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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Hey, I'm on the boarder between NH and MA. Just want to know how your TBHs are doing? Thinking of starting one this spring but I wanted an idea of what I'm getting into. During the winter? And the hot days of summer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,789

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    I tried 3 versions of them a few years ago. All died in the winter. I also had collapsed comb during a very warm spell. Moved on to langs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Did they died of starvation or did they freeze? If you can't remember that's fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    If TBH don't work (and remember they were developed and promoted for tropical Africa) maybe try a Warre style hive as those were designed for cooler temperate Europe. You still get the ease of using top bars but in a hive that will probably winter better in your climate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Albany, ga
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    I don not know that my experience is relevant as I am in south GA.,but mine are doing great. I had to move them to a new location a few weeks back and they still seem to being doing great and we are in our third year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,789

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpelley View Post
    Did they died of starvation or did they freeze? If you can't remember that's fine.
    They froze with lots of honey available. IMO they don't move on the combs well in the winter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,341

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    I'm in a colder climate than yours. I winter some TBHs every winter. I lose them the same rate as the Langstroth hive, which is that most of them make it most winter.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,059

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Based on absolutely no evidence of any substance I think higher coastal humidity has as much to do with it as colder temps. A TBH has more surface per volume than a lang. Rising air should have more of a tendency to flow down the long way and condense on the food stores.
    As important is will your TBH have much as drawn comb as a nuc or as a lang. I found it hard to get them to draw beyond the cluster even while feeding. I see TBHs around here set up on a saw horse type of stand, at a nice convenient working height but wide open to the wind.
    If you TBH use a bar with a bottom frame. I know the bees are not supposed to ignore bee space and are not supposed to fasten onto the sides but mine did, again and again. What a mess.
    Love the concept, hate the reality, maybe it is just me. Many things are.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I'm in a colder climate than yours. I winter some TBHs every winter. I lose them the same rate as the Langstroth hive, which is that most of them make it most winter.
    glad to hear you have success in your area. I would like to know, if you don't mind, what kind of TBHs you overwinter and anything special you do to help them out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,663

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Here's Michael Bush's page on his TBHs:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,341

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    >glad to hear you have success in your area. I would like to know, if you don't mind, what kind of TBHs you overwinter and anything special you do to help them out.

    The link above is the second half and part of the first half of your question. Pictures of two of the kinds I have are there along with management information. Since Christy of Gold Star gave me a top bar hive, I've had bees in that one every since and it has always done well. http://www.goldstarhoneybees.com/
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,789

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Word is that she is not very successful overwintering those hives up there.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,341

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    >Word is that she is not very successful overwintering those hives up there.

    Word is no one is very successful overwintering southern packages up there and that seems to be what people have been using.

    Bees from mild climates have not done well here either.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    I thank you for the links and still plan to try out a TBH. I'm not sure were our bees were ordered from because my hives are swarms off of these hives, but they came south of us. I plan to use a swarm or split to start the hive so maybe, having and over wintered queen, will help.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    You may want to consider requeening later with a queen from up there. I'm not sure when you could get one from Michael Palmer, but they are from Vermont, so I would think they would do pretty good in Mass.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,341

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    >why don't more people source their packages/nucs locally so the bees you start with are better acclimated to your area?

    shannonswyatt is right. It's all about the timing. You can't have nucs and packages as early as everyone wants. But if you get a nuc in mid May that does well and survives the winter, I think you are ahead of getting a package in early April that doesn't make it through the winter. So some of it is training and getting people to value a later healthy overwintered northern nuc over an earlier southern package.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >

    shannonswyatt is right.
    You made my day! I'm going to print this out and hang it on the wall! It maybe the last time you say it!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Shirley, MA, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    The gist of my vast 1 year/1 KTBH experience in Shirley, MA is in the W. Kelley Jan 2013 newsletter (edit- p.25). I didn't have the heart to subject the poor things to another winter in the KTBH. Ironically, after doing ok last summer in a Lang, they died end of Jan. in my first-ever deadout. Suspect mites, haven't opened it fully yet. It was, to follow the thread, one of Rick R's NE Bees packages (with replacement queen early summer (edit- late spring)), which come from Georgia. But that wasn't the problem for me, see the newsletter. It just wasn't a good environment. Good Luck. Greg.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpelley View Post
    Hey, I'm on the boarder between NH and MA. Just want to know how your TBHs are doing? Thinking of starting one this spring but I wanted an idea of what I'm getting into. During the winter? And the hot days of summer?
    I'm not as far north but it does get cold here in PA and my top bar hives have done just fine and over wintered successfully. I don't wrap them but do lay a sheet of the aluminum bubble wrap style insulation right over the top bars. Have not encountered any issues during summer from the heat. Good luck.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeverlyBees View Post
    Saltybee it is 3 feet long, 20 inches on the top, 9 3/4 on the bottom. It could be the size but it could also be the bees.
    I haven't looked at the thread for awhile. I'm glad to here your tbh is surviving the winter. Where did you get the bees the are in your tbh? And what style bars do you use? Just want to give them the best for success. Thanks

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