Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    Folks, I'm going to move a Lang to the top of a Top Bar Hive, and try to transition the hive to the TBH this way. If the girls don't start building down I will either move them back to a standard bottom board and leave this as a Lang hive or do a cut out. I was hoping they would take to this method and I would probably over winter with the original brood box as a super and in the spring remove it. Depends on how well the hive is working. I've heard mixed results from the type of transition, so I'm looking for input.
    PlateDesign.jpg

    This is the idea I had for an adapter. Basically it is just a sheet of plywood cut to the same size as the Lang body. Then I would route out or dado cut 11 slats that are 14 inches in length, and 3/8 inches wide. Just beyond the end of each slot towards the handles there are 3/8 inch holes drilled, a half inch in depth. I'll insert a 1 inch length of dowel with the protruding end slightly tapered. These are used for aligning the slots with the top bars.


    For the top bars I need to make 10 new bars that are 1 inch thick. Then I will need 3/8 inch thick spacers. These would be cut originally to the full length of the bars (19 inches), but then I will cut out a keystone piece approximately 14 inches or so in length. The reason for this is that when I finally remove the Langstroth hive body I can easily place the cutout pieces into the gap and nail or screw them into the side of the top bar, ceiling off the top of the hive.

    Another and simpler option would be to just remove all the material between the first slot and last slot and ditch the alignment pins, so basically this adapter plate would function as a gasket. No doubt that is simpler to make, and the alignment pins are probably overkill. The main reason for me not wanting to cut out the whole center is I don't want all the comb/propolis building up in the 1 1/4 inch between the bottom of the lang frames and the top of the top bars. If it seems like a pain in the behind I can always just open the whole thing up.

    Has anyone tried this? I saw that Phil Chandler had done something similar, but in his case he just used a Lang brood box for the top bar hives and made sloped sides. I could do this as my top bars will fit into a lang, but I liked the idea of moving directly to the top bar. Plus I would have to build out the sides in the Lang box for the Chandler method. Any comments or suggestions?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    Is it possible for the lang frame to be suspended from the top bar and acually be in the hive?
    If so you could move them in and leave every other space open for them to build new combs from the top bars inbetween. If you put the lang on top of the TBH then how is your roof situation going to work?
    One other crazy idea...What if you drill a big hole like 4 inches in the side of the TBH and the lang and siamese them together sideways? This would give them access to the new hive but your repair in the end would be easy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    Only by doing a chop and crop. Things have slowed down around here and it is getting pretty dry. I hate to chop out the hive given how good of a hive it is.

    I have a beautiful roof for my hive and it wont work at all! What I'll do is use a piece of plywood. It will be fine. I can use some flashing at the gap, but this shouldn't be a problem.

    Drilling the hole is rather crazy. We think alike! Hadn't thought of that. I could do that with my top bar nuc and a large hive body. I'm going to look at that later this week. I could just use some lag bolts to hold the whole mess together.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    If you go over to the swarms trapouts and cutouts forum you will find discussions of Cleo C Hogans trapout method. Simplified it involves making the donor hive believe that an addition in front of the donor hive is a part of it. Go read there. Mr Hogan is generous with information if you ask him. It seems to me that this might be an easy way to move stock between mismatched equipment.
    Bill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,949

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    Wow, that is so complex it better work. Our KTBH has 19 inch top bars. We have the bees draw them in a Langstroth and move them to the KTBH - no adapters, cut, chop, drilling, spacers, shims, or screwing around.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    Actually the plate is rather simple. I haven't made it yet, I'll probably do it today and I'll photograph it.

    My bars will fit in a Lang as well. The situation is I have a really strong Lang that I want to move to a top bar hive, but it is late in the season and I don't want weaken it just to have a top bar. The top bar hive has an observation window. This way my kids can look at the hive without having all the gear on in the summer.

    I figure either they will move down into the top bar, or they won't. If not, no loss, just move the top bar out and put in a standard bottom board. It shouldn't cause any problems, it is just a flip of a coin as to if it will work like I want it to. They will do what they want, not what I want!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,382

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    I think the simplest approach would to build a TBH that accepts Lang frames. That is what I did, I did base it on a medium frame.

    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    Yes, this is a one shot deal. I have both hives. Essentially what I'm doing is a lazy trap out versus a cut out. I don't care if the Lang stays up there until spring. I originally setup the top bar for use with a swarm that didn't work out, and assumed another would come along. Unfortunately it did not. If I were more forward thinking I would have put some of the top bars in a Lang hive and done a split, but I wasn't. But now we really want to get something going in this hive as it has a viewing window for the kids to see into. I could make a Tanzanian hive with a window, but at some point my better half is going to start wondering what in creation I am doing creating all of these uninhabited hives!

    I made the adapter plate today and it looks like it is pretty much perfect. To the bees this should look like a Lang, but with top bars instead of frames on the bottom. It will be a straight shot up and down between the hive parts via the slits in the adapter board. I cut down some top bars to 1 inch and made the spacers as well. Tomorrow I'm going to attach the spacers to the bars and test fit everything, and then glue/paint/nail anything that needs it. Hopefully I'll try thing out later this coming week.

    In hind site I could have probably made the plate out of 1/4 inch plywood, but I don't have any of that laying around.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    OK, here are some photos of what the beast looks like. The first image is looking down through a deep box, through the adapter plate, through the bars and into the void below. Lines up pretty good for a first try.
    IMG_0035[1].jpg

    The second image is the same as the first without the brood box on top.
    IMG_0036[1].jpg

    The third image is the bottom of the adapter. Initially I though about putting guide pins for each bar, but I found that having one pin worked well as an index to get everything lined up. That could be excluded and you would just need to be careful when putting the plate on the top.
    IMG_0038[1].jpg

    The last picture is the modified bars. The bars are now 1 inch in width with the 3/8 inch spacers attached. I cutout the opening after I attached the spacers so I can attached the cutouts later when I remove the brood box. That is why the bars are numbered. The cutout pieces are numbered the same why and facing the same direction so I can easily put them in place.
    IMG_0040[1].jpg

    This was constructed on a table saw with a dado blade to make the cutouts. We had to do this blind, so this is the reason the length of the slots are different. If I had to do it again I may try to be neater, but I doubt the bees would care. We did have to flip the board once to accommodate the fence length of the table saw, this is why two of the cuts seem a bunch different. I was going to clean this up later, but I don't think it will matter functionally.

    I did lengthen one of the slots, the one with the pin. This is because I decided the easiest way to get my alignment hole in the proper location was to use a router with a 3/8 inch bit since I could line it up with a temporary fence. I figured I may as well increase the slot length while I was doing that.

    Using the dado was great, it made quick work of it. If you had a good router table it would probably be just as easy, particularly if you know what you are doing (unlike me!) Thankfully my cousin is good with the table saw and I only kicked material back into him twice, so I think he should be better by Friday!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,496

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    Keep us posted how it works. I did very similar adapter, but Lang girls hated TBH! They refused to use TBH space, get crowded in Lang portion (TBH empty) and finally swarmed... I returned the rest to the Lang-type base and they are happy now. Very disappointing, since my plan was to convert all Langs into KTBHs. I wish you luck with your girls. Sergey

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    I'm hoping the time of year is on my side. Kind of late for swarms around here as the nectar flow is down from the spring highs.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    One more option... What if you put the top bar hive on top? It does have the word top in its name. HEE hee.
    But really, this seems logical to me because if you were to expand the lang you would add a super on the top, so add a TBH to the top instead.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    Well, I guess that would work. The problem is a single brood box is very small compared to a top bar hive. The adapter to get to the top bar would be simple to make though. Just need two pieces of wood and have a stand to get the lang to the correct height.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    Got the Lang on last night. This is what the frankenhive looks like:
    IMAG0629.jpg
    I had to put some flashing over the end to cover up where the Lang butts up against the end of the top bar. I may need to do something on the other side of the temporary top bar hive cover. Today is a good test, looks like we are going to get wet.

    This is a photo through the window just after I closed everything up, they seem to be taking to it just fine.

    IMAG0623.jpg

    When I put it all together I put in three small pieces of comb, each of which is about the size of a baseball. This morning there is a big cluster of bees covering the comb and back about three bars. I would guess the total size of the cluster is about the size of a honey-dew melon, give or take. I tried to photograph it, but got nothing due to the reflection of the glass. The lang is full of bees with two frames completely covered in capped brood, and a few others that are partially covered in brood. One of the frames (on the end) is pretty much just drawn out comb. I may pull that frame for a later swarm trap and replace it with a top bar to have them start drawing out comb on it.

    There isn't a ton of stores in the Lang. This is good and bad. Good in the sense that I think that it is going to make the transition easier, especially when the capped brood matures. The bad thing is I'm going to be feeding these bees for a while. I have some comb/honey mix that I'm going to use until it is gone from a recent crush/strain with my dad.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,496

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    good luck! Keep us posted. Sergey

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    Will do. Fingers crossed.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    What do you think about leaving or taking a bar or two out of the Lang so the bees can fly between the two hives elevator style?
    OR you can slam the lang down really hard on the TBH and the "transition" will take about 3 seconds. It is possible that this could kill at least one bee.

    It looks kinda like a tugboat from this angle. I wonder if it will pull its' weight..?.
    I'll be expecting my barge of free honey around Thanksgiving.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    No problem with the bees moving between the hive. Those 3/8 inch grooves are more than they need. I am probably going to pull one frame out of the Lang, but only because it is nearly empty. It is drawn comb, but there really doesn't look like there is much in it. I'll put a top bar in its place in case they decide to pull comb in that space.

    That hive has a decent amount of brood in it. I could have shaken all the bees in the hive, but then I would have a box with a bunch of soon dead brood. That wouldn't help things along.

    Yes, it is very funny looking right now. It kills me that I made a really cool peaked roof and it is setting in the garage. I think I spent more time on the original roof than all of the other hive construction combined.

    I'm hoping that in the next few weeks the bees in the lang will hatch and the queen will be laying in the top bar hive. Then I don't have to do much other than pull the lang off and add my spacer gap pieces to the bars. If it were earlier in the year I would have cut it out, but I'm behind.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    In another thread CC Hogan says it's getting late to let a hive make its own queen. He's from Kentucky, you may have a little more time. After you see brood in both hives you could just take the lang off and let the one that doesn't have a queen make one. Perhaps next spring is best. Several threads here have involved supering of top bar hives, you have, it seems, a rather nice solution for that.
    Bill

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Lang to Top Bar adapter plate

    I'm not really trying to do a split or a trap out, I just wanted to get the Lang into the top bar so the kids would have the window. I'm thinking that by the spring I will be able to pull the Lang of and just have the top bar. I was going to do a cut out, but I've cutout feral hives and I k ow what a mess that is to the hive. With it being late in the season my first priority was to ensure the hive could survive the transition.

    I got home last night late but I looked in the window and the bee ball in the top bar was about the size of a soccer ball. I guess the foragers are hanging out down there, but I did have three small pieces of comb in there so maybe the house keepers are fixing that up now too. There are so many bees on the area around the old comb that I can't tell if they are building anything yet, but it has only been a few days.

    As of right now I'm very pleased with the progress and my daughter is tickled pink. For me that is what it is all about. The other day she said to me beaming "Dad, I'm a forth generation bee keeper!" She was happier when I told her she was at least a fifth generation bee keeper.

    And the window is cool. You can burn a lot of time looking in that window.
    Last edited by shannonswyatt; 07-14-2012 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Misspelling

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads