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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Australia
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    Default Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    I'm thinking of building a super for my small transfer/capture TBH (its a 15 bar standard TBH: http://s1339.beta.photobucket.com/us...tml?sort=3&o=7) as it feels odd to have the box stand empty. The only catch is that the bars I use in my full size TBH and this one are 16.5" long.

    So if I build a, for example, medium super for it, that would give me ~15 x 16.5" frames. Other than the length the depth etc would be as for a standard frame. So I guess I'm wondering what am I missing? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    I didn't realize that there were any TBH standard sizes.

    From your post I'm thinking that you are asking if you can super a TBH. It can be done, but is more difficult to have the bees cooperate, since most TBH's would have limited access, through the bars, to the super.

    In your second paragraph you switch from discussing Top Bars to Frames. Do you mean Frames designed to replace Top Bars in a TBH?
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    Oh I know there isn't a standard TBH, I've standardized my kit to suit the stuff I built when I started so I'm kinda stuck with it now.

    What I mean is that the super would have Lang style frames instead of topbars, I'd make some special top bars for the now 'TBH brood box' to allow passage to the super (probably just route 3/16" out of the sides of a couple and site them together). What I'd like is to have some easy to extract comb over the usual crush and strain stuff. I'd base the depth of these frames on what fits into one of my hobby beek friends' extractor (I think his are mediums, but not sure).

    Hope that clears things up a bit.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    I have supered them. You do need to route some of the bars to get good communication between the hive and the super. But then the point of a horizontal hive is to eliminate lifting boxes. If you don't mind lifting boxes, you may as well have a vertical hive.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    It sounds very doable.

    I have built a TB/Horizontal hive, with top dimensions to allow stacking two 10-frame supers, on top of it, side-by-side. This horizontal hive accommodates normal, deep, Langstroth frames, or Top Bars 19 inches long. It holds 33 deep Hoffman frames. A few years ago I was able to super this colony with 12, 10-frame medium supers (two stacks of six), which were all filled. This successful supering was accomplished while using deep Langstroth/Hoffman style frames with their normal bee space access between Hoffman frame top bars.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
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    2,791

    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    Depending on how the frames fit into the extractor you intend to use, shorter top bar lengths may not work well for extracting. Might make sense to check that before you get too far into building.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    1,449

    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    ....I have built a TB/Horizontal hive, with top dimensions to allow stacking two 10-frame supers, on top of it, side-by-side. This horizontal hive accommodates normal, deep, Langstroth frames, or Top Bars 19 inches long. It holds 33 deep Hoffman frames. A few years ago I was able to super this colony with 12, 10-frame medium supers (two stacks of six), which were all filled. This successful supering was accomplished while using deep Langstroth/Hoffman style frames with their normal bee space access between Hoffman frame top bars.
    My bees LOVE this design! I did not try supering them yet. But, supering will eliminate the major (to me) advantage of TBH - less-invasive and easy inspections. Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Bunker Hill, IL
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    452

    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    I wish i could find the artical again...

    There was a beek who used standard langth deep frames. but made the brood box double wide. then stacked honey supers ontop of one end. The artical indicated that out of all his hives (traditional langth hives) the one with the double wide bottom was his best producer.

    seems to mimic your idea of a top bar hive with honey supers over just one section.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    218

    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    The main reason I ask is that the TBH I want use was designed as a swarm trap, but going on my experience swarms are rare as hens teeth where I live (only one observed in 3 years). So after putting it out three spring/summers running with no luck I used it as a nuc this year to grow a small split up in (see this thread for details: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...plit-questions), but now it's standing empty again. Which just feels wrong now.

    As it's top is almost a square (22.5" x 16.5" ok so not all that square-ish) I thought it might work, best by keeping the frames and top bars in the same plane, but I just clicked that the length would allow for ~10 standard lang frames of what ever depth my friend's extractor can handle if they are placed at 90deg to the top bar's orientation.

    The point is I'm not wedded to TBH keeping, it's all a means to an end, namely: keeping bees and getting some honey if its a good year. So if it's possible to get them to brood in foundationless natural comb and store honey in easy to extract frames then I'm happy, I'm ok with a bit of lifting, honey is heavy that's just the way it is after all.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    >I wish i could find the artical again...

    http://www.beesource.com/resources/e...ndo-long-hive/
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
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    Dec 2012
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    Australia
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    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    VERY cool idea, and pretty much what I was thinking of doing, just using a TBH for the brood box.

    Good to know it works, so now I guess my only question is, does turning the super's frames 90deg in relation the cool wise oriented brood frames make for any problems? I'm thinking it won't but I'm not a bee nor an old hand at bee keeping so......

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    >does turning the super's frames 90deg in relation the cool wise oriented brood frames make for any problems

    No problems.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    Default Re: Non-standard frame size: any potential problems?

    Cheers, and thanks Michael. Guess I'm off to the work shop for a bit then :-)

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