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Der Alte Fritz 

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Have downloaded the plans for a hTBH but am posting to ask if people have made any small improvements (eg sliding cover to mesh floor) that I could incorporate into my build.
cheers
 

Brosville 

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I've put a hinged cover over my mesh floor - you can just see it below (the two catches are holding it "closed")



-apart from that I've not departed from the design at all - I now have two 4' hives, and an 18" bait hive, and am about to build another 4-footer - all of them with "central entrance holes" and 35mm top bars throughout, and have used softwood for the main construction as I'm not entirely happy about ply, both from the "fumes" consideration, but more particularly the fact that marine ply doesn't "breathe".
I've used recycled printing plates on the roof, and the outside is treated with boiled food-grade linseed and beeswax (applied hot). I've used soft white cotton string stuck to the top bars with beeswax as the "starter strip" (clothes pegs to hold the string, wax brushed on, heated in small ally dog food container over candle in a clay flowerpot..........)

I've found they work well, and the only "improvement" I might consider is a glass inspection window (with cover)
 
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Brosville 

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ps, I really wouldn't bother with a 3' width one - a vigorous colony pack out a 4-footer at a rate of knots, and would think the smaller size may be problematical
 

Mike a 

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Have downloaded the plans for a hTBH but am posting to ask if people have made any small improvements (eg sliding cover to mesh floor) that I could incorporate into my build.
cheers
When you make the roof make it 25-30mm deeper so you can put in a sheet of insulation (Kingspan or similar) directly over the bars for winter. Another change I made to mine was to limit the amount of sideways movement of all the bars by adding two batons either side of the bars, earlier designs without the batons I found it was very easy to knock the bars which meant the roof wouldn't fit or worse still push the bars over enough so they fell into the hive.

 

madasafish 

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langstroth
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8x Langstroth, a few Lang nucs,1x TBH, and about 17 mating mini nucs
I have 2 x 3feet ones, one with a flat roof and one with a inverted V shaped roof. Both have slide out baords under the mesh floor.. It gets very cold here in winter and windy at times.
I have added landing boards for wet days: lots of bees falling into wet grass is not good news in spring.
I have also raised the level of the sides with a strip of wood mounted on the outside to coevr the end of the top bars and prevent wasp intrusion.

Made my own in frame feeders with sliding cover over filler hole in top bar.
Insulated all rooves.

Next one I build will be 4 feet with observation windows...

Going to fit supers in one for honey next year.
 

Der Alte Fritz 

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Any neat tricks that help you administer varoa treatments?

I like the idea of a landing board and the observation windows. I imagine these would be built into the side with an insulated cover? What would you use as the window?
 

Brosville 

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Perspex or glass for the window - should be flush with the interior surface, and MUST have a cover to the outside
Never found a landing board necessary - it also obviates the need for mouse preventatives
I am tempted with a mischievous "WHAT varroa treatments?" but will resist....
If you have a mesh varroa floor, you can blow icing sugar up from below, or gently move the top bars apart to puff some in (you could also trickle lactic/oxalic or thymol using the same method)....
I've only ever used icing sugar..........:D
 

madasafish 

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I use apiguard: put on top of the mesh floor.. Or if that is not possible, place a small piece of wood resting on both sides of hive and place on that..

My bees like to hang out on the landing boards and fan , or admire the world or fight wasps or complain about the smell of thymol or crash land with a load of nectar..



Any bee that lands on our wet grass stands a good chance of never being seen again..
and to quote an old beek " a bee lost in March is worth a 100 bees in June"..so anything to avoid losing bees..unnecessarily.
 

Der Alte Fritz 

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I have downloaded the plans from www.************.
Do people favour any other plans/designs that I might download?
Being notoriously cack-handed I was worried about knocking the frames off the bars when putting the lid on
 

susbees 

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Deeper roofs for insulation and top feeders (the ones with the long slit at the end at the bottom are great). Still to retrofit to ours.

Bottom slide out board really useful with nucs and swarms.

Going to add some hooks and windbreaker mesh to the north side of ours as a winter skirt (apiary is a 3.5 acre field and not enough of a willow-break yet but fine from the prevailing SW/W). Or maybe a board.
 

Der Alte Fritz 

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No after a few hours searching the interweb I have only found the plans from BioBees.
Any alternate plans links would be gratefully received.

But I have discovered that Thornes and Cornwell Honey Bees now sell ready made TBH although both are only 3 footers. And the Cornwall site sells one with an observation window!

Still planning to build mine - any good sources/types of wood to use - apparently PLY is out because of the glue.
 

Brosville 

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If all else fails, Wickes T&G floorboards work fine - it's what I used in the one in the photo. I gather there are other plans available, from rip off merchants demanding payment for what's available free - I'm no great woodworker, and found that if you stick to the suggested order of construction, they work well
(start with the follower boards.....).
I wouldn't use plyforthe main body of the hive, but many people advise 1/2" or 3/4" ply for the followers to avoid warping problems (they make the "former" for constructing the rest of the hive)
 

susbees 

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I don't think the Thornes one is worth the money (diplomatic comment). Major Hives sell one too...their TBH nucs are quite good but making your own is the way to go.
 

madasafish 

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Sources of wood:?

I used T&G for No.1.
For No.2 I used surplus wood from my local industrial estate.. foc..
(loads of 8x1...).

I have started to use Alligator glue which compensates nicely for the variations due to wapring when you join planks together.

I use joined together pallets for follower boards and a laser guided hand held circular saw (£30 ebay new) to cut the profiles ... which means reasonably straight edges.

Still the sides do not fit exactly due to warping but it matters not in the scheme of things as the bees adventure past the follower boards and back again..

I have deviated from the plans by adding extra height to the ends so they are higher than the tops of the top bars , extend the roof top down to compensate and ensure the roof fits onto the ends only. No tipping of top bars as a result especially if you make the top of the ends slightly wider than the topbars thus ensuring a properly located roof can never land on top of any follower boards.

Oh and to lift a roof without holding under the edges - which makes replacing it difficult, put a strip of wood horizontally on the end to act as a grip..

Heavy roofs are a no go - for backs so lightweight construction and light insulation are essential. (I use loft insulation covered with plastic film to prevent bees nibbling it)
 

Brosville 

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Most useful tool I've found (especially when sawing planks lengthwise) was a lucky find at a local bootsale - a 600 watt table saw for a princely £3! I attach it to a Workmate, and spend a few minutes doing all the laborious stuff on it - definite "mind your fingers job":coolgleamA:
 

Der Alte Fritz 

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Planning the roof now. Want to use a pitched roof but isn't it a big 'thing' to heave off the hive? Could it be made hinged? Could it be made in sections? I thought of using triple wall poly carbonate sheet as it is a good insulator. Made a roof for a tortoise shed from it and it was very good - the torts were inside at 80' with snow on the roof in January - and the snow did not melt! Single sheet, slight pitch away from the hive entrance to reduce dripping - very lightweight. Considered wood or shingles - look good but once you get a 4 foot sheet of wood it is bound to be heavy.
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
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Location
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8x Langstroth, a few Lang nucs,1x TBH, and about 17 mating mini nucs
I have made two roofs: one is flat but pitched and the other a normal inverted V.
Both are insulated.

The inverted V is lighter and easier to handle: made from an unwanted pine bedhead.
 

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