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My first Top Bar Bee Hive almost done

 
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Uwe in USA
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 May 2013
Posts: 69
Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:34 pm    Post subject: My first Top Bar Bee Hive almost done Reply with quote

What can I use to stain it. Do I stain it in and outside?
Someone told me he was using Wax mixed with linseedoil.

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Invision
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 71
Location: Poulsbo, Washington USA zone 8b

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use this stuff called Cedar Seal from home depot. little expensive but it claims to be safe for pets, and it keeps the natural color of the wood even protects from UV, water, and mold.
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msscha
Guard Bee


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

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One recommendation for the outside of the hive is a linseed oil to beeswax mix in a 20:1 ratio --see the "barefoot beekeeper (etc)" thread -- the recipe is one of the stickies.

For the inside, Phil Chandler has recommended a shellac+propolis mixture to save the bees some work. I'm going to give that a try (finishing up my TBH this weekend) and was just popping in to see if I could find the recipe for the propolis mixture. I found a good deal on chunk raw propolis from John Pluta -- 1 oz for $7.75 (incl shipping). I just sent him a check and got the propolis in about a week (if interested, see Georgiabees.blogspot.com or send to 165 Sparta Hwy. 22, Milledgeville, GA, 31061/phone: 478-452-2337).
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Uwe in USA
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 May 2013
Posts: 69
Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:20 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Thanks for the info.
I just found out my bees will arive two weeks later so I have plenty of time.
Just finsished putting 4 coats of water proof oet safe paint on the roof.
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msscha
Guard Bee


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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bees will be late, too, b/c of the winter storms the US has been enjoying. Hard to believe now, as spring as finally arrived, and we're enjoying beautiful blue skies and afternoon temps back in the 80s. Every time something begins blooming, I think "No! Wait another week!" Smile. I haven't uploaded the pics yet, but we finished the bee yard last weekend (cut down three small trees, mowed close to the ground, cleared out debris, put up a fence), put the hive into place, then filled the eco-floor with leaves and wood mulch. Turned out to be very useful as I could see light from the eco floor when viewing the interior of the hive through the observation window. It wasn't obvious at all from the outside -- so, now I'm adding 1/4" thick strips of weather stripping to the edges of the floor where it meets the hive. This has made closing the floor difficult, but has created a proper seal. It will be unpleasant to fill the eco-floor b/c I put the hinges on the wrong side -- the opening is on the same side as the entrance. Seemed logical at the time b/c the window side is made of glued/screwed wood and I didn't want the weight of the floor pulling on the less stable surface. But opening the floor jars the hive, and my guess is bees will not be happy with the process. We shall see.

I am SOOO anxious for the bees to come! I feel silly admitting it, but I walk around the yard every day, talking to the colony in my head, as though they could hear me even if they were safely hived Embarassed!
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Uwe in USA
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 May 2013
Posts: 69
Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:49 pm    Post subject: Bees arriving Reply with quote

I totally understand they way you feel. I actually already got my first bees last April and they survived. Now I look forward harvesting my first own honey.

I changed my entire backyard into a blooming paradise with Wild Flowers every where. Can't wait for them to come up.
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Uwe in USA
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 May 2013
Posts: 69
Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:55 pm    Post subject: No need for Mesh floor? Reply with quote

I just got done building my two Top Bar Beehives and they look great.
I was debating to pu in a mesh floor or not. Had trouble to figure out the best way to attach the bottom floor on top of a mesh bottom. Have been working on my two hives for most of the Winter and at the end I've got a little impatient and just wanted to finish my hives.
After reading this Article below I decided to attach the bottom without a mesh floor and instead I will drill several 1 1/4 inch holes with corks in it.
So it is kind of a compromise. I woukld say at least 10 holes, which will additional give me the oportunity to add ventilation in the summer. Its hot here in Virginia.
Please read this article from backyardbees.com and let me know what you all think.

Here is the article copied and link:

http://www.backyardhive.com/Bee_News/Bee_News/Cell_Size_Inhibits_Varroa_Mite/


Cell Size Inhibits Varroa Mite





Following a link from a post in the top bar section of the bee source forum, I came accross some very insightful information from Michael Bush. I'm keen to explore all of the information he provides including the powerpoint presentation he shares on the site. The very interesting and valuable point he makes on the top of his main bee page is this:


Most of us beekeepers are fighting with the Varroa mites. I'm happy to say my biggest problems are things like trying to get nucs through the winter and coming up with hives that won't hurt my back from lifting or better ways to feed the bees.

This change from fighting the mites is mostly because I've gone to natural sized cells. In case you weren't aware, and I wasn't for a long time, the foundation in common usage results in much larger bees than what you would find in a natural hive. I've measured sections of natural worker brood comb that are 4.6mm in diameter. The 4.6mm comb pictured below was drawn by a hive of commercial Carniolans. What most people use for worker brood is foundation that is 5.4mm in diameter. If you translate that into three dimensions, instead of one, that produces a bee that is about half again as large as is natural. By letting the bees build natural sized cells, I have virtually eliminated my Varroa and Tracheal mite problems. One cause of this is shorter capping times by one day and shorter post capping times by one day. This means less Varroa get into the cells and less Varroa reproduce in the cells. I have mostly done this either with wax coated PermaComb (fully drawn plastic comb) or self drawn comb on foundationless frames or frames with blank starter strips. 4.9mm foundation is available from Dadant and Sons and from Brushy Mt. This size(4.9mm) has been found sufficient to resolve the mite problems.

This is certainly in keeping with what we have experienced with the Back Yard Hive. Let the bees do things as close as possible to the natural order, and they are much more able to protect themselves against infestation and disease. Nice to see such a scientific and carefully monitored approach which explains some of the mechanisms behind why a more organic process holds a promise for dealing with the mite issue. Thanks Michael!

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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cell size in a top bar hive is IMO a subject for the bees themselves, as we don't use foundation.

There is scientific evidence that Varroa are attracted to larger cell sizes, which is the justification for using small cell foundation in frame hives, and this has been discussed here at length more than once.

Natural cell size is good enough for my bees and therefore good enough for me: they build comb as they want it.
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Uwe in USA
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 May 2013
Posts: 69
Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:12 pm    Post subject: Top Bar Beehive Reply with quote

yes , thanks I understand the concept of the smaller hexagons.
My question was if that would be enough to justify building a Top bar Bee Hive without a mesh bottom to fight the mites.

best

Uwe
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There has been much discussion of small cell size on this forum but I believe some of us are not convinced it is the holy grail and there is no real agreement on how is best to get there. ie Forcibly regressing bees by using small cell foundation or even small cell plastic comb or just letting them build whatever cell size they want, by not using foundation.... the latter is believed to take several/numerous generations to reduce.

My experience is that my two oldest hives are mostly on normal foundation comb although I am gradually phasing the old comb out and they haven't been treated for 5 years and appear to be dealing with varroa despite not being small cell. My friend who lives in the next village has the same experience with her bees which are also on foundation comb.
In my top bar hives I find quite a variation in worker cell size and to my mind, that is natural.
I'm not advocating foundation by any means but I'm not convinced it is the root of all evil. I think ensuring the bees have a variety of healthy natural forage, allowing hives to produce as many drones as they wish and swarm when they want, are more important than cell size in the management of varroa.
I should also point out that my oldest treatment free colonies have solid floors and I'm not a fan of mesh floors and I don't think they achieve anything in varroa management other than facilitating mite drop counts which I don't do anyway. There has been some discussion that the mites that drop through are almost always damaged in some way and therefore pose no threat to bees even if they didn't drop through the mesh.

I am more interested in Phil's deep litter floor/ecosystem and perhaps you might like to read up on that before you populate your hives as there are additional benefits of drainage and better humidity control for the bees using that system although it is still in the early stages of testing... 2 seasons I believe.

Regards

Barbara
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Uwe in USA
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 May 2013
Posts: 69
Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:24 pm    Post subject: TBBH Reply with quote

Thanks for the info.
I have no comb foundation and will not have it.
Just Top bars where the bees can do what ever they do.
I just wanted a conformation from other bee keepers that have a TBBH that I don't really need a mesh floor.
I still ahve the chance to include a mesh floor before my new bees are coming.
So far I made a compromise. I drilled about 10 1 1/4 inch holes in the bottom with corks in them that also can give them more ventilation if they need.


Best

Uwe
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The primary purpose of a mesh floor is to allow dead/dying mites to fall through so they can be counted (or just become ant food). They were introduced to make it easy to count mites by placing a sticky board underneath. If you are not going to count mites, there is little point in fitting a mesh floor.
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msscha
Guard Bee


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

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW, I used both the mesh and eco-floors. Probably didn't need to, but that was what I chose. My bees arrive today, so I have no data one this decision one way or the other!
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