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Author Topic: About to build TBHs - suggestions on dimensions?  (Read 1212 times)
LopezIslandJohn
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« on: October 25, 2013, 01:13:50 AM »

Hi All. This is my first post. I am going to build two top bar hives this winter for 2014 startup. Would like to hear from those with successful hives what dimensions (approximate) work best. So far, I'm leaning toward Dennis Murrell's plans here: http://www.beesource.com/resources/elements-of-beekeeping/alternative-hive-designs/top-bar-hive-construction-dennis-murrell/

...about 23" wide at the top, 36" long, the sides being 16" along the diagonal slope. This follows the catenary slope idea, although Dennis himself elsewhere says he doesn't think it really matters, and rectangular top bar hives work well too.

I'm planning to do the sloping thing, but wondering what works for others. I'm located in NW Washington State, on Lopez Island. Marine climate--winters not severe, only a week or two below 30 F, but other parts of the year are cool too. Summers seldom a day over 80, and high 70s are unusual. Still, a lot of sunshine during the summer and a fair amount in winter, though plenty of rain too. We often have "Junuary" going into summer--cool, but still much sunshine.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 02:50:41 AM by eivindm » Logged
Moots
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 09:04:20 AM »

LIJ,
Welcome to the forum, have you owned bees before, or will this be your introduction into the world of being a Beek?

Being a newbie myself, the plethora of decisions to be maid when venturing into the hobby are still fresh in my mind...It can be both overwhelming and confusing.  That being said, I'm curious why you've decided to go with TBH;s.  I realize that TBH's are sort of the in vogue trendy thing, but from what I've read and learned, they can be a bit tougher to achieve success with when compared to the traditional Lang style hives.

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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 10:52:59 AM »

we have TBH folks here that i'm sure will be able to help you.  i won't say don't, because it sounds like this is the way you have decided to go....but

you might want to consider doing a Lang as well.  TBHs are hard to keep an harder for a new beekeeper.  you have much to learn and having both will at least give you options.
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LopezIslandJohn
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 12:45:56 PM »

Well, I'm not new to beekeeping, but it's been a long time. I had frame hives in New York state maybe 40 years ago for quite a few years. That was just as the mites thing was getting going. My hives ended up not making it one winter--probably mites, but they had been doing fine for years. So, life intervened, but now I'm retired, moved across the country, and planning to get into it again.

Why TBH? I've read quite a lot by now. I realize the whole beekeeping arena is much different now. But in all the reading I've been doing, TBH feels right for me. I'm not going into it for any commercial aspect, I just like bees and beekeeping. Honey is a nice plus. I want to go the natural route as much as possible. I realize TBH require a fair amount of management in terms of checking, moving bars if needed, mite counting, feeding etc. A huge plus though is not having to disturb the whole hive every time the brood is checked. So yes, I'm pretty well set on TBH, but feel free to try to change my mind!
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 03:04:59 PM »

not me.  just thought that while you were at it you might want to try both.  if TBH is what you want, go for it!
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Joe D
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 07:14:40 PM »

I have both, and thinking about building a long Lang. this winter.  The best I can remember I don't think it is recommend over 11" depth of comb.  Mine are 191/4" wide and 11"deep, I did build a frame, little easier to handle.  You still don't want to lay them over.  The one I am thinking about building will be 24 deep frames long and put supers on top.  Mainly to make where I can easily change frames and run them in an extractor.  You can still go foundationless.  Good luck to you what ever you choose.
I did put an observation window in my TBH and a #8 hardware bottom with a tray to catch SHB's in, I use dish soap and water in the tray instead of oil.



Joe
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LopezIslandJohn
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 11:01:22 PM »

I have both, and thinking about building a long Lang. this winter.  The best I can remember I don't think it is recommend over 11" depth of comb.  Mine are 191/4" wide and 11"deep, I did build a frame, little easier to handle.  You still don't want to lay them over.  The one I am thinking about building will be 24 deep frames long and put supers on top.  Mainly to make where I can easily change frames and run them in an extractor.  You can still go foundationless.  Good luck to you what ever you choose.
I did put an observation window in my TBH and a #8 hardware bottom with a tray to catch SHB's in, I use dish soap and water in the tray instead of oil.

Thanks. This is the kind of info I need. The plan at the website I posted would come out being a depth of 15" so I will research further about not getting it too deep. I'm curious about how you made the observation window? Not that I'd put one in now, but maybe in some future hive. Glass or plexiglass? Does comb end up getting attached to the inside?
John
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Inquorate
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 07:01:36 PM »

I built mine 1.2m long, 32cm high including 1 cm bottom board and 1cm top bars), 40cm wide, with side walls 30cm wide, bottom board 10cm wide. Bars are 3.6cm wide (after stuffing up conversions and going to 3cm - oops - )

I used 1cm thick pine wood, but nxt time will build using .9mm plywood (thinner for the roof).

the next next one will be square, with foundationless frames, so I can include a queen excluder to experiment with.

Here's a good YT vid on building them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__32kOaKq7w
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charlie b
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 07:31:16 PM »

http://www.backyardhive.com/magazine/ is a very good place to start. I have one Golden Mean TB hive I'm starting in 014 and have built it myself. You can order the plans on this site. They have a lot of good info and I'm sure both you and I will learn a lot from the beeks here as they have YEARS of combined experience which is priceless.
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