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Author Topic: What kind of top for a horizontal hive?  (Read 814 times)

Offline Bob Wilson

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What kind of top for a horizontal hive?
« on: January 26, 2020, 04:56:49 pm »
I like the idea of a migratory top for my long langstroth. I use four flat boards, end to end to cover it. I can remove any of the four and expose only a quarter of the hive at a time. There is 3/8 inch beespace between the top of the frames and the boards I use as a top. Here is the problem. I need a better coverall for the hive.
1. As you can see in the picture, my plastic rain cover stretches and protracts in the heat/cold of the day, shifting it. Sometimes in just a few days, expposing it to water.
2. I could use NO coverall, just the four migratory boards, end to end in a row covering the hive. But then with propolis, the boards never fit back snuggly, leaving gaps and exposing the hive to rain dripping on the bees from above.
3. I could use a big solid cover, hinged on the long end like the top of a coffin. Perhaps a flat long board. I want to avoid a telescopic top with removable top bars underneath. I live in  small hive beetle country, and hate to think of beetles retreating safely up into an attic.
4. I could use a long piece of tin over the top, in place of the plastic. But if it is corogated tin, the bricks on top will have a hard time supplying the pressure needed to keep all four top boards down flat. If the tin is long and flat, then I have a hot piece of metal transferring heat into the hive. But maybe that is the best way, and paint it white.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: What kind of top for a horizontal hive?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2020, 10:37:02 pm »
Bob,
Why not use a foil backed insulation board glued to either a piece of plywood or better yet a piece of metal roofing cut to size.
Jim Altmiller

Offline cao

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Re: What kind of top for a horizontal hive?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2020, 01:41:15 am »
Bob, I have hinged lids on my hives.  Under the lid I have several inner covers.  I have not noticed that the space between covers harbor any shb's.  The only bugs in that space that I have seen is ants.  If you don't want a hinged lid, I would suggest that Jim had a good idea about the insulation covered with metal.  If placed on top of your pieces of plywood, It should keep them flat.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: What kind of top for a horizontal hive?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2020, 06:38:40 am »
Great idea Jim and Cao. I had not thought of that. The northern guys talk about insulation, while we southern guys have relatively mild winters. But I forget that insulation could also be used for better waterproofing, sealing and relief from Georgia's searing hot summer sun.
Foil backed side toward the migratory top... Meaning glue the insulation side to the tin covering?

Offline beesonhay465

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Re: What kind of top for a horizontal hive?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2020, 08:15:34 am »
i dont use an inner cover. never seen a hollow tree with an attic i use a piece of foil faced  insulation . looks like bubble wrap , right on top of the frames, the bees propolize it down to the frames . but it dosn't stick to the foil very well and can be peeled back easy .iv seen a few hive beetles but never on the foil. :smile:

Offline paus

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Re: What kind of top for a horizontal hive?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2020, 02:41:07 pm »
I never saw a square tree, nor any thing that looks like a hive.  My daughter wanted a top bar hive so she got one then I started making "IMPROVEMENTS" to the basic TB hive. I made a telescoping actually original.  Then I couldn't get the dang thing off because of some propolis.  Then I made a two piece top board of plywood , you still have to removed the TB because the top bars run 90 degrees to the top board. Then I discovered if the bars don't have any space between them removing the top is no problem. I had not had any experience with TB so some of the conventual  thinking  caused problems.  Then I added a DSBB with an insertable oil pan from each end, this worked great, no SHB.  The 32.5 inch long top bar got full, so I added a conventional lang on top with a solid top board as a blind on the other half of the hive.   This worked very well until the bees glued the top lang frames in the top hive to the top bars under the lang .  Then they absconded they left a hive full of resources, except brood.  I AM THINKING THE QUEEN DIED.  It was an experience, and a family lose as this was the last hive from many years of this original swarm living many years in my son in law's Grand mothers house.  All of the splits have been made and become part of the Apiary and indistinguishable from the other hives.  Top bar hives can be interesting and educational,  I will not go with TB unless my daughter wants another one. 


« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 03:00:27 pm by paus »

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: What kind of top for a horizontal hive?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2020, 08:08:19 am »
Paus. You have been doing this a lot longer than me, so I can't say much. It just seems that my long langstroth/hotzontal is doing well. I checked them yesterday and found they are busting so much I added three new empty langstroth frames for them. They were festooning the followboard. They have filled 15 out of 32 frames. I don't plan to super. Just to take out batches of honey frames at a time, continually feeding them empty frames through the year. I am a small potato operator.

Offline paus

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Re: What kind of top for a horizontal hive?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2020, 12:20:04 pm »
My daughter and I have agreed that a long lang is the way to go for our circumstances.  That is on the bucket list for her  to have a hive to "PLAY" with. I will make the lang a multiple length of a 10 or 8 box, Having frames makes working and extracting much more enjoyable.

Offline seanconnery

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Re: What kind of top for a horizontal hive?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2020, 01:35:13 pm »
 Paus: Your daughter will understand and enjoy the Top Bar approach. She will see the growth and evolution of cluster, brood , and honey. I am glad I have 2 TBHives - much respect and enjoyment as well as easy access and intentional comb manipulation.

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: What kind of top for a horizontal hive?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2020, 11:38:05 am »
I decided to make a Long Lang with 20 frames out of which to make splits until my apiary is full.  Then I'll start harvesting honey from it.

It will be insulated with 3/4" foil faced polyisocianurate on the sides/ends, 1/2" on the bottom, and 1.5" in the hinged lid under plywood and a piece of 24x36" galvanized I found at Home Depot in the HVAC area.  The sheet metal cost $12.68 out the door.