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Author Topic: Pros and Cons of Top Bar Hives  (Read 8382 times)
Jerrymac
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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2006, 12:58:59 PM »

No No No. Take one bar out, any bar without comb built on it. Then push all the remaining bars together and you then should have an equal gap at the front and back. No need to add any thing after taking out the one bar.
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jgarzasr
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« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2006, 01:47:34 PM »

OK.  So what about the opening that leaves?  will it create any problems?  It would definetely be used and an entrance/exit.  Or am I still not understanding this?  Thanks.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2006, 02:33:51 PM »

You don't have some sort of top/cover over the bars?
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« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2006, 02:40:22 PM »

jgarzasr,

Here is what my top bar looks like. Does yours have a cover to keep the rain out?

http://hh-farms.com/bees/
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« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2006, 03:03:17 PM »

Quote from: jgarzasr
OK.  So what about the opening that leaves?  will it create any problems?  It would definetely be used and an entrance/exit.  Or am I still not understanding this?  Thanks.


jgarzasr,

You can cut shims to fit.  When I built my TBH, I purposely put a lip on the front of the hive to make up the space between the first comb and end wall.  I then add all the top bars  working my way to the back.  I then just fill the last space with various shims to fill it out so the bees do not make an entrance.  I don't plan on worrying about the spacing in the back because I will remove combs for consumption before the get all the way back.  I wouldn't want to have to pull a loaded bar straight out.  I always remove the empty back bars and pull the loaded bars back a bit before pulling them out.

I'd cut a shim about 1/3 of a bar and put that in the front.   Then just fill in the back with whatever is needed.  AS the seasons change, you'll only have to worry about the back shims to account for expansion/contraction.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2006, 09:51:44 PM »

>Just to clarify what you are saying to do - you stated to take one bar out and split the gap.

I'm saying leave half of the gap at the front and the other half at the back.  Each bar includes a HALF of a beespace, so the first and last bar need at LEAST another 1/4" space to make the beespace there.  Ten langstroth frames don't fit tightly in a ten frame box either, and they shoudln't.  The excess should always bee at each end, not in the middle.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2006, 11:00:30 PM »

I will be installing a 3 lb package in my new topbar hive this Saturday. Any advice on the best way to do it? I had planned to hang the queen in between bars about 3 bars from the entrance but I am not sure if that is best. Should i hang it candy down? Should i just set the queen cage in the bottom of the hive? I will be picking up this package shortly after it is put together so a direct release is probably not a good idea....
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2006, 07:35:56 AM »

>I will be installing a 3 lb package in my new topbar hive this Saturday. Any advice on the best way to do it? I had planned to hang the queen in between bars about 3 bars from the entrance but I am not sure if that is best.

Where do you want the brood nest?  I kind of like mine near the back so I can stack supers on the front, but you can hang the queen wherever you like.  I would staple the metal strip (there usually is one, but you can add some kind of strip if there isn't) to the center of one of the bars.  It needs to be sturdy because the bees will hang from the cage.

> Should i hang it candy down?

If it's from California, there probably won't be any candy.  Put it where ever you like.  If it's in your back yard, I'd just leave the cork in and come back and relase her in four days.

>Should i just set the queen cage in the bottom of the hive?

No.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2006, 08:57:40 PM »

Quote from: jgarzasr
OK.  So what about the opening that leaves?  will it create any problems?  It would definetely be used and an entrance/exit.  Or am I still not understanding this?  Thanks.


jgarzasr,

Here are some pix of how I did it.



You can see I left a 3/8" overhang into the hive with a top cap (darker piece on top right). This leaves a gap between the end wall and the first bar.


Then on the other end, I just fill the excess space with shims to prevent them using it as an entrance.

Hopefully this helps you.
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« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2006, 11:41:05 PM »

Thanks all... Good advice all around... I will post sat eve to tell how it went..
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jgarzasr
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« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2006, 04:29:08 PM »

Well I finally got a chance to go out and do a check on the hives - it has been mostly rainy cool weather and have not had a break to get in and do a check.

So yesterday I went out and checked both my new TBH's - and all is looking good.  The first one I started has drawn out about half the bars - the first couple bars about 3/4 drawn out with the rest partly.  All are filled out with eggs/brood, and pollen.  The second hive (which got started a week after to first) is actually doing better - they have about the same amount of bars drawn - but more of the bars are drawn out completely.  Do they eventually draw out the full length of the bar?

On both of my TBH's I got to see the Queen - which on my two Langs - I have never seen the Queen - I don't know if that is luck, but it was nice to finally spot her.

On one of the TBH's my tight fit of the bars actually started to buckle up - so I removed the last bar, and I plan on cutting a couple shims to even out both sides.  Will the bar removed at the end create any problems?  I know they may start using it as an entrance.

Also I stopped feeding sugar water - but on my check I noticed there wasn't hardly any nectar/honey - but mostly brood and pollen.  Should I continue to feed?

Thanks - and if anyone can respond to my questions - I would appreciate.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2006, 07:54:20 AM »

>On one of the TBH's my tight fit of the bars actually started to buckle up - so I removed the last bar

The humidity makes them change sizes.  Tight fit is not a good thing.

> and I plan on cutting a couple shims to even out both sides. Will the bar removed at the end create any problems?

No.

> I know they may start using it as an entrance.

That IS my entrance.  Putting in shims will just make it tight again.


>Also I stopped feeding sugar water - but on my check I noticed there wasn't hardly any nectar/honey - but mostly brood and pollen.

Normal for a hive building up.

>Should I continue to feed?

Is there nectar and pollen coming in?  If there is I wouldn't.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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