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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    charlotte, nc
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    Default Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Is there anything wrong with making a square TBH so that it can bee seeded with frames from a Lang nuc? To me it seems it would make more sense to make a TBH that could accept frames from deeps.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Carroll, New Hampshire, USA
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    6

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    The dimensions of hive boxes aren't arbitrary. A square hive able to take a Lang frame would be quite a bit larger than a Lang box and much larger than a Warre box. Bees could have seriousl problems keeping warm in winter. Also, if you did have top bars the length and depth of Lang frames you might well have trouble with comb breaking when you try to get them out of the boxes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
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    323

    Wink Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Check out Michel Bush's site on long/horz. hives.
    I have 2 x 4 foot long langs. built for medium frames. The bees seem to be doing just fine!

  4. #4
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    Jul 2010
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    charlotte, nc
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    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Thanks Raosmun for pointing me to Bush's site. It looks like he doesn't see a problem with square TBH's although he has his at a medium depth. I think I would prefer to have one that is the size of a lang deep just so they can be interchangeable. I have seen videos of wild hives with at least that deep of honey comb and can't see why it would be a problem in a TBH.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Remsen, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    1too,

    I'm no expert, but I have two "rectangular" Tanzanian TBH (TTBH.) Started out with them a couple years ago just to try something different. I specifically built them with interior dimensions to fit deep Lang Frames, but you can use medium dimensions if you use medium Langs. It's really handy to have the ability to go back and forth with Lang frames or use commercial nucs. I've had nothing but good luck with them. I highly recommend them. They are easy and inexpensive to build and work with. They winter just as well as my Langs in North-Central New York State. Just takes good husbandry like any hive - good ventilation to avoid moisture problems, good protection from wind, and leave them plenty of honey for feeding through to spring.

    Each hive design has it's pros and cons, but building a TTBH eliminates the biggest con of a TBH - interchangeable frames with Langs . I recommend build a TTBH and a Lang and you be the judge . There is wealth of information about them on this and other forums.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    charlotte, nc
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    30

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Steve10 you just brought a HUGE smile to my face! I had thought it made sense to make it so that it would accept a deep frame but felt like I was going against the grain. I really appreciate you sharing your experience!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Remsen, NY, USA
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    367

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Just to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about, here are a few pics of the a new one I made out of some extra 2 x 10's, 2 x 4's, 1/2 inch plywood pieces I had left over from another building project. Hope this gives you some ideas for your own. Great way to use up any scrap lumber you've collected!

    Steve

    http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/r...shedTBH010.jpg

    http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/r...shedTBH004.jpg
    Last edited by Barry; 07-10-2010 at 07:40 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    charlotte, nc
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    30

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Very nice Steve. How many bars did you have between the end of the drawn comb and the divider? Also i noticed no screen bottom, is that because you didn't have any on hand or you don't like them?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,103

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    What is the real point of doing this? Interchangability? Okay. Whatever floats your boat. I just don't see why one style isn't enuf. One or the other. But, perhaps you are enjoying the variety? The variations of hive styles? Is that part of it?

    That's something that I haven't gotten into. Though I have known a number of different hives over the years. Skeps for a short period and a 17th century hive that we, my mentor and I, modified to accept modern frames so the State of Virginia would allow it in the museum in which we worked. And then the yard at school in Ohio which had a tbh built from a steel drum split lengthwise.

    Jim Thompson of TriCounty Beekeepers, Wooster, OH fame had a number of antique hives in his back yard that were occupied. Some pretty bizarre. One was a set of triangular shaped boxes of some sort that attached to one another and formed a hive. I don't know how it worked.

    In Eastern Europe collateral hives or single deep Langstroths are managed by taking away a frame of honey periodically so the hive won't swarm. Works for them.

    Continue your beekeeping adventure.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    charlotte, nc
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    30

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    There are several reasons I like a TBH that can use deep frames in. 1) I am just started and can only get a nuc in the form of Lang deep frames 2) I like being able to inspect all my frames without taking complete deeps or supers off the hive 3) It is just dang cool to have an observation window. Yes, yes I can do that on a lang too but being able to look at 20 frames in one window is just cool. 4) I can use my TBH to start a new hive in a Lang or other TBH designed the same way. 5) I can use frames from my TBH to help a week hive that is either a TBH or Lang.

    To me there are a lot of reason for this design. It seems some people really get upset about TBH or making a TBH that can interchange with a Lang and I just don't get it. As long as the bees are happy, why can't they be?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    So, it sounds to me like a long Lang would do you well. That's sorta what you are doing anyway, isn't it?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    charlotte, nc
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    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    I didn't know there was a long Lang, but yes it does seem very similar. I guess it would be minor differences depending on if you just use a top bar vs full frame.

    I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, just doing what seems like a good idea to me. :P

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Go for it hobbies.

    There isn't a manufactured Long Lang that I know of. But obviously you can build one. You did build your tbh, didn't you? So, inmstead of building a Lang. type box 16.25" wide, build it 32" wide. That'll hold 20 frames. Aught 2 b enuf, no?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Remsen, NY, USA
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    367

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    1too,

    I usually keep 1 or 2 empty top bars between the drawn comb and the divider or follower board.

    As far as the screen bottom, I didn't have any when I built my first one. Although I keep checking, I've never had a mite problem so I build them without now.

    Steve

  15. #15
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
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    Wink Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Dito; go for it!

    My reason(s) for the medium size long Lang. is the weight. Weight is not the issue for the long hive, but is for me with a traditional Lang. set-up. Therefore I am in the process of going to all mediums. 1, one size frame, 2, one size box, 3 my home made extractor will accept 8 medium frames but only 4 deeps. There are many other reasons for the long already mentioned, for me the two biggies are weight and one size frame (with or without foundation) or just a top bar.

    I have not tryed this yet. I built some NUCs to medium 5 frame size, but needed them to accept deeps (eggs & brood) so I made a 3" shim, now I have a modified med/deep NUC. I see no reason why I can not take the shim with frames, bees and all and place it on my med. long. After the long hive is established remove the deeps replacing them with mediums the following spring once the bees have moved durring the winter. If it works; another advantage.

    Another note: I have been making frames with a wedge on the top, 1" wide frame and use 3/8" shims, that way if supering just remove shims and put on the super.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Carroll, New Hampshire, USA
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    6

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve10 View Post
    Each hive design has it's pros and cons, but building a TTBH eliminates the biggest con of a TBH - interchangeable frames with Langs . I recommend build a TTBH and a Lang and you be the judge . There is wealth of information about them on this and other forums.
    Do you use and re-use foundation or just the frames?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Remsen, NY, USA
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    367

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Mark,

    >What is the real point of doing this? Interchangability? Okay. Whatever floats your boat. I just don't see why one style isn't enuf. One or the other. But, perhaps you are enjoying the variety? The variations of hive styles? Is that part of it?

    A fun way to try a different inexpensive approach to beekeeping that is a lot easier on my back and that integrates well with my Langs.

    Steve

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Remsen, NY, USA
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    367

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Bill,

    >Do you use and re-use foundation or just the frames?

    I've done it all ways. Kind of depends on what I have to work with and the goal. You can mix and match too.

    Note: My TBH's have front entrances, not side. The bees tend to keep brood towards the front (except 1st bar is usually honey comb) and honey stores to the rear.
    For swarms, top bars or empty frames with wedge turned as a guide works well since swarms are comb making machines.
    For Lang Nucs to TBH, install the nuc in the front with a couple empty top bars, empty frames, frames with foundation, or frames with drawn comb then the follower board. Cycle the nuc frames to the rear (or completely remove) as brood hatches keeping a couple empty top bars/frames in between.
    For TBH to Langs, just the reverse.
    Same basic beekeeping principles except Langs go up and TBH's go back.
    Harvesting honey depends on top bar/ frame type.

    Hope this helps,
    Steve

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Carroll, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve10 View Post
    Bill,

    >Do you use and re-use foundation or just the frames?

    I've done it all ways. Kind of depends on what I have to work with and the goal. You can mix and match too.

    Note: My TBH's have front entrances, not side. The bees tend to keep brood towards the front (except 1st bar is usually honey comb) and honey stores to the rear.
    For swarms, top bars or empty frames with wedge turned as a guide works well since swarms are comb making machines.
    For Lang Nucs to TBH, install the nuc in the front with a couple empty top bars, empty frames, frames with foundation, or frames with drawn comb then the follower board. Cycle the nuc frames to the rear (or completely remove) as brood hatches keeping a couple empty top bars/frames in between.
    For TBH to Langs, just the reverse.
    Same basic beekeeping principles except Langs go up and TBH's go back.
    Harvesting honey depends on top bar/ frame type.

    Hope this helps,
    Steve
    It sounds interesting. Looked at from the front, your hive must be rectangular (roughly 19" wide if you can hang a Lang frame in it). This means a significant departure from the traditional KTBH, where the cross section is triangular, narrowing to the bottom.

    As you know, one of the big reasons for any TBH is that the bees prefer to draw comb in a triangular shape. If you are using a Lang frame without foundation this will leave large gaps toward the bottom of each comb/frame which could be a serious problem in winter. Based on my experiences with Langs, I would think that the wider comb hanging from a Lang top bar with no frame or foundation would be fragile and difficult to work with. Having a full comb break off from its top bar when you are trying to extract or replace it is not really a fun experience. This is one of the reasons Abbe Warre gave for his smaller boxes and I can see what he meant.

    If you are using a Lang frame with foundation, you are essentially using a funny-shaped Lang with all the advantages/disadvantages thereof. If you find it easier to manipulate frames in a horizontal (KTBH) layout, that's fine.

    Up here the KTBH is growing in popularity with one-hive beginners but the winter losses so far seem to be very much higher than either Langs or Warres. There is a state-sponsored pilot project in cooperation with our state association to train and equip some 20 beginners with KTBHs and study the results over several years. We'll have to see ...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Delaware County, New York, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Square TBH to install Nuc?

    Interesting discussion. I have Kenyan TBHs only and I'm planning on getting some Lang deep nucs. I've been thinking of how I will handle converting these to TBHs and I remembered seeing a video of this conversion here:

    http://biobees.com/media.php

    Click on the second frame down in the center.

    I guess this is a fairly fast and easy procedure to do if you don't want to build a long rectangular hive box or Tanzanian TBH. This was what I was actually planning on doing when I got my nucs.

    Then I thought why not build only ONE (or more - depending on ones future plans) Tanzanian (separate each nuc with follower boards) and let the bees build out onto the frame-less top bars. When they built out enough, you could remove the Lang frames and move each colony - now on the top bars - into separate "triangular" KTBHs. Just make sure the interior widths of your TBHs are those of the Langs - 18". That's how I built all of mine.

    Saves a lot of carpentry, if that's an issue. Just a thought.

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