>I have a question about the top bars. I made mine out of 3/4' pine and have found some that have warped. What is the best wood to make the bars from?I live in NC Arkansas where the temp might get down to 0 F a couple of times during the winter. Most of the time is is in the 30's or 40's. How many combs will the bees need to make it until spring?I am so impressed with the TBH that I sold all my langs this week and will be building three more TBH's this winter.
Most everyone uses pine. Or, so they think.
Usually it is Douglas Fir. Well... Ok - That is a conifer/pine.
Birch wood and basswood, poplar wood may be the best.
These have slight, even grain, & warp less.
Watch the grain as you select that from which you will cut.
Kiln dried wood will warp less, as a rule; and for topbars,
only, won't add much to your total hive cost.
Humidity on 1 side may cause warping. You did not mention
the direction, if it was predominately in one direction or not,
of the warpage. Brushing the entire TB with warm-melted wax,
(once the wood is evenly dried,) may even this out. Dunno.
(I would have the TBs in the oven for 15 min at 150 to
pre-warm them.) Do any others pre-treat TBs...???
Now, I have to recall that many here thinMk topbar hive,
and mean specifically, HTBH. (Horizontal top bar hive,
and usually, trapezoidal.) This implies a longer TB/topbar
than the Warré uses, which is about 13" long, 3/8 thick,
and 1" wide. HTBH's tend toward a 17-22" long TB...!
However, some use a "vertical-slat" TB, which is on-edge.
These are sometimes made from paint stir sticks. The
small ones are 3/16" thk but have a divit for grasping
which intrudes on a perfect TB.
The 5 gal size are 1/4" thk, and the divit is well past the
13" point. Brands vary slightly. Mine from Home Depot are
54cm/21" long (new) & 45cm/17.7" at the beginning of the
slight divit. They are 3.5mm/1-7/16" wide, but if placed
horizontally & used 17" long in a HTBH, they will bend a
hair too much under the weight of a full comb, over time.
The Warré is a stacked, THB, as a Lang is. A vertical slat
TB is thought to reduce the effects of "false floor" syndrome.
Thus, induce less desire to swarm, and reduce also the
tendency for bees not to move down into the next box if
they feel they cannot fill if before season's end.
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