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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
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    178

    Default Easy Topbar Frame

    Just playing with some ideas. This is split wood cane, soaked and bent around a frame and dried. Its really flexible side to side but sturdy tangentially, so should do well once comb is attached on the sides. Also, should help with attachment to the sides of the box I'm thinking. Think this will work?

    topbarframe.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    This is awesome, Beev, and I'm glad to see it, as I had discussed this very thing with a friend last winter but never tried it. Can you describe your process a bit more? Is it just pine? Did you make a form that takes necessary bee space around the outside into account?

    Thanks for the image. Looks sweet.

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
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    178

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    Thanks Adam. I made a form from 3/4" ply, using a follower as a pattern, and then sized it down to allow for bee space. The material is split cane, used for making cane bottomed chairs. I just soaked it in hot water for several minutes, wedged one end, wrapped it around the form then wedged the other end and allowed it to dry overnight. I then just made a saw kerf on either side of the comb guide and slipped in the ends to attach the frame.

    The cane is only 1/16" thick and is kinda flimsy. Quartersawn pine 1/8"-3/16" thick would be more ridged, although you would probably need to steam it to get it to bend successfully, and then you would need to over-bend to allow for spring-back.

    You could also laminate the thin strips on a form but then it ceases to be "easy", although that might be fun to try.

    Keith

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    how ridge is it? ridge enough to keep its shape and support the comb? This seems perfect if it is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    Zonker, Tangentially, it's pretty ridged, enough so you could flip the comb over if it was attached well. What I wonder is if empty frames will hold their shape during hot humid weather. I intend to make a few and see how they do this summer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Taos, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    Just wondering if you have used any of these yet and how they a working, it's an interesting idea.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    I have some ready but not used yet. The TBH I made them for gets a new package in about two weeks. I will be sure and post a follow up.
    Integrity - Doing the right thing when no one is watching.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,447

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    I like it. Simple and effective.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,643

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    You are disqualified from the topbar movement. Welcome to the frame hive society.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    It seems to me that the frame piece is unnecessary. But, what the heck ... maybe it's a momentous discovery and you're the inventor. Let us know what the bees think of your brainchild.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    43,447

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    It is very nice to have a few frames to tie any errant or fallen combs into.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    It is very nice to have a few frames to tie any errant or fallen combs into.
    ... 'tis true, indeed.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,643

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    It is very nice to have a few frames to tie any errant or fallen combs into.
    You are disqualified from the topbar movement. Welcome to the frame hive society.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    You are disqualified from the topbar movement. Welcome to the frame hive society.
    But because the strip is just pressed into a saw kerf, it is easily removed if it is not needed. Therefore, it should be classified as a convertible top bar. Can I still be in the movement?
    Integrity - Doing the right thing when no one is watching.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    odfrank is correct if you use this as standard in your TBHs. At that point it is just a variation of a long hive. If you use this for collapsed comb or cut outs then I'd say that's different. A top bar hive is only a top bar hive if you use top bars. If you alter the top bar into a frame then it's not a top bar anymore, but again if you don't use that standard in you TBH then I'd still classify it as a TBH.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    Ahh, the beauty of the whole thing is that there's always room for experimentation to see what "the girls" seem to like best. Is this-or-that thing a useful improvement for the bees and/or for the beekeper? If we do give then a top-bar with the addition of a curved wooden board around the outside, what will the bees do with it? Only one way to find out. Maybe it has unforeseen problems of squishing the bees between the edge of the frame and the sides of the box. Or, maybe, it makes the whole thing a lot stronger. I'll be very interested to see how this particular experiment pans out; or doesn't.

    TBH most-of-all says to the bees, "you must build your own combs." And it tries to give them a better space to put it in. Everything else ... size of top bar, size of box, how many entrances, where to put them, de dah de dah de dah ... is "blissful experimentation." And everything, in the end, is the product of, "it worked for me."

    If it works: tell about it.
    If it doesn't: eat the honey anyway.


    Peace.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,447

    Default Re: Easy Topbar Frame

    >You are disqualified from the topbar movement. Welcome to the frame hive society.

    Hmmm.... I've had hives with frames for the last 38 years and have 200 of them now... I think I'm already in...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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