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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    beaufort: South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Top bar Modifications

    Has anyone ever modified their TBH by making complete frames to eliminate the need to cut the cone loose from the side of the hive for inspection.

    clueless....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Benton, Ky
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    Yes, I've tried it but its not really worth it unless you have unlimited time. I think you'll find once your brood nest is well established you won't have to cut along the sides that often. I also make my bottoms 8" wide instead of 5-1/4". Having the correct side slope eliminates a lot of the side attachments. Just my opinion and it works well for me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,964

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    Welcome to Beesource!

    > modified their TBH by making complete frames

    If you are going to use full frames in your TBH, you might consider making the hive suitable to accept Langstroth frames. Then your TBH might also be called a "horizontal hive." One advantage to this concept is that you can now easily interchange frames with Lang hives. More here:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by beeninja View Post
    Has anyone ever modified their TBH by making complete frames to eliminate the need to cut the cone loose from the side of the hive for inspection.

    clueless....
    No disrespect intended; but why even bother with a TBH if your going to use frames? Maybe a horizontal hive would suit you better.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Homerville, Ohio
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    Horizontal hive with frames saves you from having to pick up supers. I run both topbar and horizontal with no foundation. Not much difference really. They are both 4 foot long and look the same from the ends.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Homerville, Ohio
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by beeninja View Post
    Has anyone ever modified their TBH by making complete frames to eliminate the need to cut the cone loose from the side of the hive for inspection.

    clueless....
    If you can modify you hive a little to a 60 degree angle you will find you have less trouble with the side attachment. Wider and shallower works well, your bottom is probably very narrow.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    I have 19" bars and a 12 " bottom. About 9" depth. I've never had to cut comb from the sides.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon USA
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    So I've built all my KTBH based on Phil Chandler's design which is basically 17" bars and a 6" bottom. I was led to believe by his drawings that that configuration gave you the 60 degree angles, though I never bothered to check the math. Are people saying his plans are no good then? I now have 3 KTBH's all built to the same specs more or less for ease and interchangeability. Of the 3, one colony does attach to the side a little bit, but a stroke or two with the bread knife easily takes care of it. Also, I noticed the guy on Youtube (Bluesky something) seems to model his hives with roughly the same dimensions....So I'm curious, doing a poll:

    How long are your tops bars?
    How wide is your bottom board?
    How deep/tall is you hive?

    Would be nice to get some numbers...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Benton, Ky
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    Mine are all
    15-1/2" bars
    8" wide bottoms
    Approx 10" deep
    I like the shorter bars for 3 reasons. I never loose comb to heat or handling, they don't warp or sag, and when i ship my assembled hives they will ship in a 18"x18"x48" box which reduces shipping charges and damage...
    i also don't have a problem with the 17" bars. When i first started i built mine that size with 10" bottoms. But personally i wouldn't go larger than that. But again i don't run langs so i don't need that size.
    But i don't like the narrow bottoms. The wider bottoms let them build a more natural shaped comb and they attach less.
    As for Phil's designs i think a few minor things about them are a little out dated and are a little harder to manage than mine, but heck, they work too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    crabcatjohn - if you don't mind sharing your ideas of what is outdated some of us would appreciate it. We can take them into consideration or ignore them, but I like hearing ideas. My first hive is built, but might have more down the road. Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Benton, Ky
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    First, I don't want to seem critical. That has never been my intention and never will be for anybody's ideas. They will all work to some extent. I'm sure some people won't agree with my designs or methods but i believe mine are easier to manage. Phil has done more for this type of beekeeping than anybody else on the planet. Like a lot of us i got my start studying Phils designs and i have nothing but respect for him. I'm also not saying everybody should go out and change their hives. The few minor things i disagree with is the double follower board method of starting your bees in the center of the hive, the narrower bottoms and when he suggests beginners might want to use 36" long hives. Good bees will outrun a 17" wide x 36" long hive with narrow bottoms and when they do they will pack every inch with comb and attach everywhere. Not good for beginners.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    crabcatjohn - you were answering my questions, I don't think you are being critical and thanks for sharing. Your opinion is there for us to think about

    For new bee keeper limiting problems might keep us around long enough to be get full blown bitten (or stung).

    Some comments that folks share about ideas and dislikes are taken the wrong way, but I appreciate what you were saying. The double follower method and starting in the middle has been mentioned by several people as problem and bees only move one way. While everyone saying they start on the end has not mentioned a problem.

    And after reading comments on several topics, my thoughts of making some shorter top bars is shifted to why not a full 48. Sure don't want them swarming fast if I can help control it by having more space.

    Thanks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,051

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    Make it a little under 48 inches. This way it is easier to make a top cover. If you are using tin roofing it won't matter.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,495

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by beeninja View Post
    Has anyone ever modified their TBH by making complete frames to eliminate the need to cut the cone loose from the side of the hive for inspection.

    clueless....
    Yes. LLLangstroth.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Benton, Ky
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Top bar Mods

    Shannon is correct, i make mine 45" long. This allows for a nice overhang on the roofs on both ends with the dimension of the materials working out with no seams and little waste. This will also allow for 30 bars which they will not easily outrun. I always start mine at one end and let them work towards the middle. Its real easy that way. I don't see a problem with 17" bars as long as you make wider bottoms. At least that has been my experience.

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