Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    18

    Post

    I plan to start up some tbh's next spring. I've been reading all I can find on the subject. I think this method of beekeeping may pose some interesting challenges in western Alberta, where I live. We have short, intense honey flows, and long winters. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone keeping tbh's in the northern latitudes. Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    Dennis (BWrangler) has them in Casper WY, which is probably about 7000 feet or so. I don't know where his bees are, they could be higher or lower, but the weather there is pretty extreme.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Moersch,

    I keep tbhs in an extreme northern environment. But if the climate keeps changing I'll have to revise that :&gt

    The season is short. The winters are long. Much wind. And the flows are few, short and intense.

    I've got a web page on the climate at:

    www.bwrangler.com/bee/wcli.htm

    And I've got some thoughts on differing tbh designs for different areas at:

    www.bwrangler.com/bee/tdes.htm

    Comb height is a common concern. My combs are taller than most. And I haven't had any trouble over wintering.

    Michael Bush runs medium depth long hives without any problems in eastern Nebraska. So, comb height might be less an over wintering factor than my experience indicates.

    I'd look at what the locals do when overwintering. Then, design a tbh that approximates that volume in as compact as space as possible. I've read that bees are overwintered in insulated singles and doubles in Alberta, much as others overwinter bees but without the added insulation.

    Keith Malone probably holds the record for northern tbh beekeeping. He tried tbh beekeeping in Anchorage, Alaska. His hives were built out of high density foam board. I don't think he still runs them as his focus is queen breeding.

    You can see a photo of his hives and a link to his website at:
    www.bwrangler.com/bee/ttbh.thm

    Regards
    Dennis

    [SIZE=1][ December 31, 2006, 12:03 AM: Message edited by: D. Murrell ][/SIZE]
    Last edited by D. Murrell; 11-07-2007 at 07:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    18

    Post

    Thanks for the info, guys. I've never had much trouble overwintering bees here in conventional hives- that is, until the mites arrived in the mid nineties. We get a lot of chinooks here (warm Pacific winds that drastically raise the temp for a few days or weeks at a time. So the bees get a lot of cleansing flights.
    Normally, after removing the insulation in spring, the bottom hive body is put on top, because it is usually vacated, or partially vacated, by the bees as they move to honey stores above during winter. This gives me the chance to clean the debris (dead bees, etc.) from the bottom box and the bottom board. The strongest hives usually beat me to it. But in not-so-strong hives, this bit of intervention seems to give them a lift. In a tbh, I can imagine this type of spring cleaning a little harder to do. A detachable bottom board may be the answer. Thoughts?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    Or just have a shorter box to put the combs in until half the combs are out and scoop the dead bees and debris out. Usually half the combs are empty so it's not hard to get half of them out to clean up.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Matanuska Valley, Alaska
    Posts
    5

    Post

    I winter mine in a hole dug into the earth like the old root cellars with just a pvc tube out the top for air. They ate in Takotna, Alaska. This is interior Alaska where we have had -52 F this winter already. Last winter we registered -62 with reports of minus 65. The hives are stored with two deeps and came out in May in great shape. The hole is approx 5' deep with timbers over the top and the dirt that was hand dug out of the "cellar" is piled back on top of tin which is laid over the timbers. We have from Mid May until August 1 for honey flow, if we are lucky.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ottawa Ontario Canada
    Posts
    28

    Post

    Have 3 tbhs going this winter in Ottawa. Cold but not as cold as some, but probably moister. Will report on outcomes this spring. All are 3 Lang box long, accomodate deep frames and were essentially full before harvest, so are overwintering with 20+ frames of comb. The hives are off the ground on legs with a windskirt and insulated sides and tops. Bottom removes for cleaning but next time around will do more layers to allow for an internal screen bottom and airtight external bottom removable for cleaning.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    18

    Post

    Hi Ottawa
    Please let me know how your bees make out. I haven't seen many postings from Canada.
    I'm familiar with your climate as I used to live there. Much, much more snow than here in Calgary.
    Take care
    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    Tim Hammond left a note on the top bar hive bmap.

    You can check out his location at www.bwrangler.com/bee/mt.htm

    Zoom in and look at the satellite views.

    He's working with a couple of top bar hives at Two Rivers, Alaska.

    That's the farthest north that I know of anyone with tbhs.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Last edited by D. Murrell; 11-07-2007 at 07:36 PM.

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