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Author Topic: Super-size TBH  (Read 1497 times)

Offline SEEYA

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Super-size TBH
« on: November 28, 2011, 10:53:31 PM »
 Still planning my maiden voyage into bee-dom :-\. Sundog has a beauty of a TBH, with matching frames. There seems to be a lot of horizontal hives out there with Lang frames. Robo has ( A LOT OF  8-)STUFF) Double Deep frames in Lang Hives and Barrel hives (with an awesome comb). Has anybody out there built a super-size TBH; say 20+ inches square, w/ wo frames? Opinions? Be nice,  :roll:I ain't been around here enough to know any better! Thanks for the input!
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Online Michael Bush

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Re: Super-size TBH
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 07:26:48 AM »
I have had a 20" square 9 1/4" deep top bar hive.  It's not really long enough and I had problems with it being too deep (comb collapse)  But that may have been a lot of new comb in hot weather that caused it as much as anything.  But I would make it at least twice that long.
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My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline SEEYA

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Re: Super-size TBH
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 07:44:52 AM »
Oops, my bad :oops:. I meant 20+ inch by 20+ inch frames in a hive, of say, 3+ feet. A half barrel hive ( 1ft Radius by 3ft long) would hold a little less than 5 Cubic ft of volume. A half barrel ( 1ft by 4ft) would hold about 6 1/4 cu ft. A 20" x 20" x 36" hive would hold 8 1/3 cu ft. I am trying to come up with, a hive with, the least surface area. A sphere would be ideal (?) but unworkable. A cube would probably be best(?), but how big is too big in regard to frame size?  Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 08:12:22 AM by ray »
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Offline Robo

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Re: Super-size TBH
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 04:05:33 PM »
My first 2 TBHs weren't quite that big, but close.  I built them so I could fit Langstroth deeps to move the bees in on.   After poor performance and growth, I abandoned them after 2 years.  My thoughts are they where too big.   I did not use a follower board, so that might help.





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Offline SEEYA

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Re: Super-size TBH
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 08:07:06 PM »
Thank you Micheal Bush and ROBO - for your answers past and present ( and for your great websites).MY big concern with this post was how big a comb I could have before the structure its self became unstable. While washing the dishes, I realized that a comb wider than the counter top, was going to be physically hard to remove, inspect, handle - you name it. Sometimes the old grey matter actually functions  :roll:.
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Offline Sundog

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Re: Super-size TBH
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 11:04:30 PM »
Ray

Just for the record, the frames were an experiment that I would not recommend.  I built four of them hastely for a cutout hoping to mount the comb in them, which I did.  I also rubber banded several combs directly to the top bars.

The combs mounted to the frames were only about four inches deep, and the bees abandoned them and built from the top down, while they quickly attached the comb that was rubber banded to the top bars and those combs are doing quite well.

The bars are 19 inches long (same length as a Lang) and the sides are 24°.  I think the angle is important because the bees interpret it as part of the floor and don't attach to it (sometimes), whereas the bees built comb around the frame legs and burred to adjacent bars.  I don't think making the hive deeper would improve it either, since bees seem not to build deep when left to their own devices in the wild.  More combs, but not bigger combs.  I perhaps could have made mine longer, but I didn't want to buy more board for a few more inches.  Most of the of the cedar wood for the top was leftover from a dog house.  It will hold 25-28 bars depending on width.  I started with all 1-3/4 bars (per what I read somewhere) but I am going to cycle to 1-1/4 for the time being, because while building their numbers, the bars are all brood.

I do enjoy the TBH more than the Lang I have.  I queened the TBH (didn't catch her in the cutout) in July, and I pull and photograph bars regularly without any protection.  I even worked-up enough courage to sweep off the follower with my bare hand the other day while installing a feeder.  No runs, drips or stings.

Having fun!

Beginning
http://i865.photobucket.com/albums/ab218/Sunchaser01/DSCN0034.jpg
Recently (notice the queen)
http://i865.photobucket.com/albums/ab218/Sunchaser01/DSCN0708.jpg
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 11:28:19 PM by Sundog »

Offline SEEYA

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Re: Super-size TBH
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 11:16:55 PM »
Sundog - Thanks for the info!
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Offline BjornBee

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Re: Super-size TBH
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2011, 07:41:32 AM »
I was told when I first started with TBH years ago, that 19 inch drop in comb was about as long as you could get.

So I built my first TBH as large as I could. It has 19+ inch combs for the heigth. You can see the TBH on the left side of this page, as well as the comb that comes out of it.

http://www.bjornapiaries.com/topbarbeekeeping.html

I have had comb collapse. Of course I was messing around with the bars on a 90+ degree day.

I agree with the same width bars. Makes no sense to keep two different width bars.
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Offline SEEYA

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Re: Super-size TBH
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2011, 01:53:46 PM »
Thank you - BjornBee. Nice Website!
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