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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    santa cruz, california
    Posts
    31

    Post

    How do you harvest honey from the free hanging top bars? Do you have to crush the comb?

    If yes, is there foundation that supports small cell?

    When one has a hive of top bar design, how many top bars typically to a hive and do the bees automatically vary the cell size and produce drone and honey storage cells on the outside "frames" of the hive? Do bees enter this style of hive in similar fashion to traditional hives?

    IN top bar hives, is there just one level, or do you have multiple levels, like brood supers, and honey supers?

    Has anyone here successfullly overwintered in small cell tbh over 4 years without treating for mites either w/biological or chemical methods?

    Oh yes and finally, when a swarm comes to you - any ideas what percentage are africanized and what percent hybrids? Or what percent are naturalized, that is they've degressed to more "native" acting bees? (tee hee, maybe the 3 swarms that have moved into my empty and in terrible shape hives are my swarms that left last summer from their bad beekeeping mom home?)

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
    Palikaji in Santa Cruz.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,651

    Post

    >How do you harvest honey from the free hanging top bars? Do you have to crush the comb?

    I crush and strain and I make cut comb.

    >If yes, is there foundation that supports small cell?

    It's a top bar hive. You don't need any foundation. I'd just make a comb guide. Either the wooden strip or a wooden bevel. The bees will build small cells on their own.

    >When one has a hive of top bar design, how many top bars typically to a hive

    Mine are all about 33 bars. Mine are 48 3/4" long.

    >do the bees automatically vary the cell size and produce drone and honey storage cells on the outside "frames" of the hive?

    Bees do what they want. They build larger cells for drones and larger cells for honey storage usually. But they also store honey on old drone cells and old brood cells.

    >Do bees enter this style of hive in similar fashion to traditional hives?

    They enter wherever you let them. I just set the front bar back 3/8" and let them go in there.

    >IN top bar hives, is there just one level

    Thats how all of mine are. That's part of what's wonderful about them. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    > or do you have multiple levels

    I sometimes put a regular super on them, but usually I run them all one level.

    >Has anyone here successfullly overwintered in small cell tbh over 4 years without treating for mites either w/biological or chemical methods?

    I'm not at 4 years yet with top bars, but I've overwintered long hives for a few winters and top bar hives last winter. Oure winters are -10 F for a few weeks every winter and on accasional -20 for a night.

    >Oh yes and finally, when a swarm comes to you - any ideas what percentage are africanized and what percent hybrids?

    The only suspected African bees I've had came in a package from Texas. [img]smile.gif[/img] Don't have any around here.

    >Or what percent are naturalized, that is they've degressed to more "native" acting bees?

    My guess is a lot of naturally regressed bees are destroyed as African all the time because they just look at the size and make their judgment.

    If they are AHB it will be obvious when they turn mean. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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