Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Hive Design and Updates

I have decided on new dimensions for my TBH design. I have a neighbor who owns a sawmill and I can get rough cut 1"x10" lumber from him. Last Saturday, I purchased a few boards and cut out the pieces for four hive boxes and a few top bars. Monday after work, I put together one of the boxes. The new design will have 20" top bars. I painted the new box Tuesday after work with a mixture of boiled linseed oil and beeswax.

I may be able to split my hive this weekend. I would like to get another box built so that I can totally have all of them the same. Now, to make this work, I will have to screw on extensions to the 15" bars that are in the plywood hive. My plan for the split is:
  1. Maybe today or tomorrow, Screw these extensions onto the 15" bars without opening the tbh.
  2. Saturday - inspect the hive and find the queen.
  3. Transfer the queen, a bar of brood, hopefully a bar of pollen and honey, and some shakes of bees to one of the new boxes. I will add about 4 or 5 empty bars to this hive and a divider - sorta like a nuc. I will loosely close the entrance off with some grass.
  4. With the remaining bees, I will simply place the other box in the location of the old hive, shake them all out of the old hive into the new box and add the remaining frames, since this hive will now be queenless and will need to raise a queen as soon as possible.

Also, I was interviewed by a beekeeper in Northern Kentucky for an upcoming episode of the Beekeeping Podcast, hosted by Darcy Pach. Darcy and I had a fun and interesting discussion on my adventures in top bar hive beekeeping. We also compared the top bar hive to the Langstroth hives that he uses. Thanks, Darcy for putting up with my ramblings.

Darcy's podcast and blog can be found here: NKYBeekeeper

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