Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: new to top bar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default new to top bar

    I currently have 12 lang hives and have been saying I'd like to try a toop bar. Well, due to a friend wanting one, I decided to build two and will put bees in mine this weekend. I used Michael Bush's simple design, and will post how things go.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,996

    Default Re: new to top bar

    Sounds good... Let us know how it goes...

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default Re: new to top bar

    Well, the hive is level and on saw horses. I put the bees in today and released the queen into the hive. It was hard to find info, so I put 10 frames on one side where I put the bees, and plenty of syrup on the other side of a follower board I made, with room for them to go underneath to access. fingers crossed and will keep a close watch on them.
    http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x...e/102_1474.jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: new to top bar

    Until I looked closer I thought you had speakers set up for the bees favorite music. Good luck with your top bar I am have a good time with mine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Gillespie County, Texas
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: new to top bar

    I'm almost as new as you. My bees have been in 2 weeks this thursday. Way to go!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default Re: new to top bar

    Quote Originally Posted by rtoney View Post
    Until I looked closer I thought you had speakers set up for the bees favorite music. Good luck with your top bar I am have a good time with mine.
    I didn't put boards in the top of the sawhorse bracket so the legs would spread a little wider and the whole thing would sit slightly lower for more stability.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    St Croix County, WI, USA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: new to top bar

    Now that would be something toexperiment with. I play music for the vegetable plants, they reward me every fall.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default Re: new to top bar

    I did a quick peak to check the feeder today (June 10th) It was almost empty so I refilled it then lifted an end of a few frames in the "brood" side of the box. Bees were festooning in what looked to be the right direction, and I did get a look at some comb that they were building. It was on the center of the bar and going the right way, so it looks like they are off to a good start

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: new to top bar

    I have made my top bar hives able to fit foundationless deep frames too. That is something you might play with in the future. Best of both worlds, so to speak. Your hive looks great!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default Re: new to top bar

    I checked today, July 1st and the bees have comb completed on 10 bars and are working on 11 and 12. It's all nice and straight and where it should be. I'm happy about that. Here's a link to the photo I took:http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x...e/102_1529.jpg

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: new to top bar

    Wow...looks great...I think I saw a mite though.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    salt lake county, utah
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: new to top bar

    Great pic! I think i will be building me a top bar hive soon as well. I think I will build on KTBH and a 2 TTBHs one that will take medium foundationless frames and one that will take deep foundationless frames.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: new to top bar

    One question I have about TBH (yeah, I'll be building one this winter) Would it be worth the effort to build a full frame for the bars? I'm crushing and straining the comb, so extractors aren't a problem. I guess the obvious answer is, if they were needed, they'd be there.

    Actually, another question comes to mind. What keeps them from connecting to the sides or bottom?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Postville, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: new to top bar

    Some folks do build full frames, but I'd say that's the exception, not the rule, from what I've seen here. My two TBHs only have top bars, no frames.

    Nothing keeps the bees from connecting comb to the sides or bottom except their desire for bee space. So far (this is my first year) I have not seen any comb connection to the bottom at all. Honey comb tends to be connected to the sides in the top 1/3 to 1/2. Below that the comb tends to be free of the sides. Brood comb might be connected for, oh, maybe an inch or so at the top. Others with more experience might have different observations, however.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: new to top bar

    They just don't. They don't have any real reason to do strong connections to the top or bottom. They want to be able to get from comb to comb and a natural comb (as you have in a top bar) has no gaps at the top so traffic is on the sides and bottom. It's best to cut the sides loose as you go but they are usually not very attached.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: new to top bar

    @ Michael, DeeAnna - I guess that's what I should have guessed. They don't connect it because...they don't. When will I ever stop trying to second guess them and decide to make this easy. Just let the bees be bees. They will figure it out....

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Gillespie County, Texas
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: new to top bar

    So what about the Tanzanian hives...aren't they squared? Do they build to the sides and bottoms? I'm debating which type we'll build next...I'm so new, I haven't done an inspection yet (my bees have been with me 8 weeks) and don't know if they've attached to the sides yet. I'd really appreciate your input folks. We'll be building in the next few weeks. My hive now is not sloped.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Postville, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: new to top bar

    See Michael Bush and my earlier replies -- they also apply to TTBHs. The bees need room to move around in the hive. Makes no difference whether the sides slope (Kenya) or are straight up & down (Tanzanian).

    Some people apparently cut the comb attachments, but I just gently wiggle the bar free until the comb attachments break and I can lift the bar. I don't scrape off the bits of comb stuck to the sides of the hive. I don't do this to encourage the bees to reattach the comb to the sides again. I think that is a good thing -- the attachments give the comb more strength.

    You say it's been 8 weeks since your install and you haven't yet inspected your hive (I'm assuming it's some kind of TBH). You may also be dealing with a lot of cross combing in your hive (building comb across the bars, rather than along the bars). Side attachment may be the least of your worries at this point, to be honest. Be careful of working any TBH in the heat, but especially a deep TTBH. New comb is very fragile, especially when filled with honey or nectar and handled on a hot day.

    A TTBH comb is more likely to break than a KTBH comb, all other things being equal. The sloped combs in a KTBH have to carry less weight at each end of the comb, which reduces (but doesn't eliminate!) the tendency of the comb to break off the bar. I have read that beekeepers in hot climates sometimes also make the hive (KTBH or TTBH) an inch or two shallower than most plans call for, so the comb isn't so deep and heavy.

    There are some good videos on youTube to watch by Texas beekeeper "outofabluesky". Also look up information by southwestern beekeeper Marty Hardison.

    I started 2 KTBHs this spring as a new beekeeper, and I have already encountered the "thrill" of having a soft new comb neatly peel off its bar. The break starts at one end and .... zzzziiiippppp! .... off it falls.
    Last edited by DeeAnna; 07-11-2011 at 08:20 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Gillespie County, Texas
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: new to top bar

    Okay, I must correct one thing. I haven't done an "official" inspection. About 3 weeks in, I discovered my bees were going into a hole between the pull out bottom drawer through the "too large" mesh screen. I repaired that and had to move my comb in reverse order by the front entry. (Instructions were given by several experienced beeks on this and the facebook organic top bar site.) So, I know I don't have cross combs at this stage due to that time of drama and by looking through the window. I was told to leave them bee if all was going well. I believe all is well at this stage.
    We're presently in the worst drought, and stage 4 water restrictions here in the Hill Country of Texas. Stage 5 restrictions will restrict me from watering my garden at all. This worries me for my garden and ultimately my bees and their foraging, so I'm leaving them bee....for now. Our temps are also above 100 every day now, so I also have no desire to mess with their combs right now.
    I will check other threads with you and Michael. I do watch the youtubes of outofabluesky! love them!
    thanks for your input DeeAnna

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,996

    Default Re: new to top bar

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeAnna View Post
    ...Some people apparently cut the comb attachments, but I just gently wiggle the bar free until the comb attachments break and I can lift the bar...
    As the comb gets filled with honey, the attachments become larger; often the thickness of the comb and 4 or five inches near the top along the sides. You have to cut them, as they are way to strong to wiggle loose. But that's later in the year.

    Adam

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