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Author Topic: Top bar spacing.  (Read 7541 times)
ShawnBates
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« on: September 27, 2012, 04:40:56 PM »

I am new to beekeeping and I'm still learning. I am going to build a top bar hive with the plans on using a 55gal barrel. First what should the width of the brood bar and honey bar be? My next question is how far from the front should the first bar be?
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Joe D
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 10:35:14 AM »

I could have them backwards but: brood bars 1 1/4 in and honey 1 1/2 in.  I made mine out of 2 x 4s, they are all 1 1/2 in.  On the first bar I added a 1/8 or 1/4 in to the front side.  This may not bee right just what I did with the info I had at the time.  I also made frames not just bars.  The pic of frame wont load.



joe
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ShawnBates
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2012, 12:36:20 PM »

Did u just rub some beeswax on the edge of the corner mold on all the bars?
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Joe D
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 08:03:14 PM »

Melted the wax in a small slow cooker and painted it on the points.  Will try to get a pic of frames tomorrow with different camera, I think the frame pic were from a camera with lots of mega pixs.  It keeps saying to large to load.



Joe
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doggonegardener
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 11:18:04 PM »

All my bars and 1 3/8 and I then use additional 1/4 inch spacers in the honey storage area.  I did the angles bars like you all.  At first I painted them with melted wax, then I quit when I made two additional batches of bars.  The bees could care less which way I make them.

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ShawnBates
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2012, 11:37:20 AM »

Ok great thanks guys. I plan on building them this winter so they will be ready for spring
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2012, 03:56:23 PM »

Mine are half and half, 1 1/4" and 1 1/2".  I do not wax them at all.  The wax is never attached as well as the bees attach it...
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Michael Bush
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ShawnBates
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2012, 06:31:58 PM »

Mine are half and half, 1 1/4" and 1 1/2".  I do not wax them at all.  The wax is never attached as well as the bees attach it...

Thanks Michael for the advise. I have seen your website and while doing research I have seen your name mentioned on several occasions, so i will assume your advice has alot of weight to it especially when you say not to run a bead of wax.
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Joe D
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2012, 01:24:05 AM »

Shawn, I got out today and took another pic of the TBH frames I made.





Joe
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charlie68
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 09:24:14 PM »

i like that
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little john
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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2012, 03:49:47 PM »

I run both 35mm (1 3/8") and 38mm (1 1/2") top bars in both brood and honey areas - on a 'mix and match' basis - the bees show enough tolerance to cope with either width - no problems so far ...

Having a Ph.D. in life-long work-avoidance, I make starter strips by simply running an angle grinder fitted with a 1.0 mm zip disk down the centre of bars cut from roofing battens. Then I open out that shallow groove with a 2.0 mm disk, and simply glue two popsicle sticks (which we call 'lollipop' sticks) halfway into the groove, before giving them a quick wipe with molten beeswax. It's the quickest and most effortless way of making Top Bars that I've yet found.

Right now I'm also working on some hybrid Top Bars (to make fresh comb less fragile), using bamboo skewers, and have just figured out a very simple way of converting standard (National) self-spacing Hoffman brood frames to trapezoid frames to fit KTBH's built to Phillip Chandler's specs., with an 8mm bee-space either side.  More on that in another post.

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JPBEEGETTER
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2012, 11:31:31 AM »

Shawn, if you want to see some "stuff" on top bar hives-- GOTO   outofabluesky   McCartney Taylor does a good job on this subject..When I started He was all I could find on the subject,, and learned a lot...JPP
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 12:02:53 PM »

I've experimented with over a dozen different TB variations, spent hours upon hours cutting grooves, profiles, waxing, using string, foundation strips, ect.... and have ended up back where I began, with a ripped 2x4. Smiley I have built frames on the latest versions similar to pictures above. Great minds think alike right  :)B's don't care they just want to build. I rip them with a rough band saw to give a textured surface.  I like the added thickness for both handling and insulation. Can't say I didn't enjoy the process though, very few places I'd rather be than the wood shop Smiley
Cheers,
Drew
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pyrodragon
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2013, 11:39:34 AM »

My bars are 1 1/4" and  1 1/2" - would you please tell me how to setup the bars?  Do you put alternate the different size bars or do you put the bar sized together?  Please advise
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little john
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2013, 03:56:33 PM »

The idea is to completely cover-over the top of the hive with bars. So - if you have 2 widths of bar, then cover the first half of the hive (the half nearest the access hole - which ideally should be near to one end) with the thinner bars - these will then become brood combs.

Then cover the other half with the wider bars - these will then become honey-combs. 

That's a simplification - but that's the basic idea: brood (thinner combs) at the front, stores (wider combs) at the back. 

Having said that, most people prefer to introduce a new colony into a smaller cavity space - reduced by means of a partition board, until the colony gains some size. The cavity is then gradually enlarged as the colony continues to grow.

But do bear in mind that in nearly every situation the bees will have something to say about what happens next ... so you'll need to keep an eye on how the combs are being drawn, until the colony becomes established. One wonky comb is almost guaranteed to produce more wonky combs !

LJ




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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2013, 01:50:33 PM »

>My bars are 1 1/4" and  1 1/2" - would you please tell me how to setup the bars?

I would start with the 1 1/4" near the entrance and the 1 1/2" at the back.  If the cluster forms somewhere other than the 1 1/4" I would swap bars around, but they usually start near the entrance.

>  Do you put alternate the different size bars or do you put the bar sized together?

Together.  Adjust what is next by what they build last.  If the last comb is spilling over onto the next bar, it's time for the wider ones.  At that point I usually feed the narrower ones back into the middle of the brood nest.
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Michael Bush
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triple7sss
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2013, 02:50:02 AM »

Joe D - There is just not enough "Awwww" in awesome to describe that!!  I'm going to build at least two more top bar hives this winter and frames like that look like the perfect cure for the heartbreak of mashing up perfectly good comb so you can strain the honey.  I didn't have too much trouble with them attaching to the sides this year but those would cure that as well. 

Do they run flush with the sides and all the way to the bottom of your tbh or did you build them so that the girls had some room between the frames and the sides?  Or do they just not fill the frames entirely so they have room to roam?  Or are those going into the nice blue drum in the background of you picture...
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little john
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2013, 06:21:08 AM »

If you're thinking of making trapezoid frames, then here's one method of converting a conventional frame:

Simply remove some wood from the Top Bar (detail):




And this is what results:



The joints are glued, using a partition board to ensure shape and side beespace are correct.
The lower bar can be glued, or made detachable (using panel pins) as shown, to allow further comb growth.



The modified frame installed in a K-TBH:




But would I recommend doing this ?  No - I'm only posting this as another possible option.

Imho, if you want to run frames in a TBH, then making square-sided - Long Hive or Tanzanian-TBH - dimensioned to fit whatever frames you intend to use is a much better option - then frames can be swapped between box hives and Long Hives. And an extra advantage of frames over Top Bars is the ease of overhead feeding during winter.

LJ
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Sundog
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 03:11:51 PM »

I tried top bars with frames last year in my KTBH and the bees made a big mess burring the frames to the side of the hive.  I got rid of the frames and all went well and good.  No more burr comb at all.  The hive grew, I harvested some honey and added bars, and then suddenly the bees were gone.

My TBH was a lot of fun and a good learning experience.  The bees were friendly and fun to visit.  But crush and strain is not very productive for the bees or the Beek.

I have been trying to give away my KTBH for nearly a year.  Does that say anything?

Have fun!

(My son, Kevin and our Flying Saucer bees)
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edward
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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2013, 04:15:09 PM »

the bees made a big mess burring the frames to the side of the hive.  I got rid of the frames and all went well and good

Did you have the right bee space between the frame and hive wall ?

Mvh edward  tongue
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