Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Top Bars

After much thought and research, I decided to spend extra time on the top bars in an attempt to discourage the bees from building each comb on more than one bar. This is necessary to allow the bars to be raised for inspecting.

View of the Underside of a Top Bar 

The groove along the centre of the bar will be filled with bee wax. The bees should build their comb using this as a guide. As a secondary precaution, the chamfer on the edges of the bar will also help to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Using my trusty router, a full set of bars, plus a couple of spares, took about an hour to complete. Most of that time was used in setting and adjusting the router.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Looking like a hive!

Tonight I've added the mesh varroa screen, cut a bottom board to size, put the legs on and cut the top bars to size.

It's looking like a proper hive now!

Must trim those bolts before someone walks into them!

Two decisions still remain to be made:
  • top bar shaping - I will have a wax-filled groove, but am also considering tapering the bars to the groove to (hopefully) encourage staight comb from the bees
  • roof design - ridged or sloping and what material, my usual construction methods result in robust but heavy!!
Time to think while doing other jobs over the week-end!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


After a few days of being busy with other stuff, I made a few hours to get to grips with construction. The hive building instructions from Biobees  is easy to follow with good photos.

The end board shapes were marked and cut. Holes were then drilled through the legs and end boards ready for assembly.

Then I marked out and cut the shape of the follower boards. The top bars were then created with the use of the table saw to get the right size and attached to the body of the followers. 

 Next step is to assemble the body of the hive using the follower boards as a template to ensure the correct shape. Beginning to look like a hive at last!!

I have cut an opening into one side for the observation window. The window is perspex, sealed with wood adhesive and held in place with flat head pins through drilled holes in the perspex.

To save wood and for ease, I've decided to use the wood cut from the side to make the window opening to make the bulk of the window closer. It has an oversize cover over it to exclude all light and is hinged with slide bolts to hold it closed.  

Hive inverted showing the cut-out for the window back in place to provide insulation

Hive the right way up showing the window cover over the replaced cut-out
Detail of window cover, hinges and bolt latches. Follower boards are visible through the window

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