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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Almost done; some questions...

    My son and I are almost done building our TBH. He did most of the cutting and fastening of the main hive and helped (a bit) cutting bars and comb guides.

    Here's how it is so far:


    I used the basic plan on Michael Bush's site with a few changes. The bottom board is a 1x8 instead of 1x6, and I widened the top to 17" to keep the same angles. I screwed in a spacer bar at both ends creating a 1/4" space (I plan to use holes as the entrance, rather than just leaving a gap because I intend to use a full cover). Hopefully, the bees will like it well enough to stick around.

    Clearly there's more to do, namely make some sort of cover, paint, and an entrance for the bees would probably come in handy. I also want to tie the legs together side to side and then front to back to provide better support as they're just screwed into the 1x end boards and there's a bit of flex in that direction. I'm working on a feeder, but if I goober that up too much, I can always use baggies on the bottom board, so I'm not too worked up about that.

    Thinking about the roof, I was initially thinking I'd want some sort of pitched roof for the look, but a neighbor pointed out that our HOA can be a pain in the butt when they want to be. A flat roof would allow me to put a few flower pots on top and disguise it as a flower box (that's the theory, at least). But on the other hand, I still like the pitched roof idea. I plan to plant bushes around it in the spot of the yard I want it, and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts of what bushes I might get that would 1) grow tall and full enough to serve as a visual and wind break, and possibly also 2) have some flowers that that bees could use anyway. Climate wise, I live in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, which is that little area in the Northeast part of the state tucked in between VA and MD.

    There's a two+ acre common area behind my property that isn't used for anything and only gets mowed a few times over the summer. I was wondering if it'd be worthwhile getting a bag or two of white clover seeds and broadcasting them there. I wouldn't be able to actually work the ground, just broadcast the seeds and hope for the best. But not if the all I would accomplish is feeding the local birds and mice the seed. If it's a good idea, when should I do it?

    So... that's it so far. Hope it works. It been fun anyway. My 'day job' has me sitting behind a desk but I never 'make' anything. So I enjoy building things now and then just so I have something tangible I can knock on and say "I built that."

    Hope everyone had a good Holiday!

    Bruce

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    Looks good....I can't respond to any questions about the TBH, since I use the traditional type, but in reference to broadcasting seeds in vacant fields...I can give my advise. I go to all of the vacant lots, easements, fields, etc. around my house, and within 1 mile, and spread Vetch and Clover over all of them. I do the Vetch in the winter and Clover in early spring. Since doing that for a couple of years, there is a large selection of necter for the bees near my house. I haven't heard of anyone complaining and this is all city land that gets mowed only twice a year. Good luck and spread some seeds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    Thanks! I'll plan to spread some seed in a while.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    Sounds like you have enjoyed the holiday project..We live in Greensboro, NC, but have kids who live in Frederick, Maryland, so we travel throught your town from time to time. I am a first year TBH'er so thougth I'd suggest a few novice ideas.

    I started with one hive and someone recommended you should always start with two, so you can compare the differences, behavior, etc. I figured that out quickly and now actually have 3 and live in a very urban neighborhood, and so far too many bees have not been a problem for us, or the neighbors. Finding nector seems to not been a problem, but I'm sure they would appreciate your help in seeding common areas for convenient harvesting.

    Having multiple hives was very helpful in observing the uniqueness of each hive, but more importantly, should one be slow and need some help, you might can move a few bars from one to the other, etc. If you make a second, be sure to keep your bars consistent size for ease of tranfer and inventory of spars. I found that out the hard way and now am considering building some replacements hives and standardizing. Your decision to make larger capacity was a good one, and that is direction I am now going. Good luck and we'll look for some new bees in the springtime in WV..

    I've attached a pictue of my first hive just after we put the the box in last spring. Have fun.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,115

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    Is your Hive a TBH or a KTBH
    From the legs makes me think it a KTBH


    Tommyt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    As I said, I'm a novice, but as I understand the Kenyan Hive has slopped sides, and the Tanzanian has vertical sides. So, mine has slopped sides, thus I guess that means I have a KTBH. Thanks for the clarification...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Woodlawn, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    About seeding, some oldtimer wisdom was to sow the clover on top of a blanket of snow. The seeds will be "pulled down" with the spring snow melt and the freeze-thaw cycle creates minor fissures in the topsoil to bring seed into ground contact, which will be important in areas you cannot till.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by standman View Post
    About seeding, some oldtimer wisdom was to sow the clover on top of a blanket of snow. The seeds will be "pulled down" with the spring snow melt and the freeze-thaw cycle creates minor fissures in the topsoil to bring seed into ground contact, which will be important in areas you cannot till.
    Oldtimer wisdom is often the best. Thanks for the tip.

    And to tommyt - mine is also a KTBH.

    B

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    I'd go with the flat top and the flower pots...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I'd go with the flat top and the flower pots...
    Yeah, that's what I'll be doing. One of the reasons we moved to WV was to get away from the nosy, busy-body attitude of pain in the rear HOA-types. Seems they followed us. I think these sorts of folks didn't get their butts kicked enough growing up and never learned to mind their own business. Hmmmph.

    B

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,115

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...



    http://www.youtube.com/user/Wtektonik#g/a


    Here one that fits in the yard I wish I was this talented
    This is all in Polish I have no clue what he says but he is well worth watching working bees
    and you will be able to see the inside of his box's
    The guy is a keeper and Talented wood and metal man
    Unfortunately he has bad neighbors and those hives you see are gone due too ordinances


    Tommyt

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    I saw that polish one...amazing work.

    Another question.... How high do most of you prefer you hives to be? As it is now, I think mine may be a bit too high, with the bars about belly button high on me. When I built it, I expected to have to trim the legs to get it level, but danged if it's not perfectly level on my first try. My inclination is the if the bars were just at the point where I had to bend slightly to grab a bar, then there'd be plenty of room above to work once I straightened back up.

    I found an RV repair shop who'll give me used rubber roofing material to put on the flat top.

    B

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Huntersville, NC
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlinspop View Post
    Yeah, that's what I'll be doing. One of the reasons we moved to WV was to get away from the nosy, busy-body attitude of pain in the rear HOA-types. Seems they followed us. I think these sorts of folks didn't get their butts kicked enough growing up and never learned to mind their own business. Hmmmph.

    B
    Merlinspop, I am one move behind you. I have vowed to never move to a house with an HOA again.
    Thanks,
    Will

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    407

    Default Re: Almost done; some questions...

    Merlinspop,
    I've built 2 of this design TBH and also placed them on stands. The top bars are about an inch below belly button level on me and I find that height very comfortable to work. Yours should be fine.
    Barry
    KC9TER

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