Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 47
  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
    45,370

    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
    1,062

    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
    5,679

    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
    45,370

    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
    45,370

    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
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    I know it's an obvious observation to make, but why don't more people source their packages/nucs locally so the bees you start with are better acclimated to your area? Is it mostly a supply issue or an information/education one? Sorry for the slight thread jacking ;-)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,438

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    The problem is the farther north you go the later the local packages. So instead of late March or April you are probably looking at May. Were I live the problem we have is that it seems like by the end of June there is no flow until an autumn flow, and usually that doesn't produce much.

  16. #16
    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.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,438

    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.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,370

    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

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,541

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    According to her website/slideshow, bees come from wolf creek...small cell and treatment free.
    Deknow

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >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.
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,541

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    I don't think there is anything impossible about overwintering tbh in Massachusetts, Maine, or new Hampshire. I do think that Les Crowder has the right approach in his book.....he is a commercial beekeeper and keeping tbh alive and productive is how he feeds his family.

    In Maine, the major tbh proponent sells hives and bees to fill them.....but we have no reports on how well they overworked (word on the street is as Cam said.....but I have no inside info).
    Add the evaluation of tbh by a master beekeeper in Maine as published in the journals...... and there isn't much of a lead to follow.

    Like all things, the devil is in the details.....I can't quite recommend tbh in our area simply because I haven't seen it done right in our area....there is no lead to follow.

    I was watching a movie with snowboarding last night, and was thinking about how terrible the first snow board probably performed and looked......it would be folly to judge the feasibility of a tbh in new England based on "first attempts".

    But if you are going to sell hives, bees to go in them, and teach how "easy" tbh management is, isnt overwintering relevant?

    Deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads