Hi all --
I am helping out with our Maryland, USA beekeeper association newsletter, and I was hoping to talk to a beekeeper in Maryland who might be using (or have used) top bar hives. It would be great to learn, on a local level, about this approach and any hints that might apply to our area (like overwintering, etc).
I am in Washington county and have 3 top bar hives. I have only taken them through one winter though.
Hi there --
Sorry you did not hear from me sooner -- had travel come up, and I should have checked in before this!
First of all, would it be OK to contact you via either email or phone, or would you have a preference. My goal here is just to do a little article for our local club, the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association (http://www.montgomerycountybeekeepers.com/) about top bar hives. It would have two parts, basically "what is a top bar hive" and then I would like to ask you questions about management differences in our area:
a) do you/how do you extract? any idea how yields compare?
b) is pest (like varroa, etc.) management different in terms of how you treat or what you need to treat?
c) When wintering over, are there any special steps you take, or do the population dynamics in the hive vary much from other types of hives -- like how does the cluster form, how do they move to take advantage of winter stores, and so on.
d) do the bee inspectors have much to offer you in managing these hives? what other resources are available to you to solve problems, if there are any problems particular to TBHs.
I could think of more, but maybe you should have a chance to shake your head and send me on my way instead.
Once again, I don't want to bother you except in the way you find convenient (like email vs. phone) or on subjects that would interest you!