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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    2

    Default Newbie Top Bar Questions

    Hello ,

    I am pretty much a newbee to Beekeeping and to Top-Bars . After going to a class at the local library, the wife and I took the plunge and bought all the necessary equipment and a lang full of bee's . I saw a Top-Bar demo at the Washington state fair back in September and have been hooked on the natural aspects of the KTBH . I have been reading on the net, checking out books and videos from the library and watching loads of YouTube vid's on KTBH's. I do have a couple of questions on design though.

    * In Les Crowders book he builds his TBH's wide and shallow. 20.1/4" wide at the top, 9.1/4" at the bottom and 10" deep. and with Top Bars being 1 3/8th wide

    * Philip Chandlers book and plans call for his TBH's to be narrower and a bit deeper @ 15" wide with 17" bars , 12 inches deep and 5" wide at the bottom and Top Bars being 1 1/2. wide

    I live just south of Olympia Washington . Right now it is 22* F outside and last night it got down to 6* F. Our summers and growing seasons are short and the high temps rarely get into the 80's. so which design do you think would be best for my climate? Wide and shallow or tall and narrow?
    Last edited by DawgDrvr; 12-09-2013 at 03:19 PM. Reason: mis spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Newbie Top Bar Questions

    Deep is important. But so is wide. Deep and wide frames or topbars mean less moving of the cluster (to get to honey) through the winter. All will work.
    Les Crowders method I think is better. But Opinions, opinions.......

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,686

    Default Re: Newbie Top Bar Questions

    Since you are already a Lang style beekeeper, I suggest sizing your TBH so that you can easily move bars/frames back and forth between the two hive types.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hopkins, South Carolina
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Newbie Top Bar Questions

    Check out on YouTube ( OutOfABlueSky)..He helped me alot. I all so have lang hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    401

    Default Re: Newbie Top Bar Questions

    Not sure that the bar length is such as issue for your area. I'm in the south, and so it can make a difference in our heat. I think more important is the screened bottom. I bought my topbarhive from Beeline Apiaries. Bars are the same length as a Lang hive so you can get the comb started in your Lang and move it to the TBH. Screened bottoms that have a greased inspection board have been wonderful to help control the small hive beetles. I'd also highly recommend an observation window. Nothing like being able to look at your bees in the dead of winter and know they are still doing fine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Newbie Top Bar Questions

    I live in Wa state also, just north of you in the Everett area. I've been keeping bees in "Chandler size" TBH's for 9 years. The biggest issue we have with TBH's is the moisture in the hives during winter. I've eliminated most of this by making sure the bottom of the hive can drain (screened holes) and placing my entrance holes toward the top of the hive at the end. I also have a screened vent at the oposite or "back" end of the hive.
    Regarding "wider" or "taller" combs, I'm not sure it really matter too much since we don't have hot summers. In warmer climate I would be inclined to say shorter combs for more strength.

    Mike
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Default Re: Newbie Top Bar Questions

    My experience is that wide and deep tend to collapse on a really hot day in a strong flow. I have good luck with wider and shallower. But if it's in the shade and the timing works out, any size seems to work if you are careful not to open them up when it's too hot or mess too much with brand new white comb...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: Newbie Top Bar Questions

    I'm a first year newbie and went with a top bar hive after reading Les Crowders book. I've got two hives from BeeThinking in Portland, Oregon which isn't all that far from you. They were a great help in answering all my many questions about the top bar hives. Also check out "For the love of bees". This website is hosted by Les Crowder and Heather Harrell who wrote the book on TBH beekeeping. They were very helpful in answering questions about beekeeping in top bar hives. Also this forum is a treasure trove of information regarding beekeeping. I knew absolutely nothing about beekeeping a year ago but with the help of these sites I've had very successful year.
    "If I only knew then what I know now but keep forgetting"

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