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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    High Springs, FL
    Posts
    86

    Default 19" top bar hives

    I want a top bar hive with bar sizes that allow for moving into my standard lang hives.
    Initially I'd like to start out the top bars in my medium boxes so when I introduce a package they have comb to move into.

    There seems to be only one company selling tbh's of this type

    Is there a reason I'm missing why they seem to be so uncommon?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Virginia, Minnesota
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    If you want interchangeable bars you can just us traditional frames without any foundation, I just put a starter strip in the groove. My Top bar hive is a horizontal langstroth hive that I can use frames in.
    TF far northern Minnesota

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,195

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    > Is there a reason I'm missing why they seem to be so uncommon?

    One reason may be that shipping an assembled horizontal hive that can accommodate 19" frames is going to be more expensive $$$ than a narrower hive.

    If you are selling/shipping unassembled horizontal hives, the potential market is likely smaller, and some of those are going to build their own.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    This guy will do a custom hive for you. He will either make the bars the length you want or the entire hive to your specs. The hive will need to be assembled when you get it.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/141122210156...#ht_424wt_1365

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    I have a top bar hive like that which I built and used exactly like you are describing - come and get it and it's yours.

    There is no functional reason to not use 19" top bars that I have seen - although moving them back and forth from top bar hive to Lang and vise-versa usually requires a bit of comb trimming unless the TBH is really just a long Langstroth hive.

    BTW - top bar hives are pretty easy to build with minimal tools - you do need a table saw to make the bars though.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,698

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    I built a TBH sized to use deep frames. If I had it to do over I'd make it shallower to accomodate mediums. In warm weather, a 19" bar of comb 9 1/2" deep is awfully delicate to handle.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,698

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    BTW - top bar hives are pretty easy to build with minimal tools - you do need a table saw to make the bars though.
    You could probably use just the top bar of a regular frame.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    They wouldn't be wide enough - the sides provide the correct width to regular frames.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    BTW, you can get comb started on shorter top bars by wire tying them into a foundationless frame or a 19" piece of yard stick or something like that to put in a Langstroth hive. If you don't keep a really close eye on them though they will be fully built out before you know it, and you will have to butcher a lot of comb to get them in the TBH. You just need a little bit of comb started to make it work - especially if it has eggs in it.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,195

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    David is correct about the width of the frame top bar being too narrow, but instead of just using only the top bar from a Lang frame, I would use the entire frame, without foundation.

    While that is a slight modification to the ease of a home-built TBH, since the OP indicated a desire to swap resources with a Lang hive, it makes good sense to me.

    Note that using Lang top bars, or entire frames, may require a slightly more complex design to the area where the ends of the bars meet the hive sidewalls. The design would need to block any gaps that might otherwise allow bees to enter there.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,698

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    Well, not to nitpick, but the link he showed above was for a KTBH. A whole frame wouldn't fit. But if he wanted to start comb in a Lang, he could use the top bar from a regular frame, just not pushed tight together. David is also correct that a small piece of comb tied to a bar is an easy way get them on track.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    512

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    I bought my top bar hive from honeybeehabitat. I love it! It's actually made by Beeline Apiary and they are starting their own website. here's their number.

    Beeline Apiaries and Woodenware will be hosting thier own site soon!

    Until then, you can purchase products directly from them by calling 269-496-7001 or via email at Beeline@ABCMailbox.net.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    This is also a good option for getting a good start in a TBH...



    And after a few weeks...



    Works well even with butter soft new comb.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Benton, Ky
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    I've been manufacturing Top Bar Hives for sale on the internet for 7 years now. There a couple of reasons why i don't sell 19" top bars. One is 19" top bars are very hard to manipulate with new comb and there is great risk of comb collapse in high temps. Very user unfriendly. I tried a few in the old days... The other reason is like Rader said shipping problems. A 4 ft. 19" hive assembled hive is almost impossible to ship without destroying it and it costs a fortune to ship it. A lot of new folks i see online these days marketing these have followed my lead and are making their bars 15 or 15-1/2" long similar to the Bush suggested size. I predict in 5 or 6 more years most manufacturers in the US will follow that trend. Of course there are folks that still make 17" bar hives like Chandlers and most of them market them un-assembled or charge a assembly fee. Again, very hard to ship assembled without damage as i'm sure they found out...lol. I used to sell 17's and have a few of those left in my apiary and they work fine, but 15-1/2's are the easiest all around in my book. I sell all mine assembled and finally came up with a new packing method to ship mine last year that greatly diminished shipping damage. Only 1 hive with minor damage last year. 5 - 6 per year in previous years with significant damage even with the 15-1/2" size. Hope this answers your question. John

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Richland Iowa USA
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    I watched a video of Sam Comfort talking about TBH, and he uses a 19" bar for that exact reason.. same size as a Lang.. I dont recall the name etc, but it was one of him doing a talk to other beeks..
    Its winter, you have time. Lots of plans available. Shouldnt be an issue to build one and make some custom bars.. or con a buddy with the tools into doing it for you
    www.outyard.weebly.com 8 yrs aiding 40+ hives 3 yrs personal. 40+ of my own now (T, TF Goal) Zone 5a

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,278

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    If you use a Langstroth frame in the hive it is called a Long-Idea hive. In the early 1900s a commercial beekeeper in Florida named O. O. Poppleton used several hundreds of this type. The hive was 30 to 35 frames long, and naturally required two people to move when relocating from crop to crop. I made one years ago, the largest number of frames with brood it produced was 15. It's wintering ability was average.
    37 years - 25 colonies - IPM disciple - naturally skeptic

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    I use 19" bars but the body itself is not 19" wide, the inner measurement at the top is 15". I simply let the bars overhang 2" on each side. This is roughly based on Wyatt Mangum's design. I like the extra length at the ends because it makes it really easy to grab a bar and manipulate it.
    image.jpg image.jpg

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    I do the very same thing as TheGeneralsBees. I first learned about top bar hives (and beekeeping) as a Peace Corps volunteer here in Honduras. One of our sources of information was “Small Scale Beekeeping” by Curtis Gentry (who we were also lucky enough to have has one of our trainers. You can find this book online for free.) We used the dimensions at the end of the book and for whatever reason we made longer top bars that would sit on top of the box and overhang the sides. It wasn’t until years later that I realized people usually made the top bars’ length the same as the boxes’ width that would sit inside of it.

    The boxes I use still use these dimensions. It has worked well for me here and I haven´t seen any really pressing need to change them. The only change is that I did extend the original length of the bars a bit more so they would fit in standard Langstroth equipment.

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...op-barhive.jpg

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...trap5Abr07.jpg

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...14Mar08009.jpg

    The overhang really causes no serious problems. As GeneralsBees said, it lets you grab onto the bar much easier. You don´t need to dig out the top bar as you do on those designs where it sits down in the box.

    This way also allows you to have a narrower box. I can see where a 19-inch wide box could cause problems with the increased size of comb, especially new comb. There really is no other option if you want to have the longer bars but narrower boxes.

    The only problem I usually have is that you have to be careful replacing the combs in the box and center them in the middle. If I´m in a hurry I sometimes keep them too close to one side (or touching one side) and the bees end up gluing them to the side of the box. I could potentially have the comb break off the bar the next time I enter the hive if I´m not vigilant about this. But seriously, in the scheme of things, it`s not that big of a deal. You should always have a long knife on hand any ways for dealing with burr comb.

    Even with my trap hives the overhang doesn’t cause me problems. The trap hive gets covered with plastic that is folded around, stapled on and everything is nicely sealed up.

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...traphive05.jpg

    ----------
    Tom

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    Like general, all my top bar hives use 19 inch bars. I have had one comb collapse with 5 top bar hives. It was full of honey, and I should have harvested it. My hives are also based on Dr. Mangum's design, it has really worked for me. For pics and more information: topbarhiveguy.com.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: 19" top bar hives

    Mann Lake sells a top bar hive with standard length bars, they also sell just the bars, I have one and the bars fit in my Langs also. We plan on letting our nucs start some comb on the top bars and then transferring them over to the TBH to give them a boost. We like to make whole hive mead from the complete combs from the TBH WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

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