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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,026

    Default New to bee keeping building first hive

    I am building my first hive ever, and it's a top bar hive. I have read where some people use1 1/4 bars for brood and 1 1/2 for honey, and others use 1-3/8 and 1-5/8, while yet others just use 1 1/2 for everything. All seem to have some success. I would like to hear from people that have used various demensions and what are the pros/ cons of each.


    Thanks,

    Harley
    Last edited by Harley Craig; 09-19-2012 at 08:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oceanside, New York
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: New to bee keeping building first hive

    You definitely would want as wide a top bar as possible for honey stores, as this is where your harvest is derived. The wider the bar, the wider the comb and hence the more honey stored in each comb. Brood bars are consistently between 1 1/4 and 1 3/8 and should remain that size as there is no need to build a wider comb for brood.
    larry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: New to bee keeping building first hive

    Then there are others who say use 1 3/8 for everything; I'm discovering that bees will do what they please. That's why the first year is so important; you recognize that what works for person 'A' doesn't work for person 'b', because of differences not really apparentl - Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: New to bee keeping building first hive

    I use the plans from M Bush web site and they work well for me. I have 4 top bars and what I have found here is if you make your honecomb bar to wide it makes it difficult to handle for inspection and harvest. When you are just inspecting in the heat there is more chance of the heavy comb breaking off and when you are trying to get the bees off for harvest the heavier comb once again is just harder to deal with. An extra 8-16 ozs on a bar may sound good until it hits the ground.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: New to bee keeping building first hive

    I use 1 1/2" bars for everything... Haven't had any problems from that.
    If you use specific size bars for specific areas, then you lose the ability to swap them around as easily. The bees will do whatever they want, wherever they want anyway.
    Personally I think the 1 1/2" bars are easier to remove since the brood below is slightly more narrow than the wood bar...Which for me equals less squished bees.
    But most importantly the 2 x 4 is already 1 1/2" thick so less table saw action.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: New to bee keeping building first hive

    I tried using 1 3/8 and 1 1/2 last year. The bees didn't really comprehend that the 1 1/2 inch bars were for honey. The brood nest got so big that it used up the 1 3/8 bars and expanded onto the honey width bars. This year I split the differance and went with 1 7/16 with a really pronounced comb guide for all the bars. Has worked excellent so far. Here's what mine look like. http://s1066.photobucket.com/albums/...t=IMAG0044.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: New to bee keeping building first hive

    This was my first year. I used 1 1/2 only like Keefis. No problems and it was convenient and easy. I don't have to worry about what the bees are doing, since they do what they want anyway. Having one size bar is a lot simpler, just like having one size of langstroth box. Makes life easier.

    Ted

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