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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    150

    Default Selling top bar nucs?

    I ve got top bar hives, and plan on splitting this spring to increase numbers as much as I can. I also started selling top bar hives last year. ( No bees) My question to you folks is do you think there would be a market for top bar nucs? I know that someone would have to purchase one of my hives for the nuc to fit, but it seemed like most of the people who bought a top bar hive from me last spring, also wanted bees. For you new top bar beeks out there, is this something you would have liked? Or was the satisfaction of building your own top bar more important? Just wondering if I should stick to selling the hives and honey and not expand into the top bar nuc business?

    topbarhiveguy.com
    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,595

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    If you had nucs available and ready to install it would probably make your hives more salable. If you were willing to buy back the nuc box it would help people get started with less total investment. You should try it.
    5Y-25H-T-Z6b-0 winter losses in '14

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    762

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    .

    Yes, I'm going to attempt to do splits this spring/summer also in order to satisfy all the requests
    I get for bees along with the hives I sell. I happen to believe top bar nucs are more of a rarity/specialty than
    Lang nucs and can perhaps bring more of a premium.

    Not only do I want to do splits to satisfy customer requests, but also to make my small outfit self-sustainable.

    "The Sustainable Apiary by Mike Palmer" on YouTube



    www.youtube.com/watch?v=nznzpiWEI8A
    Last edited by PatBeek; 01-28-2014 at 09:17 AM.
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Lizard Creek, Louisiana
    Posts
    233

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    [QUOTE=PatBeek;1050910].

    Yes, I'm going to attempt to do splits this spring/summer also in order to satisfy all the requests
    I get for bees along with the hives I sell. I happen to believe top bar nucs are more of a rarity/specialty than
    Lang nucs and can perhaps bring more of a premium.

    Not only do I want to do splits to satisfy customer requests, but also to make my small outfit self-sustainable.



    Need my shipping address:}

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    I sell dozens of them here in Portland, Oregon. Dozens, only because I don't have enough hives to do more.

    Best,
    Matt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    762

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cacklewack View Post
    I sell dozens of them here in Portland, Oregon. Dozens, only because I don't have enough hives to do more.

    Best,
    Matt
    Matt,

    the interview Craig did with you a couple of years ago on his podcast was excellent:

    http://media.blubrry.com/somdbk/p/tr...2011-11-22.mp3

    or

    http://somdbeekeeper.com/page/2/

    .
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    Thanks, PatBeek!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    >My question to you folks is do you think there would be a market for top bar nucs?

    Yes, I think there is. You would have to raise them in a narrow enough hive that it would fit most anyones top bar hive, with bars the hang too far over, so it's wide enough to fit as well. But I think it could be done and I think there is a market.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    That's the difficulty, of course. Bars/combs that fit the majority of the customer's hives. Many in the Portland metro area use hives made by us, so they obviously fit. Some of them build their hives with the Biobees.com plans, which ours also fit. It gets harder when they're using other plans, bar lengths, depths, etc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    762

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    .

    I consider 17" the standard length. Even if it varies a half/whole inch either way, it's not the end of the world......well, a WHOLE inch bigger with comb built on it could be an issue going into a slightly smaller hive. It just depends.

    But aside from my weird barrel hives (which are 24" long bars), I use 17" in my nucs and hives.


    .
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    I second Michael's comment. I bought a top bar nuc last year (proving there is a market). The man who sold it to me had nucs that were approximate 17" wide at the top, about 5 or 6" inches wide at the bottom. Sorry, I don't remember the height, but I might say about 9 inches high. Smaller nucs ensure that the comb should fit into almost anyone's TBH. When I placed my order, I had to specify bar length (20" for me). When I got the nuc, the bars overlapped the top more than you'd normally see in a hive. Actually, when I got it, the bars had been cut to 23", so I ended up having to cut off the ends, but no biggie. It was an easy and painless process that took about a minute to do thanks to the advice I got here on Beesource.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    762

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    Any slight alteration needed to be done to a top bar nuc in order to fit (if at all) would be infinitely
    more simple than manipulating a Lang nuc into a top bar hive.
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    Thanks guys. I never thought of cutting comb to make one fit in a smaller size top bar. Kind of a brain dump on my part. Thanks for the suggestion!
    Matt

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    Been thinking about TBH nucs as well. My bars are 17". I find both 17" and 19" top bar hives pretty common around here. So, I intend to use nuc bars that are 19" long and notched at 1 inch in from each end so the can easily be cut down to 17" by someone who wants shorter.

    The 19" means I can easily hang them in my langs to get some comb going and I'm thinking the 19" length would also allow me to sell them in a Jester EZ nuc with an insert \_/

    I figure a $15 deposit on the nuc box would more than cover my cost.

    I am a little concerned about comb collapse with nucs.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    Shaking packages is also an option. This way it doesn't matter which type or size hive they go in.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    If I were doing it, I wouldn't go less than 19" for sure. 24" seems like a good plan to cover every possible size for a top bar. Then the box should be at the small end of the possibilities, so maybe just 12" at the top with steep sides? One of these days maybe I'll get time to do this...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    My bars are 17.5" long but I am changing them to 19.5" but the wedge part is staying the same. I made a new nuc out of 2X boards instead of 1X and had to trim the bottoms off my combs to put them in. Went really quick with a sharp knife. I think having to trim all three sides would not be much fun, more along the lines of a chop n crop from a Lang nuc, so I would try to keep the cavity on the smaller side as others have mentioned. You might try a poll to see what width and depth of the hive body most are running. Or to find out what the smallest is.
    2 yrs - 2 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Lizard Creek, Louisiana
    Posts
    233

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen O. View Post
    My bars are 17.5" long but I am changing them to 19.5" but the wedge part is staying the same. I made a new nuc out of 2X boards instead of 1X and had to trim the bottoms off my combs to put them in. Went really quick with a sharp knife. I think having to trim all three sides would not be much fun, more along the lines of a chop n crop from a Lang nuc, so I would try to keep the cavity on the smaller side as others have mentioned. You might try a poll to see what width and depth of the hive body most are running. Or to find out what the smallest is.
    Pictures PLEASE:}?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Austin, Texas, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    Three thoughts:
    1) Are these for local pickup only? Wouldn't TB comb colapse if shipped?
    2) If you sold bars that fit perfectly in your own hives, you'd be forcing people to buy your hives--which is both brilliant and limiting.
    3) Is there a way to offer a variety of lengths? --Like have bees build on 20" and then cut to order?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Selling top bar nucs?

    Local pickup only. The lang nucs I've seen are local pickup as well. Even so, comb collapse could be a concern during vehicle transport. I was discussing this a few times with one of the large bee breeders in our area and we've thrown around a few ideas, one of which was to drill and insert a few bamboo skewers down through the center of bars to be freshly drawn.

    I think they've got the best idea with a smallish hive body and resulting comb and long bar that could be trimmed to fit.

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