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Thread: My first hives!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clover, WV
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    155

    Default My first hives!

    Brand new and ready for some bees. This is my rookie year, and a friend giving me two Langs as well.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: My first hives!

    Looks good!

    May I suggest that you take the time to fabricate a removable solid bottom for those TBHs? It can go under the screen, and I'm not saying it needs to be in place permanently, but I recommend that you have it in place when the package bees are first installed and keep it there at least until they have build comb and brood. There have been reports of bees absconding shortly after installation with open full screened bottoms.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Albany, ga
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    17

    Default Re: My first hives!

    That is interesting on screen bottoms. I have two and have never had any problems. It maybe the problem was not the screened bottom, but how the package was installed. It needs to be done slightly different than for a lang. I could certainly see the bees leaving a new hive that is no more than an empty box if the queen is released too early or if there was no food available immediately upon release. Once the bees begin building comb there should seldom be a problem. But better safe than sorry.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Albany, ga
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    17

    Default Re: My first hives!

    Cub when and where will you be getting your bees?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
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    1,299

    Default Re: My first hives!

    Looks great Cub, I really like the lumber in the top bar hives, very nice.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clover, WV
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    Default Re: My first hives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Looks good!

    May I suggest that you take the time to fabricate a removable solid bottom for those TBHs? It can go under the screen, and I'm not saying it needs to be in place permanently, but I recommend that you have it in place when the package bees are first installed and keep it there at least until they have build comb and brood. There have been reports of bees absconding shortly after installation with open full screened bottoms.
    Rader,

    Do you mean the bees wont like the metal bottom? It's actually a full solid oak bottom, with a galvanized metal tray up under the screen that can slide out. It might just look like open because of the photo. What do you think about the entrance placement and size (1" holes)?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clover, WV
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: My first hives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin King View Post
    Cub when and where will you be getting your bees?


    I have one bee tree lined out, and am on several local swarm lists. If possible, I would like to use all feral bees. If not, there is a nice beek that lives close by that will supply me with nucs. The elevation the bees will be living is around 3000', so local is better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: My first hives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cub View Post
    Do you mean the bees wont like the metal bottom? .... What do you think about the entrance placement and size (1" holes)?
    Sorry, I saw the gray bottom and assumed it was an open screen. I think the slide in tray will work fine as a closed bottom.

    As far as the entrance, I am a believer in top entrances, a la Michael Bush style.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
    Mine are just an open space before the first top bar. However, that is easiest to do if your hive has a flat lid that sits on the top bars.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: My first hives!

    Looks professional!
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clover, WV
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: My first hives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Sorry, I saw the gray bottom and assumed it was an open screen. I think the slide in tray will work fine as a closed bottom.

    As far as the entrance, I am a believer in top entrances, a la Michael Bush style.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
    Mine are just an open space before the first top bar. However, that is easiest to do if your hive has a flat lid that sits on the top bars.

    The flat roof would have been much easier for me to make, and I had planned on it, until I read that the pitched roof allows for a feeder to be placed under it and on top of the bars. Also, mine is designed for me to be able to put a 1/2" sheet of foam for insulation on top of the bars for winter. All of these ideas and methods were 99% from this site, so time will tell if they work in the real world or not. The reason I chose round entrance holes was because they can be corked off easily if needed, and I can also drill more if there is significant bearding during high traffic times. How much surface area is your entrance?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clover, WV
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    155

    Default Re: My first hives!

    Thank you! I'm an old hand at building just about anything, but bees are all new. I'm excited to get started.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: My first hives!

    >How much surface area is your entrance?

    I actually cut a slot 4" wide by 3/4" high towards the bottom of both end pieces, and in all my follower boards as well. I fabricated a boardman style (inverted mason jar) feeder that fits in the slot, or when no feeder is desired a small block plugs the hole.

    I did this on both ends of the hives so I could (with a follower board as a divider) put two smaller colonies in the same box, if desired. I also cut the same slot in my shorter TBH swarm traps. When used as a trap the slot serves as the entrance. If the trap is used as a nuc, the plug goes in and I use a top entrance, the same as the big hives.

    My top entrances span the width of the hive body, 14.5 inches, and are 1/2" wide. I have on occasion reduced the length of the opening, but my hives wintered fine with the full length open.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Albany, ga
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: My first hives!

    I like my entrance on the side. It allows better air circulation and is protected from rain. I used four 1" holes. I chose to place my entrance about three or four bar width from one end. This seems to fit my management system better than a center location. The 1" hole is easily filled with a cork. I also added a landing strip for my benefit (not the bees they don't care). This gives me more of a chance to see what is being brought into the hive.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,496

    Default Re: My first hives!

    Cub, if you wanted to allow a top entrance you could put a few holes in the gable ends, then you could pull the first bar back. Not sure you want to do that or not. It would make inspections a little more exciting.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clover, WV
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: My first hives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    >How much surface area is your entrance?

    I actually cut a slot 4" wide by 3/4" high towards the bottom of both end pieces, and in all my follower boards as well. I fabricated a boardman style (inverted mason jar) feeder that fits in the slot, or when no feeder is desired a small block plugs the hole.

    I did this on both ends of the hives so I could (with a follower board as a divider) put two smaller colonies in the same box, if desired. I also cut the same slot in my shorter TBH swarm traps. When used as a trap the slot serves as the entrance. If the trap is used as a nuc, the plug goes in and I use a top entrance, the same as the big hives.

    My top entrances span the width of the hive body, 14.5 inches, and are 1/2" wide. I have on occasion reduced the length of the opening, but my hives wintered fine with the full length open.
    Follower boards are added to both hives. I like the idea of being able to make splits and keep them both in one hive. Also, I am putting feeder slots, which can feed both sides at the same time if desired, in the followers. I'll drill a new set of entrance holes when the time comes. Thanks for the good advice.
    John Sampson-Tucker County, WV
    14 hives - All cutouts and swarms

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