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  1. #21
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    Jan 2012
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    Lakeland, FL USA
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    827

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

    .

    I just thought of another question.

    Regarding your plywood cover over the top bars, how has that worked out so far? It seems to me that as the hive expands that you would have to keep resizing boards because you have one that's over the top bars and another over the remaining unused portion that has no top bars.

    Please fill us in.

    .

  2. #22
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    Apr 2012
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    Loudoun County, Virginia USA
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    12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by WVMJ View Post
    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
    I don't know how small the beetle larva are but I have window screening on the bottom of my hives so they may not be able to fall through that. I was certainly thinking along the same lines that chickens would eat dead bees and other things dropped from the hive, but in reality my hive entrance is outside the edge of the chicken coop hardware cloth.

    Really its just a great way to maximize the limited space available in my urban homestead.
    www.IndependenceHomestead.com - Gaining Independence Daily

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Loudoun County, Virginia USA
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    12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    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.
    Well, its only been about 4 weeks so I don't have a lot of different weather conditions and bee hive conditions to make a final judgement.
    I think there certainly should be some sort of screen there unless you make the width of the slit smaller than I did. I think the bees would try to use it as another hive entrance if they could. I say that because the bees are using the the corners of the barrel where the wood frame goes a little beyond the barrel itself as an entrance even though I put a larger whole on my entrance reducer.

    Since the hive is so young there have not been any pests that I've seen yet and the only thing left at the bottom of the barrel have been wax crystals.

    If I could go back I'd probably put a more course mesh than the window screen I had. So for now its really just a point of ventilation in the hive.


    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    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.
    I had the full size hole on there for a couple days when I first got the bees. It worked fine, but then I made the entrance in the reducer board larger (1/2" diameter instead of that 1/4" hole). They are using that 1/2" hole just fine, but like I said earlier a lot are also using the top corners near the main entrance as entrances as well. I think its ok though since those are small and defensible as well.

    This video shows what I'm talking about with the bees using the corner entrance, it also shows the new larger hole in the entrance reducer I'm using.




    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    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:
    The only thing I would like to do with my roof is add some extra material to the sides. The piece from Lowes was just big enough to be cut in half and barely cover each hive's width. I've noticed when it rains that some water drips back up underneath one side of where I made the cut and is a little uneven and falls on the plywood top bar cover causing it to warp up from the edges. Not sure what impact this has on the bees at this point but I plan on attaching some plastic strip or something to each side to help guide the rain water down off the hive.


    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    Should I paint mine mauve or lavender?
    Whatever is appealing to you. I don't think the bees will care.
    www.IndependenceHomestead.com - Gaining Independence Daily

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Loudoun County, Virginia USA
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    12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    .

    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?
    I think I addressed this in my last post, but yeah I'll probably make a new one with a hole that small again for winter. Was just part of my learning curve. Figured start small and easily expand it rather than start off too big and lose bees.
    Last edited by Barry; 03-26-2014 at 10:00 PM.
    www.IndependenceHomestead.com - Gaining Independence Daily

  5. #25
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    Jan 2012
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    Lakeland, FL USA
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    827

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

    .

    georgeIDH - thanks so much for all the info and time.

    And you actually have the gears turning in my head regarding the chicken situation, also.

    And regarding the screen at the bottom, I think I'm going to do what you suggested - using a more course (or bigger?) screen material which allows debris/mites/bugs to fall out but too small for bees.

    Thanks again.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
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    245

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

    I'm still, a bit curious about a chicken tractor.

  7. #27
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    Jan 2012
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    Lakeland, FL USA
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    827

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mhorowit View Post
    I'm still, a bit curious about a chicken tractor.
    A chicken tractor hive or just a chicken tractor?

    I spoke with my wife today about the possibility of having hens in our yard. She wasn't opposed to the idea. That's a start.

    By the way, georgeIDH - how do your VERY close-by neighbors feel about your setup with the bees and chickens? I know you probably only have female chickens, but still, most people would probably frown-down upon such a fantastic setup. People LOVE Walmart but hate self-sufficiency.

    Anyhow, I'm just jealous of your whole setup. What a coup (or coop) - no pun intended.

  8. #28
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    Apr 2012
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    Loudoun County, Virginia USA
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    12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    By the way, georgeIDH - how do your VERY close-by neighbors feel about your setup with the bees and chickens? I know you probably only have female chickens, but still, most people would probably frown-down upon such a fantastic setup. People LOVE Walmart but hate self-sufficiency.

    Chickens are still in our basement growing up to be big enough to go outside.

    Our one neighbor has not said anything since we put the bees in and I've seen them out in their yard a lot so they must not be bothered at all.

    The bees don't go towards their yard anyway.

    Once we get chickens out we'll probably go over with some eggs and honey to introduce what we have
    www.IndependenceHomestead.com - Gaining Independence Daily

  9. #29
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    Jan 2012
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    Lakeland, FL USA
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    827

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

    Here's an update on my build. I'm almost done. I still need to attach the tin to the roof frame, place screen over the bottom vent, rub beeswax on the inside of barrel, and that's essentially it.

    Here's what I did yesterday:


    I soaked small nylon rope/twine in beeswax and staple-gunned it down the middle of each top bar:




    I got the idea for how to do my follower-board from George's design above (thanks for that and all other ideas):






    Here's a photo with the top bars installed. Luckily the top bars needed to be exactly 2 feet in length (wow), so the 8-foot lengths I bought of the 3/4 x 1 1/2 strips were perfectly split-up into 4 parts with no waste.



    Here we have the bottom of the barrel cut for ventilation. I made this cut with a Roto-Zip, and was actually quite a challenge. If you aren't careful, a Roto-Zip can suddenly wander, especially if you have to bend down into something with less-than-optimal grip, etc. I still haven't decided what size screen I am going to place down there. Do I leave enough access for bugs to fall out? But that would potentially leave access for bugs to crawl IN. Does anyone have any advice on that?


  10. #30
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    Jan 2012
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    Lakeland, FL USA
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    .

    I decided that since the lengths of these top bars are too long (so it would seem) to flip over and lay on their backs for inspection, I decided to make a stand that holds two top bars with comb.

    If you all will notice, I placed the rest-bars slighly lower than the holding arms so as to prevent them sliding off the side. IT'S PURE GENIUS !!!!.............ok, well, maybe not that.

    To be honest, I saw that someone else had made a stand on some other site dedicated to a barrel build, so my idea isn't exactly original. I can't remember which site or how they constructed it.




    Last edited by PatBeek; 04-27-2012 at 10:19 PM.

  11. #31
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    Apr 2012
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    Loudoun County, Virginia USA
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    Interesting idea..

    So far with our inspections we've been able to check everything without a stand. Maybe when the barrels fill up with comb it'd be more useful to have a stand like this though!
    www.IndependenceHomestead.com - Gaining Independence Daily

  12. #32
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    Jan 2012
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    Lakeland, FL USA
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    .

    I just found the website where they built a stand for top bar inspections:

    http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekee...-top-bar-hive/

    WOW !!

    Last edited by PatBeek; 04-28-2012 at 08:39 AM.

  13. #33
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    Jan 2012
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    Lakeland, FL USA
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    Well, here's the material I was given for the roof.

    I had to construct a peak onto the frame because, obviously, banner material isn't rigid like tin:


  14. #34
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    Jan 2012
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    Lakeland, FL USA
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    Default Re: Just saw these top bar hives using barrel halves on youtube

    .

    George IDH - I just happened upon one of your videos doing a search on youtube because I had some concerns about my queen in one of my top bar hives.

    Here it is for everyone to see:


  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Murray KY, USA
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    263

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

    Been about a year since this thread was started. Didn't see any sense in posting another thread asking how barrel hives are doing for anyone who'd built one last year, so I thought I'd ask for an update here...

    Anyone out there who's using a barrel hive for a while have any further insight into them, or opinions, or such?

    Thanks!

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vashon Island, WA, USA
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    11

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

    I have been thinking about building one of these for a while. I'm wondering if anyone using them has had trouble with such large combs detaching from the top bars?

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Murray KY, USA
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    263

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

    Not sure how deep it'd be if you stick to a 19" bar. You don't need to use the entire half at all. You can use 40% of one side and 40% of the other and then toss the center 20% as scrap.

    But I have not checked out my barrel yet to see how deep a 19" bar would make it. Right now with my other new hive, it'll have 17" by 15" tall or so comb by the time they build it out.. I'm admittedly worried about that height and may end up restricting them or moving them into a new hive (which may be a barrel hive) until I can properly modify this one.

    EDIT: Ha... Nooooooooooo way 19" long bars will work. I figure the bars will be at least 24" long or so in order to get enough depth.. With a 19" bar, the depth of the comb would be around 3"...
    Last edited by DarkWolf; 04-16-2013 at 09:24 PM.

  18. #38
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    Jan 2012
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    Lakeland, FL USA
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    827

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

    .

    I'm still trying to get some free bees (from swarm or cut-out) to place in my barrel hive. I wish I had something to report, but not yet.

    .

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    1,310

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

    Pat, would you like me to send you a vial of "artificial swarm pheromone" to bait your barrel-hive with? If so, pm me your exact addy & I'll get a few drops of it made up & find a way to ship it to you...I've had pretty good luck with receiving "surprise bees" in boxes that I've put a few drops of the stuff on the comb guides while getting ready to put other bees in the box

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    28,014

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

    Forgot I already Posted something.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



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