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Thread: Modifications

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Washburn, WI, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Modifications

    It is probably wrong to complicate a simple system, but what modifications have you found useful? Windows don't benefit bees at all, but I enjoy sharing a glimpse into my TBHs. I think a wider stance would be worthwhile, and I don't know how folks feel about the standard flat bottom. What would you recommend to someone just starting out?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Modifications

    A window (assuming a shutter) may be useful to a newbee, but an observation hive in the living room would be better. I wouldn't do anything else to a top bar hive. The beauty of them is their simplicity. I have a flat bottom in most of mine, a SBB (with tray) in a couple of them but I won't put one in again...

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#ktbh
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Modifications

    I assume you are talking about Warres here, but I like sumps with a removable backing. Going to try half frames this year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Washburn, WI, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Bush_84 View Post
    I assume you are talking about Warres here, but I like sumps with a removable backing. Going to try half frames this year.
    I wasn't very clear, was I? Yes, I was asking about the Warres.

    By 'removable backing' do you mean a door/panel?

    MB- my wife isn't convinced we need an observation hive. However, we homeschool our kids and I'm making the argument there is a lot to be learned by having a hive in the house.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Modifications

    Bee TV is the best channel you can get.

    I think the simplicity argument fits either a top bar or a warre'. It is part of the appeal.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: Modifications

    The only real modification I make to my Warres that makes my life easier is drilling cork-sized holes in the back of all the boxes. I jam corks in them and then when I'm in the yard I'll pull them out to see if they need some more boxes added. If I don't see any combs hanging down I just plug the hole back up and go on my way. I'm too cheap for windows in my own Warres (though our customers have demanded them, and we provided!).

    Matt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,802

    Default Re: Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Bush_84 View Post
    but I like sumps with a removable backing.
    I am curious. What is a sump?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Susquehanna county, PA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Modifications

    I put 1/4 hardware mesh over the opening to keep garden mice out, I also used 1/8'' mesh over my quilt box to do the same.
    I use the breathable crop row covers between my quilt box and first box with the bars, I found before I did that they were building on the quilt box.
    I also elevated my base a bit to keep it off the ground and use a wide (2'') ratchet strap to hold it all in places.
    I am also going to use 1/2 frames this year. I dont put any groove or wax on my top bars.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Washburn, WI, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Cacklewack View Post
    I'm too cheap for windows in my own Warres (though our customers have demanded them, and we provided!).

    Matt
    My 15 year old assistant says the corks will do for him. I'm thinking bait hives with the time and materials I'll save skipping the windows I felt like I needed. I'll keep the hTBH to show friends and neighbors. The better half is still not convinced about that observation hive...

    I am also going to use 1/2 frames this year.
    I'm not ready to take that leap yet, perhaps related to cheap and keep it simple.
    ***************************
    I think cayenne, I think cayenne.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Susquehanna county, PA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Modifications

    The half frames were real cheap, i took a bar i use on the top cut it in half and nailed and glued to to the side of a bar. I cut all my bars from 2x4's(untreated). I was able to do a couple hundred in 3 hours.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I am curious. What is a sump?
    http://warre.biobees.com/sumps_floors_stands.htm

    I built my sump essentially out of a 1/2 Warre box. I then added a removal backing. Aka a drawer. I simply made a cut lengthwise along the back of the sump. Screwed the top (short) piece into the box and the bottom is the removable drawer. The cut made by the blade adds some give to easily remove. I have used this for Varroa and feeding. I would post a picture, but all the pictures I have of my sumps make me ashamed of the mess that is my garage.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Susquehanna county, PA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Modifications

    My floor is more like the first picture, but I did put 2x4's around the edge to give me a bit of distance from the entrence to the hive box. I have it stitting on 4x4's that go into the
    ground 16''. I also have the opening covered in wire mesh to keep the mice out since its in the garden.
    I did put in wire mesh like the third picture (the hive that is open all the way to the right), and had a pan of veggy oil in there to kill any beetles that fell through.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Washburn, WI, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Modifications

    I set up the end product today to air out before the bees arrive in April. I settled on a sump with 1/4 in mesh on the entrance and a sliding shutter on the back; an oversize cork on the back, wedge-shaped bars with dowel spacers; and a solid floor. Including a very generous donation of repurposed wood and access to machinery, plus the local paint exchange, my total investment in 2 hives was less than $6.00. I'll spend a bit to expand the electric fence. The packages, however, will run that up another $73 per hive...

    IMG_2857-1.JPG

    My assistant spent a lot of time working out the color scheme.
    ***************************
    I think cayenne, I think cayenne.

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