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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Lack of a harvest

    So I have had my tbhs now for two years and it seems that I always lack a harvest and even have to feed in the fall. My second year warre had a small harvest and my first year foundationless langs had a harvest. So what's the deal? I can't get my bees to build comb past about two thirds from the entrance. Maybe next year will be different, but after watching my warre and Lang outperform both of my tbhs...I am about to give up. I really love working my tbhs. The bees seem to be calmer and I squish much less bees, but maybe it's time to transfer bees over and convert the wooden ware.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,183

    Default Re: Lack of a harvest

    Dan, I don't regret starting with a TBH. In fact, if I hadn't, I don't think I would have started beekeeping because the start up costs of a Lang. are so high. I started with a TBH Year one (Michael Bush design) and then switched to Langs in year 2 with equipment that I was given from a contact on Beesource, and Mann Lake PF frames.
    If your goal is to make honey I think that perhaps a Lang would suit you better. Is your location an issue? Is there much bee forage in Brainerd?
    I think that if I were to dust off my TBH and put it into production it would be for queen raising as queen cells built in a TBH under the swarm urge are about as natural as can be.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Lack of a harvest

    Where I am at we get a very intense flow. At this point I don't have enough comb to hold the nectar that the bees bring in. My bees don't build comb fast enough and swarm. And this holds true with all my hives. So I am hoping that I can get passed this soon, but my tbh bees don't move to far from the entrance before they swarm.

    Honey harvest isn't a huge goal, but I would be crazy to say that I didn't want honey. Using my tbhs as a queen raising system would be fine with me I suppose. I am just beginning to think that my tbhs will never produce honey. At some point you have to ask yourself why do I have to keep pumping sugar into these hives?
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Lack of a harvest

    What type of bees do you have? I don't think it's your hive, it's the bees.
    Are they swarm happy? Do you have Langs to compare it to?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,536

    Default Re: Lack of a harvest

    Great question Steve. I was going to ask the same thing!
    I have found that a little more aggressive the bee, the faster they build comb.
    The swarm for the TBH was in the beginning of June and they have filled 28 of the 29 bars as of Aug 30th. I had harvested one bar completely filled with capped honey back in July.
    They do get a little pissy (head butting) but that's about it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Lack of a harvest

    Brother Adam once said That the American Honey bee is the lousiest example of a honeybee he had ever worked with. They were bred to pollinate and produced very poor honey crops. Sounds like your TBH bees are related to the stock he had acquired

    This statement is true. In the USA the bulk of the revenue earned by beekeepers is from Pollination. So over time we have bred bees that are better at pollinating and not very good at putting up reserves. They get fed every year when they are in a commercial operation so why should they put away stores? When they are sold as a split or package out of a commercial operation (or swarm out) and we hive them we expect them to produce honey.... But that is not what they are used to doing. This is why we have to work on stock improvement constantly. Selecting from the strongest most productive hives...
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

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