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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Brownsburg, IN
    Posts
    56

    Default 55 gallon Drum Top Bar Hive

    Does anyone have any experience with these? I am planning on expanding my beekeeping next season and I access to cheap drums used for water soluble laundry soap. I'm wondering of they do well, as I can get 2 hives out of each $10 barrel. The ones i can get are the opaque white ones, so I am imagining I will paint them to make the interiors darker. Just wondering if someone can provide me with some insights.

    KB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Amarillo, Tx
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: 55 gallon Drum Top Bar Hive

    Did you see this page on BeeSource? It's not exactly a half circle, but pretty close.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,990

    Default Re: 55 gallon Drum Top Bar Hive



    Huh! I thought I was familiar with most sections of Beesource, but I had never seen the section on Alternative Hive Designs before. Thanks Needo!
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: 55 gallon Drum Top Bar Hive

    I've built several barrel hives. I have two of them active at the moment. Check out my website and click on the bee hive section: http://www.savebeesflorida.com/

    Also, here's a YouTube video of orientation flights happening a few days ago with one of my barrel hives. I have a bait have sitting on top of it, so don't think it's a second level, or something like that.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxyCl5dCNf0
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: 55 gallon Drum Top Bar Hive

    I never did a hive with this, but a 30 gallon barrel half, lined with ordinary planks (3/4 nom.) just laid inside, takes an ordinary KTBH bar, about 26 of them. Laid one out, and never put it together. That would be an easy build, the dimensions are aproximately the same as the usual KTBH.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: 55 gallon Drum Top Bar Hive

    .

    I just did a cut-out this past Friday using a 55-gal barrel hive (with smaller legs for loading) which worked fantastically.

    Did I mention I GOT THE QUEEN !?!?!

    I also briefly explain the half-inch hardware cloth method for placing comb on the top bars.

    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,809

    Default Re: 55 gallon Drum Top Bar Hive

    The first TBH I ever saw was a half barrel hive. The explanation was that it was basically what folks in parts of Africa could get their hands on. A demonstration of what was going on in countries where wood was not as easily come by as in other countries.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    nukunonu, tokelau, New Zealand
    Posts
    2

    Thumbs Up Re: 55 gallon Drum Top Bar Hive

    Great job rescuing all of them, they would have all followed the queen eventually but you got them to the happy place much faster. very cool setup... I would like to make some TBH in my farm. I have many barrells leftover around the farm and can definitely repurpose them to grow my bee hobby. I will be posting some pictures in my site when I'm done with the new build. thank you www.gerardonalesmichaus.wix.com/business

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: 55 gallon Drum Top Bar Hive

    .

    So I opened up one of my 55-gal barrel hives today and placed some of the combs on a stand I hammered together and took several photos. These bees are from a cut-out, so that's why you see the half-inch hardware cloth on some or all of the bars/comb. These combs will get much bigger than this. They've only just begun. When they are done, the combs will be a perfect, huge semi-circle. This cut-out was done about a month-or-so ago:












    This is a shot of a smaller comb, but a cool shot nonetheless, IMHO. The bees happened to be doing orientation flights while I was inspecting them:

    Last edited by PatBeek; 10-09-2013 at 09:13 PM.
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

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