Saturday, March 06, 2010

Building a Top Bar Hive

We didn't quite  make it to Northfield.  We live in Dundas, the next community south.   We have three acres, surrounded by farmland, with a full size red barn, and two other outbuildings.  We plan to put the studio in the ground floor of the barn, with one of the outbuildings as our kiln room.

I'm starting to build a top bar beehive today.  I've wanted to get into bee keeping for a number of years, but have never had the space until now.  Julie has bought me a number of books over the years.  Top bar hives are easy to build on a budget.  Extracting the honey from comb is a little trickier, since the comb is not as uniform as that from a Langsthroth stacked hive, but I can build a honey press.

I bought some red cedar lumber yesterday, and will spend this morning cutting boards to length, and then gluing them together.  The plans call for twelve inch wide wood, but recommends buying narrow lumber, and then gluing the boards edge to edge. 

A twelve inch by one inch  board measures eleven inches by three quarters of an inch.  It may have measured twelve by one at some point in the milling process, or maybe fifty years ago it would have measured that at some point in the milling process, but what I have available is eleven by three quarters.  Buying two six by ones and gluing them together doesn't get you much farther, because a six by one measures five and a half by three quarters.  Two together give eleven inches, and gluing a third board on to get the extra inch seems excessive when I am on a budget.

My plan today is to tweek the design of the top bar hive a bit, so that my eleven inch lumber will work on the sides of the hive (effectively reducing the cross section of the hive to ninety-two percent of the original design).  The finished hive will be forty-eight inches long.


Blogger SquidgePa said...

Talked with Chris, our friend and hobby farm mentor, and just ordered two pounds of Carniolan bees.

2:17 PM  

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