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Thread: top bar hives?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
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    Default top bar hives?

    of course I never had one but I have a question, why a top bar hive? whats the advantage of managing one over a langstroth hive? how are they at raising cells? why do so many have top bar hives, is it just to have one? just wondering what the advantage or is it just raising bee's kinda the old fashion way? just wondering why some have more top bars than langstroth hives? maybe its the person I dont know...
    Ted

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    San Jose CA
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    Default

    Go to the Top Bar Forum and read the threads there.

    These issues have been covered numerous times.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2007
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    Slovenia
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    Default

    The biggest advantage that I can see is that bees are much calmer in top bar hive since when you open it you don't expose so much bees as with langs. I have both but I like TBHs more.
    Sig

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#ktbh

    "The object of a Top Bar Hive (TBH) is to be easy and cheap to construct, easy to work and having natural sized cells."

    You never have to lift a heavy box.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
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    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    Default

    Cheap to build. That's what I have. And for starting out its a great way to get started. I think I spent 30 bucks. Not including bees. I have built and bought lang equip all year long, so I am ready for next year with "standard" equip. So next year I will be able to compare the differance in the 2. But I like my 2 tbh's alot.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  6. #6
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    Default

    the picture I get is they are cheap to build and easy to work, they are more for someone wanting a few hives to keep bee's in the back yard, not for going sideline or small commercial, thanks for the your answers. I just always wondered
    Ted

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Default

    Ted,
    I think as with many things, it has to be fun. I make all types of hives for the thrill, the experience, and the challenge. Sure they can be made cheap, but it was not my reasoning. And they can allow pure non-foundation and uncontaminated comb to be harvested, but you can do that many different ways in a standard hive. I also have a TBH using a "trench" style hive made out of deep hive bodies, so even the cost of additional equipment is not needed for those already having standard equipment on hand.

    I started TBH's more along the lines of wanting to study cell size. It has shown me that bees prefer a host of different sizes, with most being above 4.9 in the brood chamber, no matter the type bees or the times I replace comb and try to naturally regress them down. Makes me wonder how natural it is for those forcing bees onto smallcell all the while claiming any other cell size foundation as "un-natural" or "less natural".

    TBH's are a focal point for those visiting the farm. They are interesting, fun, and the bees seem to be always calm. I have opened mine numerous times with 25 to 30 people standing around, and never has anyone ever been bitten.

    For me, when the day comes that no more expansion will happen, when no more interesting little projects are worth playing around with, .....that's the day it will become "work".

    You don't stop playing because you grow old....you grow old because you stop playing!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    morehead city, nc, usa
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    Default

    Raising bees on "bars" is not a new idea...goes back a long way. But the reason for it's revival in the modern age is that the Peace Corp introduced it to developing countries as a cheap way to start some sort of self-sufficiency.
    People familiar with these projects brought the technique home, saw the advantages, and here we are.

    I have read recently that countries using the TBH are now being encouraged to abandon them and go to Langstroths as the only way to be commercially successfull. Of course, this is the same argument that keeps alternative hives out of the marketplace here in the U.S.

    I'll agree that developing countries should "go for it" if there is a market to be made, but most backyard beekeepers don't need to strive for commercial scale production and should at least investigate alternative hive designs which might suit them better.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    El Dorado County, CA
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    Default

    [QUOTE=BjornBee;351618]
    TBH's are a focal point for those visiting the farm. They are interesting, fun, and the bees seem to be always calm. I have opened mine numerous times with 25 to 30 people standing around, and never has anyone ever been bitten.

    that's because bees can't bite. though they can sting if they have the notion
    all that is gold does not glitter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Default

    I stand by my comment...."Never has anyone ever been bitten". It's true. Its my story. And I'm sticking to it.

    I saw a hillarious scene from that 70's show.

    Hyde was standing around not ordering from a food vendor while giving him some lip. The vendor said "I did not lose a leg in Nam to take crap from someone like you".

    Hyde looks down, and says. "What are talking about man? You got both your legs."

    The vendor said.... "As I said...I did not lose a leg in Nam to take crap from someone like you!

    Its all how you read it...

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