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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone build a Michael Bush style top bar hive? I don't know what size nails to use to nail through the floor into the bottom of the sides or how many nails to use. The hive is 5 feet long.

The idea is after the bottom, sides and ends are assembled, you bend the sides away from the center and then nail or screw through the top of the ends into the sides.
I am picking up my bee packages tomorrow and need to assemble tonight. Thank you in advance.

Mark T.
 

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I built about six of these over the past couple of years. I used "finishing" nails, the kind that barely have any head on them. for the end boards I used a combination of nails and screws. Wood warps!
Has anyone build a Michael Bush style top bar hive? I don't know what size nails to use to nail through the floor into the bottom of the sides or how many nails to use. The hive is 5 feet long.

The idea is after the bottom, sides and ends are assembled, you bend the sides away from the center and then nail or screw through the top of the ends into the sides.
I am picking up my bee packages tomorrow and need to assemble tonight. Thank you in advance.

Mark T.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A galvanized 7p box is probably perfect. An galvanized 8p box would work. I'd put a nail every 8 to 10" or so.
Thank you so much Michael. I built my two hives and installed the packages last Sunday. I checked them today and the queens are released and the workers are building straight comb!
 

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I think MB did a wonderful thing by giving folks a simple design to follow, making construction possible for those with the most rudimentary of tools and materials to build a movable comb hive. This design was my first couple of TBHs. The issue with this hive is you will find that as careful as you are in regard to measurement, the inside space, from my experience, will not be symmetrical, which leads to issues when you are sharing comb between hives. If your plan is to make one and not worry about interchangeability, it should work fine.
 

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I agree it should be, geometry doesn't lie. Perhaps I didn't get it quite centered, possibly the boards were warped a bit too much, but I remember specifically that the inner mid-section was narrower toward the top than the outer inside dimemsions, which led to some violation of beespace and glued combs to sidewalls when moving comb around.
 

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The issue with this hive is you will find that as careful as you are in regard to measurement, the inside space, from my experience, will not be symmetrical, which leads to issues when you are sharing comb between hives.
I made a KTBH some years ago, and followed Phil Chandler's method - which is to make 4 identical trapezoid boards first. Making these boards first ensures that their shape is symmetrical around the mid-line.

Then - two of these boards are used as the hive end boards, with the longitudinal boards being attached to them. The other two can simply be made into follower boards by having top bars attached. That way, everything is symmetrical, and everything fits everything else.

At any time more boards can be made (for more hives) using any of the above boards as a template. It may be slightly more involved than Michael's method (which I know nothing about, btw), but I think the end-product justifies this.

I still have the follower/template boards in store from my brief excursion into KTBH's, so if anyone wants them and is passing by Boston (Lincolnshire, England) - do call in and collect them. I also have a 10-bar carry-home KTBH nuc box (with it's own follower/divider board) made from plywood if anyone wants it.
LJ
 

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That's how I make mine these days, LJ. I have an original custom template that I base all my measurements on. I have retired the hives that didn't follow these measurements, making life easier. I am also trying to phase out my langstroth gear as to make all hive parts interchangeable, which will simplify my beekeeping endeavors even more. Thank you for the in-depth post nonetheless.
 
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