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NEW BOOK - Building a Top Bar Hive

 
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:53 pm    Post subject: NEW BOOK - Building a Top Bar Hive Reply with quote

Finally - everything I can usefully say about building a top bar hive in one book!

http://www.lulu.com/shop/philip-chandler/balanced-beekeeping-i-building-a-top-bar-hive/paperback/product-21285788.html

I am about halfway through its companion volume, which will be devoted to TBH management.

I would be pleased to hear comments from anyone who buys a copy!
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msscha
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Newberry, FL, USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:05 pm    Post subject: just finished it -- anxious for the second volume Reply with quote

I printed out my copy of the initial "how to build a simple top bar hive" this morning -- we are building them this week Smile! I downloaded "BB1" today, so I have the plans for the eco-floor: I found your discussion of ventilation particularly cogent. I live in North Central Florida, thus with high humidity, high summer temps, and wildly varying winter temps (as much as 30 deg F in a single day), and have been concerned about ventilation and insulation. The design logic regarding condensation makes good sense, and since I live semi-rurally, I have lots of forest floor debris to fill an eco-floor. Now, I am waiting for BB2...I checked about 8 times today, just to make sure it hasn't come out yet! Thus, for the time being, I will follow a management plan incorporating your suggestions with Christine Hemenway's. My first package doesn't arrive until April, so I still have plenty of time before "management", per se, becomes too much of an issue.

Thank you for making your work so accessible and affordable!
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like an interesting place to live! And even more so for beekeeping...

It sounds like your climate will provide a useful sub-tropical test of Ed Clarke's theory, so please let us know how it pans out. With that kind of temperature variation, it seems to me doubly important to have good insulation in place to isolate the bees from the outside world.

I look forward to hearing about your progress!
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msscha
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Newberry, FL, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: a quick question about the eco-floor design Reply with quote

I've been doing a bit of research on Stratiolaelaps scimitus (as my search engine prefers to name it) -- we have someone doing research on varroa here (University of Florida) and I'll send her a message to see if the lab has an idea of our native, natural population (there are suppliers, but they sell in quantities much larger than a hive or two!). I have a design question on the eco-floor, if I may ask it here? In a recent discussion on your blog, it sounds as though the flooring material is open to the bees, with a screen bottom at the bottom end of the floor. I was thinking of using two screens -- one on the floor of the hive and another along the bottom edge of the deep floor. Is this overkill? Is there a reason to let the bees have contact with the debris?

Again, thank you for your time! I think I may blog this whole process, just for fun, too Smile.
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it does seem to be scimitus - don't know where I got scimitans from...

The floor - I make them with mesh only at the very bottom, giving the bees free access to the filling material, on the basis that they may know to go down there to pick up some Stratiolelaps, which will then deal with the Varroa...

I don't see any reason not to give them access to the floor, so I don't put in an extra mesh.

Do tell us more about the research at the University.
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Newhive1
New Bee


Joined: 03 Jan 2014
Posts: 2
Location: UK Essex

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:17 pm    Post subject: Books Reply with quote

Dear Phil
As a newcomer to hTBHs I found your books an excellent starting place. I'm assembly materials to build two hive for spring and look forward to your next volume on management. Thanks for sharing your experience so freely.
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you! I'm glad it was useful. Volume II is going to take a few weeks to get right, I think, but it will be out before the spring.

I am always keen to hear feedback, especially if you think there is anything in need of improvement.
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jjodie
House Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 11
Location: USA/Georgia/Lyons

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil, any idea when we can expect Balanced Beekeeping II?

Jodie
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Kerryman
New Bee


Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 2
Location: Isle of Wight England

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: BB2 Reply with quote

Just got and read BB1 cover to cover how's the management book coming on?
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still working on it!

I underestimated how lomg this book would take to get right - or as right as I can make it. Illustrations are causing me problems - some things really need diagrams, while others need good photographs.

I also have to fit it in around teaching and my other work...
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kalama_beek
New Bee


Joined: 01 Apr 2015
Posts: 4
Location: USA/Washington State/Kalama

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:23 pm    Post subject: Loved the book Reply with quote

I wish I'd had this resource in my hands before I went and built my first TBH. The one I built is going to be a bit undersized, but it gave me a reason to build another so that's what I'm doing! Where I live in America it's cheaper to buy 1.5" thick lumber than .75" lumber, and your words on insulation further convinced me that's the way to go. My question is regarding the use of shellac to coat the inside of the hive. Is the purpose for this to save the ladies some time on sealing up the hive so presumably they'd be able to go about other tasks to strengthen the hive? Is there a particular method to use? Like everyone else Phil, can't wait until Balanced Beekeeping II comes out. No pressure! Laughing
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msscha
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Newberry, FL, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the shellac helps the bees out with the interior -- there are some who say it shouldn't be done (Marla Spivak), but I tend to think that trees in nature already come with some pre-conditioned wood, so adding it to hives shouldn't be a problem. I coated the inside of my first hive with three coats of thin shellac -- it was thinned with denatured alcohol in which I'd dissolved an ounce of propolis. For my second hive, I didn't do anything to the interior. With my third, I made a rub out of boiled linseed oil and beeswax, and put a very light coating of it inside. I don't have data on the second two hives yet, but I do notice that I'm finding that bars which were treated with the shellac are bowing less. Given how humid Florida is, that matters.

I like the idea of using 1.5" wood. I haven't done that, but it sounds like a smart idea. I'll price that locally. The 1" wood I buy (which is really 3/4") costs about $60 for a whole hive (including bars). Not bad when buying a TBH kit would cost between $200-$400.
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kalama_beek
New Bee


Joined: 01 Apr 2015
Posts: 4
Location: USA/Washington State/Kalama

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't have data on the second two hives yet, but I do notice that I'm finding that bars which were treated with the shellac are bowing less. Given how humid Florida is, that matters.



I used cedar for the top bars in my first hive and used fir in the second, with the intent to compare to two materials for bowing, whether one works better than the other in/around propolis, etc. what material did you use?
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msscha
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Newberry, FL, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

just basic white pine -- the price of cedar and cypress is so much higher. I did use plywood for the follower boards, but switched those to pine as well. I don't use them for long...maybe b/c of the humidity and temps, the bees seem to appreciate the space to spread out. Last year, I had no bearding at all -- this year, with a big colony, there are always lots more bees hanging out on the outside of the hive. Actually caught an orientation flight yesterday! https://youtu.be/NBcJk-BsWG8
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Masterblaster
New Bee


Joined: 20 Jun 2015
Posts: 2
Location: USA, SC/Aiken

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any idea on finish date of balanced beekeeping II. Looking forward to it!
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Masterblaster wrote:
Any idea on finish date of balanced beekeeping II. Looking forward to it!


You and me both! I have had all manners of things to deal with recently, including a situation that has left me effectively homeless... but I am pulling it together and with a following wind I hope to have it all done in a couple of months, but no promises. This will be my biggest book yet, and I want to make it as comprehensive as possible, so I keep adding stuff...
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