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Thread: stupid question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    sc
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    Big Grin

    this maybe be a stupid question, --but here goes.... what in the world IS a top bar hive??? Anyone with patience please answer 'cause i'd really like to know. Thanks for putt [img]tongue.gif[/img] ing up with me .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
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    1,848

    Post

    Just go up to the top of the page and click on "search", type top bar hives and get lots of good, no excellent information on the top bar hives. Hope this helps.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
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    1,487

    Post

    Hey Stinger

    Here's some pictures of a top bar hive.
    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/dn4911/my_photos

    Check the profiles of any of the frequent posters, and you can see some really good pictures:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
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    Post

    Hi Stinger,

    They are basically the same kind of hives that Rev. Langstroth used before he discoved the beespace and invented the standard kind of hives we use today. They have movable combs rather than movable frames. So the combs are much more fragile to handle. And some comb attachments must be cut to work a tbh.

    But they have lots of advantages also. Check out:

    http://wind.prohosting.com/tbhguy/b.htm

    Regards
    Dennis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    Another one bites the dust!!!!!
    WARNING once you go down this path there is no turning back, not even Luke himself and the force can resist the TBH!!!!!
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    24

    Post

    Wow Dennis-

    I had been considering building my next thbs shallower, narrower & longer than my first (based on your design) but after reading your musings on Joe's feral hive you have given me alot to think about. Thank you for such an interesting & educational website. MIKI - you are right about not being able to turn back!

    Alethea

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    803

    Post

    Hi Alethea,

    All my comb observations have been from hives that experience a northern winter. I've been watching what Scott is doing in Florida. Many of his published observations concerning bee behavior are about the same as mine, except they prepare for a summer dearth about the same way they prepare for winter here.

    What would the bees do in a Ca climate? Would a shallower hive be better there? I don't know. What do you think? I've got a few shallower designs. They might work for you. See:

    http://bwrangler.com/bee/tmyt.htm

    I've found tbhs are alot easier to manage after the second year :&gt The comb is much stronger and this beekeeper is a whole lot smarter.:&gt))

    Tbh's have sure hooked me. I almost stopped keeping bees after 35 years of commercial beekeeping. Then small cell caught my attention. After 5 years with small cell, I almost stopped keeping bees again. But I've been able to keep going with the tbhs. It seems that I'll eventually settle on about 3 to 5 tbhs.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Last edited by BWrangler; 11-07-2007 at 07:11 PM.
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee. It's only natural.
    http://talkingstick.me/bees/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    I think the fun is mostly because they are foundationless, and 2ndly because you really get to design the hive yourself (with adrenaline rushes of risk of failure involved). I have considered getting a lang again and going foundationless with it to compare the differences of vertical vs. horizontal hives when foundationless.

    Dennis you might be with me on this? I think its interesting to think about.

    Anyway my operation is growing too fast for me to afford, and all my proceeds my wife wants deposited into our bank account, not the bee account, which she doesn't understand each dollar so far has been a 1/10 investment in one year. 1 dollar making 10 over 1 year, but alas that doesn't get understood. I just do what she asks and then I withdraw the money I need for lumber and supplies when I do bee jobs and splits, then remind her how much honey (money) a single mature hive produced in just a 6 weeks citrus season this spring.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Also, I need to replant clover in the neighborhood seeing as how we moved the year after I seeded my old neighborhood, ugh....Lots of donor clover around, I just gotta get to it while the flowers are drying.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    Scot, you collect your own clover seed? How?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    803

    Post

    Hi Scot and Everyone,

    I have planned to do a three story foundationless hive for several years but just haven't done it yet.

    I have sold all of my extra bee stuff to prepare for a move to Florida. So I don't have any extra empty frames. They are all filled with small cell comb.

    I have been hoping someone else would do the test.

    Regards
    Dennis
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee. It's only natural.
    http://talkingstick.me/bees/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    24

    Post

    Hi -

    Dennis, thanks for the link. I've noticed that the bees build the comb deep before they build out the width of the top bar which frustrates me because it seems so delicate - that is why I was thinking shallower. How does a straight sided tbh compare with a sloped one? do the bees tend to attach to the sides more? One of the designs I was contemplating was a log hive w/ top bars that matched the width of lang frames, maybe a little deeper than a deep. I'll let you guys know how they work out...

    Alethea

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Alethea,

    I've tried hives with slopes between 22.5 and 8 degrees off vertical. I couldn't see any difference in comb attachments. The bees don't seem to care.

    But a hive with some slope is easier on the beekeeper as the clearance between the comb and the sidewall increase as a comb is removed.

    In a square hive, the clearance stays the same and the beekeeper must be more careful when withdrawning a comb, as the comb attachments on the lower part of the comb can hang on those above it.

    I think an optimum hive would be hive like my combo hive with deeper frames. They make some hives like that in parts of Europe.

    Will be interesting to hear your report.

    Regards
    Dennis

    Regards
    Dennis

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    chemistbert,
    Its easy, collect the heads when the top part of the flower head finally feints and browns. Just cut the head off. In a good field, an hour's worth of work can yeild enough seed to sow a good acre.

    After you have collected the heads, let them dry in a cardboard box and just sprinkle the seeds as you walk by smashing the dried head between your thumb and fingers. The seed itself is VERY durable and tiny and won't be hurt by this at all.

    You don't need to sow very thickly, clover also propogates by splitting. Getting one good plant to grow per square foot will yeild as much nectar load as 12 plants per sq foot. They spread a lot like strawberries do, but a lot quicker if conditions are right like they where I live in florida if it rains enough for them to not dry up.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

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