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Author Topic: ? for 33 frame TBH owners  (Read 2385 times)
fermentedhiker
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« on: January 22, 2009, 08:45:23 PM »

I'm part way through making my first TBH.  I decided to make it compatible with Langstrom deep frames just in case I need to move things around.  It's coming along pretty good so far.  Really just a box made from 2x10s with a plywood floor.  The frames will just rest on top of the 2x10s with a strip around the outside the same thickness as the frames so cover boards can be used to close the gaps between the frames.  I'm planning on making and outer cover, similar to a telescoping cover on a langstrom hive with a sheet of 1" Styrofoam built into the top.  I haven't figured out exactly where to make the entrance yet either.  My question is about the size of the hive.  Since 33 frames makes for a big hive do those of you who have them use a follower board to shrink up the space in the winter or does the extra space not seem to be an issue?  If you do reduce it how much do you take it down to, assuming an average size cluster going into the fall?

Thanks for the help.
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2009, 07:41:26 AM »

Fermentedhiker,

This will be my first tTBH too this year. I elected to make my tTBH just like you're describing for the same reasons. I like your idea of a strip around the outside to close some of the gaps, I might "borrow" that idea if that's alright with you. I used 2x10's as well and built it 46 1/2" long (outside dimension so a 4' cover would overhang a little at each end.) I cut two 2x10's about 1/8" narrower than the width of the TBH for follower boards. Then I attached a 1/2"x1 1/2"x 21 3/8" strip to the top of the follower boards to "hang" it like a frame in the box. (BTW I cut all my top bars 1 1/4" wide and I ripped a bunch of 1/4" plywood strips to use as spacers if/when needed.)

What I'm gathering from our mentors here is we should reduce the hive down to about 10-12 bars initially to get the bees started, then expand as needed (maybe some of the folks with more experience will chime in on this one.) I made entrances at both ends and plan on starting two colonies in each end of my tTBH with 2 follower boards separating the colonies. I'll be setting up the hive close enough to our barn, that I could run an extension cord to it and put a small light as a heat source between the follower boards during the to keep the girls warm when these sub-zero cold snaps hit. Just a thought now, I have to research that idea better.

Hope my rambling helps!
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 08:15:38 AM »

Thanks, and of course "borrow" ideas away.  Doubtless it's not truly original(really just making up for the fact that 2x10s are too narrow to cut a rabbet in) but more importantly that's what these forums are for right Wink  I almost posted my question on yours because of how similar our hive designs turned out.  We found ourselves in the same situation; wanting to try out a TBH and having some spare 2x10s lying around.  But since my question was more about winter/fall management than design I didn't want to redirect your thread on you.  I had considered splitting the volume and starting 2 packages in it, but wasn't sure a 15 or 16 frame hive would be big enough which would mean I would have to super it which is partly what we are getting away from.  I had even thought about making a division/follower board feeder somehow which blocked the two hives from each other and also had a feeding trough(maybe like a chix feeder) on both sides.  Doesn't address my concerns about having it be too small though.  I also wondered if it would be better to have Italians in it since they are more likely to maintain a larger cluster and so would possibly make better use of the space. 

Thanks for the ramble.  We'll have to compare notes this season on how are high R-value TBH's work out.
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2009, 09:18:35 AM »

Great to find someone with a common approach and you're right, "borrowing" ideas is what these forums are all about!

I'm making a couple Lang sized "mini" tTBH's out of these 2x10's to have on hand as swarm boxes or nucs. I guess I could use these in case these bees are so prolific they need more space. (What a nice "problem" to have.) The beauty of these tTBH's, is it seems to take me longer to pull the boards out of my wood pile than to build any of these hives. Got to love the simplicity!

Maybe a second tTBH is in order, what do you think?

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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 06:26:20 PM »

sounds like a good idea to me  Wink

btw how many "frames" or top bars are your mini's made to hold?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2009, 07:42:44 PM »

I just leave the first bar back 3/8" to 3/4" and prop the lid up, if necessary (which would only be if the bars are on a recessed rabbet).
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Michael Bush
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2009, 08:02:36 PM »

Michael, do you have trouble with rain getting into the hives where the migratory covers butt together?  I couldn't tell from the pics on your site if you did something to stop it.
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2009, 09:22:46 PM »

Put up some pics when you can. Smiley Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2009, 10:13:13 PM »

Fermentedhiker,

It holds 11 top bars, 1 1/4" wide with about 3/8" to spare.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2009, 05:46:37 PM »

>Michael, do you have trouble with rain getting into the hives where the migratory covers butt together?

I don't. The bees might.  Smiley  I don't do anything about it.  The only problem I see is after the rain when they dry out.  When they are wet they swell, but when they dry out is when they get a gap.  They promptly propolis it shut though.

>  I couldn't tell from the pics on your site if you did something to stop it.

No.  I don't do anything about it except push them back together when I see a gap.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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