bars if you get much wider. I would not go much less than 15" wide as it will be too small again. I would not go any deeper than about 10" unless you have a slope (which a KTBH should) because the combs collapse too easily. With a slope you might get by with a bit more than 10" but I think about 10" is fine. More than 12" is probably not necessary and may be counterproductive as the cluster in the winter may not clean up the honey as it goes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Seeking Input on KTBH Design

    Thanks, Michael. What about the whole idea of using 19" x 19" KTBH "supers" stacked like a lang/warre? when they fill up most of the first box then i'd add a second and a third. Holes in the bottom board will allow passage tween the "supers". I love the simplicity of the ktbh design (easy and quick to build) and the fact that it's shape is half of a honeycomb cell. Also seems like going vertical will facilitate air movement better than horizontal. Am i over thinking this?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Default Re: Seeking Input on KTBH Design

    I don't understand how you will stack slope sided boxes nor how the bees will move vertically with top bars blocking their path... but assuming 7/8" wide bars with
    3/8" gaps and straight sides, it could work. But then I'd just buy eight frame Langstroth boxes and put those top bars in them and stack them up... but then foundationless would get you most of that and have better support...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Seeking Input on KTBH Design

    Yep, you're right. boxes would be easier and probably cheaper (I spend $100 every time i go to home depot :0). No need to reinvent the wheel. I'll send a picture later of the design i was talking about. Basically i attached a 19" x 19" ply bottom board for stacking support and, yes, the bars have 3/8" gap tween.

    thanks again,

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