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Hello my name is Bill and I am a noob (to beekeeping) from New Hampshire. My daughter has chosen bees for her 4H project. We are going to start building a hive today or tommorrow.

My questions are:
1. Can I use straping for the top bars. They are not a 1/2 inch thick, but I was planning on cutting them down to 1 1/4 as well as 1 3/8 inches for the brood and supplies bars respectivly. I was going to make the between 15 and 17 inches long (I have seen both messurments here) I want to see how much this changes the slope of the sides.
2. How deep does the grove in the center of the bar have to be?
3. What is the difference between the end entrance and the entrance on the center of the side. Is there a differencebetween the long opening and a hole drilled in the side?
I will be using 1 x 12 rough cut pine for the sides, bottom and follower boards. Thanks in advance for the answers, we are very excited to start this project and we don't want to make any serious mistakes
 

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1. Can I use straping for the top bars. They are not a 1/2 inch thick, but I was planning on cutting them down to 1 1/4 as well as 1 3/8 inches for the brood and supplies bars respectivly. I was going to make the between 15 and 17 inches long (I have seen both messurments here) I want to see how much this changes the slope of the sides.
I don't know what 'straping' is, but I would make your top bars a good 3/4" thick in order to provide a decent amount of top insulation. To start, I would stay with one width of top bar, probably 1 3/8, and one length, probably 17". If you want to experiment with length, I would suggest 19" as an alternative, but I would also advise against too many experiments at once.

2. How deep does the grove in the center of the bar have to be?
Deep enough to take a trickle of wax, or a strip of foundation.

3. What is the difference between the end entrance and the entrance on the center of the side. Is there a differencebetween the long opening and a hole drilled in the side?
Yes, there is a difference. With end entrances, the bees make their brood nest near the entrance (usually) and build comb towards the back, putting stores on the side away from the entrance. With my system, which uses side entrances and two followers, they do the same thing in a slightly different way, with the difference that you can check both ends of the colony without disturbing the bees. Take your pick - they both work.

I will be using 1 x 12 rough cut pine for the sides, bottom and follower boards. Thanks in advance for the answers, we are very excited to start this project and we don't want to make any serious mistakes
You can learn a lot from making mistakes. Don't knock it. :)
 

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My 2cents: I have three TBHs one with all 1 3/8" bars x 3/4" tk. slanted sides. The others are all 1" wide with 3/8" spacers. If you want to adjust different sections of the hive, brood area to 1 1/4", then use 1/4" spacers. You now have one size bar that can be used for brood or honey. A what if: you have 12 brood bars and the bees want 15? cut down a 1 3/8 or make more 1 1/4 bars? Another one: If you want to super; take out bars and respace or simply remove spacers? Another thought: I built my last TBHs as 4 foot long Lang. deeps, I can use bars or standard frames and super with standard equipment. Just some ideas and there are many of them out there;)
 

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>1. Can I use straping for the top bars.

I have no idea what straping is.

> They are not a 1/2 inch thick, but I was planning on cutting them down to 1 1/4 as well as 1 3/8 inches for the brood and supplies bars respectivly. I was going to make the between 15 and 17 inches long (I have seen both messurments here) I want to see how much this changes the slope of the sides.

How thick are they? I have never gone less than 3/8" thick and that was in a hive made to take Langstroth frames as well as bars. The slope of the sides will be whatever you decide to make it. You cah have whatever width you want, or no slope in the sides.

>2. How deep does the grove in the center of the bar have to be?

I have no grooves in the center of my bars. I put triangular comb guides on. You can make these or buy Chamfer molding.

>3. What is the difference between the end entrance and the entrance on the center of the side.

Drilling holes and not drilling holes. Mine are on the end and I drill no holes. The entrance is just the gap at the front. Putting them on the side is difficult as you will tend to get a gap at one end anyway, so then you'll have more entrances, which is not necessarily a convenient thing for you or the bees.

> Is there a difference between the long opening and a hole drilled in the side?

You'll end up with the long opening anyway when the wood shrinks and/or expands and you have to pull a bar out...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
 

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Let’s just say you go with drilling the holes where you want, end or side no matter. The holes are easily regulated with corks. If you need to restrict the hole to one bee way, just drill a hole in a cork the size of a bee. And WRT the gaps in the ends of the bars... My solution is to always have various size shims to fill any gaps as need. I even carry 17” board sections in the tool bucket for big gaps behind the follower boards. This is a good way to cheat if you haven’t got enough top bars ready yet.
 
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