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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Calgary, Alberta, CA

    Default Re: Why's of Top Bar Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Maddox View Post
    - what am I missing?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Brewcat View Post
    Rhetoric? An opportunity to alienate fellow beekeepers? A chance to eschew critical thinking for stodgy parochialism?
    Given that Maddox has said he keeps both kinds of hives, the accusation of parochialism seems inappropriate.

    It is my observation that KTBH keepers become very defensive about any criticism of their hives, regardless of source or substance.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Moyock, NC, USA

    Default Re: Why's of Top Bar Hives

    I should have been more specific. Langs using frames with foundation. (which is the majority)

    Lang created the hive design to boost honey production. He tweaked different aspects of the natural process to do this. That is why there are so many interchangeable parts and pieces. In the woods, there is a hole in a rotten tree.
    In nature, the honey combs are not separated from the rest of the hive. Each comb will have brood in the middle honey on the edges. With that being true, honey supers on top are a manipulation of the natural process. Therefore other aspects of the hive are affected. Whether it is an opportunity or an ultimatum, making honey takes energy. There is only so much energy in the hive.
    By the way, top bars are extractable...You just have to use caution and flip them around a few times during the spinning extraction process. Re-using the combs will save work of course but it will also create opportunities for contamination.

    What is the deal with people saying you have to remove all the bars? That is not true...I can take any bar out of my TBH in any order with very little chance of squishing bees. As long as your comb isn't attached to the wall it should be fine.
    I have 1 1/2" inch bars on all so the combs below are more narrow. Maybe that is my advantage. I did not have any cross combing since the initial install.
    As far as a Lang being a TBH...That is lawyer talk. We only have so many descriptive words to use, if you combine them, I wouldn't know what to call it!!
    I have contemplated building "frames" instead of top bars for the advantages it would provide.
    Too lazy thus far though. I would just build a new hive that accepts all your frames, rather than using actual Lang boxes.

    One more tidbit on the sliding out the hive supers.... A filing cabinet.. With a little bit of interior sealing it would be possible to house each super in a drawer.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia

    Default Re: Why's of Top Bar Hives

    The brood area is three dimensional and tends to be in the center of the colony. Pure-honey stores are found near the edge, when the hive has accumulated enough honey to put them out there. Honey is also stored around the edge of the brood, presumably for "a quick grab" when some baby's cryin'. Sometimes the brood nest is at one end or the other. When you see pure-honey bars on the end, these are the ones you can consider taking.

    With TBHs you don't have separate supers and you also don't have a large space that you try to by various ways "encourage" the bees to fill up. They have a space that is of reasonable size and they grow into it, distributing the space therein however they please. They will tend to adopt natural patterns which are known and predictable.

    I've never felt that one "versus" the other was the proper way to look at it. I've had both; I vastly prefer TBHs. It certainly was nice to re-enter the beekeeping world by recycling weathered lumber for a total raw-materials cost of about $63.00 for three hives; that basically being the cost of carrying handles, a can of Thompson's Water Seal and a couple of brushes. Oh yeah, plus the cost of two packages which we were able to pick up locally.

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