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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


















Used Les Crowder's design with the ends influenced by Michael Bush's. One observation I have about Les Crowder's design is that the hive is pretty darn shallow (mine are only about 7" deep). I don't know if that's going to be an issue in the sense that there might not be enough room for them, I suppose I'll find out. But that design seems to be pretty widely used so it must be OK.

For the top bars we used two 2x10x10. Then ripped three 1.25" and three 1.5" bars from each board down the entire length (this leaves a 0.25" spacer when you rip the final length). Then we ripped the angle in each side, cut each piece in 20" sections, then cut "up" from each end about 2". Then cut the bevel towards the outside. They turned out pretty darn well. About the only thing I would change would be a little steeper angle for the bevel. The method is outlined here in post #50 by stdavis: http://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...to-build-cheap-top-bars&p=1047726#post1047726

Each 10' 2x10x10 cut into 18 1.25" bars and 18 1.5" bars perfectly, in addition to yielding plenty of 0.25" spacers if we need them. Total for the bars was under $20 in wood. The hives are 48" inside and hold about 34-35 bars with a gap in one end for the top entrance.

The last thing we did was cut in the observation windows and put on covers for the windows. Unfortunately, we had an "opps" and forgot to do them before we assembled the hive. Not a huge deal, but it did make their install a bit more difficult.
 

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For the top bars we used two 2x10x10. Then ripped three 1.25" and three 1.5" bars from each board down the entire length (this leaves a 0.25" spacer when you rip the final length). Then we ripped the angle in each side, cut each piece in 20" sections, then cut "up" from each end about 2". Then cut the bevel towards the outside. They turned out pretty darn well. About the only thing I would change would be a little steeper angle for the bevel. The method is outlined here in post #50 by stdavis: http://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...to-build-cheap-top-bars&p=1047726#post1047726
O thanks for this. I've been wanting a good pictorial of how to make a one piece top bar. For the lazy, here is the link...
 

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Looks like you used a wider bottom board than most. also, you put the bottom board "inside" instead of "outside" so you lost the width of the boards in depth. if you used screws it would be an easy fix if you wanted to change it. or change one and leave one and see how they are. or leave both and have wider and shallower combs.

see on this little nuc picture
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Screwed and glued, they aren't coming apart without a fight. The hive body and shape are Crowder's design, so it must be OK.
 

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I use 1x12's on the side and a 1x8 on the bottom. I cut a 30 degree edge on the tops and the sides but you could just do the cut the angle on the top or the side and end up with the angle. I don't think the difference would be that much. I wouldn't want the top of mine to be much wider than it is today, and definitely don't want them deeper. I would worry about comb collapse. I think the reason that Les uses 1x10's is the summer heat where he is located. The 7 inch depth reduces comb collapse I would think.
 

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I just thought of something when seeing the pictures of your bars in the box. I had a bunch of extra bars that I made and put them in a box like you did. Went back 6 months later and some are severely warped. But the ones that I have in my nucs and swarm traps didn't seem to warp as much. You may not have a problem, but for now I'm not going to "stock up" unless I have a box to put them in.
 

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Cool. It may have just been the wood I was using. I have had pretty good luck so far with 2x, but it may have been a little bit greener as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just went to Home Depot and got the cheapest 2x10x10s they had. They were douglas fir... finding two of them that were even remotely flat and straight was quite a challenge. Of course that's usually the case at the big box places it seems like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I keep meaning to ask Les about the depth. I always assumed it was to prevent comb collapse in New Mexico heat...
That would make sense because there wouldn't be all that much weight compared to the length of attachment up top. I'm more worried about hive volume, truthfully. Of course I don't have a reference to base that on other than the "golden swarm machine" vs. your design with presumably less swarming trouble and Les Crowder's being somewhere in the middle.
 

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I keep meaning to ask Les about the depth. I always assumed it was to prevent comb collapse in New Mexico heat...
Although Penasco, NM, being up in elevation, has mild, pleasant summers (at least compared to where I live now in Georgia), I know he transports his hives for pollination services to the southern, hotter areas of the state, and shorter combs would travel better.
 
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