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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    597

    Default Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    Have any of you ordered the Top Bar Hives from the advertiser to the right on the Forum page? Here is the link:

    http://www.honeybeehabitat.com/Home/...6/Default.aspx

    Is $165 a good price for this type of hive? How do you extract the honey in a TBH? I have a new Mann Lake 20 frame extractor but I don't see how that would work with a TBH.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oceanside, New York
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    You don't extract from a top bar hive, you crush and strain. you can throw out the extractor if all you have are TBH's. $165.00 is a good price, but the box looks somewhat flimsy, and it gets "cold" in Iowa. 1" pine is really 3/4". You need as much insulation from the cold winter as possible.

    larry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    Larry, do you typically use 2" lumber (1 1/2") for TBH's? I still need the extractor for my other hives.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oceanside, New York
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    As thick a board as possible. I have used plywood. Although its 3/4 plywood, it is a very heavy grade and provides better insulation than 1" pine board.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    Looks like a pretty decent hive to me. Especially for $165 shipped. Crush and strain, no extraction. As for insulation, aren't most Langs 3/4" pine? R value of 3/4" pine is .937, and 3/4" plywood is .94. Not enough difference to worry about IMHO.
    Integrity - Doing the right thing when no one is watching.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,501

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    Looks nice to me! I wish I could make a roof like that.

    I'm with Beev on the wood thickness. Langs are made from the same material. I've been trying to find out the R value of a Bee tree but I can't get a consistent answer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,288

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    >I've been trying to find out the R value of a Bee tree but I can't get a consistent answer.

    Probably because Bee trees are not consistent...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,501

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    If I were going to buy one, that's the one I'd get.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    Looks interesting, especially that their bars will fit in a Lang., good for a start. I have done one email and gotten a response. Now working to understand how to put 2X4 legs on it. I will probably buy one next month and build it out. My bee supplier will not have package bees available until April anyway.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    Nice price! Bummer there is no observation window or legs on it. Both are nice additions.

    Do a search for Philip Chandler and also Golden Mean Hives. I have one that is a variation on the Philip Chandler design and really like it other than I have added upper entrance holes. On his website you can find a link to download his hive design book for free. The 48" length seems to be good and the top width makes accomodating a chop and crop from a nuc easier. A lot of people talk about having Golden Mean hives but the ones under 4 feet sound like they might be too short (just based on some things I have read, I don't have any first hand experience with them).

    Don't get me wrong, the one in your link sounds great. I'm just trying to let you know about the options I am aware of.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    I bought the Chandler book and used the plans to build a 48" with observation window, with legs. The reason legs are not included in the above unit is to save on shipping costs, according to my initial query with them. April I will put package bees in both of them.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    Mike, did they give you any tips on adding legs? I sent an email asking if the kit included legs or if they had instructions on adding the legs. I have not gotten a response.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    It has only been one day since I sent my request in for additional information. Below is their original response. The only thing I am scratching over is that I do not see any holes in the side panels for entrances or end entrances so I am not sure what type of entrance system they have used. I will probably use blind nuts (T nuts) on the end plates, but want to make sure that they do not interfere with the bottom board or entrance systems. I could also do some landscape timbers and just set it in like saw horses that tied together (cradle in the mid section). The pictures do not show a lot of detail for me to make a decision on implementation, but I will solve that.

    "On Sep 20, 2012 6:35 AM, "Steve Collings" <Steve@honeybeehabitat.com> wrote:

    I use 2x4's and screw these into the sides. I wanted to add this to the TBH, but it added so much weight to the packaging that I found it wasn't worth it. I have seen customers use sawhorse type devices and also cinder blocks to lift it to the desired height. I prefer the 2x4's because they are very steady and I have some hives in a high wind area."
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    Contrary to some of these posts..You CAN use an extractor with top bars. The video I watched showed the guy using a tool that looked like a paint roller with little spikes on it, he rolled it and basically stabbed holes in each cell. He stabbed both sides of course. Then he put the comb in the extractor and spun very slowly. He only spun it for a very short time then flipped it around and spun again to try and keep it even during the process. Each time he flipped the comb around, he was able to spin a little faster without damaging the comb. After about 3 times per side he was done. Efficient? No. Possible? YES

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    Here are the pictures I got from Honeybee Habitat. Below is the text from Steve's response and the pictures from Photobucket, so they are easily added (personally I would not add the middle leg):

    "I'm attaching some photos a customer sent me on how he added legs. I recommend doing something like this, using sawhorses, or cinder blocks to raise it to the desired height.

    There are three entrances and they are along the sides. This allows the bees to get to the area they are trying to work in (honey or brood) quicker than having to navigate the length of the hive. There are assembly instructions in each order.

    Let me know if I can help you further.

    Steve"







    Last edited by mmmooretx; 09-24-2012 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Do not add middle leg.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    I actually bought this hive last spring for a new package install.

    The hive itself is great. It has three side entrance holes (front, middle, and back). I keep the back hole covered up. I live in North Georgia, so I'm not really sure how the wood thickness will or will not impact my hive regarding their winter survival.

    The one complaint comparing it to my other hive (Golden Mean Hive), is the vertical thickness of the top bars. Compared to my golden mean hive, they have about twice or more of the vertical thickness. Thus, it seems to be much harder to slide the bars together without squishing bees. I think this necessitates having a "bee down" strip that you insert between the bars prior to closing them together. Without this, I have a heck of a time pushing the bars back together without squishing bees. Maybe it's also that I'm such a beginner.

    Other than that, the hive was very easily assembled, and the wood is high quality. A solid top bar hive, definitely for the price!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinhnc View Post
    The one complaint comparing it to my other hive (Golden Mean Hive), is the vertical thickness of the top bars. Compared to my golden mean hive, they have about twice or more of the vertical thickness. Thus, it seems to be much harder to slide the bars together without squishing bees.

    Other than that, the hive was very easily assembled, and the wood is high quality. A solid top bar hive, definitely for the price!
    Probably a good point. Since each bar only supports 5-8 lbs. I do not think the differences on the thickness of the "ears" that sit on the edges is a real issue. Maybe a little polish sanding on the bar "ears" and the body lips with maybe some paraffin wax would help with the sliding? Not sure, only a thought. I am going to order two hives on 11 Oct.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,501

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    You could maybe get them planed down, but it is probably too late for that. I doubt the girls would like you doing it now!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Falls Church, Va
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Top Bar Hives from Honeybee Habitat

    Thanks for posting this because I'll recommend them to folks around here, since they're a comfortable driving distance to DC. Its similar to what I build and the price is very reasonable. As for the roof, it does look nice but I'm not a fan of heavy roofs or those that arent very well ventilated. Nobody wants to deal with comb collaps.

    I prefer removable legs. I build the legs (stand) to fit after the hive is assembled. I just turn the hive upside down and cut to fit. I recently postes some plans, and a picture, on the tbh design page. This makes it easy to move a full hive and its very stable.

    Stuart

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