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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Southern Mountains of Western NC
    Posts
    8

    Default Space between the first top bar and the entrance board

    Hi,

    I'm building my first ktbh and I have read so much over the past few weeks I can't remember it all or where I read it.

    I think I need a spacer between the end of the tbh that has the entrance in it and the first top bar but I can't remember

    how large this space should be. I think I read somewhere 3/8 of an inch but that seemed small. I tried searching the forum

    first but had a hard time finding what I needed. I see where M. Bush used a similar space as an entrance but I'm drilling holes

    in the end of the hive due to my roof design. I just want a piece of wood there to hold that first comb in position off of the entrance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: Space between the first top bar and the entrance board

    I've never figured out the obsession with drilling holes... you have to do something with the excess space. The bars will swell when the humidity goes up and shrink when it goes down, so they don't fit the same from day to day anyway. If you make them tight they can swell to where they pop up because there is no where else to go...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Murray KY, USA
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Space between the first top bar and the entrance board

    Bee space is indeed 3/8". The brood bar should be around 1 1/4" wide, which will be close to the entrance. So you could slip in a 1/4" spacer to allow for further space in front of the initial bar. I'm not sure that it's needed though.. As I understand it, they will not build comb low enough near the entrance to block it and will allow themselves their own space when drawing comb.

    Take what I say with a grain of salt though.. I'm just starting out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Southern Mountains of Western NC
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Space between the first top bar and the entrance board

    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm not so much obsessed with the holes as I am with my roof.
    Being a woodworker / carpenter I just had a design in mind that
    enclosed the upper part of the hive above the bars fairly snugly.
    (to prevent unwanted critters from setting up shop in there)

    But I suppose I can change up my design.

    Michael,
    Do they land on the front of the hive, crawl up under the roof then back
    down into the hive? Do they get confused on what to do with the space above the bars?
    Do you have critter problems above the bars?

    Thanks for the advice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Space between the first top bar and the entrance board

    In my modified KTBH hives, I have a bee space above the bars, and a top entrance (3/8" tall slot, where the top lip of the box meets the bottom of the roof) for the bees. They sometimes fly right into the slot, and sometimes land on the front of the hive & crawl in...either way, the overhanging roof, and the total absence of a landing board, neither one seems to phase them at all.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Hot Springs, Arkansas
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Space between the first top bar and the entrance board

    when you first start your new hive in a TBH slam the frames tight against the side of the hive and a follower board tight. After they are stronger just move them down with one bee space gap, usually on the end of the opening. What I am saying is if you are going to have a regular hole entrance dont' leave a gap also between the side of the hive and the top bars or you could loose too much heat. I'm only mentioning this since you are positive you are drilling a hole. Too much air in the beginning is a bad thing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Space between the first top bar and the entrance board

    3/8's is fine. That should keep them from attaching the comb to the front of the hive.

    If you haven't drilled any holes you may want to consider putting them on the side towards front. This way the shape of the hive is not going to allow rain in, and if you drill your holes square to the board they will be on an angle reducing the chance of rain water in the hive.

    Lots of folks are doing the top entrance thing now. If I get any swarms I may do the same for the hive I put them in (haven't made them yet, figured I would have some time to do that after I get the swarms.)

    And don't bother with a landing board. They

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: Space between the first top bar and the entrance board

    >Do they land on the front of the hive, crawl up under the roof then back down into the hive?

    Mine don't have to, but they will if they have to. Mine fly straight in:

    http://bushfarms.com/images/TBHEntrance1.JPG

    > Do they get confused on what to do with the space above the bars?

    Any space or no space (miniscule space) gets things living in it in a top bar hive. Spiders, ants, SHB. If the space is between 1/4" and 3/8" the bees may patrol it some when they are strong, but a top bar hive has a lot of space to guard up there... so they may not. Mine always have these little ants living there with their eggs. I sweep them off with my bee brush. They never bother the bees unless I don't sweep them off and they run down into the hive when I'm opening it up...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Space between the first top bar and the entrance board

    See my thread titled "My Most Favorite Top Bar Feeder" recently. In it I included my YouTube Video's URL; near the end I also talk about my hives design showing my top 3/8-inch-slot entrance and my 3/8-inch strip inside the hive just before the first top bar. You might get some ideas there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Southern Mountains of Western NC
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Space between the first top bar and the entrance board

    Thanks for the ideas and feedback everyone. Perhaps I'll post some pics when
    it's done.

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