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TBH Bottom Design?

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  • Tom Warren
    Hi all, I m completing 4 TBHs this weekend. (2 for me, 2 for sale/giveaway) I m at the stage where I need to decide about the construction of the bottoms of
    Message 1 of 15 , Mar 6, 2009
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      Hi all,

      I'm completing 4 TBHs this weekend. (2 for me, 2 for sale/giveaway) I'm at the stage where I need to decide about the construction of the bottoms of the hives. Here are my choices:

      1 Closed solid bottom board with (or without) screen floor above it.
      2 Removable (sliding) solid bottom board with screen floor above it.
      3 Screen floor only.

      I'm inclined to go with choice #1 -- including 1/8" mesh screen just above the bottom for mites and beetle protection.

      Also, any ideas about ventilation for each style?

      I'm in the Willamette Valley (Oregon) where we get 100+ summer temps and winters usually at or below freezing, and rain rain rain.

      thanks in advance,
      Tom Warren
      Pleasant Hill, OR

      PS Did I mention it rains alot here?
    • P.H. Rankin Hansen
      Regardless of the climate, I d prefer option #2, followed by #3. I d prefer avoiding #1 if at all possible, even if it is easier to make. Why? Makes for
      Message 2 of 15 , Mar 7, 2009
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        Regardless of the climate, I'd prefer option #2, followed by #3. I'd
        prefer avoiding #1 if at all possible, even if it is easier to make.

        Why? Makes for healthier bees by improving ventilation and keeping
        humidity down. Also much of the debris will fall through the mesh, in
        stead of accumulating on the floor. This includes living mites that
        loose foothold on the bees, something that happens fairly often.

        Here in Denmark, I use screened bottoms exclusively. The only time I
        close the bottom, is when I treat for Varroa (using vapors from formic
        acid) and in late winter/early spring, when excessive humidity can rise
        from below, depending on the location of the hive.

        Ping.

        venlig hilsen / best regards / vy 73 de OZ4PH & 5P1H

        Peter H. Rankin Hansen
        Stjærvej 15, Storring
        DK-8464 Galten
        Danmark

        (+45) 7586 1688 / (+45) 2211 9611

        Si vis pacem, para bellum - if you want peace, prepare for war.



        Tom Warren skrev:
        > Hi all,
        >
        > I'm completing 4 TBHs this weekend. (2 for me, 2 for sale/giveaway) I'm at the stage where I need to decide about the construction of the bottoms of the hives. Here are my choices:
        >
        > 1 Closed solid bottom board with (or without) screen floor above it.
        > 2 Removable (sliding) solid bottom board with screen floor above it.
        > 3 Screen floor only.
        >
        > I'm inclined to go with choice #1 -- including 1/8" mesh screen just above the bottom for mites and beetle protection.
        >
        > Also, any ideas about ventilation for each style?
        >
        > I'm in the Willamette Valley (Oregon) where we get 100+ summer temps and winters usually at or below freezing, and rain rain rain.
        >
        > thanks in advance,
        > Tom Warren
        > Pleasant Hill, OR
        >
        > PS Did I mention it rains alot here?
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > The group archive and other pages can be accessed at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • OOWONBS@Netscape.net
        ... 2 Removable (sliding) solid bottom board with screen floor above it. 3 Screen floor only. thanks in advance, Tom Warren Pleasant Hill, OR PS Did I mention
        Message 3 of 15 , Mar 7, 2009
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          >1 Closed solid bottom board with (or without) screen floor above it.
          2 Removable (sliding) solid bottom board with screen floor above it.
          3 Screen floor only.
          thanks in advance,
          Tom Warren
          Pleasant Hill, OR
          PS Did I mention it rains alot here?

          If you design the front or rear with a hinged section 1-3" tall,
          you can use a screen full length, and slide a btm board in
          just above that when you want to close things for winter.
          BillSF9c
        • Gold Star Honeybees
          #2 is what I m going with on the Gold Star top bar hive kit design with the exception that it doesn t slide - it just installs - on and off - mostly for
          Message 4 of 15 , Mar 7, 2009
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            #2 is what I'm going with on the Gold Star top bar hive "kit" design with
            the exception that it doesn't slide - it just installs - on and off - mostly
            for wintering purposes.

            I'm in Maine - we don't ever get 100+ degrees! LOL. Thought right now we
            wish we could!



            These kits will be available within the next two weeks! (Do not count on
            the pix that are on my website today for an accurate portrayal - that's last
            year's model!)



            -- Christy Hemenway

            GOLD STAR HONEYBEES

            "It's not about the honey, Honey - it's about the Bees!"

            207-449-1121

            www.goldstarhoneybees.com <http://www.goldstarhoneybees.com/>

            Some great bee sites: www.biobees.com <http://www.biobees.com/> , and
            www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm, and www.beeguardian.org
            <http://www.beeguardian.org/>



            "'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none go just alike, yet each
            believes his own." --Alexander Pope

            _____

            From: TopHive@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TopHive@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
            Tom Warren
            Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 6:28 PM
            To: TopHive@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [TopHive] TBH Bottom Design?



            Hi all,

            I'm completing 4 TBHs this weekend. (2 for me, 2 for sale/giveaway) I'm at
            the stage where I need to decide about the construction of the bottoms of
            the hives. Here are my choices:

            1 Closed solid bottom board with (or without) screen floor above it.
            2 Removable (sliding) solid bottom board with screen floor above it.
            3 Screen floor only.

            I'm inclined to go with choice #1 -- including 1/8" mesh screen just above
            the bottom for mites and beetle protection.

            Also, any ideas about ventilation for each style?

            I'm in the Willamette Valley (Oregon) where we get 100+ summer temps and
            winters usually at or below freezing, and rain rain rain.

            thanks in advance,
            Tom Warren
            Pleasant Hill, OR

            PS Did I mention it rains alot here?





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Tom Warren
            Thanks to everyone who responded to my questions about TBH bottom design. The consensus seems to be that the #2 choice is best, i.e. screen with removable
            Message 5 of 15 , Mar 8, 2009
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              Thanks to everyone who responded to my questions about TBH bottom design.

              The consensus seems to be that the #2 choice is best, i.e. screen with removable bottom board. Peter H. Rankin Hansen made good sense, it seems to me, by prioritizing ventilation and moisture removal as basic considerations.

              So I've gone with a design based upon both Christy Hemenway's and BillSF9c's ideas. I finished the hives with screen bottoms and a removable solid bottom board for winterization. I can either slide a thin board in over the screen or secure a heavier one to the underside of the hive, depending upon the degree of permanence required.

              thanks alot!

              Tom Warren
              Pleasant Hill, OR

              PS Since I had so much free plywood (and a great table saw), I built some extra TBHs; so anyone in my neck o' the woods who needs one, just email me offlist, okay?
            • OOWONBS@Netscape.net
              ... design. ... removable bottom board. Peter H. Rankin Hansen made good sense, it seems to me, by prioritizing ventilation and moisture removal as basic
              Message 6 of 15 , Mar 9, 2009
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                >Thanks to everyone who responded to my questions about TBH bottom
                design.

                >The consensus seems to be that the #2 choice is best, i.e. screen with
                removable
                bottom board. Peter H. Rankin Hansen made good sense, it seems to me,
                by
                prioritizing ventilation and moisture removal as basic considerations.

                If ypou want to get a lil kinky, adapt a version of a Warre' for the
                top, the part
                called a quilt box. They are good in some cases for warmth & moisture
                handling.

                >So I've gone with a design based upon both Christy Hemenway's and
                BillSF9c's
                ideas. I finished the hives with screen bottoms and a removable solid
                bottom
                board for winterization. I can either slide a thin board in over the
                screen or
                secure a heavier one to the underside of the hive, depending upon the
                degree of
                permanence required.

                Wow... My name along side Chritsy's.. Noone say anything. I want to
                bask in
                the moment.

                thanks alot!
                Tom Warren
                Pleasant Hill, OR

                >PS Since I had so much free plywood (and a great table saw), I built
                some extra
                TBHs; so anyone in my neck o' the woods who needs one, just email me
                offlist,
                okay?

                Tom, tell me of the plywood you used, & how you sealed the edges...
                Marine? Marine resin?
                BillSF9c
              • OOWONBS@Netscape.net
                Sometimes called, Overkill Bill, I have an combo option. I offered the idea of the screen being fixed and a slider above that, inside. Christy offered a bottom
                Message 7 of 15 , Mar 9, 2009
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                  Sometimes called, Overkill Bill, I have an combo option.
                  I offered the idea of the screen being fixed and a slider above that,
                  inside. Christy offered a bottom with fixed screen above that.
                  (Was Christys, hinged? Think so... If not, there's a thought.)

                  The slider can also serve to be a food or supplement tray, sliding in,
                  preserving most warmth by almost non-opening of the hive. The
                  downside is that what you add is limited to the width of the slider,
                  which is not much in a trapezoidal.

                  The upside is tghat the slider can be just that, or can be a frame
                  & screen, or a second slider above the first is doable too.

                  Some ideas I am letting go of as I have largely left the TB
                  Trapezoidal for work on a series of Warre' s. And as sexy as
                  a traezoidal is, I am seeing too much to refute the need for
                  the shape, or the purported benefit.

                  BillSF9c

                  >>1 Closed solid bottom board with (or without) screen floor above it.
                  2 Removable (sliding) solid bottom board with screen floor above it.
                  3 Screen floor only.
                  thanks in advance,
                  Tom Warren
                  Pleasant Hill, OR
                  PS Did I mention it rains alot here?

                  >If you design the front or rear with a hinged section 1-3" tall,
                  you can use a screen full length, and slide a btm board in
                  just above that when you want to close things for winter.
                  BillSF9c
                • Gold Star Honeybees
                  Bill said: ---- Wow... My name along side Christy s.. Noone say anything. I want to bask in the moment. Christy says: ----- Ummmm, was it good for you,
                  Message 8 of 15 , Mar 9, 2009
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                    Bill said: ---->Wow... My name along side Christy's.. Noone say anything.
                    I want to
                    bask in the moment.



                    Christy says: ----->Ummmm, was it good for you, Bill??? LOL. You never
                    told me you were kinky!!!



                    Got any bees yet?



                    -- Christy Hemenway

                    GOLD STAR HONEYBEES

                    "It's not about the honey, Honey - it's about the Bees!"

                    207-449-1121

                    www.goldstarhoneybees.com <http://www.goldstarhoneybees.com/>

                    Some great bee sites: www.biobees.com <http://www.biobees.com/> , and
                    www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm, and www.beeguardian.org
                    <http://www.beeguardian.org/>



                    "'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none go just alike, yet each
                    believes his own." --Alexander Pope

                    _____

                    From: TopHive@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TopHive@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                    OOWONBS@...
                    Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 2:44 PM
                    To: TopHive@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [TopHive] TBH Bottom Design?



                    >Thanks to everyone who responded to my questions about TBH bottom
                    design.

                    >The consensus seems to be that the #2 choice is best, i.e. screen with
                    removable
                    bottom board. Peter H. Rankin Hansen made good sense, it seems to me,
                    by
                    prioritizing ventilation and moisture removal as basic considerations.

                    If ypou want to get a lil kinky, adapt a version of a Warre' for the
                    top, the part
                    called a quilt box. They are good in some cases for warmth & moisture
                    handling.

                    >So I've gone with a design based upon both Christy Hemenway's and
                    BillSF9c's
                    ideas. I finished the hives with screen bottoms and a removable solid
                    bottom
                    board for winterization. I can either slide a thin board in over the
                    screen or
                    secure a heavier one to the underside of the hive, depending upon the
                    degree of
                    permanence required.

                    Wow... My name along side Chritsy's.. Noone say anything. I want to
                    bask in
                    the moment.

                    thanks alot!
                    Tom Warren
                    Pleasant Hill, OR

                    >PS Since I had so much free plywood (and a great table saw), I built
                    some extra
                    TBHs; so anyone in my neck o' the woods who needs one, just email me
                    offlist,
                    okay?

                    Tom, tell me of the plywood you used, & how you sealed the edges...
                    Marine? Marine resin?
                    BillSF9c





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Tom Warren
                    ... Yeah, Bill, I share your concerns about TBH trapezoidal design. I was interested in Warre` hives too, but chose to do the horizontals this time around.
                    Message 9 of 15 , Mar 9, 2009
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                      --- In TopHive@yahoogroups.com, OOWONBS@... wrote:

                      > If ypou want to get a lil kinky, adapt a version of a Warre' for the
                      > top, the part
                      > called a quilt box. They are good in some cases for warmth & moisture
                      > handling.

                      Yeah, Bill, I share your concerns about TBH trapezoidal design. I was
                      interested in Warre` hives too, but chose to do the horizontals this
                      time around. Only a couple of other people in the area are working with
                      them. A member of our Beekeepers Assoc <http://www.lcbaor.org/main.htm>
                      discovered Warre`s about the time I began looking into TBHs. I'm kind of
                      following his progress and waiting to reap the benefits of the lessons
                      he learns this year. There are a couple of folks online showing some
                      TBHs with quilt box type roofs, including thick styro sheets filling the
                      voids. I got all this on my "to do" list. <g>

                      > Tom, tell me of the plywood you used, & how you sealed the edges...
                      > Marine? Marine resin?
                      > BillSF9c

                      Bill, nothing very special. Here in the PAC NW there are small and
                      medium-sized mills everywhere producing plywood locally. (Sadly they are
                      rapidly disappearing in their own Colony Collapse Disorder) If one is
                      patient, it's easy to pick up "factory seconds" now and then. I got a
                      stack of 3/4" 4X8+ 'shop' plywood that is cosmetically defective. The
                      layers are bit too dense (good) but the resin or glue is an older type
                      of aliphatic compound, I think. It's great stuff, and not really bee
                      un-friendly, but I suppose there are some folks who would disapprove.

                      As soon as it quits raining for a bit, I'm gonna paint the hives --
                      including edges and exposed areas -- with left over acrylic latex
                      exterior paint. I'm not willing to go the wax and linseed oil coatings
                      route yet.

                      best,
                      Tom Warren
                      Pleasant Hill, OR
                    • OOWONBS@Netscape.net
                      ... you can use a screen full length, and slide a btm board in just above that when you want to close things for winter. BillSF9c Silly me. I forgot. A hinge
                      Message 10 of 15 , Mar 9, 2009
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                        >If you design the front or rear with a hinged section 1-3" tall,
                        you can use a screen full length, and slide a btm board in
                        just above that when you want to close things for winter.
                        BillSF9c

                        Silly me. I forgot. A hinge is not required. The end of the tray
                        can be the actual rear of the hive, or, at least the bottom 2"
                        or so of it. This means that ~ 2" is the max height of whatever
                        you slip in, (if anything.) It means with a trapezodal, you'll
                        need to have a table saw or be good with your hands, so
                        the tray has a matching angle. There are no slots to cut.
                        The concept is simplicity. The screen would be on the bottom.

                        This offers no tray to remove to catch mites that fall
                        through a screen.

                        BillSF9c
                      • OOWONBS@Netscape.net
                        ... never told me you were kinky!!! Coming from SillyCon Valley, I went there that way, and returned the same. ... Alas, 3 more sure things went awry in this
                        Message 11 of 15 , Mar 10, 2009
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                          >Christy says: ----->Ummmm, was it good for you, Bill??? LOL. You
                          never
                          told me you were kinky!!!

                          Coming from SillyCon Valley, I went there that way, and returned the
                          same.

                          >Got any bees yet?

                          Alas, 3 more "sure things" went awry in this economy, as did orders
                          I did not seek, but got, so I invested in better tools due to the volume
                          and time it would save, then 1 by 1 everyone backed out, saying,
                          "Next year," or you gave me such confidence, I splurged on a table
                          saw, drill press, etc etc, and hope you'll tell me how to use it. ;>)

                          BillSF9c

                          -- Christy Hemenway
                          207-449-1121
                          www.goldstarhoneybees.com <http://www.goldstarhoneybees.com/>

                          "'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none go just alike, yet each
                          believes his own." --Alexander Pope
                        • Marty Hardison
                          Hi Tom, I have been following the discussion about screened bottom options. I have not been happy with the sliding bottom boards that I have built to date.
                          Message 12 of 15 , Mar 10, 2009
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                            Hi Tom,
                            I have been following the discussion about screened bottom options. I have not been happy with the sliding bottom boards that I have built to date. So I devised a reversible bottom stand for my screened bottom hives. Here in Colorado I can't overwinter my bees in a hive with a drop space under the screen. So I reverse the stand. Open for summer and closed for winter. I posted some pictures in the Photo section of this website. My album bears my name - Marty Hardison. Take a look if you have not already engineered your screened bottom hive.

                            Marty



                            --- In TopHive@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Warren" <tomzbox@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Thanks to everyone who responded to my questions about TBH bottom design.
                            >
                            > The consensus seems to be that the #2 choice is best, i.e. screen with removable bottom board. Peter H. Rankin Hansen made good sense, it seems to me, by prioritizing ventilation and moisture removal as basic considerations.
                            >
                            > So I've gone with a design based upon both Christy Hemenway's and BillSF9c's ideas. I finished the hives with screen bottoms and a removable solid bottom board for winterization. I can either slide a thin board in over the screen or secure a heavier one to the underside of the hive, depending upon the degree of permanence required.
                            >
                            > thanks alot!
                            >
                            > Tom Warren
                            > Pleasant Hill, OR
                            >
                            > PS Since I had so much free plywood (and a great table saw), I built some extra TBHs; so anyone in my neck o' the woods who needs one, just email me offlist, okay?
                            >
                          • Tom Warren
                            ... Murphy s Law, Marty. I found your pics just after I completed my first set of TBHs on Monday. I think I m okay. The screen is tacked to the hive bottom
                            Message 13 of 15 , Mar 10, 2009
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                              --- In TopHive@yahoogroups.com, "Marty Hardison" <topbarbeehives@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi Tom,
                              > I have been following the discussion about screened bottom options. I have not been happy with the sliding bottom boards that I have built to date. So I devised a reversible bottom stand for my screened bottom hives. Here in Colorado I can't overwinter my bees in a hive with a drop space under the screen. So I reverse the stand. Open for summer and closed for winter. I posted some pictures in the Photo section of this website. My album bears my name - Marty Hardison. Take a look if you have not already engineered your screened bottom hive.
                              >
                              > Marty

                              Murphy's Law, Marty. I found your pics just after I completed my first set of TBHs on Monday. <g>

                              I think I'm okay. The screen is tacked to the hive bottom sides and ends. I can slide a thin board just over that through the entrance opening simply by taking out any entrance reducer I may use. I made some more solid bottom boards for winter, much like your design, only not so tall.

                              I've learned a lot already just going though this process. The next TBHs will incorporate what works from this year's trials. BTW, DeeLusby over on the Organic Beekeepers list advises against screens at all and opts for permanent bottom boards, but she's not clear on ventilation issues.

                              It'll be interesting to see how this all works out.

                              thanks so much for your ideas, Marty

                              tom
                            • OOWONBS@Netscape.net
                              ... slide a thin board just over that through the entrance opening simply by taking out any entrance reducer I may use. I made some more solid bottom boards
                              Message 14 of 15 , Mar 11, 2009
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                                >The screen is tacked to the hive bottom sides and ends. I can
                                slide a thin board just over that through the entrance opening simply
                                by taking
                                out any entrance reducer I may use. I made some more solid bottom
                                boards for
                                winter, much like your design, only not so tall. <snipped>
                                tom

                                If you cut the bottom 1/2 - 2" off the rear,
                                and make that piece a part of the slide-in tray,
                                you get the drift of what I was trying to say.

                                This can allow for a feeder even if it is jar lids.
                                Heck, you could slip in a lizard heating pad or a
                                resister series attached to a battery or charger,
                                even hooked to a 35F thermostat..

                                You also are not bugging bees by being at the entrance.
                                And you may make the tray thicker.

                                You can still add another board of styrofoam or
                                etc to the btm exterior to block drafts.
                                BillSF9c
                              • Michael Vanecek
                                I have seen top-bar hives with no bottom at all, and no entrance. The open bottom becomes the entrance. The bees even keep the grass that tries to grow up
                                Message 15 of 15 , Apr 9, 2009
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                                  I have seen top-bar hives with no bottom at all, and no "entrance." The
                                  open bottom becomes the entrance. The bees even keep the grass that
                                  tries to grow up into the hive pruned too. Of course, that makes the
                                  brood/honey placement a bit harder to control - they'll often have brood
                                  along many of the combs at the bottom, with the honey at the top and on
                                  the sides. Still, it's an interesting concept. I'm sure a Lang or Warre
                                  hive could use this as well. Not sure how that'd do up in the north tho.

                                  Be well,
                                  Mike

                                  --
                                  Zone 8, Texas
                                  http://www.taroandti.com/ Exotic Plant Info and More...



                                  OOWONBS@... wrote:
                                  >
                                  > If you cut the bottom 1/2 - 2" off the rear,
                                  > and make that piece a part of the slide-in tray,
                                  > you get the drift of what I was trying to say.
                                  >
                                  > This can allow for a feeder even if it is jar lids.
                                  > Heck, you could slip in a lizard heating pad or a
                                  > resister series attached to a battery or charger,
                                  > even hooked to a 35F thermostat..
                                  >
                                  > You also are not bugging bees by being at the entrance.
                                  > And you may make the tray thicker.
                                  >
                                  > You can still add another board of styrofoam or
                                  > etc to the btm exterior to block drafts.
                                  > BillSF9c
                                  >
                                  >
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