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Author Topic: Top bar hive feeder..........  (Read 32417 times)
martin
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« on: May 26, 2009, 01:48:36 PM »

Been a busy bee since my bees arrived - here's my version of a top-bar hive feeder-

firstly, many thanks to all the pioneers from whom I shamelessly nicked most of the details of a top-bar feeder - it's made using 4mm marine ply, and some pine strip, pinned and glued, then waterproofed with molten beeswax brushed on - firstly, the beginnings........



-then in it's finished but disassembled state - the bar on the left with a cork in it is an extra-wide 17" topbar, and bolts onto the "tank" portion, and is easily taken  apart for cleaning - you can also see my "brainwave" raft.......... I attacked it with a 20mm (3/4 inch) flat drill, and drilled about 2/3 the way through, the idea being that the bees can walk down into the holes and access the syrup, but can't drown in it.......



and this is looking into the top of the tank, just before final topping up, and bolting the top bar on (in case you notice, the "bodge-mate" I used to hold it was far from level!)



If it'll help anyone - feel free to copy
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 10:14:03 PM by martin » Logged

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Ivan
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 01:53:57 PM »

You've done a good job - Topbar bee hives for sale in the 'for sale' section?!

Did you photograph the manufacture of the rest of the hive?
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martin
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2009, 02:07:23 PM »

It was one of those "escaped opportunities" -I was going to do a series of pics before installing the bees that showed the way it was built - "unfortunately" the bees arrived the evening before I was due to use the camera, which rather took the wind out of my sails. I'll try to get some pics of it "filled", which'll show construction details.
  If it's proved anything, it's proved that you can build a top bar hive ludicrously cheaply (there are details on the net of a chap who reckons he can make one for "less than a dollar" using old pallets) - and if I can do it, so can anyone - I'm NOT an adept wood worker, but found that using the downloadable plans it was entirely straightforward -
http://www.biobees.com/images/build_top_bar_hive/, or pdf - http://www.totnesonline.com/downloads/beekeeping/How_to_build_a_top_bar_hive.pdf  garden
« Last Edit: May 26, 2009, 02:09:40 PM by martin » Logged

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Justme
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 05:24:06 PM »

So are you putting that inside the TBH?
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martin
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2009, 05:39:56 PM »

Did so at lunch time - just replaced the blank "divider" board with the feeder. Although I'm not keen on the "nick the honey, replace with sugar syrup" way of doing things, the general consensus seems to be that it's a good move to give them a flying start whilst they're drawing comb by feeding some sugar syrup - the theory is that during the winter I'll leave them more than sufficient of their own honey to live through it, so the feeder is purely "get them going, and handy for emergencies" Smiley
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ed e
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2010, 02:04:00 AM »

I just wanted to give a big thank you for sharing the TBH feeder idea. What a great idea.
 
I have included a picture of the one I built to your idea with a couple of changes, as follows:
1. I used T-nuts on the top of the top bar board. Less for me to fumble with and allows for a flat cover without hindrance. 
2. I used a piece of acrylic on the outside of the feeder so I could monitor the level and also see the bees doing their thing.
3. And lastly, I just used a piece of tin that pivots on a screw as the fill hole cover. Also allows for a flat cover without hindrance. 
 
The picture shows the first test fill with water and no leaks! And notice the 'raft' is floating as it should. The raft and all wood on the inside has been coated with melted bees wax. 

Thanks again for sharing that great feeder idea! Gonna be fun to watch the bees feed!

 


* IMG_0595.JPG (117.8 KB, 800x600 - viewed 13874 times.)
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John-Payne
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2010, 11:44:15 AM »

I really like this Martin, and a nice "upgrade" by Ed. The raft is a really elegant solution. What I don't get though, is why the access hole is in the top bar, rather than the top of the dummy board. Presumably the bees are given access to the over-top-bar space first, as in conventional framed hives, but why? I'm a real TBH beginner so hoping all will be made clear.  garden
John
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2010, 12:08:16 PM »

I to am confused, it's not that the area above the top-bars is off-limits but it seems that it would be out of the way for the bees and also less defended.

But i am just a newbie!
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martin
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2010, 01:31:49 PM »

If you look at the above picture, the entrance is between the "raft" and the bar at the top, which replaces one of the end follower boards, so access is "below top bar level" if you see what I mean.......... Smiley
The hole at the top is for filling it!
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 01:34:03 PM by martin » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2010, 01:38:18 PM »

or if you squint at this photo , and imagine that extra wide top bar with the filling hole bolted on top, there's about half an inch for the bees to get in above the raft, below the bar........... Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2010, 01:43:36 PM »

aha! all is revealed!

wish i'd looked closer.

i must say i do like this design of feeder compared to the upturned jar type
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John-Payne
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2010, 06:23:47 PM »

All is indeed revealed, thanks.  wackoold
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Greenbeast
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« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2010, 08:28:30 PM »

a sneaky copy:





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martin
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« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2010, 10:15:24 PM »

looking good - is it in use yet? Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2010, 10:22:30 PM »

unfortunately not.
I had no way of cutting the studding i was going to use to hang the feeder from the top bar.

I'm unsure whether i need to be feeding this new colony or not yet.
I saw the girls bringing in pollen for the first time today, which is good.
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