Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Central KS
    Posts
    24

    Post

    I am new to this forum and have never heard of the TBH idea. I have a few question, first, do you super them or are they long hives and you add more top bars as you need them by removing a division board? Can you successfully extract? Do you use a queen excluder with this type of hive? Are the bees more or less prone to swarming with the TBH designs?
    Thanks in advance for any answers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Hiram, Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    731

    Post

    Your standard tbh is a long and is not supered, although Michael Bush and others I believe have versions that they do super. Otherwise the idea is exactly as you say with the division board. Extraction is not really practical, although I imagine with care and only using older combs, it might be possible. Certainly not in a commercial operation. Crush and strain is the standard method. I think swarming is a bit higher of a risk in a TBH because it can more easily become honeybound than a lang.

    A TBH is definitely more labor intensive and generally somewhat less productive per hive (although there are those who will dispute these points to an extent.) It's chief advantages are a significantly lower initial capital investment, simple construction (possibly from scrap wood), and oft-claimed health benefits of from the bees constantly being on newer, cleaner wax.
    It\'s people! Soylent Green is peeeeople!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,802

    Post

    >do you super them or are they long hives and you add more top bars as you need them by removing a division board?

    You could use a division board. I haven't. You can just harvest as the bees fill it up. You can also super them if you design them so that a super works on them. A Tanzanian Top Bar Hive (one with vertical sides) is easier to super. I made mine so a medium Langstroth frame fits in them.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

    >Can you successfully extract?

    Since I always need comb honey, I have not attempted it. But Betterbee now stocks an extractor specifically designed to extract top bar combs.

    > Do you use a queen excluder with this type of hive?

    I don't use a queen excluder with any type of hive. I do have a long hive designed so that a queen excluder can be slid into a groove vertically. But this was for queen rearing and two queen hives not for a typical long hive.

    > Are the bees more or less prone to swarming with the TBH designs?

    They will reach a point of needing intervention (which would be putting an empty bar in the middle of the brood nest) more quickly since they can only expand horizontally rather than in any diretion. An empty bar will cause more horizontal expansion. But a regular hive will also swarm if you don't keep room in the brood nest. So they either is just as likely to swarm.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Thornton Colorado
    Posts
    2,003

    Post

    <Darrel Wright>
    A TBH is definitely more labor intensive ...

    Interesting observation. Care to elaborate?

    I have never had bees before. I decided on TBHs because they seem like less work to me. Of course I'm in the middle of the learning curve and sometimes it feels like beekeeping will take up all of my time and then some no matter which type of hive I use.

    But, this is how I see it:

    I won't have frames. I don't see this as a problem because I will only have a couple of hives. I can see where frames are an advantage when the size of the operation gets large enough. I won't have to find someplace to store them for the winter. I won't have to worry about wax moths. I won't be compelled to extract.

    Crush and strain just seems so much easier than extracting on the scale I am. To me, having to peek into the hive and perhaps steal a honey comb more often doesn't seem like the work of going through extraction.

    Ok, so looking at my above two paragraphs, I don't want to deal with extraction yet and so see frames as adding work I don't want. Perhaps it is the type of work that is different.

    Anyway, I would like to see how an experienced beekeeper see a TBH as being more work.

    John
    JohnF INTP

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,802

    Post

    >>A TBH is definitely more labor intensive ...

    >Interesting observation. Care to elaborate?

    It's more complicated than that. A TBH requires more frequent intervention. In an outyard with Langstroth hives you can do a thorough spring inspection, an intevention to prevent them swarming in the middle of spring combined with throwing a lot of supers on and come back and harvest them and set them up for winter. That's three or four trips. A TBH would require you to add some bars two or three times to prevent swarming and harvest three or four times to keep room in the hive. The total amount of labor involved with the TBH will actually be less. But the number of times you have to get in the hive is more. If the hives are 60 miles away this is a huge issue. If the hives are in your backyard this is very nice because you can spread the work over more time.

    So I'd say a TBH requires less actual work, as in calories of output to move things around, since you don't have any supers to move to get to the brood nest. But requires more frequent work.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Thornton Colorado
    Posts
    2,003

    Post

    Aha!

    Thanks Michael. That makes sense. Having to hop into the truck and go somewhere would add another variable.

    I don't have that issue yet.
    JohnF INTP

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads