Top Bar support

Discussion about all the various types and configurations of topbar hives.
Gordon Miller
Freshman Beekeeper
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 12:06 pm
Location: Forest City,NC

Top Bar support

Postby Gordon Miller » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:29 am

OK, I am beginning the process of planning for a top bar hive. From information I have gleaned it would be best to make it just under 4 feet long. My question is " How would you keep the sidewalls from warping on a 4 ' long piece of wood. What am i missing?

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trekmate
Freshman Beekeeper
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Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:27 pm
Location: UK, NW England
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Re: Top Bar support

Postby trekmate » Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:16 am

Most of my TBH are 48 inches long internally. I use seasoned wood of all sorts (cheap pine, red cedar, used scaffold planks, pallets) and have had no problem with warping (the oldest is eight years old). The sides are protected from the extremes of wet and sun by the roof which may help.

I only protect with a breathable finish - raw linseed oil with a little beeswax melted in and painted on while hot.

Chuck Jachens
Freshman Beekeeper
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Joined: Sun May 24, 2015 2:04 am
Location: Rescue, CA

Re: Top Bar support

Postby Chuck Jachens » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:52 pm

My hives are 44 inches long inside. I use green wood to build my hives and have not had a problem with the sides warping. The ends are screwed in place and the hive body is fairly rigid. In addition I make my hives so the side wall and ends are 1.25 inches thick.

The wood used to cover the observation window warps some because it is only connected at the hinge. It doesn't take very long to unscrew it and take the wood cover into my garage and fix it. I highly recommend an observation window and bigger is better.

Imker Ingo
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:30 pm
Location: Newport, Wales, UK

Re: Top Bar support

Postby Imker Ingo » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:14 pm

As I have no acces to a sawmill, I have bought wood from my local timber merchant. I have used well seasoned RedWesternCedar planks, two doweled and glued together to get the necessary width for the sides. So far no warping. I have seen vertical support wood strips used on some hives for extra strength.

Chuck Jachens
Freshman Beekeeper
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Joined: Sun May 24, 2015 2:04 am
Location: Rescue, CA

Re: Top Bar support

Postby Chuck Jachens » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:32 pm

Sorry for the confusing terminology, Green wood to me is wet wood from the big box store (non kiln dried). Fresh sawn would be great, it is way to much work and I have helped make boards with a portable saw mill.

I use dog eared fence boards (5/8" inches thick, 5.5 inches wide, and 6 feet long. I half overlap the boards and screw them together to make the sides and ends 1.25 inches thick. The bees propolise any gaps between the boards on the inside of the hive. I don't use any glue so it does not inhibit moisture transfer out of the hive. I don't use any paint on the inside or outside of these hives.
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