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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlington,TX
    Posts
    6

    Default How wide should the top bars be? And how many honey and broad bars?

    I am building a top bar hive how wide should they be. The ones I have started are 24 inches long and 1 1/2. Cab I just make them all 1 1/2 long? What is the purpose of have them different sizes? I have also cut paint sticks in half and have placed them on the bars and glued them in the groove I have cut down the center of the bars. I know they need bars for broad building and honey so how many do I need to make of each one? Any advise would be greatly appricated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: How wide should the top bars be? And how many honey and broad bars?

    I run 1 1/2 inch bars on all my TBHs. I would say just stick with that, but am open to input.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: How wide should the top bars be? And how many honey and broad bars?

    I started my hives last year with 1 3/8" and 1 1/2" bars. Didn't see that it made much differance.
    The new hives I built this year are all 1 7/16". I'll use these from now on. If I really need to I'll
    add some spacers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: How wide should the top bars be? And how many honey and broad bars?

    We made all of the bars 1 3/8" wide in our first hives. Then we started making some bars 1 1/4" and the others 1 3/8". The narrower ones are more normal spacing for the brood nest and the wider ones are thicker for honey comb. We also use some 1/8" spacers if they build a comb too wide and need a little more room.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: How wide should the top bars be? And how many honey and broad bars?

    I make all of mine 1 1/2 inch wide. The bees don't seem to care. My hives are about 18 1/2 inches wide at the top so I make the length of the bars appropriately wide. My latest bars are about 20 inches wide total. I have friends who use popsicle sticks and paint sticks and they have a lot more cross comb problems than I do. My bars have a triangular shape providing a strong guide and lots of surface area for comb attachment. My friend's bees just build comb between the popsicle sticks on two bars, half of the comb on each bar.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: How wide should the top bars be? And how many honey and broad bars?

    When I made them all 1 1/2" the bees would cheat the brood smaller but would build the honey comb on it. This causes them to end up between two bars eventually. That's when I went to 1 1/4" for the brood.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redmond Oregon
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: How wide should the top bars be? And how many honey and broad bars?

    So how wide is too wide for honey bars? My bars are 1 3/8 wide and I have these pieces of wood that would make dandy spacers, but they are 3/8 inch wide. That would make the space 1 3/4. Is that too wide?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: How wide should the top bars be? And how many honey and broad bars?

    >So how wide is too wide for honey bars? My bars are 1 3/8 wide and I have these pieces of wood that would make dandy spacers, but they are 3/8 inch wide. That would make the space 1 3/4. Is that too wide?

    I haven't tried 1 3/4". It might work fine. Especially if you have a row of cells drawn at the top (when you harvest leave some). If you don't have a row of cells I would be afraid of them cheating the size smaller.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redmond Oregon
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: How wide should the top bars be? And how many honey and broad bars?

    I may give it a try. The package I installed has only been there three weeks, but they are well on their way. Looks like brood will begin to hatch within the next few days. When they make the switch to storing honey I will see what happens. I suppose I could have the stickes shaved down but they wouldn't be as sturdy.

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