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Shabby chic, AKA beekeeping on a budget.
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Citrine



Joined: 30 Apr 2008
Posts: 51
Location: Kent
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 10 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ive a Topbar Nuc running at present - wont be long until they need swapping over to a full sized one!

*note to self - get hubby to make TBH SOON!!

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 6396
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 10 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cool!
Bet he does a better job at making it than I did.

mochasidamo



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 615
Location: Montgomery
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 10 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Cool!
Bet he does a better job at making it than I did.


Lots of things to go wrong certainly: partner's dad has made us four...in two pairs. Second pair have sloping roof and felt, in-roof vents and we put correct size steel mesh on the bottom...

...after the first pair. Flat roofs...cheap clear corrugated roofing was useless, so retrofitted ply. Half useless....going to add alu sheeting very soon. And worse the bases had too-big mesh (he knew and had added rubber mesh inside which of course let nothing through...so we cut it out after moving the residents in and noticing the problems). Yesterday we finally changed the mesh for the proper size. It was about to rain...homed them in two ten bar nucs, moved hive away still with quite a few bees...it's hard to shake and brush a TBH suspended mid-air over a nuc box!! Swapped the mesh and not one sting. Nice bees . And nicer now they are safer from the zillions of wasps chasing their larvae ;(.

Citrine



Joined: 30 Apr 2008
Posts: 51
Location: Kent
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 10 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We recently re-located a colony from a compost bin into a TBH. The bees were amazingly calm - not attempts to sting or anything! We gifted the colony to a lady we knew, with a TBH made and waiting for some bees to home.
They are doing well, and building up nicely after all the destruction we caused (..but otherwise, they'd be dead!), bless 'em.

mochasidamo



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 615
Location: Montgomery
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 10 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well done, Citrine. Result .

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 24477
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 12 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A couple of questions on building a TBH. Would Larch be suitable, I know it'll need treating but I want the make sure it's not toxic to bees. If I've only got 150mm wide timber does it need joining to the other side panel, e.g. routing the edge to make it T&G, or at least have an overlap?

Also, can anyone suggest anywhere to buy beeswax from, probably around 1kg?

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 6396
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 12 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If the larch is seasoned it will be fine untreated.
Unseasoned will probably warp.
Most treatments are toxic to insects & those that aren't often put bees off & they sometimes abscond.
Just paint the outside with the linseed/bees wax mixture I mention in the OP & it should be good for three or four years & costs little to retreat.
Leave the inside untreated, the bees will propolise most of the interior which will protect it for you.
The joints don't need to be T&G'd just butt jointed is fine.
I've used rough sawn timber on mine & used screwed batten to hold the boards together, not as neat but easy.
Again any small gaps the bees will fill.
If you are only setting up one hive you will only need an ounce or two of wax to get started.
If you don't know any local beekeepers I can spare a couple of ounces if you PM your address.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 24477
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 12 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for the reply and offer. I'm after the wax for a variety of non-urgent projects so I'll keep an eye out. Out of curiosity though, do bee keepers tend to get much beeswax? If you had a couple of hives how much beeswax would they produce in an average year?

onemanband



Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 839

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 12 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What about using decking - reclaimed or some places sell reject boards.
Made of redwood so durable.
Can't comment on preservatives used tho.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 6396
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 12 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
Thanks for the reply and offer. I'm after the wax for a variety of non-urgent projects so I'll keep an eye out. Out of curiosity though, do bee keepers tend to get much beeswax? If you had a couple of hives how much beeswax would they produce in an average year?

Top bar hives approx a kilo a year, conventional about a quarter of that per hive.
Very approximate as depends on the season & the environment & the fecundity of the colony as well as the management regime.

Last edited by Tavascarow on Sat Jan 14, 12 11:55 pm; edited 1 time in total

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 6396
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 12 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

onemanband wrote:
What about using decking - reclaimed or some places sell reject boards.
Made of redwood so durable.
Can't comment on preservatives used tho.

All the decking I've seen has been treated.
If you are sure it's untreated fine but any softwood will do.
It might not last as long as a western red cedar national hive but when you compare 20.00 with about 200 I know which I prefer.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 6396
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 12 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Finally after a very long wait I've got a swarm housed in the TBH.
My bees have refused to swarm for two years & I've been patiently waiting for some bees.
A good friend in Truro finally came up with the goods, & they have been happily ensconced in Shabby Chic1 for a week now.
If the pollen going through the door is any indication, her maj has already started laying so things are looking good.




Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 6396
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 12 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Five weeks on & despite the atrocious weather we have had, they have built out seven bars.
Beautiful brood pattern & when the weather allows very busy bees.



Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 18761
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 12 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That looks fantastic.

I had a quick look in mine a few days ago and they had already made some nice comb and it's straight!

I really need to consider the roof I use. The one I've made is a bit big for me to handle on my own. Jack helps with one end, the bees are very quiet and not interested in us at all but it's not very fair to be all suited up and him trying to stand back without a suit.

Do you have some kind of stand for comb while you check through Tav? I know I will get more dexterous with confidence but currently when I do anything with them (and I do as little as possible) I feel all thumbs. Artificial supports are a necessity at the moment.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 6396
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 12 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I haven't built a stand for mine yet, but it's something I need to do.
Useful if you want to photograph a comb for detailed inspection.
Phil has one in the top bar hive plans. (page 36).

They are starting to cross comb but I'm not to worried at the mo.
I will spread the straight combs & put bars between them, the new comb they build on those bars will be straight.
Then move the crossed combs to the outside to become honey stores to harvest.
When I make some more bars I will go with the lollypop sticks glued into a saw kerf rather than just a bead of wax along the middle of the bar.

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