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  1. #1
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    Default Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

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    I actually had the idea to do this the other day but it looks like others have beaten me to it.

    Have any of you ever seen these before?

    I wonder why he created the wire-enclosed area below the hives?....I guess they are actually chicken coops also?








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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

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    I found a Facebook page on how to construct these - sans the chicken coop area:

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?not...69351279785887


    More information: http://velacreations.com/bees.html

    More photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/velacre...7622528453587/

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    I don't see anything inherently wrong with the setup, though I'd personally recommend using the steel barrels; those plastic ones can have one HECK of a smell to them when they're fresh, and it seems to "soak into" just about anything that gets near 'em, especially when they get hot. ...That and of course, there's pretty much no way to make a frame to fit in there for attaching feral comb to (I do a lot of cut-outs)...but still seems quite workable.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

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    robherc, that's a good point about the smell. It would probably have to be shaded somewhat.

    I have two free barrels in my garage right now that I was going to use for more rainbarrels, but probably won't. I have enough of those.

    I am salivating at the thought of this idea, however.

    But as you said, I'll have to figure out a solution to:
    Last edited by Barry; 03-26-2014 at 10:02 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

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    My barrels didn't have anything in them but carnuba wax for fruit in their industrial application.

    There were no chemicals in them. It was the type that's straight from the trees.

    Anyhow, I'm not sure if you meant the smell from the plastic itself or the contents that may have been in the barrels previously.

  7. #7
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    Just the way the TBHs in Africa were first built. Other than being made from plastic w/ plastic corrugated roofing being plastic, rather than metal the photos look exactly like the first TBHs I saw back in 1984 in Ohio.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  8. #8
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

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    My barrel-hive project has officially begun !!!

    I've sawed the barrel in half and cut off the top ring on one of the barrels. I have a gentleman who wants one of these on his property and will pay me for it. He will trade goat's milk for me tending the hive also:


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    .
    Have any of you ever seen these before?

    I wonder why he created the wire-enclosed area below the hives?....I guess they are actually chicken coops also?
    Yes, those are my hive/coops.

    Was inspired by the idea of chicken tractors to maximize our space utilization and combine the chicken coops with the bee hives. The bees don't seem to be active until after 9am and until about 5pm so plenty of time to do work with the chickens when the bees are not zooming around.

    I wrote some posts describing the process of building them and why:
    http://www.independencehomestead.com...top-bar-hives/
    http://www.independencehomestead.com...-hive-add-ons/
    http://www.independencehomestead.com...aise-chickens/
    http://www.independencehomestead.com...chicken-coops/

    I have a lot more pictures available too if anyone is interested or has questions.
    www.IndependenceHomestead.com - Gaining Independence Daily

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    those plastic ones can have one HECK of a smell to them when they're fresh, and it seems to "soak into" just about anything that gets near 'em, especially when they get hot.
    We bought these from http://novabarrel.com/ they were totally clean and had no smell at all when we bought them (and they had been sitting in a hot storage locker).

    Prior to putting our package bees in the hives I wiped them down with a damp rag and then spread some lemongrass essential oil around, leaving the swab with the oil in the back of the hive on the other side of the divider.


    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    That and of course, there's pretty much no way to make a frame to fit in there for attaching feral comb to (I do a lot of cut-outs)
    After just 3 weeks the bees already have 9 top bars about half filled with comb and 7 of them filled with brood comb. Started with totally clean top bars with just a little melted beeswax brushed on the bottom.
    Last edited by Barry; 03-26-2014 at 10:03 PM. Reason: images too large
    www.IndependenceHomestead.com - Gaining Independence Daily

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by georgeIDH View Post
    We bought these from http://novabarrel.com/ they were totally clean and had no smell at all when we bought them (and they had been sitting in a hot storage locker).

    Prior to putting our package bees in the hives I wiped them down with a damp rag and then spread some lemongrass essential oil around, leaving the swab with the oil in the back of the hive on the other side of the divider.
    Cool, glad I was wrong there. I'd been imagining some pretty narsty smelling honey & hoping that hadn't happened.

    After just 3 weeks the bees already have 9 top bars about half filled with comb and 7 of them filled with brood comb. Started with totally clean top bars with just a little melted beeswax brushed on the bottom.
    Yeah, I wasn't intending to question the usability as a hive there... guess that comment was more just a talking to myself thing. Meant that I didn't see much way to make it work for my cut-outs as I can't get feral comb to stay put on full-width Top Bars for anything


    BTW, nice comb, and great ingenuity!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by georgeIDH View Post
    Yes, those are my hive/coops.
    GREAT !!!! I'm glad you found this thread.

    I'm about to dive into the links you provided, but first off just want to make sure you used a 55 gal barrel. That's what I sliced in half already. It just seems such a wide space for top bars to travel across.

    Also, do you have any sort of follower board? I would think it would be tricky to make a follower board for this design because of the extra space on the sides of the barrel below the frame width.

    Also (and I know I still need to see your links) What exactly is the white attachment you have on the entrance? Is it an entrance reducer and/or landing board.....or?

    Thanks so much for your guidance on this.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    first off just want to make sure you used a 55 gal barrel. That's what I sliced in half already. It just seems such a wide space for top bars to travel across.
    Yes, I believe my top bars are about 24 inches in length (maybe 26). Got the barrel from this place: http://novabarrel.com/

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    Also, do you have any sort of follower board? I would think it would be tricky to make a follower board for this design because of the extra space on the sides of the barrel below the frame width.
    Yes, but I actually drilled a lot of holes in it so the bees can still go through and there are gaps on the edges for bees to pass through. I also did not put top bars on the other side of it, just my plywood cover (under the roof) over the feeder I used with the sugar water. The bees went through and devoured the syrup but did not attempt to make any comb on the plywood cover, they stuck to making comb in the sectioned off area with top bars present.
    IMG_20120316_112313-225x300.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    What exactly is the white attachment you have on the entrance? Is it an entrance reducer and/or landing board.....or?
    Yes its an entrance reducer. I painted some designs on each to be different so the bees could use that to help differentiate between the two hives. Its a removable piece of plywood cut in a triangle"ish" shape that I can just drill different size holes in depending on how big I want the entrance to be.

    Honestly I don't know how necessary it is yet. The first couple days I didn't even have it installed. I made the whole about 1 inch diameter and reinstalled it recently and they are using it fine still. Hopefully will mitigate chance of stealing allow the bees to protect their entrance better if need arises.
    www.IndependenceHomestead.com - Gaining Independence Daily

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    .

    georgeIDH,

    MAN, I'm glad you found this thread. And from the looks of it, you only have about 5 posts. How did you find this thread? Have you been lurking on these forums without saying much and then stumbled on this thread? "I gots to know" (quoting Dirty Harry scene)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    Considering his join date is this month, I'm kinda guessing he caught the thread while doing a Google search to see if anyone'd copied his barrel hive idea yet, then joined so he could enlighten us about his design.
    ...Kinda like I started noticing Beesource.com threads coming up everytime I googled ANYTHING to do with bees...read for months, then finally decided I needed to say something in one, so I joined.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    .
    How did you find this thread? Have you been lurking on these forums without saying much and then stumbled on this thread?
    Just browsing the forum. Our mentor had been recommending the forum for a while but I was too busy building the hive/coops and getting our bees setup to spend time talking about them.

    I'm finally getting caught up on all my blog entries about the process and so have a little more time to give back to the community.
    www.IndependenceHomestead.com - Gaining Independence Daily

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    .

    Today the person whom I'm building this hive for gave me some 2 x 4s so I could start building it for him.

    I only have the legs done so far:







    .

  18. #18
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    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    We are right across the river from you in Jefferson Co WV. I think putting the chickens under the coop might have the added benefit of whenever a small hive beetle larva drops out it will be picked right off once the chickens learn what they are, and all their scratching around under the hive will be sure to dislodge any that make it to the ground? WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

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    georgeIDH, you just KNEW I was going to be coming back with questions, right?

    Regarding the follower board, did you just glue it to the side of the top bar.....or?....(Edit): Just answered my own question from looking at the photo you have on Facebook:



    Regarding the slit/screened bottom, how do you feel about it at this point? I know you said you would have made it longer. Also, as far as the screen, do you still stand by that being there as opposed to fully open? Being a newb, I wasn't sure if it would be better to catch the bugs that fall or let them just drop out. I know it's mainly for ventilation, but just seeing what you thought about it all at this point.

    Regarding the entrance size, I haven't taken out the original cap yet, but I was debating on whether or not to have it that full size vs just hole-sawing a slightly smaller hole for the purpose you mentioned - protecting against raids. And on the same topic as the entrance, would you recommend I add a landing ramp or just let them tough-it-out and land on the side or right in the entrance? Should I watch out making them TOO comfy? I don't want any welfare bees on my hands.

    Do you still feel good about your roof setup? Why didn't you use the tin roof that they have on their design? (Edit): I just read the following from your blog:

    Some guides use tin roof for the top bar hives. I found this rubber based material at Lowes for less than the cost of a tin roof and hopefully will not be as hot to touch to keep the temperature in the hives more manageable.

    Should I paint mine mauve or lavender?

    .
    Last edited by PatBeek; 04-24-2012 at 07:42 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    .

    WOW, that's a small entrance with that reducer.

    Do you still use one that small, or is that for special occasions, such as winter time?
    Last edited by Barry; 03-26-2014 at 10:04 PM. Reason: image too large

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