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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,661

    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.
    Long way from New Mexico to MA. Two of my TBH's were headed by Carni queens. Their sisters made the winter in Langs, they froze. There was ample honey available [didn't take any off] and about 15 drawn bars in the hives. I've offered the hives for free for 3 years and got no takers. Finally burned the top bars but the hives are still available.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

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

    For the first time this last year. I guess this spring will tell how that worked out.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,426

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    I dunno. I very much like Christy, she has shown us wonderful support, and we always enjoy running into her at events.

    I am very careful about what I say and claim...both when offering advice and when selling something.
    The Gold Star Top Bar hive:
    It's easy to assemble, it's easy to manage, it's just easy!
    If it isn't easy (or demonstrated) to overwinter, it isn't easy to manage.

    I'm in somewhat of a "competing" market wrt teaching new beekeepers (we do not sell TBH or any equipment to speak of)....and we have a lot of contact with her students and customers. I'm not sure it is helpful to tell people how easy it is if it is not.

    Again, I don't doubt that TBH can be kept in New England....we might run a couple this year ourselves. I'm just not seeing that anyone is doing it well enough and sharing management practices that give a good model to follow, never mind to consider it "easy".

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

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,051

    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!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Shirley, MA, USA
    Posts
    111

    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.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    sturbridge, massachussetts, usa
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    jpelley not sure if your still reading this thread but wanted to add I'm in central mass and my tbh is doing fine. Girls have been out on the couple nice days we have had.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    786

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    stella 379, do you wrap, shelter from the wind or just let them go? Feed? Did you take honey first year or leave them. Success is success and that is what we all want.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Beverly, MA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Hi jpelley,

    I am right around the corner from you in Beverly. I have a top bar that I got last year from Sam Comfort as an established colony. So far this winter it is doing better than my Lang hives and is out flying on warm days. The comb was fine on warm days over the summer and they did a great job adding comb and stores for winter. I did insulate it with rigid insulation over the top bars for overwintering but that's all. I also gave them a few frames of capped honey from one of my lang hives by cutting off the bottom and side bars and sticking it in the back of the hive, but I don't think they needed it, (yet anyway). If it makes it through the rest of the winter you are welcome to stop by and take a look.
    http://www.beverlybees.com/
    Backyard Beekeeping for the love of bees and honey!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    786

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Beverlybees, looking at your site, your hive looks larger than others I see locally. That may be an advantage. Will you add sizes?

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    deknow <"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."

    That statement is fraught with misconception.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,051

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riskybizz View Post
    That statement is fraught with misconception.
    What is the misconception?

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Beverly, MA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Beverlybees, looking at your site, your hive looks larger than others I see locally. That may be an advantage. Will you add sizes?
    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.
    http://www.beverlybees.com/
    Backyard Beekeeping for the love of bees and honey!

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Shannonswyatt

    While Mr. Crowder does keep and manage TB colonies (and does a great job by the way) he also generates income via a plethora of associated beekeeping classes. You name it he teaches it. As I recall Les told me he lost several yards last winter.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,051

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Gotcha.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    sturbridge, massachussetts, usa
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Saltybee,
    I did wrap mine in insulation and also built a wind block for them. I was fully drawn going into winter and didnt take any honey--I had a full six bars. I did not feed anything going into winter, the colony was started from a swarm last year.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,051

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Hives die, it happens to everyone, doesn't necessarily reflect on you or the hive. A friend of my dad has lost 30 of 50 so far (Langs), and winter isn't over by a long shot. Hoping for a decent second half of March and no snow storms or big cold snaps in April. And hanging a lot of swarm traps!

  17. #37
    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.

  18. #38
    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

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by stella379 View Post
    jpelley not sure if your still reading this thread but wanted to add I'm in central mass and my tbh is doing fine. Girls have been out on the couple nice days we have had.
    Same questions, where did you get your bees for your tbh? What style bars? Tbh size?

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Beverly, MA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpelley View Post
    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
    I got my bees from Sam Comfort, they are northern bred survivor bees, which I think is important. The bars are thick rectangular bars with a grove in them. In the grove, 4 Popsicle sticks are glued in the long way, as a starter strip for the bees to build foundation.
    http://www.beverlybees.com/
    Backyard Beekeeping for the love of bees and honey!

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