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15 bar TBH
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:26 pm    Post subject: 15 bar TBH Reply with quote

Hi All,
Time for an update, i now have 2 colony in TBH.
1 full size TBH and1 half length TBH which was a demo hive but became needed for a split as my main top bar hive had produced a queen cell.

I am now in year 2nd of my TBH beekeeping (roughly 1 full year+month or 2).

My split from a month+ ago is doing so well, its now got all 15 bars only 1 is empty and the other 1 is 65% comb, so not a lot of room left.

now all is we'll, but should i build another full length tbh just in case as i know there are known issue with shorter lengths or do you think my 15 bar half hive would be ok for the rest of this year? they are not making swarm cell
or cups right now. i could take a comb of honey and give them a bit more room at some point.

The half length hive was just a temp house but they settled in nicely.
I have 2 very healthy colony right now the main colony is massive in the full TBH with only 3 bars left/blocked from end with follower. This one is all honey and stores for first lot of bars and brood is at back the last 8-10 bars.

As i use end entrance as i have very narrow long thin apiary area, and i need to stand at side to inspect. They enter at end and build towards other end. so i only need 1 follower board that i move as req.

Any thoughts will be appreciated
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I over wintered two colonies ( the "original" and a swarm I caught from it ) in a single TBH, so you might be OK with 15 bars. Having said that, it was a very close run thing and at one point I thought I was going to have move one or other colony out. Around here in Manchester there is a strong late season flow in late summer with Himalayan Balsam, Rosebay Willow Herb and other plants, so you might think you are OK for room in mid August but run out by mid September.

So, I think you might be OK but you might need a back up plan in place.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry - I didn't read your first message properly. If you already have 15 bars full, then I think you need to move them into a larger hive as soon as possible !
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of my hives are 10 top bars Nucs and last year i overwintered 4 colonies without issues. Also end entrances (top). One of them had only 8 top bar combs and they came out fine.

Most bees need no more than 10 combs to winter so you can harvest end of july some of the honey and let them fill the rest for winter.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, all beekeeping is local. Here, the main flow is late in the year, so if I had a 13 bar colony there's no way it would remain under 15 bars by the end of September. And I wouldn't be taking honey from it at all until either late September or the following Spring, but that's my personal preference.
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 30 bar TBH which has 16 frames full - I expect it to have 30 full by end August..

Your 15 bar TBH is too small.

I have overwintered a 7 brt TBH successfully.. - lots of insulation..
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen a few tbh hives on u tube with supers on top. Mainly in America.
Has anyone tried this, as a new tbh is a lot more work and wood that I do not have right now. I have been keen to build a super type of box to go on top for the honey flow and try this idea out. As I do have wood to try this out.

Any thoughts on this?
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HowieNZ
Nurse Bee


Joined: 18 May 2014
Posts: 33
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any personal experience but have thought through the process. 1: you will need to make a new set of top bars (bee space) where the super is placed. 2: you will need to make a new roof for HTBH that weatherproofs the hive including where it joins touches the super.
3: I have read that sometimes the bees aren't keen in moving up unless some combed top bars are place in the super.
So maybe building a second HTBH isn't so much different in time or cost and the insurance of having a second hive if your first hive fails for some reason?
HowieNZ[/quote]
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided I would try to see if I could do a quick fix. And I have found that a national super fits perfectly on top and I made a spacer to fill the other 7 inches and the lid fits nicely back on top, I removed two spacers from first 2 top bars and placed short spacers to block ends and seal space, also to allow two almost full length bar slots for bees to climb up. Within a few mins the bees have come to see the new penthouse floor and are lovin it. The were keen to get up and are settling in nicely. Took 1 hour to make a spacer box and some trims, and reused the old roof.

Simples!
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HowieNZ
Nurse Bee


Joined: 18 May 2014
Posts: 33
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good, hoping it works well for the bees and you, a photo or two would be good Smile
HowieNZ
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can check what I'm doing
http://cheguebeeapiary.blogspot.dk/2013/09/bee-friendly-super-top-bar-hive.html?m=1
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure and while you wait for me to load the pics have a look at the hive here.

http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=24949
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw yours Che and i thought it was interesting.

Here is a national super and my spacer, as my half hive is 25,1/4 inch long. The super is 18" so i made a spacer 7.1/4 inch to fill gap and make it up to the 25.1/4 size to hold the roof.

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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

remove 2 full length spacers from first 2 top bars and replace with just 2inch spacers to seal ends. this ensures no robbers can get in.
The girls are itching to come and explore straight away, also this is next to and above the entrance, which is below and an end entrance.



Last edited by ValBee on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:31 pm; edited 2 times in total
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here is the super and spacer over the slots and sealed with a crown board inside so the bees do not get into roof space.

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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here is the before and after i supered ...

before



after



here come the girls

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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks great, keep us informed
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johno
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 Jun 2014
Posts: 60
Location: Limerick, Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Val,

I see on the other forum you said you used cheap boiled linseed oil on your hive. I also used a coat of it on my first hive but then I covered it with 3 coats of raw linseed oil when I discovered that boiled linseed oil is no longer made like it used to be. It used to be boiled for a couple of days, as the name suggests. Nowadays there are chemicals called drying agents added to it. The boiling process changed the oil to a substance hat dried more quickly, and the drying agents do pretty much the same thing. However these drying agents are not food safe, in fact they are toxic if they get on your skin.

So anyway, as far as i know, the only safe stuff to paint on your hive is raw linseed oil or raw linseed oil with beeswax melted into it. Almost everything else has high VOC content or nasty chemicals in it. There are lots of water based exterior paints that might be okay too, but I like to be able to see the wood.

johno
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stevecook172001
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

talking about coatings:

I just bought some gum rosin (pine resin) flakes off Ebay and mixed them up with some methylated spirits. Unlike shellac, they fully dissolved in only about an hour. I then used this to varnish the inside of my top winter feeder to make it waterproof. It looks to have done the job nicely and has left a thick gloss covering over everything. Being pine resin, I cant see it harming the bees. In fact, I think I remember reading somewhere that a mixture of melted pine resin and beeswax was used to waterproof the inside of leather or wooden drinking vessels in centuries past.
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the super will get you out of trouble it is definitely getting away from the simple, one level horizontal hive. Why don't you just whip up a longer hive?

Cheers
Rob.
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cant do another hive as i dont have any wood at present . That will be the ideal solution when I get a chance. I am still interested in experimenting with a top bar brood and a honey super and see how this hybrid goes. That way they get left alone with a big brood area. I can just inspect harvest and disrupt the honey section, and pretty much leave main nest alone. I will try top bars in the honey section if this proves a good idea.
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johno, thanks for your comment re linseed oil. Seems you are correct. Although it says boiled linseed oil on the label, it does have a minimal VOC. Content, which is worrying and I won't use it again. It doesn't seem to have done them any harm, but thanks for making me aware.
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HowieNZ
Nurse Bee


Joined: 18 May 2014
Posts: 33
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The photos make it all clear how you did it using the spacer, thanks.
Regarding protective coatings, I have used raw linseed oil and beeswax melted together as per Phil's recipe, the hive is outside drying in our winter sun, seems to take a while.
regards HowieNZ
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Noahsoak
New Bee


Joined: 29 Jan 2015
Posts: 6
Location: Willamette Valley Oregon

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:23 pm    Post subject: 15 bar tbh Reply with quote

I am curious if by August there were 22 bars used, with 5 of that newly started comb and honey stores, is that considered too large of a hive for that amount of space?

I think it holds close to 30 bars. my brood bars and honey bars are slightly different widths - 1 1/4 brood and 1 1/2 honey bars. which I regret....
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valbee how did it go last year? Did they move into the super and if how much stores did they fill into it? Thanks.
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI che,
They came into the super and glued any gaps. but they did not bother to build and comb or stores, so nothing yet.

How did your bees and supers do? maybe i need more gaps for bees to come up or maybe it was time and strength of colony. i removed the unused super in winter to keep the brood warmer may try again now. all colonies survived and are collecting.
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also was given a bs nuc at same time, but it was a national type so i now have a 3rd hive which is in a bs nat, that went crazy filled the brood chamber and also 2 supers that was after i was writing this post. We had a very long summer ij the UK flow carried on for months and i now have 3 strong colony.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Valbee last year only one colony decided to move up and build only 5 combs and fill it with OSR honey. It seems to me that bees are more than happy with 40-50 litres body space. They fill the conventional supers only because they have no other choice but to fill up the space for thermo regulation. Bees have better things to do than focus on making excess honey. But we are greedy and we want honey (including myself here)

This year I moved the slit/opening into the brood nest just after the 4th top bar. I inserted a 14 mm shim with 12mm gap on each side. The shims under side has a melted wax guide. They will have to build this comb now.

I just supered last week so its early to tell but as soon as now more I will post here.
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it s hard to know what they will prefer. I was interested in the other post you mentioned, another keeper had success from a super. Do you know if there was much different. does the amount of slots or access make a difference, or maybe position of slots as you are now doing it over the brood rather than the ends.

I have seen a lot of bee action lately and just done my first inspection. i have eggs and grubs so they are all very active i think i will try again and put a super on and see what they make of it. It will certainly give them more space for stores. and the 15 bar tbh is very well stocked with honey and nectar now, so i may harvest some first before i super it.
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ValBee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 26
Location: UK, MIDDX

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was also curious about creating a 2nd entrance or moving the entrance to the super area so they have to use the space to go through it, it seems this is the way m bush supers his tbh.
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