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Author Topic: top bar hives  (Read 915 times)

Offline bulldog

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top bar hives
« on: June 24, 2010, 10:45:30 PM »
I've never done this before, but i'm planning to start a hive next spring. i'm planning to build my own top bar hive, but one thing that i can find only vague references for is the width of the top bars. i've seen everything from 1 1/4 " to 1 5/8", but the most common i've seen is 1 3/8". can someone with an actual top bar hive help me out here ? 
thanks,
Steve
Confucius say "He who stand on toilet is high on pot"

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: top bar hives
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 01:41:22 AM »
I have done everything from 1 1/4" to 1 1/2".  I've done a lot of experimenting to see what the bees build on their own, some on purpose and some accidental:

When I made them all 1 1/2" (which was the simplest) they cheated each comb over smaller until they were in the middle of the bars on the brood.  Then they went back to 1 1/2" on the honey storage.  When I made them all 1 1/4" they built the brood fine and cheated on the honey combs until they were in the middle of the bar.  So now I make half of them 1 1/4" and half of them 1 1/2" and I juggle them a bit to keep them in the middle of the comb, but most of the 1 1/4" are in the brood nest and most of the 1 1/2" are in the honey.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm#combwidth


Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline indypartridge

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Re: top bar hives
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 08:21:51 AM »
Besides Michael's site, here's another favorite with info on top bar hives:
http://beenatural.wordpress.com/top-bar-hives/
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 08:12:02 AM by indypartridge »

Offline bulldog

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Re: top bar hives
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 12:46:01 AM »
thank you both for your responses. any help with this is greatly appreciated. i am really looking forward to next spring, i just hope i will be ready for the bees. i'm guessing i should use a follower board in the beginning to make the hive smaller and therefore easier to defend against intruders ? but how many bars with a 1 1/4" spacing for the brood and how many 1 1/2" for the honey should i start with ? and what do i do about the remaining space at the back of the hive after the follower board has been removed later in the season. i don't think i'd want the bees to be coming and going from both ends of the hive, or is this ok ? sorry, don't mean to bombard you with questions, but this is all very new to me. once again thank you for your help.
Steve
Confucius say "He who stand on toilet is high on pot"

Offline luvin honey

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Re: top bar hives
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2010, 11:06:17 AM »
Hi bulldog--You might have better luck getting answers in the topbar hive section. I think people in the greetings section tend to say Hi and then forget to check back :)

I'm only in my 2nd year, but I'll take a stab at your ?s. I limit my new packages to about 1/3 of my 4-foot topbar hive, using a follower board. It's your choice on whether you would also like to feed. I have, and I cut a notch in my follower board in which to stick a Mason jar feeder inside the hive, behind the bee area. Some bees get in back, but they don't cause any problems. I think my bars are somewhere around 1 3/8-1 1/2" wide. I would suggest going to Michael Bush's website for a LOT more info on topbar beekeeping (just Google him).

Good luck!
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: top bar hives
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 01:43:18 PM »
I have half and half with a few spares...
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline Brett90

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Re: top bar hives
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2010, 11:46:08 AM »
Besides Michael's site, here's another favorite with info on top bar hives:


very useful, thank you.

 

anything