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  1. #21

    Default Re: 3 Foot Long TBH---Have you tried it?

    Yes, I made this classic mistake, twice...

    I went for a 4' box, because it was easy to remember. But indeed, that makes the overall length to be more like 4.5' by the time you add on legs and such. The free piece of roofing material I have are only 4' long, so now it looks goofy that my roof doesn't fully cover the hive. It looked good on the 3' hive since the roof actually had an overhang on the ends, like a porch awning. I'm thinking the new 4' box looks pretty crappy actually. I may just trash it because I have a mild case of OCD, and build a new one that is all square proper. I was in a hurry on this one and made a few stupid mistakes.

    I'm thinking if I have reach a finalized design I'll share the plans on here. I've been looking at several different designs that people have come up with, such as having the legs integrated into the end boards and such. There are a lot of great ideas out there, but every situation is different. I still need to figure out a hinged lid for mine after all! I'm thinking cedar shingles on the roof would be cute too.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Roanoke, VA

    Default Re: 3 Foot Long TBH---Have you tried it?

    I saw the cedar shake roof and thought it looked sweet as well, but I'm wondering how much it would weigh. You would have to have something like plywood on the roof to attach the shakes to first, and you wouldn't want it too thin or it may warp like crazy and you would end up with the nails exposed on the otherside, so I would think it would be pretty heavy. Then again I'm probably wrong...

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Postville, Iowa, USA

    Default Re: 3 Foot Long TBH---Have you tried it?

    " seems that I have a 3' brood nest, with no bars of pure honeycomb to speak of. I'm hoping that when I transfer then to the 4' hive, the extra space will finally allow them to start storing up honey...."

    As others have noted, a 5 ft hive may not get you that much of an advantage. I'm not convinced that it is practical to store a lot of "pure" honey comb in a TBH. You might just want to stick with the 4 ft hive and plan to harvest a bar or two of honey frequently during nectar flows. At the moment, my goal is to keep some empty space in the hive during nectar flows and brood nest expansion, and that can be done by opening up the brood nest in early summer (see taydeko's post) and harvesting honey often during nectar flows as the hive reaches near capacity.

    Based on my experience, even during a good nectar flow, there may not ever be a lot of "pure" honey comb to harvest. The best chance of this is to harvest often -- every week or so -- to get the honey out of the hive before the queen lays much in that comb. The goal I have this year is to remove bars of honey just as soon as the comb is mostly capped, always leaving at least 2 or 3 bars that are empty or are being built out.

    As you have seen already, the brood nest is likely to expand a LOT in early to mid summer. If my experience last year is typical for my area, brood cells will cover a large amount of each comb and will also fill many combs in the hive. Last year, I eventually ended up removing all follower boards by midsummer because the colony was so big.

    As summer goes on into early fall, however, I noted that the brood nest gradually contracted and dramatically changed shape. Toward the end of summer, the brood nest ended up as a thin ribbon along the bottom edges of many of the combs. By fall, my bees had a lot of pollen and honey laid away on the combs they had previously used mostly for brood earlier in the summer. There were only a few bars of honey comb at the back end of the hive.

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