Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen only a few pictures of people putting a Langstroth super on top of a TBH. I am interested to hear your opinions on putting a Langstroth super on a TBH. What are the disadvantages, what to bear in mind when attempting it.

Is it a matter of removing one top bar and putting the Langstroth super on top of the other top bars? Isn't there supposed to be a certain distance between the bottom of a frame and the frame in the super below it?

Very interested to hear what you all think as there is very little on the subject on internet. If people have this setup, pictures would be most welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,920 Posts
Mine wasn't a true Lang, as the hive was too long but here are my pictures. I intentionally made the bee entrance on the side so they would be going in between the 2 boxes. My hive was having queen troubles this year, so I did not have the bee population that I expected. They are still building comb in the TBH portion. I am however setting up 5 frame TBH nucs that I also plan to be able to super in the spring if the population gets ahead of what I'm comfortable with. Again, the entrance will be along a side (not top or bottom like a Lang).

As far as the bees are concerned, even though they didn't build in the super part this year, they seem pretty comfortable buzzing around in there. And I'm certain if I had any comb in there, they would be packing it with pollen and nectar. My main purpose in trying this was to keep the queen away from it, hoping to have some nice cut comb honey (my super is also a top bar-no frames)

IMG_2353.jpg one false bar with holes drilled in it. so far, they have not attempted to put comb on it.

IMG_1861.jpg super is about a medium. wood strips along the bottom allow it to sit tight on the other bars and seal off the gaps

IMG_2045.jpg periscope entrance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the pictures. So you have a top bar with 3 big holes in it from where the bees go from TBH to the top right?

I wanted to take one top bar out and put a queen excluder over it so that only worker bees would be able to travel to the top chamber. It won't be a Langstroth super but the Dutch version which has outside dimensions 47x43 cm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,920 Posts
I probably have 6 total entrance holes leading to the periscope entrance. You might try yours without the queen excluder first to see if it's really needed. Can't imagine why the queen would feel the need to go snooping around in the top box since it's not readily accessible to her. Others have talked about needing a "bee bridge" for them to get up there. My bees are happy enough flying or crawling on the edges to get where they want. Where is your entrance going to be?
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,120 Posts
>I have seen only a few pictures of people putting a Langstroth super on top of a TBH. I am interested to hear your opinions on putting a Langstroth super on a TBH. What are the disadvantages, what to bear in mind when attempting it.

Since part of the reason for a horizontal hive is to avoid lifting boxes, it seems counterproductive... the difficulty with a top bar hive is the lack of gaps and getting the bees to view the box as part of the hive. I had better luck when making the only entrance at the top of the super so they had to fly through the super to get to the top bar hive. Gaps tend to lead towards fat combs that you can't push back together, but gaps are necessary. The more there are the more problems you have with the bees building in the gaps, and the less you have the less they view the super as part of the hive... it's a catch 22.

>Is it a matter of removing one top bar and putting the Langstroth super on top of the other top bars?

If you do that they will likely build even more comb in the space. I just gapped it 1/4"

>Isn't there supposed to be a certain distance between the bottom of a frame and the frame in the super below it?

Yes. between 1/4" and 3/8". The ones I supered had a 3/8" top beespace above the top bars created by a 3/4" frame rest rabbet and a 3/8" thick top bar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What is a bee bridge?

My KTBH has entrances on both ends. One end has has 9 holes of 1 cm and the other end has an entrance slot of 1 cm by 10 cm. Both entrances can be closed.

So it seems it is difficult to get the bees to notice the extra space above and get them to enter it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,039 Posts
To me it seems like throwing a box on top of a bunch of top bars will make it very very difficult to free the box so that it can be removed without bringing some/all the bars with it (once they have everything glued together).

What about building a long Langstroth that has the ability to super on the end? Like a double deep (or mediums if you'd rather) size horizontal portion and then you can put supers on the end if you ever want to? I was tossing that idea around, but ended up deciding just to go with regular Langs instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
I tried supering a few TBH hives, it was overall a disappointment, just too awkward for me given the box configurations. They will treat the super as any langstroth super after the TBH is completely full, it was just too much trouble fooling with two types of boxes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,920 Posts
My double decker top bar seems strange to some, but I really want to keep working on the idea. There seems to be some interest out there in doing it. I don't feel that it is counterproductive to super a TBH. A long Lang is not the same concept for me. The TBH seems to grow bees profusely. I love the ease of management..no frames, no foundation, quick inspections with no smoke.

It's a bit confusing for the other people I talk to about keeping bees when they see the bees tend to put brood all over the hive. They wonder how to harvest the honey. Most of the people I talk to are middle age women who would never be interested in a Lang with the weight, frames, smoke, etc. All my TBH's have observation windows; and for the women, it's more like having 60,000 pets that make something yummy once or twice a year. My focus is to find a way to make a TBH with a honey super where the bees don't make too fat a comb or have problems finding the "upstairs".

I guess I need to get my hubby out there with the go--pro camera the next time I get into the double decker so you all can get a better look at it. It's about 30 inches long and the super is about a medium. Weight is not too bad for me, but I'd rather it was 2 separate boxes than one long one for the super. I listened to MB in regards to having the bees find the extra space and then read something about a periscope entrance, so the super overhangs the hive with a 3/8" gap and the bees enter between the 2 boxes. Bees seem to deal with it just fine and I've not had any reason to need to reduce the entrance, but do have a thin piece of board if I ever needed to make the entrance smaller. The one bar with 6 holes for them to get down into the brood nest seems to work very well for them and I can still maintain the top bars all being pushed together.

So don't give up on trying your idea. I have no idea what a Dutch box is, but mine was something I completely made up myself, with my Dad's help. Please continue to post any pictures if you have any.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
I've got a nuc that I tried this out on and it is working very well. So well that I need to get a full size hive built to move one of the colonies into. (I was over at a friends house today using his planer on some scrap wood I got for free that I will use for the new hive sides.)
Bearding.jpg

To give the bees access to the super my bars have an area on each side routed out so that when the bars are together it gives them a passage a little over 1/4" wide. The bonus of this is that if I ever need to do emergency winter feeding now I can. My bars do fit the supers too, so right now I have a mix of frames and bars in the supers so that I can get a headstart on comb for the fullsize hive broodnest.
Bars.jpg
Broodnest.jpg

The queen did go up into the first super on the stronger colony and laid in the comb but since last year in the fall almost all drawn comb was backfilled with honey and capped I am not worried about it. Better to lay there than swarm!

When inspecting I put one of the supers on top of the quilt boxes. It has gone well except one time when I was transferring frames from one super to another and the box had an inspection rack on it. When I took out enough of the frames that it moved the CG it went over and I had a mess of comb and bees land on my foot. I was lucky to get out of it with just three stings on my ankle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
In april, I had 3 way bypass surgery and was unable to watch my hives, and I had several hives swarm and lost two large nucs, and my problem was what to do with the supers, and like Michael Bush, I believe in only giving bees the room they need, and did not have anywhere to store the comb filled supers, so I put three of them on my long hive. It is not a top bar hive, which may be why it worked, but rather is filled with medium frames which are naturally drawn out, no foundation used. I checked them the other day and it seems that the box at the end of my hive where my top entrance is located, the queen decided it would be nice to lay in, and now I have a hive boiling over with bees, and two supers filled with honey as well as the horizontal hive. I have taken out enough brood and bees to make up three nucs which now have queen cells ready to hatch which should have plenty of time to fill out the hive before fall. I tried to feed, but they are bringing in nectar from somewhere (usually by July things here in tidewater Virginia are dried up, but we have had a lot of rain which may be the reason) and the bees are working steadily. The horizontal hive seems not to have missed the brood and the empty frames I put in the super is being drawn out and the queen is laying in what has been drawn, so it seems the situation worked out well for me. Perhaps because it is not really a top bar hive, the bees have more access between the bottom hive and the supers. I lifted the other boxes and they look like a normal langstroth hive would look like between supers and have not glutted the space with wax, so I am thinking about next year putting more supers on the horizontals. Before, I just let the bees fill in the horizontal, took a little bit of honey for myself, and I think I may have been cheating myself. When fall comes, if there is still a lot of brood in the boxes, I may be able to use some of it to sure up the nucs in case they need help. If not, I have two full boxes full of honey and a 8 frame box filled with brood, which I plan to take off in September, let them make a queen and if necessary, put one of the boxes on top for winter stores.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
i am a 1st yr. beek. an buddy of mine got me into keeping bees. we had an idea, what if we added a Langstroth Brood Box to a TBH? i had read a little about the 1 that is made to go on top, it was ok. our thinking was give the bees a place raise brood and a place to make honey. so i set off with an idea in my head, looked at a few plans for reference and built it. counterproductive? i don't think so... it's doing just what it was designed to do. brood stays in the brood box and the TBH is all honey. i decided i wanted a little extra honey, so i added a medium super and made 4 1/2 gallons of honey. now, mind you, i am not into honey production, just a hobby. the bees are mainly for the garden. LOL but family and friends want the honey. go figure. the picture included are without the super. easy to add or remove.

just a note. if you go this way. reduce the opening between the TBH and brood box. make it the same size as the front entrance.

101_0005.jpg 101_0008.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
I have seen only a few pictures of people putting a Langstroth super on top of a TBH. I am interested to hear your opinions on putting a Langstroth super on a TBH. What are the disadvantages, what to bear in mind when attempting it.

Is it a matter of removing one top bar and putting the Langstroth super on top of the other top bars? Isn't there supposed to be a certain distance between the bottom of a frame and the frame in the super below it?

Very interested to hear what you all think as there is very little on the subject on internet. If people have this setup, pictures would be most welcome.
There needs to be bee spave for them to move around. Any more than that and the will build burr comb. I can put supers on myhorizontal langstroth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I can't speak about a real top bar hive, but I have horizontal hives with about 40 frames in them and I use medium frames and it works just like a top bar hive with the exception that I don't have to worry about the bees connecting the comb to the sides or comb collapse in this 95 degree weather we are having. I find the frames work better for me. It also is easier to handle the frames compared to a top bar filled with honey. The only problem i have is the length of my horizontal hive does create a problem if I want to move it, it takes anothe person to help and making sure the tops are secure during the move. Fortunately, I have not had to move many. I tried the top bar thing, and found it too cumbersome compared to handling frames. The extra length (mine are about 48 inches long and normal Langstroth medium depth) over the TBH is my only disadvantage. However, I can place three medium supers on the hive with no problems, and if the queen decides to lay in one of the supers, I have the advantage of just moving the frame to the bottom hive. That is one of the advantages of using all the same size frames in all of my hives, horizontal and langstroth. I really like the idea of a TBH and horizontal hives, I am 76 and lifting a lot of heavy boxes just to get to the brood chamber is not fun, with the tbh it is comfortable because I don't need to do a lot of stooping and bending. I would think that you could put a super on a TBH, I have never done it but I think the worse thing that could happen would be some attempts of the bees to add some brace comb between the top bars beneath the super and the bottom of the frames in the super. Can't hurt to try. Nothing venture, nothing gained.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top