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Converting bottom to top beespace

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buzz 

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I read somewhere (?) that it it is simple to change from bottom to top beespace for National hives (and presumably all wooden hives) purely by increasing the distance down from the lip of the super/bb to the top of the frame rail/support during construction of flat hive kits.

Is it really that easy, as Thornes charge a fiver if you specify top beespace hive kits?

I have read that top beespace reduces the crushing of bees, makes sliding supers on and off easier, reduces proposlising on the frame ends and makes construction of cover/cleared boards simpler. Is true and this reason enough to consider changing over to tbs early on in my beeking 'career'?
 

oliver90owner 

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After my first flat pack hive, I glued and screwed everything except the side board in the rebate. I did not use any nails at all. Simple matter to loosen screws, remove screws and lower the ends with a large hammer and a suitable drift. Screw back together and then tidy up any loose ends.

You could route out the top of the end and fill in at the bottom. Not too difficult as long as you do not hit any nails with an expensive router cutter!

I started with bottom bee space but prefer top space, probably for all the reasons you stated.

Regards, RAB
 

hedgerow pete 

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quiclest and cheapest way i know is to buy from b and q say a length of timber thats 18mm wide by 8mm its called door stop and glue it to which ever top you want this will give you an 8mm gap and for the bottom buy a wood plane or glue strips 8mm thick to the underneth of you frames but you have to do this to all your kit you cant mix it up
 

adri 

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I may be wrong but if you're on National Hives with metal runners the you're using bottom beespace? And if you took out the runners you'd be on top beespace?

Is that right?

Might not work because of the bees gluing up with propolis but I'd like to know if I've understood it correctly.

TIA

Nick
 

JCBrum 

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adri, geometrically you are correct. The effect is to lower the row of frames by 6 or 7 mm with respect to the box which contains them.

The consequence is that you no longer have the utility of metal runners, which are designed to minimize the effect of propolis, as you say, and to facilitate sliding them across to adjust the spacing.

If you did what you suggest and wished to make it permanent, but at the same time re-gain the use of the metal runners, you would have to lower the rail upon which the runners rest, by approximately 7mm. o90o has mentioned this above. I can't think of anything much better than a router for doing the job quickly, but if one is not available then careful use of a mortise chisel might be considered.
 

JCBrum 

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I gave the matter of 'top bee space national' very long and careful thought earlier this year.

I can well understand why o90o and others prefer 'top bee space' but my conclusion was that it destroyed the compatibility and interchangeability inherent in the most ubiquitous beehive in the UK.

Which means that you have to modify every piece of 'Nat' equipment that you might pick up second-hand. For me that would be a nuisance, and would possibly reduce the desirability of such kit if I decide to pass it on to others.

My conclusion was that if 'top bee space' was an overriding requirement, then consider Langstroth or Dadant hives, in which the feature is inherent.

Because I like 'long lugs' on the frames, and above all, the ready availability of both new and second-hand low cost National equipment, I decided to utilize it in it's unmodified form.

Except that, I use extra deep 14x12 Brood frames, either with ekes or extra deep BB's which are becoming quite popular it seems.

If I ever decided to operate a lot of hives (say more than 20 or so) atm I probably would consider poly Lang.
 
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JCBrum 

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I have read that top beespace reduces the crushing of bees, makes sliding supers on and off easier, reduces proposlising on the frame ends and makes construction of cover/cleared boards simpler. Is true
My conclusion so far is that it simply moves the same problems to different locations. Perhaps I haven't spent enough time beekeeping yet.

and is this reason enough to consider changing over to tbs early on in my beeking 'career'?
I decided not, as above.

JC.
 

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Because I like 'long lugs' on the frames, and above all, the ready availability of both new and second-hand low cost National equipment, I decided to utilize it in it's unmodified form.

JC.
Pray, what is actually the attraction of the longer lugs. Should we return to having bigger steering wheels in cars, or are they just 'part of the spec'?
I find little difference practically. My preference is with a J-type hive tool, which may of course have been influenced by Langstroth short lugs.
 

VEG 

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Hombre bigger lugs are easier to grab hold of easy as that. :cheers2:
 
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The key to solving the "long lugs are best" argument is to go into the middle of the garden on a quiet day and listen very hard. As the rest of the World uses short lugs you should be able to hear short-lugged frames being dropped plus the sounds of curses in a wide variety of languages. If you do hear this I'll accept short lugs are a bad idea.

The issue is one of familiarity. I have used both and there is no difference, you quickly adapt.
 

Hivemaker. 

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The long lugs are also quite useful in a national hive,as that is what it is designed to take,stops end float,better for fitting spacers on.
 

sherwood 

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As I understand it long lugs only came about because of the use metal ends which are a pain in the ass anyway even if replaced by plastic lets do away with them and what do we get a Smith hive and a damned easier hive to build.
 

JCBrum 

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Pray, what is actually the attraction of the longer lugs.
Hi Hombre, apologies for not replying promptly, - the last couple of days seem to have been full of competing complications.

Longer lugs serve two purposes imo.

1. They do provide a better 'handle' particularly if leather gloves are used, and I think are easier to pick out of the box because there is more room for fingers along the rails and frame ends.

2. They will resist much more un-anticipated diagonal displacement, and therefore are much more resistant to falling into the box accidently.


Should we return to having bigger steering wheels in cars, or are they just 'part of the spec'?
I did actually have the steering wheel changed on my Mercedes for one that was larger. Mercedes said several owners had requested it.

I find little difference practically. My preference is with a J-type hive tool, which may of course have been influenced by Langstroth short lugs.

I think that is possibly right. In fact I'm sure a J tool is essential with short lugs.

My preference is to lever the frame sideways, not upwards, to break the propolis, as this is the direction in which frames are strongest by a very large factor.

I feel that the mechanical advantage of the J tool is so great, it could easily break the frame.

I don't think there is any 'right' or 'wrong' about this, after all, if anyone designed a beehive from scratch, then sizes could be chosen according to preference.

JC.
 

Hombre 

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Hi JC,
interesting. Of course I lever the frames sideways with the flat end of the tool to break the bonds and gain a bit of working room to get the initial frame out and then to crack the frames apart. I never envisaged that anyone might have considered levering a well-seated Langstroth frame out directly with the J-end.

I take your point about the diagonal drop out. Only done it once when I tried to move half a box of empty frames from one end to another quickly without thinking about it beforehand. As a percentage, that is Infinitesimally small, fortunately.

Leather gloves, not thought about that, strictly a Marigold man myself. I just love swishing the gloved hands around in a cool bucket of washing soda on a busy hot day between apiaries; a real treat I can assure you.

I really think that more effective power steering would have been a better option :) :) I think that the bigger steering wheel was a cheaper option . . ha ha. (No? but it makes a better story).

The other day I decided that long lugs were more likely to become broken by inappropriate levering. I've seen more National frames with broken lugs than on Langstroth frames, but then again, the top bar is, in my experience, thinner.

How come you sneaked into the Honey Show and took your pictures for the short time that I was distracted? I was at the side of the table away from the door nattering. Nice pics.

Got the t-shirt Victor, but I know what you mean.

I think that Rooftops probably summed it up best though. Such a waste when wearing the veil. :) :)

Not a lover of spacers, but necessary evil at times I guess.

Thanks everyone.
 

JCBrum 

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I really think that more effective power steering would have been a better option

I think that the bigger steering wheel was a cheaper option . . ha ha.

(No? but it makes a better story)
There is nothing wrong with the effectiveness of Mercedes power steering.

It was not therefore 'a cheaper option'.

It was simply that often I like to drive with the window down (double glazed on this vehicle) and my elbow resting on the door.

The vehicle is an S500 LWB V8, which is quite large, and I simply wanted to make the distance between the steering wheel and the door a bit shorter.

:)
..
 

JCBrum 

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How come you sneaked into the Honey Show and took your pictures for the short time that I was distracted? ..... Nice pics..
I'm afraid 'sneaking' is not something in my ensemble. I'm usually dashing around in rather a hurry trying to get various things done.

I did notice someone sitting at the table with a bottle of mead or some other drink who appeared to be asleep.

I shall keep my eye open for you. :)

JC.
 

Hombre 

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That sounds like it might have been me, except for the table, the mead and sleeping of course! :) :)

Close :cheers2:
 

victor meldrew 

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As I understand it long lugs only came about because of the use metal ends which are a pain in the ass anyway even if replaced by plastic lets do away with them and what do we get a Smith hive and a damned easier hive to build.
Hoffmans are an option but more for the convenience of the beekeeper .
I say this because, the point of contact between the frames is within the body of the hive (below the top rail) also the point of contact is about 80 mils long/deep, this is a large trapping area when closing frames up. You can peer down as you close up frames but can't see all the length in the gloom of the hive . the bee that gets trapped in spite of your best efforts could just be your Queen :(.
This is why it's important to close frames (after inspection) en-bloc rather that one at a time (less chance of popping Her Madge)

John Wilkinson
 

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