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Author Topic: Bee Space - Wiggle Room? Warre Bars in TBH?  (Read 2729 times)
New Bee
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Posts: 1

Location: Hopelessly Lost

« on: November 12, 2012, 12:20:34 PM »

Greetings - I am trying to get started with top bar hives.

I am located in the Levant - and so I have no idea whether my native bees are small African or large European or....

So: what is the "wiggle room" for bee space? grin

Instead of trying to guess the width of the top bars - can I just lay bars out Warre-style (say, 25mm bars spaced 36mm) and close the hive with a wooden cover (1cm gap over the bars)? I am going with a top entry anyway to aid summer ventilation.

Will I be able to lift these bars - or will they be glued down by the bees?
little john
House Bee
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Posts: 74

Location: Lincolnshire, England

« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2012, 04:56:17 AM »

I believe the consensus view is that 2 widths of top bar are required: a bar in the 32-38 mm range for brood, and around 6 mm wider for honey, although I do know of at least one successful beek who is running brood at sub-32 mm. Having said that, I've been running with 38mm for both brood and honey without problems.

Until you're sure which widths are suitable for your local bees, thin plywood spacers (the same length and height as your bars) could be inserted between bars in the brood area, and removed if the bees show signs of generating burr comb. A simple way of dealing with the honey/brood spacing issue, and to keep your bars inter-changeable, is to simply insert 6 mm spacers between bars in the honey area.

Joe D
Super Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 2011

Location: Ovett, Ms

« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2012, 10:09:14 AM »

Brenda, I also use the 38 mm width for all TBH bars.  One the first bar I did add a 1/4 in spacer to the front side.  I also made frames for my bars.   As for burr comb and sticking bars to the hive, I have almost none.  There is a very small amount where they glue one bar to the next, nothing like in my langs.  Go luck with bees.


little john
House Bee
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Posts: 74

Location: Lincolnshire, England

« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 04:15:51 AM »

Nice one Joe.

Here's a simple frame modification I came up with that allows a standard Hoffman frame (British National deep, 35 mm spacing) to be used in a KTBH.  Fits the 'standard' KTBH dimensions as given on the BB site, leaving an 8 mm B/S on either side. Serendipity.
Bottom bars can be removed by simply pulling out a couple of interference-fit panel-pins, if desired.

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