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Black Comb 

Queen Bee
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I'm thinking of trying a 2nd hive type next year.

I was going to go for a dartington but I note that one of our very experienced members (Hivemaker) has switched to Top Bar Hives and indeed has a single Apidea. (Check his details)

HM, are you making and selling these now?
 

Silly Bee 

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Noticed it says that the sides need to slope, I thought that was just for appearance, (pass me the wooden spoon)

What angle do they need to slope, I'm going to make one myself from re-claimed plywood?
 

oliver90owner 

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What angle do they need to slope

That would depend on how deep it was, surely? You will never get the truly correct angle as the comb edge will be a catenary curve?

RAB
 

Brosville 

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The dimensions given in the free downloadable plans give the slope......
 

TBRNoTB 

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7: 1 KTBH . 3 14x12 , 1 Long fondationless 14x12 + 2 Nat +some empty ones :(
Noticed it says that the sides need to slope, I thought that was just for appearance, (pass me the wooden spoon)

What angle do they need to slope, I'm going to make one myself from re-claimed plywood?
I have just built my second TB, a Tanzanian straight sided type. The reason is it will take a standard or 14x12 frame if required for start-up. For my first KTB I had to hack the frames about to get a fit (received a swarm in a nuc, covering frames) not the easiest thing for a first time beek! Will have to wait to see how it turns out next year.:)
Regards
TBRNoTB
 

admin 

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KTB ?
Is that a "Kenyan Top Bar Hive" ?
 

admin 

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No problem TBR,I am not up to scratch with the Top Bar Hive stuff.
Its somethig I will have a read up on this winter.
 

Gardenbees 

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I have just built my second TB, a Tanzanian straight sided type. The reason is it will take a standard or 14x12 frame if required for start-up. For my first KTB I had to hack the frames about to get a fit (received a swarm in a nuc, covering frames) not the easiest thing for a first time beek! Will have to wait to see how it turns out next year.:)
Regards
TBRNoTB
Ditto: my long hive has mostly top bars, but takes 14x12 frames. The 14x12 Tanzanian shape is a little on the large side for handling unframed comb, and they do like to fix it to the sides (easily separated, so not a huge problem). In fact, I may use some more foundationless "empty" 14x12 frames next year, as they're easier to handle than a great big rectangular slab of unframed comb, and I occasionally like a close look at the brood. They had a couple of empties this season and filled them very quickly; however, this does rather lessen the convenience and economy of the bars-only TBH. For that you really need the sloping sides, I think. Also the graceful loops of comb are very aesthetically pleasing!

I don't have it now, but when I made a TBH with sloping sides (i.e. the Kenyan sort), I was foxed by the many suggested angles of slope and ended up draping a dog lead from one side of the top runners to the other, and fixing the sides to match the angle of drape, as it were. Which is, I assume, a fair approximation of a catenary curve.

My home-made long hive has done really well this year, and the bees are so easy to handle. Extending their space is a doddle, and you can look at sections of the hive without exposing the whole nest, which is the big snag with Nationals as far as I'm concerned. I shall be building another long hive for next season, and probably won't get any more pricey little boxes in future. But each to their own: a 4ft hive is tough to move about and perhaps wouldn't suit most commercial beeks.
 

Silly Bee 

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I don't have it now, but when I made a TBH with sloping sides (i.e. the Kenyan sort), I was foxed by the many suggested angles of slope and ended up draping a dog lead from one side of the top runners to the other, and fixing the sides to match the angle of drape, as it were. Which is, I assume, a fair approximation of a catenary curve.




Brilliant. I was looking for a simple method. my maths isn't what it was.:hurray:
 

Brosville 

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I'm somewhat at a loss to understand the "all round the houses" approach to it.
If you follow the free plans, you make the two "followers" first, and use them as the "formers" for the rest of it........ simples! :coolgleamA:
 

TBRNoTB 

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Ditto: my long hive has mostly top bars, but takes 14x12 frames. The 14x12 Tanzanian shape is a little on the large side for handling unframed comb, and they do like to fix it to the sides (easily separated, so not a huge problem). In fact, I may use some more foundationless "empty" 14x12 frames next year, as they're easier to handle than a great big rectangular slab of unframed comb, and I occasionally like a close look at the brood. They had a couple of empties this season and filled them very quickly; however, this does rather lessen the convenience and economy of the bars-only TBH. For that you really need the sloping sides, I think. Also the graceful loops of comb are very aesthetically pleasing!

I don't have it now, but when I made a TBH with sloping sides (i.e. the Kenyan sort), I was foxed by the many suggested angles of slope and ended up draping a dog lead from one side of the top runners to the other, and fixing the sides to match the angle of drape, as it were. Which is, I assume, a fair approximation of a catenary curve.

My home-made long hive has done really well this year, and the bees are so easy to handle. Extending their space is a doddle, and you can look at sections of the hive without exposing the whole nest, which is the big snag with Nationals as far as I'm concerned. I shall be building another long hive for next season, and probably won't get any more pricey little boxes in future. But each to their own: a 4ft hive is tough to move about and perhaps wouldn't suit most commercial beeks.
Hi
As you can see from my avatar photo which is a bar from my KTBH (on a home made stand) the girls create a beautiful comb none of which so far have been attached to the sides. In the straight sided one I was thinking of using 14x12 foundationless frames, I agree unsuported 14x12s sound a little too bulky to manage. 14x12s F/Less would be okay for cut comb though! All this may seem a little strange for a newbeek but what the heck, its a hobby! (tin hat now on for the expected deluge from the usual suspects):D

Best Regards
TBRNoTB
 
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For KTBH an idea I saw somewhere...

Tack a strip of canvas or similar to each end of the top bar, so that it hangs in a loop, for the bees to build into..
 

TBRNoTB 

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S/Steel strips and frames

For KTBH an idea I saw somewhere...

Tack a strip of canvas or similar to each end of the top bar, so that it hangs in a loop, for the bees to build into..
Thanks for that, I was thinking of using S/Steel banding as used on packing cases in a catenary loop. On another forum I mentioned this and had a reply from a professor ( who is supposed to be the bees knees :rolleyes:of TBHs) at a university in the US saying "what is the point? you are supposed to be reverting to nature you may as well go back to boxes and frames". He had a point, for a normal KTBH but I think a 14x12 is a whole new ball game. I have already lost one comb in my KTBH, whilst removing Q cells ( left the comb upright in the hive, all brood hatched okay, comb emptied of stores so no great loss, it was a good learning curve, will be a lot more gentle in future)So maybe use some s/steel strips and 14x12s frames and see how each work out!
Regards
TBRNoTB
 

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