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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Columbia, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    I am a first year beekeeper and a KTBH beekeeper. I was asked to share my experiences with KTBHs with my bee club.

    I've included the link to the presentation so if you want to use it by all means, go ahead.

    Most all of the clear pictures are of my hives and the ones which are not as sharp are ones I downloaded from the internet. There are mistakes I know, but I tried not to make many. Like the picture with the bread knife is stuck too far into the brace comb (I had to do this to hold the knife as I took the pictures myself).

    I also brought in a new KTBH as a display model for people to handle. It was well received especially as there were only three of us in the entire club who had experience with KTBHs. I had never met these two guys before so it was nice to become contacts for each other. I had several people ask if they could come by my place and take a look...which I'm glad to oblige.

    I used info from Michael Bush's website, so thank you sir for all your wonderful resources! I have my notes from the presentation, so if this would help someone, I'd be glad to share this as well.

    Here's the link to the Prezi website where the presentation is accessible. Hope you like it; I had fun creating it...

    http://prezi.com/zoktonzgoeze/kenya-top-bar-hive-ktbh/
    Jack

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,659

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    Nice presentation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    That looks good, Jack. We (Greg & I) gave a similar presentation to our bee club earlier this week and it went over very well.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    Super cool presentation. More cons than pros. Dont know why anybody would run these.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,406

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    Quote Originally Posted by Skinner Apiaries View Post
    Dont know why anybody would run these.
    Because it is fun to try new things.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    Don't know why anyone who doesn't run them would feel the need to make a comment like that.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    well because new beeks do dumb things. Very dumb things. because pesticide will never make it in my hive nope, Im all organic, and every flower in 50 miles has never seen pesticide. My point is TBH's are pollyanna specials. You think you're making some great leap to good organic blah blah blah, and you're really setting the bees up for more problems and harder management as well as making it harder for you the beekeeper to see any profit whatsoever. People will dump pkgs on foundation-less without feeding them thinking its a great idea, and one local here with a tbh didnt even take the cork out of the queen cage. It's noobie stuff, and noobies need to be aware with how fraught with disillusionment and disappointment the managing of one is. Now, since you pointed that out without actually knowing what I have and haven't done, steve, fact is I've run several log gums, all very spectacularly unsuccessfully. Now, if someone said Im going to run a small cell langstroth, Id say good genetics can give you all those benefits without all the trouble that small cell brings with it. Fact is, a well mated queen is going to have a fun time getting into small cell, but that's usually not a problem with commercial queens, as they aren't all as well bred.

    As to it's fun to try new things, I agree, I have some hobby pigs that are never going to make me any money, but I enjoy watching them tear thru the dirt. I digress, sure if youre just doing one for the heck of it go to it, but as to the rest of that chem free mumbo jumbo, small cell top bar will not save you. Good genetics is the only solution there. And if you just have a couple the no treatment thing is probably going to disappoint. No treatment is good on a selection kill breeding platform, where you have say, 100 hives and want to kill 98 of them by not treating. Anyways, that's my .99 cents of opinion, experience, and disappointment with all of the above. Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    Wow. I have met Jack. And I know how far he has come in a short time. And I don't think TBHs are the "answer" to everything. I am just surprised sometimes at the lack of tact some people use. I wasn't doubting your experience and expertise...maybe just your people skills.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    I would agree with that

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    Beeks can do stupid things no matter what kind of hive we're using, and it's not only new beeks who make mistakes. I use TBHs, and am also into that "chem free mumbo jumbo," as you put it. There isn't one right way to keep bees, and I'm doing what works the best with my mindset and attitude toward bees.

    You said good genetics is the only solution re: small cell top bar? Do I understand you correctly? Are you saying you are NOT working toward good genetics?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    Im saying you're a hobbyist, and that cell size is a stop gap that successful vsh genetics has significantly reduced. If you like small cell so much, buy the embosser I have on the for sale section, only a grand. You can make all the small cell foundation you want. My point? Name a small cell migratory. Name ONE. Ok, let's try name one TBH guy that moves them. More than 50? no? I have selected for a few things, in this order, brood nest size, mite resistance, and gentleness. Ive done this with stock from COMMERCIAL outfits from across the entire continent. Of course, what do I know, since I dont run top bar hives, I must not have these silly framed papers on the wall with Dave Tarpy's name on them, nooo not at all. To each his own. But noobs need direction, and not direction that sets them up for disappointment. PS, chem free as you are youll find pesticide residue in your combs regardless, and with soft chems like thymol and formic, and essential oils, that point to not treat is pretty moot, residue wise. Subscribe to the ABJ if you havent there's good info on that sorta thing in there.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    I don't understand what cell size has to do with migratory beekeeping. Please explain.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    It's not main stream. It's a niche thing that takes you out of using similar gear and non-regressed bees that the rest of the commercial world uses. It sounds like its not a big deal, but it is. It severely limits your genetics you can buy and what you can run. I also highly endorse plastic foundation with loads and loads of extra wax. Reusable combs are the entire point. This unsupported stuff is usually very unstable and falls down, not to mention its limited to its ability to be extracted. I played with it some. I decided the VSH queens were a better angle. And after doing a selection and killing a lot of bees I can confidently say that better genetics will yield you all of the benefits of small cell, without the impracticality of it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dunlap, TN, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    It seems to me that the disconnect here is that we are talking differences between a hobby beek who is having fun and beek who runs a larger apiary.

    Ultimately we are arguing differences in opinions. I agree with both sides in a sense. I think running TBH and going chem free would be almost ridiculous for anyone actually running any kind of operation over just a handfull of hives... However I think it's a great idea to try if you are more interested in beekeeping as a hobby. I think it is important to have both sides b/c we can learn from each. It gives the wider beekeeping community greater perspectives and comparisons between the two and ultimately this helps us continue to learn more about tactics and methods to keeping bees.

    Beekeeping has been done many different ways over the past... ohhhh couple thousands of years! So I dont think anyone should ever tell anyone else that a particular method is absolutely wrong, but it's certainly ok to express your opinions.... so yeah, I guess that is my opinion.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    diplomatic. I agree. Good luck with the TBH kiddos. Maybe I'm having caffeine withdrawl?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    Skinner:

    How can reusable combs be "the entire point"? And no one is saying you don't know anything, just that you have a totally different opinion. What do I care if I don't use "similar gear" and if I have "regressed bees [unlike] the rest of the commercial world uses."? Also, we can extract honey; we just do it differently than you do. I just don't understand how, if your genetics are so good, you feel the need to treat the heck out of your bees. Won't you be contributing to the development of resistances in the long run? I truly do want to understand this, and am not trying to be argumentative.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    Some of us subscribe to the old motto, "First, do no harm." We want to raise bees, as well as grow our own foods, etc, that aren't completely laced with and/or dependent on chemicals. The dependence on chemicals is causing huge problems to the earth overall and our children and grandchildren down the line will have to deal with it.

    Some people could care less and just want to make a buck and feed people contaminated honey and other foods, the earth and future generations be damned! They will call anything that doesn't fit into their "money is the only thing that matters" mentality "mumbo jumbo" because they can't see beyond their own bank accounts to the real costs of what they are introducing into the environment. Sounds alot like the Monsanto mentality.

    Forgot to add, nice presentation, Jack.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    I may be just another tree-hugger, but I'm committed to a lifestyle as green as I can have it. I want the same for my bees.

    BeeWeaver Apiaries has been chemical-free for ten years now, and they're not just hobbyists.

    Very well said, SantaFeBeek. Thank you.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    Thank you, SRBrooks. I just get a little riled when people try to bully others into "my way is the only way" and "because that's the way we've always done it" without any real concern for others, especially for their own offspring. Selfish is the only word for it.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,513

    Default Re: Top Bars "Pros and Cons" Presentation

    Hello everybody
    I am replying mainly to Skinner Apiaries comments. As an bee-hobbyst, I studied a lot about honey bees and to me it is obvious that commercial beekeeping in US is a huge fail. How you could call it a success, if bees population in US reduced by 50% in recent years. All this Varroa and other issue is a result of commercial (unwise in my opinion) approaches - more profit, more honey, less money spent on bees, ignorance of any research indicating the problems... Look at this forum - many talks how bees survived winter, many replaced bees/queens every season... is this may be considered a success? 50% success rate on global US scale? What really strikes me on this particular forum, is how people stuck to their personal/commercial dogmas of beekeeping and their ignorance to obvious very simple observations and facts (sorry, nothing personal). KTBs exists for perhaps 100 (I guess more) years in Kenya and brought to US as another attempt to improve bees well-doing in this country. Thousands people successfully used K/TBs and nevertheless, such great ignorance... I was literally accused in trolling in another thread where we discussed foundationless approach. Apparently, plastic P120 (whatever it is) is an answer to most of our problems! The fact that hundreds and hundreds people successfully used top bars was just considered to be a nuisance. Regarding pesticides -it was just hilarious - I guess, commercial bee-traditionalists united to fight with me rather to learn something new or useful from discussion. As a result they go so far, that "approved" the usage of pesticides... Take a look, it is good nighttime reading (long!):
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ess-hype-to-me
    Disclaimer: I am a bee-hobbyst who learns. My bees are treatment-free, I use top-bars, I do not re-use wax in beehive,my bees never eat syrup. My colonies are 3 years old and flourish. My colonies are survivors and commercial queens never visit us. And yes, I am a "novice" since my official (registered) beekeeping is just over 10 months. Sergey

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