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Author Topic: Kenyan Topbar Hive (Michael Bush Site)  (Read 1115 times)
Scott Derrick
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« on: December 09, 2006, 11:29:54 AM »

I have some questions that are really for Michael Bush but I guess anyone could answer it. Micheal I noticed the Kenyan Topbar Hive on your website here http://www.bushfarms.com/images/KTBH1.JPG

Do you screw the sides to the bottom and then pry them back and attach the ends? I was worried about cracking the wood with the pressure that would be caused by prying the boards back.

Do you remember the length of deck screw?

Can you tell me how you make the beveled comb guide?

You also mentioned in regards to the bars:

the brood nest is 1 1/4" wide bars and the honey is 1 1/2" wide bars These bars are 15" long

I assume the brood bars go into the middle and the honey on the outside? Also how many brood and honey bars on a 30 bar hive?

Your enlightenment would be appreciated. 

Thanks a ton.

Scott
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2006, 10:54:01 AM »

Actually I stapled everything together with 1 1/2" long 1/4" wide crown staples.  Nails would have worked as well.  Then AFTER it was all togehter and the side spread and even the ends nailed on, I put 2" deck screws in the ends to hold the ends on.  I could have put deck screws elsewhere as well but this was the weak spot.

It would not work well to screw it first and then bend it, I don't think. Screws are far too strong.  If you already screwed it, I'd remove the screws and put a few nails in and bend the sides out.  Come back when you're done and put in the screws.
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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
Scott Derrick
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2006, 12:14:21 AM »

Michael,

I have built the topbar hive. I will be posting photos soon. A couple more questions if you would. I will be ripping the "wedges" for the top bar tomorrow. Would it be more attractive to the bees if I brushed some wax with a little lemongrass added to it on the "wedges" and bottom of the bars? My thought is that the wax will give them a bit of a headstart and the lemongrass smell might keep them in the box.
 
The second question is do you really need the wedge on the bar? Is it more to help the bees with alignment on the bar?

The Third question is do you space the bars just as you would a typical frame? I typically push mine together in the center until they are drawing them out then I space them about a third of an inch apart.

Thanks again for all your help throughout the week. Like I said I'll post photos later this week.

Scott
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2006, 06:02:51 AM »

>Would it be more attractive to the bees if I brushed some wax with a little lemongrass added to it on the "wedges" and bottom of the bars?

In 1975 I put some wax on the peak of the wedge on the top bar.  I have not since.  I don't think they care.

> My thought is that the wax will give them a bit of a headstart

My thought was that it actually discouraged them from attaching it as well since they assume someone already did.

> and the lemongrass smell might keep them in the box.

Lemongrass oil in the box (just a few drops) might help keep them in the box.  You can just put this on the side of the box or on the bottom of a top bar.
 
>The second question is do you really need the wedge on the bar?

Yes.

> Is it more to help the bees with alignment on the bar?

Yes.  You can get by without it only if there is drawn, brood comb on each side of the empty bar.

>The Third question is do you space the bars just as you would a typical frame?

That depends on what you mean.  You push them tightly together like a typical frame.  There is no gap like a typical frame.

> I typically push mine together in the center until they are drawing them out then I space them about a third of an inch apart.

Push them together and LEAVE them together.  I would do the same with regular frames in a brood nest.

Part of the concept of a top bar hive is that there is no gap between the bars, therefore no bees coming out or getting mad between the bars.  The only exposed bees should be where you took a bar out.
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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
Scott Derrick
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2007, 10:31:49 PM »

One more question. Do I need to make a "follower board" for the topbar hive I built or would I just place the package into the 30 to 35 bar hive?

Scott
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"You're born. You suffer. You die. Fortunately, there's a loophole."
                                              Billy Graham
Apis629
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2007, 11:15:45 PM »

I put a swarm (roughly 3-4 pounds I think) into a 32 bar top bar hive in summer, they did fine in the initial build up.  They even put away a crop of honey.  If the weather is fine, you won't need a follower board.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2007, 06:27:17 AM »

>One more question. Do I need to make a "follower board" for the topbar hive I built or would I just place the package into the 30 to 35 bar hive?

You don't NEED a follower board.  I've never bothered to build one.  They would be a nice thing to have around though.  I just put the package in the hive.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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