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heritagemachining 

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Hi I'm Tom fancied having a go at keeping bees for a while so I built myself a top bar hive need to finish it tho my friend keeps bees so I have a mentor I'm going to attempt to either attract a swarm or catch one my friend is giving me some old wax to try and attract them
 

madasafish 

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:welcome:
Lots of expertise here: hope you get bees soon and enjoy them
 

heritagemachining 

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I was going for the it's interesting to keep bees angle rather than the get lots of honey I have put a viewing window in the side but I have not drilled the holes for the entrances I saw that people sometimes put a small box round the entrance what's that for I am making the top bars with a 1 1/2" strip of plastic foundation along them hopefully to encourage the bees to build off that it's fairly large at 4' long 17" wide and 12" deep Internal I have put a mesh floor in which has holes about 4mm what have I forgotton
 

madasafish 

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I found triangles under the top bar worked well when I ran TBHs. (Sorry not the musical ones)
You may want to make a frame feeder. Two topbars wide, Triangular shape to fit hive, entrances at sides under topbar, small hole in topbar to enable pouring in feed - I used a small square of play pivoting on screw to close entrance. And to prevent bees drowning either twigs in the feeder or small pieces of wood to float on the surface and move up and down with the feed level. (Bees do drown in feeders)


Pictures Nov and Dec 2010 002.jpg
 

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Ian123 

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Make sure you run some wax over your plastic starter strips to encourage the bees to draw from it. Personally would have started the with wax. Anything not to give them an excuse to start wonky. Also not sure about that much mesh on floor. If your going to use that box as a trap then I’d cover it IMO Ian
 

heritagemachining 

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I thought the mesh floor was for the varroa mites it's about 4.5mm one way and 3mm the other the queen excluder is from thornes I was planning to cover the plastic foundation in wax my idea was it would add strength to the combs I think I'm going to put the entrance higher up and use a periscope entrance like Phil chandler I thought maybe 3off 20mm dia holes
 

pargyle 

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what have I forgotton
A lot of us started out with the notion of top bar hives ... what have you forgotten ? Probably the Haynes Manual of beekeeping and to start saving for a hive with frames. You will find the top bar hive (even one as well made and well thought out as your's clearly is) is not the ideal hive for use in the UK and for a new beekeeper it has some serious drawbacks.

Perhaps consider your next project as a Long Deep Hive ...


Good luck ... let us know how you get on.
 

drdrday 

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I thought the mesh floor was for the varroa mites it's about 4.5mm one way and 3mm the other
Yes, a mesh floor is ideal in an established hive, to help keep the floor clean, provide ventilation and to allow you to monitor mite drops etc. However, the comment in this case was just for using your hive as a swarm trap. If bees are choosing, they prefer a solid floor. So if you're hoping to tempt a swarm at first it might be worth considering a temporary board over the floor. You can then remove this once you've got bees in the hive.
 

BugsInABox 

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A lot of us started out with the notion of top bar hives ... what have you forgotten ? Probably the Haynes Manual of beekeeping and to start saving for a hive with frames. You will find the top bar hive (even one as well made and well thought out as your's clearly is) is not the ideal hive for use in the UK and for a new beekeeper it has some serious drawbacks.

Perhaps consider your next project as a Long Deep Hive ...


Good luck ... let us know how you get on.
But don’t loose heart. I’m in summer 3 with my tbh. It’s not been smooth riding but I’ve not had to restart form scratch at all (yet). The harvest is small (or even non existent last year) - but it’s endlessly fascinating and a cheep way to get started.
 

pargyle 

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But don’t loose heart. I’m in summer 3 with my tbh. It’s not been smooth riding but I’ve not had to restart form scratch at all (yet). The harvest is small (or even non existent last year) - but it’s endlessly fascinating and a cheep way to get started.
Yes ... I think there is something wonderful about bees building their own free comb ...but its not easy in the early stages of beekeeping to do some of the things in a TBH that are easily accomplished in a framed hive. Inspections, treating, feeding all are that much simpler in a framed hive and I think, for a beginner, you get to see more of what is going on when you can see the bees on the frames and not fear the comb breaking off. They have some reputation for colony loss over winter...various reasons .. isolation starvation and without lots of insulation they tend to be very cold hives. Invented for warmer climates than ours...there's a clue in the names 'Kenyan, tanzanian'.

I'm glad to see someone else coming to the craft but it's easy for new beekeepers to be put off when things become difficult to do.... just saying ...be aware of the pitfalls..
 

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