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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Verner, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42

    Default NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    Hello my name is Tommy,

    I have been working on this concept for a couple of months, rough sketches,drawn plans for dimensional uses, 3d model to work out the engineering problems and finnaly the building process. I will be posting pictures of the 3d model and the final beehive in my yard :P

    I still have time to make modifications if needed, my primary goal is to go through the concept with you guys to nit pick at it and make sure it's ok..

    But please note I had the material, equipment and also hands on skill to do this project it might be considered over the top for the "producers/farmers" with that said I only want the one hive for personal uses. the production cost would be too much. most of this material was on hand, it cost me around 300$ (115$ for 6 of the glass I did not cut myself, 40$ish for Caulking/glues and around 150$ for the Cedar T&G planks and shigles for the roof) all the rest of the wood was sawmilled by my father several years ago, and I had to plane, rip, glue, nail and cut all these from rough lumber.

    -100% Cedar
    - 40 Top Bars
    - Inner / Outer core
    - Glass Tops (Double Pane)
    - 2" Insulation (Used the shavings from the planing)
    - 2" Insulated blanket for glass tops (100% Hemp stuffed with Cedar shavings)

    Here are the models iv'e done in 3d
    Vita Hive 3D 1.jpg
    Vita Hive 3D 2.jpg

    This one is a cut out of my hive to better show the concept for venting and the core.
    Vita Hive 3D 3.jpg

    Here is the completed Vita Hive (you will see I have made a quick box in there to transfer my bees from my langstroth hive to this more easily..)
    Vita Hive 1.jpg
    Vita Hive 2.jpg
    Vita Hive 3.jpg
    Vita Hive 4.jpg
    Vita Hive 5.jpg
    Vita Hive 6.jpg

    sorry about the long post.. guess after all that work it's show time :P

    Thanks in advance
    Tommy
    Terra Vita

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,760

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    Very nice work, but what is the purpose of the glass? Do the top bars butt together? Is that some kind of divider board in there? John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Verner, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    The glass serves for observation mostly, there will be a insulated blanket on top to cast out light, the bars do butt to eachother, it's a langstroth hybrid like bar :P the bees enter over the bars should help for venting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,760

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    ok, so there is a bee space between the bars just like in a Lang hive? What are those divider boards inside, or am I not seeing something right?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Verner, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    There is a divider board to increase the size of the hive, so it's easier for them to heat/cool, and if your talking about the middle part, that is temporary to transfer my bees from my existing langstroth hive to this, basicaly I can take 6 lang frames and put them in here to strart it off.. it should basically be all top bars after I introduce my bees in there..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,760

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    Terra Vita, ok now I understand. That would be cool to actually watch the bees coming into the hive and walking across the tops of the bars before they go down between the combs. Just hope the bee space is accurate between the glass and the top bars. The insulation on top of the glass will be a must during the winter, otherwise you could get condensation forming on the glass and dripping down on the cluster. I'm still not sure that wouldn't happen anyways, the glass won't absorb any moisture obviously. John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,196

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    Quote Originally Posted by Terra Vita View Post
    my primary goal is to go through the concept with you guys to nit pick at it and make sure it's ok..
    Once you get bees in it, they'll nit pick it and you'll know what things you did right, and what things you wish you would have done differently!
    Regards, Barry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    581

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    Tommy

    That looks fantastic and way over the top. I expect the complete secondary enclosure will help them keep warm and doubt condensation will be an issue since you have double pane glass. I would go as is and watch.

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Verner, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    I thought of a way to minimize the chance of the bees glueing my top bars to my tops where the meet together, I'll just bend a couple of flashing to cover the edge and that should give them almost nothing to glue on.. I'll try that today maybe and update you guys with a picture maybe..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    I mix melted beeswax with olive oil until, when cooled to room temperature, it reaches about the consistency of Crisco/Vegetable Shortening/Rendered Lard. My wife & I originally invented this substance as a hand salve (the tiniest amount of it works GREAT to smooth & soothe dry, cracking skin), but it also works quite well, used in VERY conservative amounts, for "lubricating" things you don't want the bees to stick together. You can mix it a little thicker, so it'll still be "solid" enough to not stick to the bees as they walk on it, but "soft" enough for you to easily break the seal, and the propolis shouldn't affect this property any.


    Good luck, and post some pics with bees in there, I want to see the pretty hive, with a big, pretty colony inside! :-)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Verner, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    Rob, That is a great idea, we make salves as well but never thought of using that for this...I will definately try that.

    Thank you!

    Tommy
    Terra Vita

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Aguadilla - puerto rico
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    tommy , your hive is just plain awesome, love the design , i have a engineering back ground from school and i could tell you , it hads to be one of the best design i seen so far, im new to beekeeping and i decided to go top bar , i think the langstroth hive disturb the bees too much. by taking it apart, if the top bar could take nomal 19 inch frame then i think it way better then a langstroth behive , going to base my top bar to yours with a few mods of my own, keep posting those pictures , i also want to see it with bees, good luck , =)

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