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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

My name is Christopher, and this is my first (aside from my introduction) post. Because this happens to pertain more to the hive itself, I decided to post in this thread rather than the Top Bar one.

I am having my hive custom built by my uncle who's a finished carpenter, and from looking at design after design, I'm struggling to figure out where the entrances should be located.

My hive is 24 bars in length, with 3 sections 8 bars each. Now do I need to have holes located on both endboards, and the center in order to allow the bees to travel to different sections? Or do I cut a small hole into each follower board and place holes just in the center section from the outside?

I'm a bit new at this, so hopefully that all makes sense. Please feel free to ask any information you need.

Thanks,

Christopher

P. S. The attached image is my "semi-completed" hive.


View attachment 32594 View attachment 32594
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No I was not planning on using it for mating nucs. It was to my knowledge that you separated the hive to prevent them becoming intimidated.
 

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You will not want the sections in the hive if you are using one queen/colony for that hive. From the photo, it looks like the entrance is already done in the center with the three holes. The division boards are used to narrow down the cavity where you start the colony, and then you move them out to the edges as you add more bars for them to draw comb on. No holes should be in the follower boards, unless you plan to add a feeder on the empty side of the hive behind the follower board.

Have you read an introductory book on topbar hives yet? I do like Christy Hemenway's first book The Thinking Beekeeper to get the basics down on a topbar hive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Alright, so from what I understand, because I am receiving one colony with one queen, I won't need to keep the hive in 3 separate sections forever. I just keep it like that and as they utilize more bars I give them more to work with?

Also, my feeder is going to act as a top bar, so rather than take it out once it's reached the end, I'm just going to keep it next to the end bar so the bees can still use it.

One more note to add. I've seen many people ace a box with a small slit at one end over the holes entering thier hives to protecct against predators and to keep the heat inside. Would you say that it's a good idea or just an unnecessary addition?

The link to that entrance can be found here: https://youtu.be/izVkg-w7aZM

I have also provides a picture of the feeder I am going to be using. Note the picture is not of my feeder. This is the same image I gave to the person who is helping me make mine.
 

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Phil Chandler is describing a periscope entrance. I've used that on one of my hives, and did not find where it made much of a difference. (his book is a good one to have). The feeder you've shown is a division board feeder and that will take the place of one of your section dividers, and yes, it might end up pushed against the end of the hive as your colony grows this year. Just be sure the bees can get behind it or the small hive beetles will have a party there. Hopefully, you don't have to feed all season, but that will depend on how much comb they have drawn. The first year is all about getting the comb drawn out. The other section divider will get moved out as you add more bars. Since you are in a colder area for winter, you probably want to stick with Christy Hemenway's plan of keeping the colony in the middle of the hive so you have the ends as "insulators" come winter time.
 

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Ok...
Your running a Chandler style hive with 2 followers, I get it. He runs a side entrancevthey ran some out here at a CSA side by side with Harrison KTBH hives. The results weren't great and they were gotten rid of. There were problems with the bees going left or right come winter and then starveing at that side of the hive with honey on the other
frount entrances have been the standard for long hives going back 3500 years.... brood in the front, stores in the back. works well for the beekeeper and the bees
I would put the entrance at the frount, and manage the hive volume with a single follower board like most other KTBH set ups
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You know I just read through a portion of Christy Hemingway's book on Top Bars and she explained the "Mid-season shift." once my bees reach the end board in one direction I simply push the whole hive over into the open third on the other side of the follower board. This allows all of thier brood to remain near the feeder, while keeping thier stores to one side to reach during winter. This idea is genius yet so simple!
 
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