A couple of weeks ago I went through one of my ooold hives (not mine anymore)- we installed this thing in spring 2002 and have never treated it with chemicals and have had no mite or disease problems. It's booming (mostly brood at this point- the beekeepers say that last year it produced lots of bees and not as much honey as should be expected).

I got a photo from that session that I particularly like- and someone on this forum asked me for a photo of one of our urban TBH's.
http://girlmark.com/bees/top_bar_bee..._and_veils.JPG

feel free to use it for other websites or whatever.

Here my friends are going through it with our homemade veils and one homemade TBH hive tool (longer than normal, though you might not be able to tell in the photo). THe tool is made from a piece of scrap metal that's been pounded with the use of a bike-powered (for the blower) coal forge that we built a few years back (you dont' really need such a device to bend some metal, but it was fun) . We all eventually graduated to storebought smokers, but for a few years we built those too out of tall metal cans and homemade bellows made from 'pleather' scavenged from a purse or two found in the local trash.

ALso in the photo, we've removed about 4 or 5 combs already and put them into a nuc not visible here. That's the BACK of the hive they're working at, and it's mid-March. The hive box was FULL to within one or two combs, and we've had a 'bad winter' to boot.

It reminds me of the discussion a month or so ago where one Langstroth troll was saying we TBH'ers have slow buildup because of lack of foundation and Dennis was saying that he's observed quicker comb drawing without foundation under some circumstances. I think this hive falls under that latter rule.

Some of my friends and former beekeeping partners from when I first started, own several four-year-old hives now that have survived with no disease and no chemical treatments (and haven't had real losses to speak of either). I"m going to try and photograph the brood nests of these to see what cell size has had to do with it, though we didn't know about small cell until recently and so weren't intentionally regressing anything during that time.

Unfortunately, my first attempt at cell measurement photos of this boomer hive didn't turn out well.

I think we're also going to experiment with supering TBH's this year. Any suggestions?

[size="1"][ April 05, 2006, 12:51 AM: Message edited by: girl Mark ][/size]