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How to Build a Top Bar Beehive, Free Plans On Website

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Here's a how to video on building a new top bar beehive using thermally treated poplar. Complete plans, cut lists and materials can be found on my website so you can build along with me. Here's the link to the plans: http://jonpeters.com/how-to-build-a-top-bee-hive-part-1/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-Home-by-Jon-Peters/312021729836 Website: http://jonpeters.com/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/jpartandhome/ Ebay Store: http://stores.ebay.com/JP-Art-and-Home
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Текстовые комментарии (119)
Bob Crane (5 дней назад)
I have built two hives from this design and I do not think I would have built such beautiful and well-constructed hives without the clearly detailed, step-by-step instructions. Seriously, Jon—thanks a ton as I may not have built a top bar hive or even gotten into beekeeping without you! Having said this, I would like to share a couple of issues I subsequently encountered with this design for others considering using it: 1. First and foremost, this is a very narrow top bar design with the top opening width only being 12.75 inches wide. This is by far the narrowest I’ve seen of any top bar hive design. It appears that Jon based the design off of Phil Chandler’s plans with 17” top bars. In Jon’s design, there is a significant amount of overhang of the top bars over the end of the hive which I feel is completely unnecessary. (Jon actually builds stops on the ends of his bars to help center them and I’ve also battled with the roof closing cleanly due to hitting misaligned bars.) At the very least, just make your top bars shorter so that they line up flush on the ends of the hive like you see in all other top bar designs. Phil has his end boards of 18” inches wide and Jon’s is only 15” wide. Is there a particular reason you built the width so narrow, Jon? The body is built from using one 1”x6”x12’ board and one 1”x8”x12’ board so this is probably the main reason for the hive dimensions but I did want to warn people that the volume of this hive is smallest I’ve seen for better or worse. 2. Next, the most recent consensus among top bar beekeepers is that an OPENED screened bottom is a bad thing since it interferes with the bee’s ability to communicate chemically and makes it difficult for the bees to regulate the hive temperature. In turn, these factors can cause the bees to abscond from the hive which is what happened to one of Jon’s colonies. I still like the screened bottom with the hinged bottom board for other reasons like an unobtrusive window to check on the bees and for mite control but I am keeping my bottom board closed all of the time even in hot weather. 3. Another consensus is that bee entrance holes on the end of the hive are better than those in the middle. While the middle holes have the advantage of allowing easier access to both ends of the comb, I have read of several accounts where bees get confused in the winter when they start huddled in the middle of the hive and then move in one direction to feed on the honey stores but then fail to sense the honey on the other end of the hive and then they starve. Apparently, this problem is less likely to occur if the bees build in only one direction instead of two. 3. Consider drilling smaller diameter entrance holes so that you can easily plug them with wine/beer corks as needed. You will want to change the number of entrance holes depending on the size of the colony and the time of the year or a robbing situation. I also drilled ventilation holes with screen at the top of the hive in various spots which I plug and unplug as needed. I ended up using a 7/8” hole which accepts a Belgian style cork. A standard wine cork is 3/4ths of an inch. That’s all I can think of for now. Both of my colonies I caught via swarm seem happy enough in the hives for now. Hopefully, I will not sour on the design like Jon ultimately did since he transitioned to the regular Langstroth hives in the end. Jon, if you have the time, I suggest you build a couple of swarm boxes to capture some “free bees” and give your hives another try!
Jon Peters Art & Home (5 дней назад)
Awesome! Appreciate the comment and happy the video was helpful.
George Garcia (2 месяца назад)
What a gorgeous hive! Thanks!
Paul .O Neill (3 месяца назад)
any chance of a loan of your table saw for a few days boss?
Charles Senf (4 месяца назад)
Excellent presentation. Appreciate the use of the 'finished' part as an aid to understanding the part being fabricated in each step. Thank you for sharing.
Amindong Emos (4 месяца назад)
Its good for me but the problem for my understanding is the roof. How dies it fit?
Abraham Puente (4 месяца назад)
Very nice , thanks for the video
Freddy Fox (4 месяца назад)
Brilliant video very clear and simple thank you !
FRED CLB (5 месяцев назад)
👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍. :)
Jason Scruggs (6 месяцев назад)
Nice video of ur build. Was wondering if can use cedar wood to build one out of
Jon Peters Art & Home (6 месяцев назад)
Yes I’m pretty sure you can
Warren McCarty (10 месяцев назад)
THANK YOU!!! Nice attention to detail. Looking forward to our own hive!
Nicky Critic (10 месяцев назад)
Allergic to pine??
jasonbbay (10 месяцев назад)
Hi Jon, nice hives, I have a question, on Langstroth hives you have a section where the queen lays eggs and is separated with the honey manufacturing .. I assume you do the same thing just longitudinal ... ? Thanks, Jason
Hugo Sanders (10 месяцев назад)
Brilliant really useful!
lennon marvin Mkwananzi (1 год назад)
Awesome work man, very informative detailed and helpful
Pevan B (1 год назад)
Dang man great video...I've been keeping for 20 years and woodworking even longer. Very impressive..you explain just as well as norm.
Andrea Jimenez (1 год назад)
Hi Jon! I've used your plans recently and now I'm a big fan! I'm now writing a paper for school on this and am giving you full credit. I'm rewatching, and am for some reason just noticing you made two follower boards for one hive? Why is that? I only made one.. What is the second one for? Thanks! Andrea
Jon Peters Art & Home (1 год назад)
+Andrea Jimenez Hi Andrea cool! It's to create the feeding chamber
Warren Shelton (1 год назад)
Jon you do good work love it. going to build some of these.
loved this Video. I think this may be my next project. Thank you Jon. Tracy.
Lilli Castaldo (1 год назад)
What a wonderful build! I really like the 2 tone coloring actually! Very elegant! Thank you so much for the inspiration!
Dieter Ditrich (1 год назад)
Hi Jon, I finished my 1st bee hive according to your plans, but made one small change, a periscope entrance by Phil Chandler. We get a lot of wind here and this entrance will keep out the draft. Every time someone comes by there is a new project they have never seen before. Working on 2nd hive in between building gypsy trailer. Beautiful design.
Jon Peters Art & Home (1 год назад)
Sounds good Dieter, thank you and a good Bee Season
Follow Me (1 год назад)
Just need to check something with ya: the width of the side boards is 12-3/4?? Starting with a 1x12 you need to glue up a thin piece the entire length? What is he benefit to doing that rather than just working with dimensional lumber? Sure you get a slightly deeper body/comb...but is that really important?
Antonio Travel Videos (1 год назад)
the best i saw till now
Jon Peters Art & Home (1 год назад)
Thanks Antonio
Rich White (1 год назад)
Sir, you have made a really professional top bar hive and you film of the work is just as professional. I appreciate your efforts!
Jon Peters Art & Home (1 год назад)
Thanks Rich
Tony And Amelia (1 год назад)
Fantastic video Jon! Good design.
Jon Peters Art & Home (1 год назад)
Thanks Tony
GoatHollow (1 год назад)
Jon, have you had any problems with splitting wood since you glued joints with cross grain??
Jon Peters Art & Home (1 год назад)
So far so good, my bees didn't make it through the winter though so this year I went with the Langstroth hive. I plan on getting bees in the spring for the top bar hives and giving it another try.
Mir Lluis (1 год назад)
Jon,saludos desde España (Europa). Aunque no entiendo el ingles me ha resultado muy ameno por que al mismo tiempo que hablas trabajas con lo que no se hace aburrido.Quiero hacerme una tbh y tu lección me ha resultado sumamente esclarecedora. Muy agradecido maestro.
Pam Eakins (1 год назад)
thank you so much for sharing your plans. i am going to try to build the top bar bee hive.
Jon Peters Art & Home (1 год назад)
Great..thanks Pam
Fig and Spade (1 год назад)
Why is the hive trapezoid ant not rectangular?
London bus driver Harrow (1 год назад)
I just want to know dos everyone have all those tools in their garage
Carol Gay Fagerhaugh (2 года назад)
Hi ~ I was interested to know how to add a pollen trap to a Top Bar Hive. Any chance you can direct me on that. . . ? Thanks
bournelovesblunts (2 года назад)
Thanks a ton! im going to be giving this a shot real soon !! :)
TheKittyOfNight (2 года назад)
Also, what type of entrance do you think is better: a flat entrance like in most langstroth hives, or 3 circular holes like in your design
TheKittyOfNight (2 года назад)
I have an idea. If you were to make a few pieces of wood sticking out inside the cover, then you could use the lid as a top bar holder
HMRCroz (2 года назад)
Jon, just wanted to say thank you. I built my hive per your directions, and it's beautiful! I didn't want to join boards so mine is only 10.5" deep, but it's 46" long to help compensate. Just a few trig calcs and I had the right numbers to maintain the angles. Again, thanks so much!
charles dilmore (2 года назад)
dam, that must suck to be allergic to pine when one is a woodworker..
kris perkins (2 года назад)
Great video Jon! Do the plans show the adjustment you made with the shim to the roof cleat or should I make it 1 1/4" instead of the 1" listed. Thanks!
Tom Bailey (2 года назад)
Jon this is an outstanding video. You did an excellent job in making this easy to understand and follow along with. I have been searching for a long while now for a good how-to vid on making a top bar hive. My friend you hit this one out of the park. Thank you....Btw, I suffer from a couple different vision issues, one being that I am colorblind and I don't have any depth perception nor do I see in 3D. Your video here is EXACTLY what I have needed and I look forward to seeing your next one. From you I can learn things others have fallen short on. Many thanks to you for your time, effort and expertise.
poyadzian jacques (2 года назад)
corentin
Yves Bodin (2 года назад)
Hi Jon, I take this from a french man who leave few years en Africa . African Bees seems not attached wax when they have 110 or 115 ° but in France with the apis melifera melifera from Here we have some problems... I try since a year with 120° and no problem with that. Perhaps it depends of the bees... (Sorry for my poor english !!)
Yves Bodin (2 года назад)
Hi Jon, Great video and good explain, but I've a question : do you respect a 120° degrees between the floor and the sides ? I began with a TBH this year in april with a 120° and 24 cm deep ! wich wood do you use to make it. I've used DOUGLAS Thx for sharing...
Dan Murphy (2 года назад)
+Yves Bodin I see a lot of requests on this 120 degree question in here. Where is this information of 120 degrees located. It's not in my book & I want to make sure I read on this before starting my build. Thanks
Cassandra Capochiani (2 года назад)
Fantastic! Bravo! :)
Teabag Munting (2 года назад)
Hi, i love this design but my only question is how do you keep the queen bee seperate from your honey so that she doesnt lay eggs in your honey producing part of the hive?
reefuss12 (2 года назад)
that is one nice beehive
reefuss12 (2 года назад)
starting on my beehive .Thx for the great hands on video...likin the man cave/workshop....
GotBees (2 года назад)
Jon, does your design have the correct 120 degree angles for the sides calculated for the small cell foundations the bees will construct?
Chris Rivers (3 года назад)
Does your design have the correct 120 degree angle for the sides calculated?
Stan Watt (3 года назад)
I could make beautiful failures if I had all the right tools LOL
771blahblah (3 года назад)
Looks great!
oldcaptainrusty (3 года назад)
Another great informative video, thanks Jon. The addition of the cut list on your website really makes things simple. Looking forward to more videos.
nicolae benzar (3 года назад)
super OK
Selim AÇAN (3 года назад)
You did a very good job of large carpenter
PrimeLyfe (3 года назад)
Hey, great video got all my ideas from this all I did was just Change a few lengths just to suit the wood we had lying around and was just wondering what is the purpose of the outside sides thankyou.
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
+bestian4 Thanks they help hold the legs
Phil Chandler (3 года назад)
Interesting variation on my design - nice work!
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
+Philip Chandler Thanks Phillip, I think you do great work.
Klint Harder (3 года назад)
Hey Jon, you got me hooked on using poplar after I built a blanket chest using your plans... it is so easy to work with.  Now you introduced thermally modified poplar... which I assume means 'baked'. I haven't seen any of this stuff at the big stores... have you seen anyone bake their own poplar?  I love the color of the thermally modified poplar used on the hive and that the dark color seems to go all the way through the wood...
Klint Harder (3 года назад)
+Klint Harder sorry, one more question... why did you paint it?
Tae Garfman (3 года назад)
Why do you have blue painters tape and what looks like green clay on your nail gun?
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
I was using that gun to instal shoe molding, the tape and the pads are there to keep the gun from scratching the floor
Mark Hazlewood (3 года назад)
Jon,  I really like your videos.  The detail explanations of materials and process make it extremely easy to follow and reproduce.  Thanks.
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thank you Mark
Quito Mauro (3 года назад)
Excellent video and well explained, Jon! Looking forward to the next one. Greetings From Argentine.! Steve
Drew St.george (3 года назад)
How did you find out you were allergic to pine did you get hives?
M White (3 года назад)
Hi Jon, Your videos are very well done as well as the craftsmanship. I would really consider using top entrances in your hive to ensure adequate ventilation this coming winter to prevent another hive loss.
aserta (3 года назад)
I spy with my little eye aaaa stack of skateboard decks. :) Cool project and awesome execution.
Mo Dysmo (3 года назад)
Nice job there Jon...we all learn a lot from you...thanks for sharing yr experiences and skills...very much appreciated.
Ttf Web (3 года назад)
Nice video. The pine allergy is a bummer - sorry about that.
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thanks man, yeah could be worse
Mike Hill (3 года назад)
Nice video per usual. Time will tell but based on the width of the end pieces and grain orientation, I'm predicting some form of cross-grain doom.
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thanks Mike , yeah you could have a point there
David Dube' (3 года назад)
I'm sure Norm would be tickled your referencing his style.  Great video!...sure that's not Walnut:))
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thanks David, yeah sure does look like walnut
Ed Tillman (3 года назад)
Jon, this is one of your best video yet. I feel like you covered a lot of ground, and the hives look great.
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thank you Ed
Syahill Chik (3 года назад)
Watched this for the woodworking techniques. Great vid as always.
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thank you
Walt G (3 года назад)
Really nice video John looking forward to the next one, thanks so much for sharing! W
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thanks Walt
Daniel Allen (3 года назад)
Not even interested in Bees, and still love watching your videos. Thanks for the always entertaining and informative videos!
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
cool thanks for the comment Daniel
Steve Collins (3 года назад)
Excellent video and well explained, Jon! Looking forward to the next one.
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thanks Steve
cupral (3 года назад)
Have a look: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flow-hive-honey-on-tap-directly-from-your-beehive
steenfraosterbro (3 года назад)
Hi Jon. You are already a very special person, no need for the "pine allergy" ;)
REM 2 (4 месяца назад)
Cheers for this, I have been researching "build a beehive uk" for a while now, and I think this has helped. Ever heard of - Tiyia Beehive Basophilic - (Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now ) ? Ive heard some extraordinary things about it and my cousin got excellent success with it.
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
ha : ) thanks man
GARETH PAGE (3 года назад)
What gauge nail gun are you using?
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
18
Steve SteveS (3 года назад)
Thanks for this, Jon - I've been waiting all winter to do this!  Looking forward to part 2.
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thanks Steve
TheSageDad (3 года назад)
I know you are pretty good with the free-handing circular saw, but any thoughts on making a simple table saw sled? You could ensure that the cuts are all perfect that way, just a thought.
Steve SteveS (3 года назад)
I'm certainly going to use a sled on my table saw for those cuts
Jason Topnik (3 года назад)
Great video. You are a very good teacher. Sure hope these hives work out! Awesome
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thanks Jason
MRrwmac (3 года назад)
I see you made the changes you had discussed previously. Were your experts able to determine the exact cause of the loss of the hive? Was it primarily too much cold ventilation as you had suspected?
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
+laserguy Here's some really helpful "expert" info from Kenneth Piontek, who sent an email about why the bees died over the winter…..it makes sense that they most likely froze because of lack of bees to keep the hive warm….take a look below and hope this info helps. From: kenneth piontek  Date: Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 5:52 PM Subject: dead bee hive To: jon@jonpeters.com From: kenneth piontek  Subject: dead bee hive Message Body: . It is very clear from your video on dead bee hive that your bees froze to death due to lack of bees. Your bees had plenty of honey but not enough bees to keep temp up high enough to keep from freezing to death. Don’t know if your colony swarmed in Fall and thus left hive very low on wintering number or died of mites or disease(were there a lot of dead bees on bottom of hive?) Dead workers and queen in comb cells is telling sign of freezing to death. Bad thing about having a single hive body colony in cold climate is that bees have to break cluster to get to new frames of honey(they don’t crawl over top frame bar as a cluster!!) , rather than just move up into next box above them. A true bee cluster is like having a small soccer ball in the middle of 3-5 frames. Multi storied colony better in cold climate. Normally you’ll find outside sealed honey frames untouched in very cold weather because bees will move up vertically first..they can maintain their cluster and keep warm. Outside frames are utilized for food reserves until temps warm up enough for bees to break cluster and move around inside colony. Bees do not naturally like light inside colony and thus they will not lay eggs near glass and want to cover it up with propolis. Temps inside colony can also get too hot because of sunlight thru glass!! Eventually your frames will become impossible to remove to examine or extract honey because bees will ultimately utilize all available space in colony for bee larva and honey storage thus attaching all sides of comb to hive body ..thus the development of the modern comb frame. Your colony was young enough to not have gotten to that pt. Good Luck On Mar 22, 2015, at 5:07 AM, Jon Peters wrote: Thank you Kenneth, great information would you mind if I added this to my website I think a lot of people would like to read it. Yes I think the bees froze many of them were stuffed inside the comb, should I put the comb with the dead bees in the hive with the new bees. so my question is will the new bees clean the dead bees out of the comb and reuse it, there also some honey still in that comb. Thanks again for the helpful email, Jon — This mail is sent via contact form on Art and Home by Jon Peters http://jonpeters.com Jon Peters 11:53 AM (5 hours ago) to me ———- Forwarded message ———- From: Ken  Date: Sun, Mar 22, 2015 at 11:06 AM Subject: Re: dead bee hive To: Jon Peters Yes, the new bees will completely clean out the old bees and clean and fix any comb before they put any new pollen or honey in comb or before queen lays eggs in comb. Bees will repair any wax moth damage also. You should;t keep any comb that has evidence of foul brood in it. Foul brood spores last forever and will spread to new bees. If your not putting new bees in right away you should dump out loose dead bees, and move hive into dry place with lid off so moisture can dry out, and prevent mold from growing on comb, thus eliminating extra cleaning work by new bees. You could either replace glass with solid wall or cover with removable wall at same time to block out light. Build up of moisture in a colony over winter is not healthy either(you can’t e;imitate it but keeping it from getting excessive helps), thus you may consider leaving a 2 inch opening on landing board in winter rather than just having one little round hole unplugged. If you regularly experience severe winters you can wrap the colony’s sides in tar paper to keep howling cold wind from entering thru wood joints….leaving just the small opening on landing board. Don’t let entrance face predominate wind source. Yes, you can add this to website. Good luck with new bees.
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Sam Comfort, well known bee keeper only uses top bar hives. He lives in NY state
Missy Rabbit (3 года назад)
+laserguy I do not know anything about beekeeping.  Why is the Langstroth a better choice for cold climates?  Where I live, we have hot weather 9 months (gets over 100'), then in winter, it can get down to 10' Fahrenheit.  What would be best choice for me?
laserguy (3 года назад)
You can bet money on the cold killing his hive.  He's going to have the same problem next winter as well if he continues to use a top bar hive.  They are not made for extreme cold climates like his location.  He'd do himself and his bees a big favor by changing over to a standard Langstroth type box hive.
mysciencenow (3 года назад)
i built a table in the woods but i use it as a xylophone
Bob (3 года назад)
Awesome video as always!
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thanks Bob
TheShadowXK (3 года назад)
what is the other wood you are using on the top of the bee hive?
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
untreated poplar 
S Michael Leier (3 года назад)
The legs looked like pine... Also, can pressure treated lumber be used or would it be toxic to the bees? Thanks for the great video :)
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
+David Dube Thanks Michael, yeah you got it David they are Doug Fir
David Dube' (3 года назад)
Looks like Doug Fir to me...
Grenade Gaming (3 года назад)
Nice job!
Jon Peters Art & Home (3 года назад)
Thank you

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