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  1. #21

    Default Re: a few questions about top bar hives.

    Why are you being so confrontational? Not everyone is handling bees to get honey or wax to sell. Some folks just want to raise bees and if honey comes, it's an extra.

    Mellow out, have some fun, it doesn't have to be a competition.

    Big Bear

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: a few questions about top bar hives.

    Quote Originally Posted by mythomane View Post
    -> "bees will start at the top and continue to build downwards"

    What did you think I meant when I stated that they move up? They move to the top.

    -> "My top bar hives this year have been more productive and easier to work than my framed/foundation and vertical hives."

    Well, good for you. You are extracting from comb in these top bar hives or crushing and straining? Are you figuring in this extra work? What is your honey production for a year in total on average? What is the comparison between these two hives in honey production? How long have you been keeping bees like this side by side? You say its easier? Because you don't have to lift a box?
    Prior to responding to your berating, have you ever kept bees using foundationless equipment, either horizontal or vertical?

    Cheers,
    Matt

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    dallas, tx, usa
    Posts
    515

    Default Re: a few questions about top bar hives.

    I do not understand why people can post opinions from Maine to Spain, but take umbrage when being asked to clarify. I am not interested in a debate. Apologize if I seemed "berating" or "confrontational." You go ahead and do what works for you.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default Re: a few questions about top bar hives.

    >1) How large a colony can a top bar hive sustain? I understand it is less than a langstrom, but is it half, 2/3, any ideas?

    From my experience and from looking at the information around the world on horizontal hives (which by the way are not and always have outnumbered vertical hives world wide all the way from Russian and Norway to the Middle East and Africa) the practical length seems to be no more than five feet long. You can make them wider and deeper but as you do they seem less inclined to move horizontally. It seems like the maximum practical volume is about equivalent to three ten frame Langstroth deeps. I can stack up Langstroth hives as high as I can reach with a ladder, but that doesn't mean they will use them...

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

    >2) Anyone in the Nebraska area with top bar hives might be able to help me with this one. Is there any advantage, disadvantage, suggestions on using a screened bottom on a top bar hive?

    IMO there is no advantage. If you close it off with a piece of coraplast or cardboard, then I think there is no disadvantage either. I have done both screened and solid.

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

    > I am thinking if one does used a screened bottom, it should have a solid board to fit in place for over-wintering purposes.

    I would put the board in all year 'round. If you leave it out in summer they may not be able to keep it cool.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarh...tm#ventilation

    3) Because top ba hives hold smaller colonies than Langstrom, is the colony at more risk of not surviving over-wintering due to less mass/bees to help?

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

    As for them being harder to work, I'd say they are MUCH easier to work all the way around. No lifting. Very few bees in the air. No boxes to worry about. No combs to store and protect from wax moths. No extractor to buy and store...

    As for bees not moving horizontally, obviously they do. Otherwise top bar hives and horizontal hives (the most popular design in the world now and throughout all of time according to Eva Crane from the far North to the tropics) would not work at all.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #25

    Default Re: a few questions about top bar hives.

    thank you Mr Bush.

    I appreciate your responses. After originally posting these questions, I have had time to research top bar hives in other forums as well as here and have come to many of the same conclusions as you espoused.

    One of these fine days, I will get my membership in to the Nebraska Beekepers Assn and may get to meet you in person.

    Big Bear

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