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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Herriman, UT
    Posts
    1

    Default Hello! Beginner Questions from Utah

    Hello all!
    I am very interested in beekeeping. The more I read, the more interested I get. I have a step-brother that is a backyard beekeeper and has recommended a top-bar hive. I've been reading 2 books (Beekeeping for Dummies and The Beekeepers Handbook). Both books recommend the Langstroth hive. I'm really not sure what to get. Someone told me that purchasing the Langstroth might be a mistake because I would need to add or remove space depending on the bee production in order to reduce the risk of swarming. Is that the case? If it matters, by backyard is only 27' deep x 90' wide. Is that even enough space to keep bees?
    BTW, I'll be looking for answers in other posts, but thought i'd throw my main questions out there right away just in case I can't find the answer.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Moreno Valley, CA USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Hello! Beginner Questions from Utah

    Another book you will find very helpful is Backyard Beekeeping by Kim Flottam. your back yard is big enough for bees, especially if you get gentle Italians. There are lots of bee keepers in Utah. You should be able to find a local mentor. I would also recommend a Langstroth style hive, but for the back yard I'd say go with an 8 frame setup. With Langstroth hives you adjust space by adding supers. Where in Utah are you? Top bar hives area bit trendy the days, but many areas still have laws requiring Langstroth style hives. Top bars also require you to destroy the comb at each harvest, which I think lowers production and puts a strain on the bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,996

    Default Re: Hello! Beginner Questions from Utah

    Welcome! Yard size does not matter. Bees knw no borders!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,334

    Default Re: Hello! Beginner Questions from Utah

    Welcome to Beesource!

    I recommend reading Michael Bush's page on Top Bar hives:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

    One key advantage to a top bar hive (TBH) is that they are easy (and inexpensive) to construct yourself, compared to Langstroth style hives.

    Top bar hives have no need for an expensive extractor, but on the other hand, the crush and strain honey harvest of a TBH means bees must rebuild that crushed comb. Both hives styles work better when humans manage the space, but the space management issues are simply different.

    I started with TBHs, and have expanded into langs. I expect that while I may maintain my original TBHs, future growth will be be with lang hives.
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Utah,Utah,USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Hello! Beginner Questions from Utah

    Welcome!

    Go with what ever hive you want. They both work well, they are just managed a bit different. There are many beekeepers here in Utah and some Great local Beekeeping Associations around that can help get you set up with a mentor.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Hello! Beginner Questions from Utah

    I am coming to this thread a little late but here is my two cents anyways.
    This is my first year as a beekeeper, I live in the salt lake valley, and I am currently running two top bar hives in my backyard. I went with tbh because I could built them myselves. They require a little more hands-on work than a lang (what I have been told), but I have found it to be an enjoyable lesson in bees. What I have been really pleased with are the observation windows I built into the side of each hive. It has made it so my two yound boys and I can go out almost every day and peek in on what is going on inside the hive without disturbing the ladies.
    I can imagine that my production will be down somewhat from a lang, but I think it was a sacrifice worth making for the experience I have wanted to get out of this. I am now looking to expand to four hives next year, and I may eventuallyaugment with langs to help with production. Overall, however, I would recommend a top bar just for the experience and fun that come with them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Hello! Beginner Questions from Utah

    I've got 6 Lang hives. I bought my son a Kenyan TBH. Got about 4 bars drawn and the queen disappeared. They did not requeen (she was a poor layer) and the population dwindled. With only 1 TBH, rebuilding the hive population seems difficult short of buying a package or a queen. I decided to exchange the KTBH for a Tanzanian TBH. It is rectangular...has no angled sides. It uses the same bars as the KTBH, but if the hive ever needs a boost, I can place some of my Lang frames full of brood and bees into it and I'm back in business. The TBH is pretty cool, but I still prefer my Langs. Also, this is my second year with bees...first year I got a harvest. Most of my hives swarmed (lesson learned) and I only had one hive that I extracted. Got almost 5 gallons from it. I was very excited but was wishing for a lot more. I just don't see a TBH producing large amounts of honey as the bees have to draw comb every year. There was also something very exciting about seeing a 5 gallon bucket almost full of the good stuff.
    IMG_0609.jpg

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