It seems we are just starting on beekeeping.
Down here we are using Top bar hive (sufisticated enough for us)
Bob Cole,Ann Harmman ,Scott stanly ,Nathan Emrey were here with us as volunteers.
And now Don Grogan is to be here in 2 days time.
Well maybe in ???? years we may catch up with you.
Beekeeping Extension is my concern
Catch up - You might bee ahead of us check out the TBH forum under the Equipment Section. A lot of us are trying TBH with positive results.
I have built several Top Bar Hives and will try another one in the spring, if not this fall. Some of use are begining to think that letting the bees do what they do may be the solution to a lot of problems we have.
Glad to see you could join us. As other have already stated, you are in a very good position.
If I might make a suggestion, I would use the form of top bar hive known as the Kenya Top Bar Hive. The sides are slanting, and allows the bees to build more natural shaped comb with less stress on the comb above. Since your area is expected to be very hot especially during the summer months, you will want to reduce the mechanical stress as much as possible on the wax combs. This shape with help reduce this mechanical stress. Also consider using a narrow hive, also for the same reasons, to reduce stress on the combs. Where there is heat, it is much better to have a higher number of top bars for each hive while reducing the size of each individual comb.
I live in south Florida, USA which is a subtropical region, and I have decided that due to the temperature in the summer months, that a top bar that measures 40cm ( 16 inches ) is a good measurement to start with. I am making the hive 25 cm deep ( 10 inches ), and making the hive long enough to support 35 top bars of 35mm ( 1 3/8 inches ) width. Experiments will show if this is a good design. Remember, a little smaller that ordinary is often better when tropical temperatures must be considered.
Scot Mc Pherson
"Linux is a Journey, not a Guided Tour" ~ Me