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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
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    52

    Default Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    Michael,

    I noticed that you recommend a top entrance on your hives. I am starting a build using the golden mean plans from backyardhive.com. I have already been convinced to build them much longer - 48 inches. The plans call for a 1/2 inch entrance at the bottom front of the hive.

    My question is how would you put a top entrance on this hive? Would you just cut a 1/2 inch at the top of the front board? Here is a rough drawing of what I am talking about.

    Top entrance vs bottom entrance.JPG

    If so, would you narrow it at all or leave it the full length minus the side boards?

    Would the roof of the hive just hang above it?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,802

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    If your end is only as tall as your sides and if you don't have a telescopic cover, then you just leave the gap at the front of the hive where you stop putting in bars and that is the entrance. If you have something more complicated you may need to do something more complicated.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If you have something more complicated you may need to do something more complicated.
    Ha haa...love it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
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    52

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If your end is only as tall as your sides and if you don't have a telescopic cover, then you just leave the gap at the front of the hive where you stop putting in bars and that is the entrance. If you have something more complicated you may need to do something more complicated.
    Thanks! So if you are leaving an opening on the top horizontal surface of the hive, how do you keep rain and snow out of the hive?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,887

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    The "gap" or space that Michael refers to is under the top cover. Photos are available at his TBH page:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

    One of those showing the entrance arrangement ...
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    OK, I get it now. You leave a gap between the front wall and the first bar, and then you prop the front end of the top cover/roof up. I misunderstood how this was working. I thought he was saying to just slide the top cover back leaving the gap open to the sky.

    This makes a lot of sense to me as this would also create an angle for rain to flow off of the top cover. I was wondering how I was going to do this anyway to keep rain from pooling up on the top cover. 2 birds 1 stone, less work!!!

    Does this ever create a problem with anything getting in above the bars along that gap or is that a non-issue?

    Also, does that lid just lay flat on top (apart from the angle at the front)? If so, how do you keep it secure? I have strong winds.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Top Bar; 02-25-2014 at 08:47 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,802

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    >OK, I get it now. You leave a gap between the front wall and the first bar, and then you prop the front end of the top cover/roof up.

    No. It's already "propped up" by the top bars that are sitting on the sides of the hive.

    > I misunderstood how this was working. I thought he was saying to just slide the top cover back leaving the gap open to the sky.

    That works too as long as the bottom is set up to drain. I have done it with no issues. But that is not what I am describing.

    >This makes a lot of sense to me as this would also create an angle for rain to flow off of the top cover. I was wondering how I was going to do this anyway to keep rain from pooling up on the top cover. 2 birds 1 stone, less work!!!

    No, it's just flat, but it's one piece of wood. The water runs off because it has no where to go.

    >Does this ever create a problem with anything getting in above the bars along that gap or is that a non-issue?

    The only gap I have is because my cover is warped, but if it was not warped I might add a spacer front and back to make a gap for heat issues, not to make a gap for the entrance as that is already there. If there is only a small gap between the cover and the top bars, the little ants that move their brood around move into that gap. They don't really hurt anything, but the bees get excited if I open the top and a lot of ants come running in. If there is a large gap there are less issues sometimes a spider moves in. If it's more then 3/4" paper wasps might move in.

    >Also, does that lid just lay flat on top (apart from the angle at the front)? If so, how do you keep it secure? I have strong winds.

    The cover lays flat on the top bars (no angle at the front), unless you prop it to make some air gap for heat, and it has bricks on it. I have very strong winds as well, which is why the top bar hive is on the ground. When I had it up on legs it would blow over.

    If you look at my pictures, the one with the cover pulled back is just to show you how the gap works. Normally the cover is flush with the front of the hive as well as the back and sides. Overhangs just catch the wind, increasing the odds of the cover blowing off and cause more rain to blow in. Not that it matters that much. The bars are all popolized and wouldn't leak between them anyway.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    OK, so I didn't understand at all!

    So the lid is just a flat piece of plywood that lays on top of the bars. It is flush with all 4 sides of the hive. Because there is a gap between the first bar and the front of the hive, there is a small gap there for the bees.

    I am a visual person, so here is what I came up with. Am I getting close now?

    Top Entrance Diagram.JPG

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
    Posts
    365

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    you got it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    YES!

    Thanks for taking time out for the kid at the back of the class!

    I have had these other plans on the brain for so long, I wasn't "seeing" it.

    So, I think I will make a franken-hive between the golden mean and this design. Same size sides, angles, and top bars, but change to the top entrance, flat plywood lid, and rectangular front and back sides instead of the angled pieces I was trying to cut.

    Much easier, and less hassle. I do still want to put the window in for observation.
    Last edited by Top Bar; 02-25-2014 at 09:56 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
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    365

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    this is how i made my window. i used plexiglass but had a problem with warping so i'd probably use real glass next time.



    inset glass so the inside is smooth.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    Looks nice! That glass is similar to what I am planning.

    I like the looks of the tapered ends, but I think my hive will be more stable with the squared off ends providing stabilization.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
    Posts
    365

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    Yea, either way is fine. ours is drilled to a beefy frame so it's not going anywhere. if i was going to do anything other than that i'd like the square end too.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...ps49e2ce56.jpg

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
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    52

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    Nice setup!

    I am planning on sitting mine on a platform of 2 concrete blocks on each end. That way they will be at a good height not to have to bend over whenever I am working with them.

    The design changes discussed above just saved me a lot of time and frustration. Other than the windows, I could have knocked these out in not time the other day when I was trying to figure out the angles on the end pieces.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    I have top entrances based on the recommendation of Michael. I used 3 each 3/4" holes accross the top. In winter, I close 2 up with silicone wine corks and the 3rd gets covered in harward cloth. Working prefectly so far.
    Christy
    Beekeeping, working mom of 2 little future beekeepers in Pennsylvania.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,802

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    >I am a visual person, so here is what I came up with. Am I getting close now?

    I like your picture. If it just has a dotted line to show the inside of the end and maybe a dotted arrow showing the way in it would be perfect. I wish I had a good diagram for my web site.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    Top Entrance Diagram 2.jpg

    Hows this? Feel free to use it. I just did this in Paint. I know someone with access to a better program (and artistic talent) could do a much better job, but if you like it, you can use it.

    I can also email you the original file.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    Might be worth considering having the lid a bit wider and longer than the hive to allow a bit of an overhang. Better weatherproofing.
    Cheers
    Rob

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by chr157y View Post
    I have top entrances based on the recommendation of Michael. I used 3 each 3/4" holes accross the top. In winter, I close 2 up with silicone wine corks and the 3rd gets covered in harward cloth. Working prefectly so far.
    Christy, are bees able to get out thru the hardware cloth or is there another entrance? SteveStevenson

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: Question for Michael Bush - Top Entrance on Top Bar Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by JakeDatc View Post
    this is how i made my window. i used plexiglass but had a problem with warping so i'd probably use real glass next time.



    inset glass so the inside is smooth.


    Ur better off having the warped plexi. Try using a heavier plexi next time. But, with my eerie nice....glass gets very hot and very cold. I had to rip out glass in the one I put a window in and put heavy plexi in it.

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