I am starting a top bar hive this year in addition to the langstroths I have and I've been doing a little bit of reading and web surfing but I wanted to ask the good folks of BeeSource what your opinions are. Have any of you kept TBHs on a second story rooftop before? What do you do to keep swarming to a minimum if at all?
Build it 48" and use a follower board to expand the space as necessary. If they fill up a 48", then build another and split the first. Repeat as necessary. Phil Chandler's website http://biobees.com is a good place to start.
What is the roofing material? Roof tops can get very hot and heat and bees wax are not friends. You may need to consider placing it on a stand that is 3 or so feet above the actual roof to get it up so the air can ventilate it well.
I can assure you as a previous roofing contractor for ten years, that roof will still get too hot even if its silver. I would make sure you put some sort of shade over your hives to help keep the heat from the real hot days to a minimum. At least paint them white.
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