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Topbar / Langstroth Frankenstein Hive! ...And Orange County Beekeepers Assn Flickr Page - waggledancers

emo_snalDec. 30th, 2010 12:59 pm Topbar / Langstroth Frankenstein Hive! ...And Orange County Beekeepers Assn Flickr Page

Yesterday I was musing about making a topbar hive that was the same dimensions as a langstroth hive (sometimes known as the "standard hive" -- the typical rectangular box), so that a langstroth honey super could be placed on top of it or you could put topbars with comb into a langstroth box if for some reason you felt like doing so. Well, my coworker Ryan is quite handy with woodworking and voila yesterday's dream is a reality!



(sorry for the bad picture quality)
(also I realize that is not a honey super but a deep brood box..it was what I had at hand when I took the picture five minutes ago (: )



In other beekeeping related news, I've created and uploaded a whole bunch of various people's pictures up on the Orange County Beekeepers Association flickr account. The pictures make the club look positively fun! ;D

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Comments:

From:squid_ink
Date:December 30th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
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I'm confused... every TBH I've seen, you add the bars as you need them and as the bees draw out the comb. You have all your frames in already (and I'm assuming the frames are bare, no wax?)

that little girl is a dead ringer for my niece 15 years ago (she's 19 now and still has the same color hair)
From:emo_snal
Date:December 30th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
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Yeah that's definitely the normal way of it. But bees naturally would rather expand upwards, and langstroth boxes are more convenient to extract from.


Also a bit of a background here: I'm about to go do beekeeping with the Peace Corps in Africa. In undeveloped areas they usually use topbar hives because they're easier to construct, so I'm expecting to be working with topbar hives there. BUT to make it most convenient to eventually phase in some langstroth hives if possible it seems like this compatable design might make the transition smoother.
From:emmanate
Date:December 31st, 2010 04:01 am (UTC)
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Oh, wow! If you can, please keep us informed of your work! Sounds like a great adventure!
From:thanx_n_advance
Date:January 4th, 2011 05:42 am (UTC)
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Sweet! Did you get my email?
From:emo_snal
Date:January 4th, 2011 03:26 pm (UTC)
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No I don't think so? Resend? Who will it say it's from?
From:thanx_n_advance
Date:January 5th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
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It's probably a moot point by now, but my wife did pass your message along to me after I shitcanned my FB account. The only thing I can see from your photo being an issue is that the super on top will channel rainwater directly into the tbh below. Otherwise that's pretty close to what I've built.

From what I've observed about bee-havior, build hives to suit your habit as the girls will find a way to thwart your very best design ingenuity. Interchangeability didn't go over well with mine. I used the free plans at biobees.com with some slight modifications to the top width dimensions to accommodate commercial top bars (I think PJ's boxes are 17" wide so just I expanded the top and bottom width by 2 or 3" to maintain the slope of the side boards in his design.) Hindsight being 20/20 I soon ditched the idea of using any commercial bee equipment, almost entirely. Topbars can also be easily fashioned out of common furring strips (roughly 1" x 2") with a plunge cut down the center to make a slot that a short strip of pressed wax foundation can be wedged into - that's about all I've been able to get them to draw comb from reliably. These type of top bars don't allow bees above them and so preclude stacking supers on top, but I'm looking at ultra-low tech alternatives (so I'm interested to see what you bring back from Africa) and don't have money to purchase or space to store a centrifugal extractor (it doesn't get any easier than "crush and strain".) Otherwise, mine are designed to be constructed from commonly-sized commercial (i.e. scrap) lumber with little or no waste wood left over and with no more equipment than a power drill, circular saw and a speed square.
From:emo_snal
Date:January 5th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC)

oh hey

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Ohhh hey yes I did, I didn't realize you had an LJ account again!! Sorry I hadn't responded yet.. was going to I swear! d:

I'm pretty pleased with the creation we have here but now we're faced with the fact that it's possibly the worst time of year possibly to start a new hive! :D But I'm currently scheduled to leave for the Peace Corps in February so if I want to mess with this it's got to be now. Fortunately out here where it's never very cold and somewhere or other in the endless suburbs SOMEthing is always flowering, even at this time of year swarms are not entirely unheard of.

I'm actually suspecting that given the whole reason I'm going to be out there is to help them pull income out of very little resources, once I'm there I probably will be using designs that fit more along the lines of "what equipment is available" and "what I can do with the equipment at hand."

From what I gather from reading what accounts I can find from previous PC beekeepers is that part of the reason the PC likes beekeeping is because it supports tinsmiths (to make smokers and things), clothing makers (for the suits), and perhaps local woodshops, if one wants to get into churning out hives for the local beekeepers, so it can support a trail of industry. So I'm kind of intrigued about the idea of getting on the ground there and trying to foment not just beekeeping but the related support industries. Where sources are lacking it won't be just find a way to do without, but sometimes to establish that source too!
From:thanx_n_advance
Date:January 5th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC)

Re: oh hey

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It was looking at pictures of some of the shit that beekeepers pull off in Africa that got me thinking about building _Kenyan_ top bar hives in the first place. A lot of that stuff over there is made of nothing more than mud and sticks with soda pop cans smashed flat and layered to make shingles. Some of it amazing in it's ingenuity and beautiful in it's craftsmanship. I don't care if I never see another lang hive again in my life.
From:emo_snal
Date:January 7th, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)

Re: oh hey

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Lolz!