Re: New Member from Las Vegas / So. Utah
Welcome and best of luck. Width of the bar is important and many make different width bars for the brood area than the honey area. Not a necessity and I prefer not to have to keep 10 of the bars separated from the rest. so they are all brood bars. I don't recall ever seeing anything specific on the thickness of the top bar. mine are 3/4 inch because I made them from 12 material. I woudl think the final style you choose to make will have more say on what size piece of wood you start with than anything else. A 1X2 with a popsicle stick can be made with a 1X2 and sticks. a 3/4 inch thick top bar with at tapered point cut into it will require a larger piece of wood to start with.
Not to discourage you but my experience with the top bar has not been all that great so far. It may be the swarm that I put in it. but it is not perform any anywhere near as well as the langstroth hive I started at the same time. There is information on top bars out their. but just as the forum here dedicated to them. it is not as readily found. I have found it far more work to manage the top bar than the langstroth. simply because it takes a lot more time to find information on them. if it is found at all. So far I have not been able to find anything that looks definitive as to why my bees started off like gangbusters for about two weeks and then stalled and remained this tiny colony the entire rest of the summer. The most I have been able to find is that in general swarms do not tend to thrive. I may simply be seeing that for myself in details. They just will not grow no matter what. more room does not help. less room does not help. feeding does not motivate them to build more comb. they hang out in the hive rather than forage even when they have nothing but empty comb in the hive. Even when every other hive I have is out foraging in record numbers. Maybe it is dirth, maybe it is lazy bees. I can't figure it out. if they survive the winter and perform this way in the spring. they get requeened. I almost wish I had requeened them this last summer when I had a chance to.
Anyway good luck. beekeeping is complex if it is easy. the hard way doesn't have a description.
Someone once said that golf is a nice walk ruined by a little white ball. likewise, beekeeping is a wonderful day outdoors ruined by a bug.
Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)