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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    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

  2. #22
    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..

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    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! :-)

  4. #24
    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

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Aguadilla - puerto rico
    Posts
    152

    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 , =)

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    I know nothing about top bar hives but I have to say that is the most extravagant one I have ever seen. I wish I had your woodworking skills!
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    suffolk county ny
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    looks awesome.....keep bees in it for a year ...work out kinks and then market it.....it looks cool...mine are very simple and humble.....good luck with it.....market it to an upscale niche and you may be on to something...

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Verner, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    Thanks again for the encouragements and support, I opted out to remove the "insulated blanket" from the design and actually insulate the first 2 inches of the attic for ease and simplicity of oppenning up the hive and not having to find a spot to drop the bulky thing on the ground :P ill post a picture tomorow, I also added a support at the back of my roof to hold it upwards without the need of the 2 chains, the front one was obstructing my first glass top, making it difficult to squeeze through. Other then that I used some lemon grass oil diluted in hot water and soaked the tips of my top bar briefly, waiting for a swarm to come or just having it ready for my bees if something goes wrong with my langstroth hive they will have somewhere to go.

    My only hive seems ok, trees are blooming finnaly and the bees are hauling nectar and pollen, and they did a nice clean up of the hive, but It's still a little chilly some are getting chilled just outside the hive, so I'm waiting a bit to actually inspect it and keep an eye on it for the BIG day when they get there new home..

    Thanks again everyone, Ill keep you posted and I'm glad the second enclosure maybe inspired a couple of people, I'm sure een in very hot climate they would enjoy them. they work hard enough maybe it's time we make an effort.

    Sincerely,
    Tommy
    Terra Vita

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Verner, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    I took some pictures this morning and here they are, 2 show the "stopper" I made to hold the roof from toppling over after removing the one chain from the way. and the others show how I insulated my Roof

    Vita Hive 8.jpg
    Vita Hive 9.jpg

    I used the rafter part of my truss design to staple some hemp fabric on the top most of it making some sort of pocket to fill up, then I thought of the problem of my cedar shavings moving all the way down and not staying in place after oppenning and closing the hive alot, so I added little strips perpendicular to the rafters making smaller pockets, Obviously I took the whole roof off to do this, then packed it with shavings and then added another layer of hemp fabric to hold everything in place giving me about 1 1/2" of insulation, I chose the hemp fabric for it's breathability and rot resistance, hope that helps..


    Vita Hive 7.jpg
    Vita Hive 10.jpg

    Tommy
    Terra Vita

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    A beauty of a hive, just beautiful. I bought a simple TBH and modified it to have a screened bottom board with cover and slot to slide sticky plastic into. I put two 8x12 covered windows in one side, next time I will mount them across from each other. Bees due in from CA next week, very late but Chinese Tallow, our big nectar producer, comes into bloom now. Here near Houston and the Gulf we have very mild winters so not much insulation needed. Venting has to be controlled to remove moisture without cooling the nest to much. I am sure everybody has that problem.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Verner, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42

    Default Update on vita hive!!

    UPDATE on my Vita Hive, I got caught and had to put my bees in earlyer then I wanted...I could not find my queen in my Lang and there were queen cells.. So I had to hurry and get to it...

    My original plan was to move my queen and 6 of my best lang frames in my top bar hive.. and have an them make comb on my bars then move the queen to the other side of my excluder...
    But now I could not locate her, so I decided to take the best 6 frames I could including some queen cells to have her be born in my top bar hive(in my lang transition box).. So I had to remove the excluder to let her take her first flight..

    Here is what's happening...

    you can see the transition box on the right where I have my lang frames with my bees.. and my top bars on the left where they have to travel to get out..
    DSC03462.JPG

    Since I dont have my exlcuder anymore they have been building comb at the entrance between the transition box and the top bar hive..
    DSC03472.JPG


    So I took advantage of them building comb in my reach...
    DSC03473.JPG
    DSC03475.JPG

    Here are the ones from the 2 last days, Iv'e been cleanning it up and attaching them on my top bars, They are gluing them already and have made there own also..
    DSC03464.JPG
    DSC03463.JPG
    DSC03465.JPG
    DSC03467.JPG

    and here is what is bringing me back to ask questions.. I thought they were queeless about a week ago.. I could not locate her... So I went to bed nervous thinking I had a laying worker..
    The day after I checked and I found no queen but ALOT of eggs and larva and none had multiple eggs in a single cell. so I decided to give them more time.. and Today I checked and this is what I saw...

    DSC03477.JPG
    DSC03478.JPG
    DSC03479.JPG
    DSC03480.JPG
    DSC03481.JPG
    DSC03482.JPG

    In your oppinion is my hive queen right, It looks as though the capped cells would be for worker bees which would mean it cannot be a laying worker..right?

    So now I'm just trying to let them build enough comb on my top bars and straight at that. and soon I will have to locate the queen and move her to the top bar side and put my excluder between the top bar side and the old lang frames stopping her from laying in there again and forcing the bees to move with her so they have time to build up before winter, because I assume keeping the lang frames which are in a different alignment would give them a hard time to move back in there for honey if they dont have time to do enough on my top bars....

    Am I on the right track?
    Tommy
    Terra Vita

  12. #32

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    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
    Check what D. Murrell observed;
    http://beenatural.wordpress.com/obse.../condensation/

    Terra Vita nice work me man, nice work

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Verner, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    very interesting article, I assume that my opening might need to be regulated a bit more then just to make sure I don't ventilate the hot humid air too quickly
    Tommy
    Terra Vita

  14. #34

    Default Re: NEW Top Bar Hive (Vita Hive)

    More on condensation, humidity, hive atmosphere in Ed.H.Clark free pdf book Constructive Beekeeping

    Kind regards, Che

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