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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    204

    Default Top bar hive design.

    I was thinking of building a long top bar hive with straight sides to Lanstroth dimensions. I'd like to go about 20 frames long so I could but two medium supers on top for honey. Also 20 frames is about wha Id want to leave them for winter. Will the comb hold up on a bar that long and deep? I thought probably have to use frames but no foundations in the supers to keep them from connecting the comb to to the top bars in the bottom box? I already have a lot of medium supers.
    I got my first two hives going this spring, medium ten frames. I discovered that I like making equipment.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,576

    Default Re: Top bar hive design.

    My TBH's have sloping sides and simply bars, but if I was to build horizontal hive with Lang dimensions, I would use foundationless frames in it. More on that here:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm

    > I discovered that I like making equipment.

    If you would like to see about making your own frames, plans are here:
    http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...t-type-frames/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Top bar hive design.

    Kenww, we seem to have a lot in common. (Same state, same package source, thinking of similar hive mods.) I have been playing with a very similar idea but in mine I am combining Kenyan Top Bar with Langstroth 8 frame mediums with Warre quilt box and roof. I have been working on the sketches and modeling it. I plan to try it out as a nuc and if it works replace my first hive with one. The nuc size will be 15 brood bars with two Langstroth medium nuc boxes on top. I will have to route the bars to give a pass through to the Lang part. I would make the hive three mediums wide so that I can have two mediums wide hive and one medium wide nuc on the end of the hive. The downside to this versus the long Lang is bar interchangeability but if it doesn't work out I can go back to just the KTBH and stack the Lang boxes.

    Some of my reasons for the combo are: I like the KTBH brood nest; I think the Warre roof and quilt are a good design for both winter heat retention and summer ventilation; I like not having to bend over or lift heavy boxes but realize there is probably better honey potential stacking; it would allow me to purchase nuc bees; it would allow me to put emergency food over the brood nest in winter; etc...

    I think Praxis did something similar (no Warre quilt box or roof and I don't know how long) to what I describe but hasn't been through a season with it yet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Top bar hive design.

    That sounds interesting. What are the advntages of the top bar hive for the brood chamber?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Top bar hive design.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenww View Post
    That sounds interesting. What are the advntages of the top bar hive for the brood chamber?
    I'm not sure there are any beyond a choice. I like the naturalness of it, but all managed hives fall short of being natural by essence of being managed. I have had few problems with burr comb or side attachments, they have freedom to draw what they want, etc... but I am still learning and tomorrow may teach me something different.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,536

    Default Re: Top bar hive design.

    I have 2x long Lang style deep beehive. 20 frames are not enough, you may need 30 or something. Rhaldridge made nice long hives and have great success with foundationless frames. I tried TBs in the long hive - they are too heavy when full of honey - you need some side bars for better support. I am very happy with my long hive. Girls - love it!

    BTW, I am using TBs for the brood - absolutely beautiful large patterns. Bees love large area for the brood.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Top bar hive design.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenww View Post
    Will the comb hold up on a bar that long and deep?
    I think they hold up as long as you treat them like a top bar and not a normal Lang frame. I believe people with wired Lang frames tend to rotate them flat to inspect and without wires this is when the comb fails. Inspecting like a top bar you know not to do that.

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