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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Weston, MO
    Posts
    1

    Default Top Bar Hive Construction Question

    Howdie. I just signed up so I could post a question I was hoping someone might be able to help me with. I'm just starting to learn about beekeeping and was looking at purchasing or making a top bar hive. I watched some videos on top bar hives on Youtube and realized I have what looks like a raised metal bunk feeder for an herb garden or something of the like, about chest high almost. It was left at the house I'm at. It is just about exactly the same size and shape as a top bar hive but maybe a few feet longer. My question is this, never having had a hive before, is there any reason I would NOT be able to use that metal stand and just lay some wood bars on the top and cut an entrance in the bottom for the bees? I guess I'm not sure if there is reason metal can't be used as the base. All the ones I have seen were all wood. I'm thinking the metal might not insulate them well enough maybe, but I have no idea. If that's the case, I could line it with wood perhaps. I wish I had a picture, but really, it just looks exactly like a top bar hive on a taller stand, without the bars on the top. Any suggestions on whether that may or may not work?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Construction Question

    I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but i think you might have problems with temperature. metal generally heats up quite a bit in the summer sun. it might be hard for the bees to keep your proposed hive cool.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Construction Question

    I think the winter would be the really difficult part unless it's lined with insulation of some kind either inside or out. I heard that long ago when they tried to use aluminum foundation, even that wicked enough warmth away from the cluster that it didn't work in winter climates.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,367

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Construction Question

    Humidity and condensation would seem to be more of an issue with metal, but people do find colonies in all kinds of places, including metal tanks.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Waco, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    1

    Smile Re: Top Bar Hive Construction Question

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bees Knees View Post
    Howdie. I just signed up so I could post a question I was hoping someone might be able to help me with. I'm just starting to learn about beekeeping and was looking at purchasing or making a top bar hive. I watched some videos on top bar hives on Youtube and realized I have what looks like a raised metal bunk feeder for an herb garden or something of the like, about chest high almost. It was left at the house I'm at. It is just about exactly the same size and shape as a top bar hive but maybe a few feet longer. My question is this, never having had a hive before, is there any reason I would NOT be able to use that metal stand and just lay some wood bars on the top and cut an entrance in the bottom for the bees? I guess I'm not sure if there is reason metal can't be used as the base. All the ones I have seen were all wood. I'm thinking the metal might not insulate them well enough maybe, but I have no idea. If that's the case, I could line it with wood perhaps. I wish I had a picture, but really, it just looks exactly like a top bar hive on a taller stand, without the bars on the top. Any suggestions on whether that may or may not work?
    I have a top bar hive and would suggest you build out of untreated wood and leave the metal alone. Way too many issues to overcome. Screened bottom boards can also be implemented in top bar hive construction that improves ventilation and the bees don't have to work so hard to stay cool during the summer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive Construction Question

    I wouldn't cut a hole in the bottom for an entrance. Just make a space between the end of the tub and the first bar. I agree with everyone else that ventilation, temperature and condensation would probably be a problem.

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