View Full Version : TBH wintering capabilities
03-03-2005, 07:43 PM
A question for you experienced TBH beekeepers. If you were to build one,what would be the optimim size for wintering where the low temps avg 15 degrees but can dip occasionally to minus 20. Is the TBH a possibility in such a climate?
You just have to research the TBH web sites pick a design you are comfortable with and give it a try. Topbarguy is in Wyoming, Mike Bush is in Nebraska and I am in south Germany. I don't know what thier lows are like but they have made it thru a few winters with TBH's. I am going thru my first with lows of -1 and -2 degree days so far can still hear a roar when I bang on the side. My only fear is this winter will be a long one. They can survive the cold only as long as they have stores.
03-06-2005, 12:43 PM
I have two top bar hives in a climate that meets that description right now. Occasional -20F a few weeks of -10F and most of the winter closer to the 15 F mark.
Mine are both doing well. I have had bees in horizontal hives several winters now and they have done just as well as the vertical hives.
03-06-2005, 04:42 PM
Hi Late Bee
Well you won't go wrong following Dennis' ideas, or Michaels. I had three and am down to one. Opened up one of the dead ones today, it was packed full of honey, delicious stuff. I will be doing a post mortem in the next few weeks. But they sure didn't starve. Maybe they just absconded. The one that survived is the one I took pictures of and sent to Dennis, he has some on his web site or you can see it on mine. I will try to figure out all of the different dimensions, but not sure if that is the reason for failure. I did not put any insulation over the top bars so that may be part of the trouble.
I got a healthy strong gang buster. 1st winter in a TBH came thru no problem. No treatments at all, it was a swarm given to me last june by a local guy. I put a huge chunk of fondant in the bottom last fall there was a piece the size of my finger when I opened it today. They had 8 full frames of stores going in I think the fondant was the trick, they could feed when they could break cluster. and NO fall treatment!!!!
03-18-2005, 08:45 AM
I lost one of my tbhs, this winter, due to a late fall queen failure. A late summer/early fall inspection would have allowed me time to correct the problem. But I didn't want to mess around with all the new, heavy comb so late in the year.
This could be a management problem when establishing a tbh the first year. Late summer broodnest inspections can be more difficult. And the a young, productive queen should be used when establishing the tbh. If in doubt, then the queen should be replaced during mid-summer while the combs are still light and easy to work with.