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Author Topic: Top Bar Width  (Read 2470 times)
mjdtexan
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« on: January 11, 2010, 07:08:37 AM »

I built a Kenyan style box yesterday. It is only two foot long. I am still confused about the width needed for the bars. Do all of them need to be 1¼ inches or do some of them need to be larger? If so, how much larger?
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Wine Maker
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gardeningfireman
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 09:34:24 AM »

I do 1 3/8" for brood and 1 1/2" for honey.
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mjdtexan
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 09:47:50 AM »

I do 1 3/8" for brood and 1 1/2" for honey.

Thank You for that response. Its been suggested elsewhere that my box may not be long enough and that I should consider one at least 4 ft long so that it will hold enough honey for winter feeding. Does this sound correct?
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Wine Maker
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 12:28:58 PM »

You can make your hive any length you want.  You will just have to keep on top of space management as they will and can fill a smaller box rapidly..  It's up to you.

Big Bear
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mjdtexan
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 06:40:06 PM »

Its been suggested that the brood bars be one length and the honey storage bars be another size. Do you put all the brood bars toward the front entrance on the TBH?

I did manage to find some 1x11's here so I went ahead and built me a 48 inch TBH. I think what I need is a mentor that is currently running a Top Bar Hive..

When will I be purchasing bees to add to my new TBH?

I have not yet built the entrance because I am a little confused about which type to use.
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Wine Maker
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2010, 11:16:37 AM »

Yes, I'd go for four feet long.  Mine are 1 1/4" bars for brood and 1 1/2" bars for honey.  I think that works best as it works with what the bees want to do.  But if you want them all the same size, 1 3/8" is a compromise.
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mjdtexan
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2010, 11:18:57 AM »

Yes, I'd go for four feet long.  Mine are 1 1/4" bars for brood and 1 1/2" bars for honey.  I think that works best as it works with what the bees want to do.  But if you want them all the same size, 1 3/8" is a compromise.


Michael
   I went ahead and built one four feet long. I have not determined where my entrance will be. I am also looking to find out where a feeder goes inside of the hive when that is needed
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Wine Maker
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2010, 11:58:07 AM »

The entrance, if the bars are resting on top of the sides, is simple.  Just push the front bar back (or push them all back against the back) and you have an entrance.
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Michael Bush
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2010, 06:42:39 PM »

That's pert near as simple as it will get.

I use a four hole entrance on the side next to the end myself.

Big Bear
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Beekissed
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2010, 02:23:57 AM »

Can you explain why you use a four hole entrance?  New to all this beeking, so forgive the simple questions, please.   embarassed  Also, could one use a simple 2x2 for a top bar or would this create too much space between combs?  Would they just fill that gap with a thicker comb construction per bar? 
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2010, 07:57:46 AM »

I went to a workshop with Sam Comfort at the Southeast Organic Beekeepers Conference - he makes all of his top bars 1 1/4".  He's not particularly interested in honey, but I wonder if the width of the bar is a problem when it comes to honey?

Linda T in Atlanta, planning to build a KTBH today with my son-in-law
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mjdtexan
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2010, 08:39:40 AM »

I went to a workshop with Sam Comfort at the Southeast Organic Beekeepers Conference - he makes all of his top bars 1 1/4".  He's not particularly interested in honey, but I wonder if the width of the bar is a problem when it comes to honey?

Linda T in Atlanta, planning to build a KTBH today with my son-in-law

Keep us posted with progress and pictures.
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Wine Maker
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2010, 12:06:24 PM »

I am using a 4 hole vertical line entrance on the side next to the end as my own experiment.

I am building and using ktbh's with a sloped side.

the top hole in the line is 3/8" followed by a 1/2" hole beneath it, a 3/4" hole beneath that and a 1" hole as the last hole on the bottom .

My intent on the 4 vertical hole entrance is that the 3/8" hole at the top is the primary and 'safety' entrance.  it allows the condensation to escape in winter and provides a single, small and very easily defended entrance in times of robbing or small colony thus fewer bees to defend..

The lower hole are primarily for allowing greater traffic, weather and circumstances permitting, and can be easily covered over to reduce down to the top 3/8" hole only.

The nature of the ktbh having slanted sides provides some bit of extra weather protection for the entrance holes.

I like to have the holes placed approx 2 to 4" from the end board which pretty much accomplishes having an end entrance at the same time and the bees work toward the opposite end board as they build comb.

This can make use of one to two follower boards (one at the front and one at the rear, if one wants to use them) to keep space and inner temperature more manageable by the bees until they fill the entire hive.  The follower boards can also then be easily removed for inspections of the end combs without necessarily greatly disrupting or alarming the bees.

Getting back to the issue of top bar sizes,  I originally started out using the 2 size bars as Micheal mentions, but am now implementing 1 3/8" wide top bars universally as I am finding that works better in my efforts.

My advice is to read all you can find and use your own educated judgment to decide what will work best for you, the bees and goals you have in beekeeping.  What works best for me or Micheal or anyone here here may not be the best for anyone else for dozens of reasons dealing with location, intent, personal philosophy, etc...

Enjoy the bees, have fun,

Big Bear
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2010, 07:17:36 PM »

I use 1" bars with 1/4" spacers in the brood area and 1/2" in the honey area. Works well. It also allows one to super the hives quite easily or feed from the top without much trouble.
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