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Author Topic: Will this work?(TBH)  (Read 2644 times)
Apis629
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« on: April 09, 2006, 10:33:37 PM »

I've been interested in various forms of beekeeping so I asked the state Apiary Inspection service(or whatever it's called) if TBHs were legal and it turns out, they are.  Then I began construction of one and I was wondering if these plans sound like they'd work.  The front and back are trapazoidal with 20"wide on the top(a) and 8" wide on the bottom(b) with 10" hight(c)

______a______       ___
\                              /         |
 \                            /          |
  \                          /           (C)                  
   \_____b__/            __

Hopefully, you can get what I'm trying to convey.  The enterence has been cut along the bottom to 3/4"high running along the entire 8" inches.  I'm debating about drilling some holes half way up or so for upper enterences and gluing on a peice of wood for a landing surface, maybe a 1x4.  The sides are 4 ply plywood running 47.25" to accomodate (33) 1 3/8" top bars.  For comb guides, a 1/8" groove will be cut along the center of the bars and a 1" strip of foundation spanning the langth of the bar inserted.  The entire bottom would be screened with #8 hardware cloth to provide ventilation and an escape path for the exclusion of fallen varroa after sugar treatments.  To me, this seems like it would work but, I would like some imput on the subject.  Also, I've read that it would be a bad idea to do any large inspection of the hive with high temperatures.  How high is too high?  I can locate the hive in partial to full shade but, throught most of the summer the temperature would be in the 90s and in August, upper 90s to low 100s.
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2006, 08:37:59 AM »

Hopefully, you can get what I'm trying to convey.
ASCII graphics don't work so well in the forums, but I still got ya.

I'm debating about drilling some holes half way up or so for upper enterences and gluing on a peice of wood for a landing surface, maybe a 1x4.
I've made two TBH so far, one with an upper entrance and one with a bottom entrance.  I have had them about 8 months now and have seen very little difference.  Seems like the one with the upper entrance occasionally has a few bees fanning by the entrance, but I just wonder if that is because it is conveniently close to the comb.  Both winter extremely well.   The only difficulty I had with the upper entrance is that I couldn't use  the electric oxalic vaporizer, so I didn't treat it at all.  One of the thoughts of a TH is that they can regulate the inside temp easier since it is pretty much sealed off,  if you add a 2nd entrance, then there will be some natural drafting thru the hive that they will have to deal with.  But then again, if your putting a screened bottom than I guess that wouldn't matter.

To me, this seems like it would work but, I would like some imput on the subject.
That is the great thing about TBH,  there is no one right size.  I made mine a little wider and deeper so that I could hang Langstroth frames from the top bars to aid in moving nucs into it.  This should work fine for you.

Also, I've read that it would be a bad idea to do any large inspection of the hive with high temperatures.
Yes, especially when the comb is new.   Always start from the empty bar end and open a space up to work thru.  When you get to the bars with comb, make sure they aren't attached to the side walls (if so, cut loose with a serrated knive).   Always keep the frames in the natural position (hanging) don't try fliping them up or on the side to inspect.  When you start to move them, you can tell if they are soft and flex, if so, don't continue.  Actually,  you shorter height of the hive will help you as the combs won't be as long and thus less weight.

Waiting to see some pictures.......
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Apis629
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2006, 03:07:36 PM »

I'm actually working on it in "Materials and Processes IB" at school.  Basicly, that's a fancy way of saying "wood shop".  I should be done by Thursday.  As for combs, how would I be able to do any inspection after the installation of the bees if our summer temperatures, even at night, never drop below the upper 80s?

One more thing...I'm ordering a package from Spell Bee co. not scheduled to arive untill June 16th so, it's going to be a while untill any bees begin calling that place home.  Also, just as a side note, do you think that TBHs would create a better buffer against AHB.  I was just thinking that a TBH would probably allow the bees to create many more drones and therefor, many more opportunities to interbreed with AHB.  Just a thought.
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2006, 05:32:33 PM »

As for combs, how would I be able to do any inspection after the installation of the bees if our summer temperatures, even at night, never drop below the upper 80s?  Since TBH are used in tropical areas, it can be done, you just need to be careful.  I can't give much advice since I am up North.  I try not to work on them in the mid-afternoon when the sun is at it's hottest.

I was just thinking that a TBH would probably allow the bees to create many more drones and therefor, many more opportunities to interbreed with AHB.
Just because they CAN doesn't mean they will.  The bees tend to manage the amount of drones regardless of the conditions.  Many beekeepers have spent  a lot of effort to try and reduce drones, only to have the bees focus their effort to restore drones to the desirable level.   I don't see TBH any more susceptable to AHB than Lagstroths.
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Apis629
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2006, 05:41:55 PM »

I was just randomly saying that there would be a possibility for greater drone production, thereby adding more drones to the "pool" created by ferral colonies in the area and as of 2005, Pinellas county(where I'm at) is oficially africanized as well as all counties boardering it.

I can locate the TBH in the shade and that's actually the most accessible yet out-of-the-way spot available.  

Just out of curriosity, how did you introduce the queens to your TBHs?  Did you direct release them, move them to a smaller cage(miller, for example), use the queen cage that came in a package?  Or did you just hive one of you're already established colonies?

P.S.  I know I'm probably asking <ul>WAY too many questions.
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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2006, 07:44:37 PM »

Just out of curriosity, how did you introduce the queens to your TBHs?  Did you direct release them, move them to a smaller cage(miller, for example), use the queen cage that came in a package?  Or did you just hive one of you're already established colonies?

Since I built mine to hold Langstroth frames,  I just wired the frames from a nuc to the top bars.  As they started to build new comb, I gradually removed the frames.  Michael Bush recommends just releasing the queen when installing a package into a TBH.

P.S.  I know I'm probably asking <ul>WAY</ul> too many questions.

Not at all,  that is what we are here for,  to share our knowledge with those who are also excited about beekeeping and learn too. wink It's very refreshing to have young person like yourself so interested in beekeeping and not just totally consumed by TV and video games.  There is still hope for the future of the country. cheesy
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Apis629
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2006, 09:24:33 PM »

Thanks, I should have some photos later this week.  I have to say, the help from these forums is invaluable.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2006, 08:20:37 AM »

I think putting an entrance in is redundant.  Just leave the front bar back 3/8" and let that be the entrance.

The size and shape of the comb has been the subject of much discussion.  When I tried to do a deep Langstroth sized one I had a domino collapse where every comb collapsed on a hot day.  So I went to medium depth for the Langstroth style boxes (that will accept langstroth frames if I want) to avoid having another collapse.

The Kenya Top Bar Hive I built I went skinner in an attempt to avoid a collapse.    Both of these worked well.  I can't say how a 20" by10" by 8" trapazoid will work.  I'd put it in the shade though.  Smiley

I always direct release queens with a pacakge.  If you're trying to release a queen in an established top bar hive, a push in cage would probably be a good method.
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Michael Bush
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Apis629
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2006, 08:25:28 PM »

I thought that by being wider and shorter, the combs would be able to store alot without being so long as too easily lose machanical strength.
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pallan
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2006, 11:19:55 AM »

Everyone has great ideas!  I think that's what really draws me to the tbh . . . inventiveness, uniqueness, simplicity (if you want), complexity (for those who like that).  I really like building and trying new things.  Less wide top bars and less deep bodies are the way to go in hot climates.  The original Kenyan designs are made long and slender just for that reason.  I chose a version of that design for use in the hot Southern California Valley where I live.  Check out some of my pics and a gif plan sketch.  Let me know If I can help anyone by answering any questions.
http://community.webshots.com/album/550262134pMkWoa
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