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  1. #1
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    Mar 2013
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    Lightbulb Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    Hi,

    I'm currently in the process of building a Tanzanian top bar hive fit for deep frames. It will fit either 24 or 30 deep frames, not sure what size would be best. Does anyone else have experiences building a top bar hive that fits lang frames, if so how is it working? How well do you guys think it would work? Any recommendations or tips on how to proceed?

    Here's the layout I've planned out

    -Use deep lang frames with wax foundations
    -Use red cedar for construction (0.75" thick)
    -Not sure if I should include a inner cover or just build one outer cover.
    -6 inch long 3/8 entrance on the bottom side of the hive

    So what do you think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Midland, MI
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    i have no working knowledge of this, but I would build it big and makea movable division board so you can adjust the hive cavity as the colony grows. Af for your other questions, i have opinions, but they aren;t based on anything substantial, so I'll simply skip typing them. hopefully others can be more helpful

  3. #3
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    May 2002
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    >I'm currently in the process of building a Tanzanian top bar hive
    >Use deep lang frames with wax foundations

    You are not building a topbar hive, you are building a Langstroth long hive or horizontal hive.

  4. #4
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    You are not building a topbar hive, you are building a Langstroth long hive or horizontal hive.[/QUOTE]
    Agreed...


    Its also not very pratical. Neighbor here has tried teh same thing several years running. doesn't work worth a dang. broodnest stays the same. honey is no better than a traditional hive, and they are a pain to move or work

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Gallatin, Montana, USA
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    80

    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    It never ceases to amaze me how someone can generate an opinion based on someone elses limited experience. Their are alot of beekeepers using long hives very successfully. In all parts of the country. Alot of them that have in the past or continue to run both say that the long hives are their best producers. Sure they are not a readily movable commercial hive. Not all of us move our hives. For every disadvantage they have their own advantages. I to am building some long hives for this season. I'm building three different styles. I don't move my hives, and I don't sell my honey commercially. I'm a hobbiest that just enjoys beekeeping. There is alot of really good info on several styles of long hives on the web. Plus the forums are invaluable. They have tons of great info. Good luck and have fun with your bee's.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    Vancity - Michael Bush has a page on horizontal hives:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm

    I have several KTBHs. All of them have top entrances, at the end, and have done well.
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  7. #7
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    May 2009
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    Didn't mean to put a damper on.... But it also amazes me how many people want to reinvent a simple wheel...... You can build all the styles you want and have a blast. but excluders, and covers and bottom boards etc won't fit or work... and when you go to resell (if you should in your life) then other beeks will have to be as oddly inclined, or its junk. If the percived advantages were real, then we would love to see the data and we would all switch....

    Feel free to experiment, just remember when someone ask others for their opinions, thats what they will get.....My neighbor runs about 30 hives, and hes experimented for years with doubles and long hives and supering and it never fails the comments are the same......nothing good, just issues. Just Passing on the experinces of someone whos been there as the poster requested.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    > and hes experimented for years with doubles and long hives and supering and it never fails the comments are the same......nothing good, just issues.

    Well, if he has been experimenting with long hives for years, then obviously he is getting something out of it. That something may simply be just the satisfaction of doing (or trying) a technique that is different than the norm. It also indicates that he is not satisfied with traditional Lang hives.
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    Nay, hes just a goofus, 40 years old still has a mullet, lives with mom and dad drives a 80 camero, and keeps bees.... I was just trying to keep his mental imbalance private....

  10. #10
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    Regardless of your opinion of your neighbor's adherence to your definition of an appropriate (or successful) lifestyle, whether he keeps bees in Lang equipment or long hives is a choice that he is free to make. Clearly he gets some satisfaction from what he is doing, otherwise he would stop!

    If the Camero still runs, what's wrong with that? And there are plenty of men with little or no hair that would be thrilled to have a "real hair" mullet!
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
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    421

    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    I would suggest that you consider having inner covers that cover 8 frames each. So three inner covers using 24 frames. Then you can add a comb honey super during the main flow. Have an empty nuc box ready for relieving congestion. They can be used for increase or for sale. It's also helpful to connect with a local queen producer.

    In the fall you will need to reduce the colony down to 10 or 12 frames using what honey combs you can without moving any of the brood out. If they are short of stores on the 10 or 12 frames you will need to make it up by feeding so that they will enter winter with 35 to 45 lbs of honey stores.

    You really need to make sure they have enough stores on these first frames where they can easily access it over the winter.

  12. #12
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    According to Eva Crane, back in the late 1990s, the horizontal hive is the most popular in the world and always has been. It is still the traditional hive of Russia, Siberia, and the Scandinavian countries. It does require some management to get the brood nest to expand adequately and avoid swarming, but it's nothing that different from what I would do in a Langstroth except that I don't have to lift boxes to do it. You just feed empty frames into the brood nest. The problem is once they build a comb of capped honey that tends to be the limit of the brood nest. But you can expand the brood nest by putting empty frames in and they will make it larger and that will head off swarming.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#management
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm

    If you don't do this, you will have excessive swarming and the hive will probably never be very productive. I have simply given a rough concept. For details you could read Les Crowder's book. He goes into more detail on how he manipulates the frames to keep the brood nest open:

    http://www.amazon.com/Top-Bar-Beekee...ds=les+crowder
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Nay, hes just a goofus, 40 years old still has a mullet, lives with mom and dad drives a 80 camero, and keeps bees.... I was just trying to keep his mental imbalance private....
    Hey, I resemble that comment!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    Hi Vancity, I have some long hives similar to what you describe, although mine are only 22 frames long. If you want to get honey, go longer, 30 frames minimum.

    I built them as an experiment, not for honey production but for queen cell production, without having to lift boxes on & off constantly. There is a number of issues with the design but these can be managed. Firstly, they are very prone to try to swarm, this is because the bees will get very concentrated in the brood area yet be unwilling to pack into the honey area. This has actually worked to my advantage as they build good big queen cells, the catch being I can't let them actually swarm, a fine balancing act and I have lost a few swarms from them, which then messes up production. Another thing I didn't realise till I actually tried these hives, is getting the first frame out. In a 10 frame box I normally put my hive tool in & separate the frames widely before removing one. But in a long hive cannot do this, you are forced to just wrench the first one out and hope the queen is not on it getting squished, or start at one end which is fairly time wasting.

    The hives are not honey making machines, they do not make as much honey as a vertical hive. They also need more work, as per M Bush, they tend to block in the broodnest & then you get swarming, you do have to move honey and expand the broodnest for them yourself.

    There is no heavy lifting because you only take honey one comb at a time, and they don't make as much. I'd recommend raising it high off the ground similar to a TBH, so you can work it without bending. They can look quite attractive in a garden setting.

    For a guy with one or two hives this can be a fun way to keep bees as you will have the time to do the extra work. I'd say though, that if you are a new beekeeper with less experience, it is almost inevitable you will lose a swarm or two, so you'll need to consider if there could be neighbour issues or whatever. The bees can be very reluctant to move away from the broodnest sideways so you'll need to be prepared to help them with that, by moving combs.

    There is a long hive for sale via internet in my country, being deep lang frames, and 45 frames in the hive. Don't know how successful they are.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    Could you link the hive that they're selling online? I'd love to take a look at it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    Here you go.

    http://www.beezthingz.co.nz/buy.php

    Just going to add, this guy has a few eccentricities, if you look around the site & see anything weird, his opinions are not my opinions.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Athens, OH
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    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    I have a Tanzanian TBH sized for deep frames and I'm a weirdo, too.
    If I did it again, I would size them for medium frames. An unsupported bar of comb the size of a deep is a little awkward to handle.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  18. #18
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    Jun 2011
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    Statesville, North Carolina
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    60

    Default Re: Tanzanian Top Bar Hive with deep lang frames

    I just got rid of my last horizontal lang. I had two. one died over winter last year, and the other never built much comb. Don't know why. I had trouble getting the frames up and out of the box without rolling bees. But, I would have had the same trouble in a regular lang. If I were to do a horizontal lang again, I would go with all medium frames, like Michael Bush.

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