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  1. #1
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    Default Design thb for cold climates

    Hi!

    I'm doing my diploma work on bee keeping. Basically, I'm looking for some feedback on hive design ideas. Survey on

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?s...kr1UgCPw_3d_3d

    ! link updated !

    I've become interested in horisontal hives, top bar ones and others due to the back-saving benefits ( none or little lifting). If you have experience from wintering one of these in cold climates (around 0 deg F), please let me know! Ideal volume, depth.. (trying to slim things down but am getting feedback for 16" depths.Very few have them in swe.. )

    Also, I'm interested in the general beekeepers atittude towards 'natural beekeeping' in the US... are there two inseparable camps with no way of joining the two? I'm kind of working on a 'merger' for hobby beekeeping with the benefits of both tb and frame hives. all comments welcome!


    Thanks!
    **
    first posted this under the 'biologic' thread first and cant figure out how to remove it, ah, well..**
    Last edited by Maja 82; 07-30-2009 at 03:41 PM. Reason: Edited link

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Hi, I'm glad someone else is looking at the tbh methodology, as to merging the lang method with natural beek, its interesting I saw a picture of an old foundation less lang frame, just has guides were the foundation goes now.
    This is my first year beekeeping but I have had the opportunity to work lang hives on a "farm" scale till I hurt my back this summer. From watching "my" hives (tbh) weather I really like the sloped sided type with the entrance holes on one long side in the center, it keeps water from soaking the floor of the hive and keeps most rain off even the walls letting the roof protect it. I'll have to see this winter how they fair since I'm in ontario Canada it can get cold here

    I liked the design in "barefoot beekeeping" so much that I used it (modified) to build all my hives I'll have to get some picys of the changes I'm so proud of and post em.

    Sam.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    I'm brand new to beekeeping, but I love answering questions and building up my post count , so I'll chime in on this one.

    No opinions on overwintering in topbars, because I have yet to see them through a winter. I do have trust in the topbar's ability to do so, though, since Michael Bush has done so quite well in a climate similar to mine.

    Regarding the "two camps" of thinking, my experience on these forums and in real life thus far has been shocking. I have noticed a tremendous either politeness or tolerance/acceptance from conventional beeks regarding natural beekeeping. I wonder if maybe CCD or a bit of a movement in the US in general towards organic is driving this? Or if hobby beeks tend to lean this way naturally?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    We had weeks of -20 celsius (-4 F ) and all my TBHs wintered fine and are doing great. My TBHs are mostly Bush design.
    Sig

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Quote Originally Posted by beenovice View Post
    We had weeks of -20 celsius (-4 F ) and all my TBHs wintered fine and are doing great. My TBHs are mostly Bush design.
    Excellent! like these?

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

    so.. shallow ones, straight edges,or am i getting it wrong? any chance you have pics of 'em?


    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Quote Originally Posted by luvin honey View Post
    Regarding the "two camps" of thinking, my experience on these forums and in real life thus far has been shocking. I have noticed a tremendous either politeness or tolerance/acceptance from conventional beeks regarding natural beekeeping. I wonder if maybe CCD or a bit of a movement in the US in general towards organic is driving this? Or if hobby beeks tend to lean this way naturally?
    Hi!

    Interesting. The reason I'm asking, obviously, is there seem to be a general skepticism amongst the conventionalists over here who think it just doesn't work and is a laborious waste of time, - maybe due to the fact there are very few, if any, who keep TBs who can argue otherwise.

    Also, I find it hard to get any opinions on ideas from 'the other camp'. My guess is it could have to do with me ´representing capitalism´ ( which I'm not, but you get my point. )Some seem to argue that DIY is the only way to go, and that sprotuing ideas for production, even if small scale and locally produced, is an evil thing to do. I tend to believe there's a gray scale. ( The more who open up their minds to alternative ways of thinking, the better, even if it means compromising ever so slightly with Buying things rather than making them yourself. there are better and worse production methods.)

    Read a debate on the natual beekeeping forum with similar content that scared me a bit. anyway, interesting discourse.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Smith View Post
    I liked the design in "barefoot beekeeping" so much that I used it (modified) to build all my hives I'll have to get some picys of the changes I'm so proud of and post em.

    Sam.
    Happy for you. Do post em!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Quote Originally Posted by luvin honey View Post
    I wonder if maybe CCD or a bit of a movement in the US in general towards organic is driving this? Or if hobby beeks tend to lean this way naturally?
    Was thinking about that too. The natural tendency is fair enough i think,
    but also, they just seem to kinda do what the others are doing. The associations and little social groups of people teaching each other i think have a strong influence when you start beekeeping.

    CCD, definitely. A mess of infected agricultural issues, it must have affected public opinions. Two things- When it comes to pesticides, the nicotine ones were banned in some EU- counrties, which might have cooled of the debate - no need for alternate methods is all is working well. ( Not in britain though, British beekeepers are well pissed off, the association seems to have been bought to endorse the chemicals from looking at their forum previously. The post have now been removed.)

    http://www.biobees.com/british_beekeeping/
    http://www.britishbee.org.uk/

    With that logic, natural beekeeping should be booming in britain any minute now..

    Secondly In Europe, i think there are a lot more small scale / medium sized farms. The differance between big and small interests and the methods they use, aren't as huge as in the US, -yet.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Quote Originally Posted by Maja 82 View Post
    Hi!

    Interesting. The reason I'm asking, obviously, is there seem to be a general skepticism amongst the conventionalists over here who think it just doesn't work and is a laborious waste of time, - maybe due to the fact there are very few, if any, who keep TBs who can argue otherwise.

    Also, I find it hard to get any opinions on ideas from 'the other camp'. My guess is it could have to do with me ´representing capitalism´ ( which I'm not, but you get my point. )Some seem to argue that DIY is the only way to go, and that sprotuing ideas for production, even if small scale and locally produced, is an evil thing to do. I tend to believe there's a gray scale. ( The more who open up their minds to alternative ways of thinking, the better, even if it means compromising ever so slightly with Buying things rather than making them yourself. there are better and worse production methods.)

    Read a debate on the natual beekeeping forum with similar content that scared me a bit. anyway, interesting discourse.
    I could be misreading it since I'm always in the organic, topbar and general forums , not much in the commercial/pollination services forums. So, I guess my sampling is skewed.

    I'm just saying that in many conversations with beeks online, my friends and acquaintances, and others at my association meeting, people were at least polite about the idea of topbars and "organic". It could be mere politeness and not an actual acceptance. OTOH, as an organic food grower, I'm more accustomed to the downright sneering of some conventional farmers and was pleasantly surprised to not experience as much of that here. At the risk of fawning, I would have to say that some beeks such as Ross Conrad and Michael Bush have done a tremendous lot to give this way of beekeeping legitimacy. I hope to beekeep in a way to add to that respect and legitimacy.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Quote Originally Posted by luvin honey View Post
    I could be misreading it since I'm always in the organic, topbar and general forums , not much in the commercial/pollination services forums. So, I guess my sampling is skewed.

    I'm just saying that in many conversations with beeks online, my friends and acquaintances, and others at my association meeting, people were at least polite about the idea of topbars and "organic". It could be mere politeness and not an actual acceptance. OTOH, as an organic food grower, I'm more accustomed to the downright sneering of some conventional farmers and was pleasantly surprised to not experience as much of that here. At the risk of fawning, I would have to say that some beeks such as Ross Conrad and Michael Bush have done a tremendous lot to give this way of beekeeping legitimacy. I hope to beekeep in a way to add to that respect and legitimacy.
    Ah. Yes, I was surprised too that all kinds actually seem to get along here.
    I definitely see your point. Seems sometimes the hardcore beeks give the other camp a hard time though aswell, might add to the fire

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Quote Originally Posted by Maja 82 View Post
    Excellent! like these?

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

    so.. shallow ones, straight edges,or am i getting it wrong? any chance you have pics of 'em?


    Thanks!
    Like these ... Kenyan design

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

    P.S.
    You should edit your first post. Link is not working
    Sig

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    thanks,
    fixed it!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Quote Originally Posted by luvin honey View Post
    I'm just saying that in many conversations with beeks online, my friends and acquaintances, and others at my association meeting, people were at least polite about the idea of topbars and "organic". It could be mere politeness and not an actual acceptance. OTOH, as an organic food grower, I'm more accustomed to the downright sneering of some conventional farmers and was pleasantly surprised to not experience as much of that here. At the risk of fawning, I would have to say that some beeks such as Ross Conrad and Michael Bush have done a tremendous lot to give this way of beekeeping legitimacy. I hope to beekeep in a way to add to that respect and legitimacy.
    I would have to agree with this, I know several beekeepers and they all are polite but totally dismissive of the tbh idea, I am planning this to be a small business for myself growing and selling my own honey, and I believe that tbh can be at least as viable on a business scale as the lang, some things have to be changed obviously but that just means being creative

    Sam.

    p.s. pictures coming soon, so busy is crazy!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    I was under the impression that bees moved easier in the vertical rather then horizontal. This is also proved in nature whereas the bee colony is built vertical father then horizontal and includes about 8 combs. So, in cold climates, especially, I would suggest you build a vertical TBH.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGreenThumb View Post
    I was under the impression that bees moved easier in the vertical rather then horizontal. This is also proved in nature whereas the bee colony is built vertical father then horizontal and includes about 8 combs. So, in cold climates, especially, I would suggest you build a vertical TBH.
    And this is why some professionals are down on TBH. Because The Lady tends to climb up for laying, production is limited many times and the pros are interested in production for honey/money purposes. But the capital outlay for such is prohibitive to the hobbyist and the simplicity of TBH is available to all. What I've discovered is the difficulty of behavior and knowledge of bees while using the TBH, as there is not much written about them. Application of such knowledge and experience applied to TBH is what we here are stumbling around to get in this craft. That is why Michael Bush is a great resource.
    IOW, thanks, Michael!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGreenThumb View Post
    I was under the impression that bees moved easier in the vertical rather then horizontal. This is also proved in nature whereas the bee colony is built vertical father then horizontal and includes about 8 combs. So, in cold climates, especially, I would suggest you build a vertical TBH.
    I quite sincerely ask if bees also build horizontally in nature. I'm thinking of fallen trees, or times they have built between barn rafters, etc.

    As far as temp regulation, it would seem easier to maintain heat in a horizontal space rather than vertical...

    So much to learn!

    ETA: As far as ease of movement for the queen, I'm a first-year beek, but I am still impressed with my one hive (both from 3-lb Italian packages) building up to a 26-bar broodnest. The other build to about 25, swarmed, pounded in the honey, was split and still has around 20 bars of brood. I don't know if this is good or bad, but it surely doesn't make me think the queen is having difficulty maneuvering around horizontal bars versus vertical.
    Last edited by luvin honey; 08-01-2009 at 10:11 AM. Reason: adding one more comment

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Design thb for cold climates

    Quote Originally Posted by luvin honey View Post
    As far as temp regulation, it would seem easier to maintain heat in a horizontal space rather than vertical...
    I don't see how it would make a lot of difference since they don't warm their whole space just the cluster, I could see how it would change the way they cool and dehumidify their hive though I saw a picture of a feral nest in a rusty gas tank from a car so I guess as long as its sheltered from sun/wind/rain ect. and they can cool it and its big enough


    Sam.

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