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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I apologize in advance for the dumb questions.

I built a TBH this weekend using a Google SketchUp design from Mel B. (http://bbastrodesigns.com/bees/Top Bar Hive.html).

I am now going to build the top bars.

1) Should I build enough top bars to populate the entire length of the Hive (36 inches)
2) Should I build a follower board?
3) His pictures show 5 holes. I live in Central Texas. Is there a number or size of holes that is important?
4) Finally, his hive has a hinged bottom board but no screen. It gets hotter than hell here and the winters are not near as severe as in the northern regions. I'm thinks about including a screen and a sliding door rather than the hinged door. Does this make sense?

Thanks very much for any opinions and help.

On a somewhat related note - Sketchup is amazing. I have built stuff from 2d plans for years but this tool is far better. Also, I added the free plug-in called CutList which made it even better.

Jim Moore
 

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Build all the bars you need (and a few extra).
Follower boards are debateable but I don't think they hurt as long as you keep up with moving them.
I can't view the pic but, we run (4) 1" holes and a booming hive can use all of them
The bees use evaporative cooling and control the air flow - from experience (at our ranch) evaporative cooling works better with smaller openings rather than every window open. We are changing from screened to solid bottoms (with 2 screend holes at the far end)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Build all the bars you need (and a few extra).
Follower boards are debateable but I don't think they hurt as long as you keep up with moving them.
I can't view the pic but, we run (4) 1" holes and a booming hive can use all of them
The bees use evaporative cooling and control the air flow - from experience (at our ranch) evaporative cooling works better with smaller openings rather than every window open. We are changing from screened to solid bottoms (with 2 screend holes at the far end)
Thank very much Chuck. I think I'm following you correctly. The (4) 1" inch holes are the entrance areas while the two screened holes would be on the other side and are screened to allow airflow but not entrance and exit points.

I appreciate the reply. You mentioned ranch, are you in Texas by any chance? We are just outside of McGregor (west of Waco).
 

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Thank very much Chuck. I think I'm following you correctly. The (4) 1" inch holes are the entrance areas while the two screened holes would be on the other side and are screened to allow airflow but not entrance and exit points.

I appreciate the reply. You mentioned ranch, are you in Texas by any chance? We are just outside of McGregor (west of Waco).
You got it. My wife should have some pics at BeeFriendlyAustin.com.

We live in Austin but have land just north of Big Bend National Park. 80 acres bordering 1,000 acres of family land (not much by Texas standards) but 1 side pushes into 10,000 acres of uninhabited state land and our back porch looks into the 800,000 acre park.

Originally we did screened bottoms but I think they have a harder time keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Plus it seems to make for a slower spring build up. My wife likes the follower boards in the winter and believes they can better maintain temps that way (it may be less of an issue without screened bottoms). Also, 2 years ago a lot of absconds were attributed to TBHs with screened botoms. We place hives where a shade tree off to the west offers a good afternoon sun break.
 

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We live in Austin but have land just north of Big Bend National Park. 80 acres bordering 1,000 acres of family land (not much by Texas standards) but 1 side pushes into 10,000 acres of uninhabited state land and our back porch looks into the 800,000 acre park.
If only we all had it so rough..... :) Is there any land for sale out there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is plenty around Waco although since the show "Fixer Upper" went national I have people all over the country asking me about Waco. At least they have forgotten about the Branch Davidians.
I have 10 acres backed up by a 140 acre campground that seldom is used. I like enjoying other peoples land and expect my bees will feel the same way.
Thanks again
 

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You may find that the bees quickly fill the 36" hive. You might consider building the 2nd hive at 45-48" long. I like all mine to have closed screened bottoms, so your idea for a slide out board is good, in my opinion. (I also like to use diatomaceous earth on the slide out IPM board to control the small hive beetles). 5 one inch holes sounds like a lot for a 36" hive. I only have 3 1 inch holes along the long side of my 45" hive and this is the first year that the bees will use all 3 of them.
 
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