Top Bar Hives

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eddiespangle 

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I unwrapped a plywood Top Bar Hive on Saturday and assembled it today. It seems a good hive although I have a few minor concerns.

The hive body is made of 12mm plywood; will this provide the colony with sufficient insulation?

The roof is a sheet of external plywood and the manufacturer’s instructions suggest using hive paint, or similar; does anyone know if the roof delaminates in the wet and an impervious sheet of some sort is needed.

Has anyone used this sort and can give me some insight into how a hive which is obviously designed for warmer areas survive the unpredictability of British weather.

Thanks

Eddie
 

tonybloke 

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i've seen one of these, and thought that it wasn't anywhere as good as a home-made one, made from freely available plans on certain beekeeping sites.
 

Brosville 

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I personally wouldn't build a hive from ply at all (if the ply is any good, it'll be waterproof, and thence won't "breathe", and could be heir to condensation problems). The minimum thickness I'd go for is 18mm softwood.......
I used recycled printing plates to make my roof waterproof -

 

eddiespangle 

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My assumption that these hives must be more or less fit for purpose or they wouldn’t be sold for use in the UK.
 

Dishmop 

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My assumption that these hives must be more or less fit for purpose or they wouldn’t be sold for use in the UK.
Everything should be fit for purpose but you might have a job proving that it isnt...
 

eddiespangle 

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I’m thinking of making legs of differing lengths to give the flat roof a slight camber. The camber will run along the short axis in order to avoid ‘wonky comb’.
 

Hombre 

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My assumption that these hives must be more or less fit for purpose or they wouldn’t be sold for use in the UK.
They are made by and and for enthusiasts of the design, who will claim their suitability otherwise they wouldn't be using them themselves, would they?

It's a bit of a religious thing sometimes, so have faith.

So your top bars will slope downhill by about 5 degrees? What happens if you turn one round, does that make a 10 degree error and do the bees even notice?

A question for the TBH people I suspect.
 

Skyhook 

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I would favour adding a covering material, plus a lip to stop any run-back towards the hive.
 

TBRNoTB 

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I unwrapped a plywood Top Bar Hive on Saturday and assembled it today. It seems a good hive although I have a few minor concerns.

The hive body is made of 12mm plywood; will this provide the colony with sufficient insulation?

The roof is a sheet of external plywood and the manufacturer’s instructions suggest using hive paint, or similar; does anyone know if the roof delaminates in the wet and an impervious sheet of some sort is needed.

Has anyone used this sort and can give me some insight into how a hive which is obviously designed for warmer areas survive the unpredictability of British weather.

Thanks

Eddie
Hi Eddie

[URL="http://


This is the first one I built, If possible I would put a pitched roof on it with a reasonable depth to the sides so as to allow for insulation in winter. Mine is made from 18mm ply which seems OK for now (first winter) Hope yours goes OK I ensured mine was set up level, length and width wise which seems to have helped in vertical comb building (fingers crossed!):)
Regards
TBRNoTB
 

Brosville 

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I'm not too sure that altering leg length to give the roof a slope is a particularly good idea if it means the top bars will be less than level - suspect it may be more likely to encourage "cross combing" - I'd sooner look at altering the roof design to encourage rain to run off
 

TBRNoTB 

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I unwrapped a plywood Top Bar Hive on Saturday and assembled it today. It seems a good hive although I have a few minor concerns.

The hive body is made of 12mm plywood; will this provide the colony with sufficient insulation?

The roof is a sheet of external plywood and the manufacturer’s instructions suggest using hive paint, or similar; does anyone know if the roof delaminates in the wet and an impervious sheet of some sort is needed.

Has anyone used this sort and can give me some insight into how a hive which is obviously designed for warmer areas survive the unpredictability of British weather.

Thanks

Eddie
As regards my previous post re pitched roof this is a better photo showing roof pitch and depth.
Regards
TBRNoTB
 

eddiespangle 

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Why so high from the ground, is the hive stable in wind? I was thinking of making legs that give the base of the hive about 1ft clearance from the ground.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Brosville 

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One of the great virtues of a top bar hive is the ease of access - with legs of the "usual" length, if you take the roof off, everything is easily accessible without bending - they are often touted as being ideal for the handicapped.
I've had no problem even with high winds, the design is intrinsically pretty stable, but "just in case" I've whacked a stake in each side next to two opposing leg bases and attached the legs to them, so with a tied-on roof they should be pretty near hurricane-proof.
I think that there is a certain flat pack version from one of the big bee supplies people that is literally just the "box", make your own legs job. I use treated "gravel boards" cut up the middle, and then sliced to length to make them - about £4 makes 2 sets of legs!

Here's a working link to the free plans - http://farmco.co.uk/tbh.pdf
 
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madasafish 

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I’m thinking of making legs of differing lengths to give the flat roof a slight camber. The camber will run along the short axis in order to avoid ‘wonky comb’.

Adjust via pieces of wood under the roof - adjust the depth of the sides - see below furthest away hive.


I have a flat roof hive and a pointy roof hive: the flat roof is cantered at a slight angle to allow water to drain - and it overhangs a lot.

Wind blowing it down? beside a hedge.. and a brick...
 

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