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Top bar hive review - some important features and benefits

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There are many ways to design and set up a top bar hive and until you have used one for a while, it is not easy to see the advantages and disadvantages of different systems. In this video, I describe and explain some of the key design features I incorporate into my hives. Free top bar hive plans here - http://biobees.com Warre hive plans here - https://tinyurl.com/warrehiveplans
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Текстовые комментарии (72)
John Hardin (9 дней назад)
I'm getting into beekeeping this year and building my own hives. Out of all the videos I've watched and websites I've read, this is by far the best instructional I've seen. You covered all of the questions I had, even the size of top bars to be compatible with standardized gives. Thank you!
David Wangbichler (1 месяц назад)
Nice design and good instructional video. Thanks.
Stephen Kent (4 месяца назад)
Hi Phil, my first year keeping bees, I'm in NW Leicestershire and have two national hives on my allotment. I'm very keen on building a top bar for next year, some have the entrance holes in the end, is there much difference? It looked as though you had twigs and leaves in the bottom of the hive, or was that just looking at the ground through the mesh? Thanks for the video 🙂
Phil Chandler (4 месяца назад)
Take a look at my other top bar hive videos. Side entrances have a number of advantages, mainly to do with the ability to use tandem followers, which make checking both ends of the colony much easier. For an explanation of the floor material, see my "eco floor" videos.
George Garcia (8 месяцев назад)
Great video. I appreciate that you explained the several advantages to the shape of the top bar hive. The little pieces of wood, used to hold the hood, is very clever! Thanks!
Alexander Ilinskiy (1 год назад)
Hello Phil. In one of your answer there is a phrase "horizontal frame hives, which work in a similar way to the TBH but are significantly different in the way they are constructed and managed." You obviously prefer TBH. Could you, please, explain what benefits it has over the horizontal frame hive?
Pe An (4 месяца назад)
Здравствуйте Александр! Вы уже обзавелись таким ульем?
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
Alexander Ilinskiy Best wishes to you too!
Alexander Ilinskiy (1 год назад)
Thanks, Phil. I have Clarke's book "Constructive Beekeeping" (downloaded it from Cornell library.) Really good old book. I did not know that you have made video about the Lazutin hive. I will just go and watch it. Really nice to meet you, Phil. So open, friendly, ready to help. Thanks a lot and all the best to you!
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
You are right and the best arrangement is to have sides that are cooler that the ceiling, so the warmer, moister air condenses on the walls, releases it's heat back into the hive and the water runs away harmlessly. This was stated in a short book called Constructive Beekeeping, by Ed H Clarke, published just 100 years ago in 1918. I have made a video about the Laziputin hive, which you will find in my channel.
Alexander Ilinskiy (1 год назад)
Thanks Phil. I am from a colder climate than you. It is a central part of Russia. Deeper frame is better for overwintering. ( Winter is longer and more reserves have to be above bees' head.)  I built some horizontals with deep frames (460 mm). Maybe you have heard about Lazutin's hive - his book "Keeping bees with a smile"has been translated into English.  Actually it is similar to Layen's hive - just a bit wide and deeper frame. I have been thinking about the top bar hive. Watched your excellent videos on this topic. I also come across the Cathedral hive and its upper part looked somewhat appealing to me. Looks like such design will be beneficial for thermoregulation during winter. The warmer humid air will rise, meet inclined top side wall, cool down, became heavier and slowly moves down, condense at a certain place, giving off quite a lot heat, that is needed for the cluster, and may froze at some place, also to give off some heat. I mean that the form of the upper part will facilitate the right air movement in the hive in terms of lowering the excess humidity (by condensation) and energy conservation in the hive. Maybe I am wrong. I do would like to hear your opinion since you have better experience in beekeeping and in top bar hive management. Thank you.
dee french (1 год назад)
Thank you Phil. I've found online what sounds like a good system so if anyone else feels desperate enough to try it then here is the link. It's always preferable of course not to use any chemical treatments. Dee . https://oxnatbees.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/applying-medicines-with-a-tbh/
dee french (1 год назад)
Hello Phil, I know you don't use chemicals for varroa, and I wouldn't either but I've had my hive for just 3 months and so far have had 2 dropped combs during inspections despite being ultra careful and not turning them in the wrong way. So I'm a bit nervous of taking them out to sprinkle icing sugar and feel I have to do something about varroa so have ApiLife Var strips. Have you any uncomplicated tips how to use these in a TBH? I'm a girl and pretty much ignorant of woodworking. Many thanks. Dee
dee french (1 год назад)
I'll have a look on eBay for the blower. Thanks. Dee
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
Maybe you could put them in a dish on the floor? The power blower is old, made in Japan and the only one I have ever seen. There are devices on eBay that do a similar job, albeit plastic.
dee french (1 год назад)
Thanks for your very prompt reply. They're designed to rest on top of the bars in a National hive so have to be adapted to hang between; it's been suggested to tie wire around the strip and hang it from the top of the bar so that it hangs between two combs but it's very crumbly (a bit like oasis for flower arranging) and liable to break up. I just thought you might have had experience of this and knew of a better plan. Also, where did you get your puffer for spraying icing sugar? Thanks. Dee
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
I've never used them, but I presume they are designed to be hung between frames in a conventional hive, so can you not hang them between bars?
Limbutu Cristian (1 год назад)
you will like this video of jon peters
Limbutu Cristian (1 год назад)
search for jon peters and you will find one top bar with landing board.
Jeejishkarayi Karayi (5 месяцев назад)
Limbutu Cristian photo w
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
Limbutu Cristian I'm sure lots of people fit them. Not necessary, but optional.
Limbutu Cristian (1 год назад)
I see that you do not have an landing board. you do not need one or what? thanks!
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
Limbutu Cristian I have never seen a tree with a landing board. You can fit one if you wish.
timothy byrne (1 год назад)
Hi Philip how do you keep the Queen out of the honey ?? like you would use a queen excluder to stop her from going up into the supers .....Tim
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
timothy byrne Queens won't cross a honey barrier to lay their eggs, so excluders are not needed, although you can use a vertical QX if you choose.
Jon Ridgeon (1 год назад)
Hi Phil, What dimensions of wood stock do you use to make those top bars where the comb guide and bar is one piece? Thank you for the inspiration!
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
I think they were cut down from 63x38mm. The depth is not particularly important, but the ends are cut down to about 10mm so they drop onto the rails in a National.
Pop's Shack (1 год назад)
Good video, Phil. Do you have another video about the detritus in the bottom of the top bar hive?
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
Pop's Shack see below.
dee french (1 год назад)
Hi Phil, I'm a newbie and awaiting a swarm but could you tell me please why you turn the hive around? Thanks. Dee
dee french (1 год назад)
many thanks. Dee
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
It's in the one you have.
dee french (1 год назад)
Thanks for that Phil. |I've got your Balanced Beekeeping II: Managing the Top Bar Hive but haven't read it all yet, or is it in Book 1? Thanks.
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
Dee it's for swarm control, explained in details in my book. Don't worry about it if you are just starting, its second year stuff.
Sarah Dye (1 год назад)
Hi Phil, I'm curious what you use for the v-shape on the top bar. I don't have a router table- I imagine that is probably the easiest way to make them. I have struggled to find an off-the shelf triangular trim - the closest I have found is supposedly triangular, but is missing the 'point' of the triangle, so more like a trapezium, which will probably work. I've also tried cutting triangular strips from sheet material with the circular saw tilted to a 45 degree angle, with passable results, but a lot of faff. Any insights you (or others) can share would be great.
BeeMan (1 год назад)
I bought a top bar hive and the follower board does not go all the way to the floor. Is it supposed to?
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
BeeMan yes, it should, or it is likely to attract wasps to the unofficial entrances.
sidney white (1 год назад)
Do you offer plans for building the top bar hive?
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
sidney white see biobees.com
Paul Lee (1 год назад)
Great help from your vids but can you tell me why some of the top bar hives I've seen have spacers on the the top bars giving the usual bee space but on your hives the top bars are flush?
Joe Wheeler (1 год назад)
In Queensland Australia we use 14 x 32mm bars for brood and 16 x 38mm for honey. also for the bottoms many use wire fly screen this helps with ventilation which in turn seems to help with controlling Small Hive Beatle.
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
Some people are successful with bars down to 32mm, but i have found 38 more reliable in avoiding cross combing. i cant be certain that will work everywhere, though.
Paul Lee (1 год назад)
Great so if Iam sticking with a TBH then 38mm is the width to go by.
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
Paul Lee Yes, there are horizontal frame hives, which work in a similar way to the TBH but are significantly different in the way they are constructed and managed.
Paul Lee (1 год назад)
Ok Philip thanks for that, being a newbie I didn't realise that a top bar hive and a horizontal hive were different.
Bub (1 год назад)
Good video. Wood is proper grown in Sweden, markt Södra...  Not important but awsome to se a part of sweden in your Beautiful projekt.
Ray Purse (1 год назад)
I guess the angle on that V-shape is about 25 degrees... Phil? I'm wondering whether you could plow eighth slots at right angles to this slope for extra surface area or maybe some shallow saw cuts...anyone?
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
Ray Purse You mean the top bars? you could do that, but a rough surface is probably as good and less work.
bridget moore (1 год назад)
Great Info. Thanks for sharing you knowledge with us "NEWBEES!"
Darren Cox (2 года назад)
Hello, underneath the hive you were just talking about. The natural floor, is it held in place by a section of roof guttering?
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
Yes, it is an industrial size, 150mm wide.
DARKLYLIT (2 года назад)
Can you please tell me what the "Langstroth"-looking hives next to the TBH''s are? They almost look like plastic totes.
Phil Chandler (2 года назад)
DARKLYLIT They are 6-frame Paynes Polynucs.
Tim Willcox (2 года назад)
Very interesting feeder idea (on top). I have 1st hive and awaiting a swarm catch. Is that plastic feeder commonly available (NZ) and do bees draw comb either side of the slot I. The top bar? Pm if poss. Tim
Graham R Dyer (2 года назад)
Nice to have you back.......I know you haven't been away, I have built a TBH and some Trap hives, I'm gona have a go if I can catch a swarm.
Jerry Gilliam (2 года назад)
Honey bees Top Bar Hives Plans? I like to build But I need plans disabled veteran Great Job... well done. Please update... Thanks for your help jerrygilliam@gmail.com
Phil Chandler (2 года назад)
Plans from biobees.com
dobe762 (2 года назад)
Question please ... what dimension wood are the top bars made from? it looks like 2''x2''x(17''as mentioned). The half pipe (looks like) on the bottom, does the wooden crate addition shown in another video perform better? TIA
dobe762 (2 года назад)
Thank you, think I'll be trying to get a couple of hives made up over the winter.
Phil Chandler (2 года назад)
The bars are 38mm or 1 1/2 inches wide and about 32mm or 1 1/4 inches deep. some people prefer to use narrower bars and add shims. The eco floor still needs some refinement, but this is still better than solid wood or mesh IMO. There must be no gap between it and the walls, for obvious reasons.
Nicholas Jordan (2 года назад)
Great video details significant design aspects in a clear and concise way many thanks I will share with my beekeeping group as several members are interested in making a hTBH
Shanna Rose (2 года назад)
Thanks, Phil, this is a helpful video- I just did a presentation on TBH to my local Bee group, and I will forward this to them. I have always not liked the hinged lid, as I learned to tend TBHs with access to both sides. This also helps when I am teaching someone, however I am now planning to build them with similar hinges, as the weight and bulk of the roof is difficult to maneuver for a small woman. The difference will be that the lid can be easily removed from the hinges if preferred. I would also like to see the bottom of the hive. Obviously you couldn't show it on this video with the bees in it, but perhaps you could post one with an empty TBH upside down. Also, could you please discuss entrance options, as well as extra ventilation holes. I see you use side entrances.
lorus511 (2 года назад)
You might try using Stainless Steel Take Apart Hinge - 89mm x 50mm - Left & Right Available for your roof. It's something I'm thinking of doing also.
Lolita's Garden (2 года назад)
I think the one thing you neglected to mention is the floor. I noticed a natural "forest" aspect to it. I have a screened bottom and I am considering closing it up for winter, however I do not want to create a box of damp, cold moisture. Any advice? Thank you.
Phil Chandler (1 год назад)
Lolita's Garden The floors are plastic guttering filled with composted wood chips. See my "eco-floor" videos.
HMRCroz (2 года назад)
Excellent video explaining specifics and logic of design. Don't think I've seen one like it yet. Great job, Phil!

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