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Author Topic: Backyard Beek DIYer  (Read 2035 times)

Offline Sundog

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Backyard Beek DIYer
« on: August 20, 2011, 02:55:16 PM »
My first Langstroth was given to my son last fall by a friend.  My son (20 yo) has been suffering some “growing pains", so I reverse inherited the hive.

At first the hive was located on cinder blocks on the ground and I added a medium super in April.  Later on the springtime, the carpenter ants had moved into the SBB and ruined it. 

I enjoy making sawdust in my garage, so I was soon building hive components and more.  I built a small hive base to elevate the hive off of the ground out of scrap PT that a neighbor threw out; SBBs; Supers; covers and vent sections; entrance reducers; escapes; even a KTBH.

I made a box joint fixture, but it is too much trouble to cut the joints.  I use wooden dowels instead and, of course, I bought a gallon of Tightbond II when I started.
I harvested my first honey in July doing the “crush and strain” method, so now my current project is a small inexpensive extractor.  I hope it works.

Having fun!

http://s865.photobucket.com/albums/ab218/Sunchaser01/Bee%20Stuff/?albumview=slideshow

Offline mikecva

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2011, 03:20:51 PM »
Nice pictures  X:X X:X X:X : Now to keep your son away .  whip:  -Mike
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Listen to others but make your own decisions. That way you own the results.
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Offline annette

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2011, 04:26:30 PM »
Nice photos there sundog. I like the TBH bars that fit into the traditional langstroth supers. I want a TBH like that. I think it would be easier to work TBH's if the frames were closed all around.

My friend Manny had a TBH and I have worked the hive with him. I keep telling him to make his frames closed and then the bees would not draw out the comb past the frame and it would be much easier to lift the frames up. No more scrapping the comb from the inside of the hive.

Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2011, 07:48:43 PM »
Very nice looking TBH..Not sure Im ready to deal with one of those yet though.

Offline Sundog

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2011, 08:21:04 PM »
...I keep telling him to make his frames closed and then the bees would not draw out the comb past the frame...

I tend to agree with much of what you said, Annette.  I made several different styles to see which would work the best.  Need to wait and see now.  The colony is still smallish, but growing.

Looks like they're building flying saucers, hope the don't fly off into outer space.

Having fun!

My son, Kevin.

Offline annette

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2011, 07:55:22 PM »
Yes, Yes, that is the kind of TBH frames that I want for a hive. Fabulous that you can make your own.

Offline fish_stix

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2011, 09:33:43 PM »
What's the purpose then? You no longer have a TBH but a highly modified Langstroth. The bees will build the same comb in a Langstroth hive if you go foundationless.

Offline Sundog

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 11:55:35 AM »
It is only an experiment.  I built the frames initially to be able to mount comb from a cutout.  I tried several methods of mounting the comb including just rubber banding the comb to the top bar (which worked the best).

The purpose (other than generally having fun) is the TBH is entertaining and easy to inspect and work with.  For me, its only a hobby, not a business.

Have fun!


Offline annette

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2011, 12:36:20 AM »
What's the purpose then? You no longer have a TBH but a highly modified Langstroth. The bees will build the same comb in a Langstroth hive if you go foundationless.

I do foundationless in my Langstroth right now and love it. I would like to try a TBH some day because I am having a hard time lifting the heavy supers. I have never seen a TBH that has frames that are closed like Sundog has. This would make it so much easier to my thinking as the bees would not be able to attach the comb to the wall of the hive.

I love the frames Sundog.

Offline TwoHoneys

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2011, 08:04:18 AM »
What's the purpose then? You no longer have a TBH but a highly modified Langstroth. The bees will build the same comb in a Langstroth hive if you go foundationless.

I do foundationless in my Langstroth right now and love it. I would like to try a TBH some day because I am having a hard time lifting the heavy supers. I have never seen a TBH that has frames that are closed like Sundog has. This would make it so much easier to my thinking as the bees would not be able to attach the comb to the wall of the hive.


Annette, I keep 6 TBHs, and I very very seldom experience a problem with attached comb. Frankly, I've had to detach comb from the box only a time or two, and it wasn't a big deal at all. Certainly nothing to fret over or build a frame about. Part of the delight and elegance is watching it work without a frame whatsoever. What's more, knock on wood, I've not yet experienced a single incident of cross comb. Not one. You're such a conscientious beekeeper, and I'm sure you'd check your hive activity often enough that I wouldn't worry about attached comb. And if it occurs, just fix it before it gets out of hand. I think you'll love your TBH experience, Annette. No heavy lifting at all. And it's beautiful to see.

To make keeping TBHs even more wonderful, I modified Michael Bush's KTBH plans to accommodate 19" bars that are interchangeable with my Lang frames (which made my TBH a tiny bit wider than most).
"In a dream I returned to the river of bees" W.S. Merwin

Offline Sundog

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2011, 02:38:20 PM »
My top bars are also 19 inches, and it works well to be a standard size I think, even though at 3/4 inch stock, they are a bit thicker.  

As I said in previous posts, I made the frames in preparation for cutout comb that I was unsure of how to mount.  If I were to have a cutout to mount today, I would make the frame much shorter since the bees don't seem to typically make combs so long in confined areas, and it can always be trimmed.  As can be seen in the photo, the bees would rather start over from the top than to build upward.

Regarding attaching comb to the walls, I read somewhere that the angle of the wall makes the bees think it is part of the floor and they will not attach comb to the floor.  Mine is still a work in progress, so I don't know if they will attach to my walls or not.  The angle of the walls of my hive is 24° from verticle, per the plans I (mostly) followed.  Google the Barefoot Beekeper for the plans by Phillip Chandler for reference.

Have fun!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 12:29:24 PM by Sundog »

Offline annette

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2011, 02:54:49 AM »
I was supposed to start with a TBH this year, but my friend who was going to build me the hive is going through a divorce right now and is way to preoccupied to think about anything. Maybe next year.

Offline Sundog

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2011, 01:01:05 PM »
Annette, I would gladly help you if only you were closer.  I encourage you to keep up the quest.  Personally, I enjoy my TBH greatly.  I think in part because it is a cutout and needs nurturing, and second because the hive is so easy to interact with.

If you want to make it even more comfortable for yourself, (I think) you could make the hive shorter from top to bottom and then the bars would not be so heavy (eventually).  I don’t think the bees will care; their combs in many places are not nearly that long.  Instead of basing the design on a 12 (11-1/2) inch end board, you could start with a 1x10 (9-1/2) inch end board, still keeping the top bar at 19 inches.

Good luck, have fun!


Offline annette

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2011, 12:51:04 AM »
Thanks for the offer Sundog. One day I am sure the TBH will arrive. I know my friend followed the §¤«£¿æ design.

Well I cannot post the name here. You know the guy from England same as yours

Offline Sundog

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Re: Backyard Beek DIYer
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2011, 02:41:42 PM »
A follow-up on the frame experiment...    When I inspected my TBH today, I found the bees had burred several adjacent combs together, whether deliberate or not, I don't know.  The problem bar had frames (see earlier post photos).  The bees built comb around one side of the frame downward leg and joined it to the adjacent comb.  The frame bars are only 3/4 inches wide, cut from a standard one inch board, while the top bars are 1-1/4 and 1-1/2.  I may yet experiment with "full width" frames equal to the top bar width (or a bee space less), if attaching to the side becomes an issue, but I will cycle out the current framed bars as soon as possible.

Have fun!


 

anything