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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    River Falls, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Here is a Kenyan style top bar hive design. It has an observation window along one side that is covered with an insulated panel which is held in place by 6 thumbscrews. The T supports on the bars are optional.

    http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehou...1d&prevstart=0

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    I'm planning a KTBH and used Google SketchUp to create a design for feedback here. It's a lot bigger than some, mainly because it's designed to hold medium Langstroth frames, and I'm planning to use some 1x11" boards for the sides.

    I've been reading that the total volume should be about the same as three deep supers, or a little more. In round numbers, this one is 9" deep, 24.5" across at the top, and 14.5" across at the bottom. At 48" long, that makes about 8,500 cubic inches, or about 140 liters. That's not huge, right?

    The idea with the medium frames is that I can do a hybrid approach, perhaps even put a medium super on top of that part of the TBH -- to install a nuc, to make splits, etc. This idea started with two videos at the Barefoot Beekeeper website,

    Converting from Frames to Top-Bars the Easy Way (Two Parts)

    So I had a idea to put a sort of half-box (cutting the box diagonally) for 14" along the insides of the TBH, to hold a set of Langstroth frames. Allowing for ~3/8" beespace at the lower corners of the frames, angling the walls at 60 degrees, and using the 11" boards, produces the following design:



    I can peg the half-boxes on the edge of the TBH, and drop the medium frames down between them, I think. I might let the bees put comb on the bottom of the frames, or put a false floor 3/8" below (not shown in the diagram).

    But most of the TBH, or all of it, will be regular top bars, with comb up to 9" deep and 24" across at the top. Too big?

    The vertical parts of the half-boxes are two layers of 3/8" plywood, offset to create a 5/8" deep perch for the ends of the frames. I figure I can put screws through the plywood into the horizontal bar, and (not shown) plug in the triangular space at each end. (I'm looking at construction details, pdfs from here on BeeSource, for the specs.) In effect, it's sort of an inside-out box to hold the frames.

    I think it's not as complicated as it looks. Wondering what problems people see. If the space under the half-boxes is closed in, does that create a refuge for vermin? If I leave it open and the bees go under there, can I hope that they'll patrol for vermin, and I can leave whatever they decide to build down there (until I take it all out)?

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    You really don't need sloped sides. Adds a lot of hassle to using lang frames. The bees aren't fooled by sloped sides and attach anyway.

    Cornell thinks bees prefer 40 liters. (I guess it makes sense the European bees would be on the metric system)

    This is my solution to the same problem. http://www.box.net/shared/hkefz3qcic

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Thanks, Zonker. I'm a newbie and wide open to discussion.

    One thing I heard is that sloped sides make it easier to cut the bars with comb attached on the sides, and pull them without banging them on the sides. Also that a longer bar at the top has a better hold on the comb.

    The Compleate Idiot's Guide says to "think in terms of three deep Langstroth boxes (about 7,800 cubic inches)." I've seen some stuff around the web that says 'natural' hives (the kind bees build for themselves) can be a lot smaller, like maybe 40-60 liters, but 7800 cubic inches is about 128 liters.

    I'm also wondering, with this design, if the bees in it would have advantages or disadvantages in getting through the winter. The closer to round, the less surface area for the amount of volume... But might they get lost, divide up, in such a large round space?

    Here's the link to the SketchUp model (finally figured how to post it). I'll look for discussion of it here.
    Last edited by Kofu; 03-16-2011 at 02:55 PM.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Anyone interested may like to know that I have just finished a revision of the FREE ebook - How To Build A Toip Bar Hive - which is now available from here:

    http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/h...ar-hive/815182
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Terlingua, Texas, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Here's a super simple, super cheap version made from a barrel:

    http://www.velacreations.com/bees.html

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Fluvanna County, Virginia
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    I really didn't really plan to have this shape of a top bar hive, but when the top bar that I purchased on ebay turned out to be (what I considered to be) too shallow, I added a riser (with extra windows). The bees seem happy, and haven't attached to the sides much - the one place that they did attach was where the queen cage was hanging next to the glass when I installed the package this spring. Having windows on both sides makes it really easy to get enough light to see what they're doing - and it gives me access to both sides of the cluster.

    I should say I'm very new to beekeeping, so this is completely untested, but the bees that reside in the hive look pretty happy. You can see the hive at www.mybeegarden.com.

    -- Susan

  8. #28

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Mine are extremely basic, made for someone who is at best a hack carpenter. All you need is a table saw and driver drill:
    http://www.sparkybeegirl.com/ktbs-plans-new.pdf
    I have never attached the legs, mine sit on aluminum stands ( weded together by my boyfriend and sitting in ant moats as the ants are dreadful here in the Bay Area of California
    Some pictures here:
    http://www.rogueruby.com/beepix.html
    Happy Beekeeping! Ruby

    4 top bar hives: two in oakland, two in san anselmo all thriving!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Bartow,FL<USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Good dezigns evrey1 . kenny61, I realy like your roof . WildBronco , your dezign is concidered a long hive . It shold offer top bar manipulation with lang compatability So if that is what you want, go for it . The roof may be slopet for snow , but down here in FL that space will give a place for pest to live . Frames are still a good idea, I have notised wth my honey bars some attachment to the sides.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Here is nice top bar designed by my brother in law, let me know what you guys think about it?

    1. Cedar boxes
    2. Green treated Legs
    3. 8/1 screen on bottom
    4. Bottom board swings down for cleaning
    5. Pine framing for roof structure
    6. Cedar Roof
    7. Viewing window w/ removable cover
    8. Entrance on end w/ landing board
    9. Vented roof
    10. 2 blank follower boards
    11. 1 feeder follower board
    12. 14 hooped frames
    13. 14 blank 1 1/4" top boards








  11. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted




  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Seems like, if the bees have a chance to get in to the area above the bars, they'll hang a lot of comb from inside the roof.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    I think your bother in law is assume. I particularly love the top bars he made. I would suggest a pair of gable vents in the roof to keep the attic dry in the winter.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Zonker View Post
    I think your bother in law is assume. I particularly love the top bars he made. I would suggest a pair of gable vents in the roof to keep the attic dry in the winter.
    The roof is vented, original design used two round holes on either side with screening...the bars were designed so that we can re-use, meaning uncapped the honey comb, then use centrifuge to harvest the honey, also more stable comb, no sticking to the sides of the hive.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Kofu View Post
    Seems like, if the bees have a chance to get in to the area above the bars, they'll hang a lot of comb from inside the roof.
    No chance, sealed, very tight tolerances.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Driggs, ID
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Here is my latest TBH design. T-Slant TBH design. I have slanted the hive and have cut steps for the bars to rest in. One of these hives have overwintered last winter; this winter I have three of them. My thought on the design was that the bees would work from the top downward, but not sure there is enough of a slant to make a difference. One thing I did notice is that the bees tended not to cross the comb onto multiple bars because of the position of the bars. This is a learning experience.

    Doug

    mylocalbees.wordpress.com
    Last edited by My Local Bees; 12-26-2011 at 09:30 PM. Reason: Broken link

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,453

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    >My thought on the design was that the bees would work from the top downward, but not sure there is enough of a slant to make a difference.

    In my opinion, the idea that bees won't move horizontally is a figment of the imagination of people who have never had a horizontal hive... I don't think the slant will make any difference.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    I think you missed the whole vertical thing. Just because you prop up one side does not mean that the bees are moving in a vertical plane. When people say that bees prefer to move vertical they mean in alignment when the comb. The only vertical top bar hive that I know of is the Warre hive.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Don't listen to these guys. Go for it. More than half the fun is experimenting. Your neighbors won't recognize it as a bee hive which could have big advantages.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Driggs, ID
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: TBH Designs Wanted

    Thank you for the comments. I will have more information after next season.

    Doug

    mylocalbees.wordpress.com

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