Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 37

Thread: In the NORTH

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,269

    Default In the NORTH

    Is there any PA. TBH keepers in the house and if so is it hard to do the TBH thing here in N.PA?
    My wife built me a TBH and I'm going to give it a shoot this spring so what is the pros and cons?


    Thank you.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    Did she also happen to purchase a vacation home in some appropriate Malaria infested tropical climate where you could use it?

    Not in ol Penns state but the biggest advantage I can see in this design is that the skunks will have a bit of a difficult time banging on the front door. Might also be the case that the raccoons could rip out the top bars as a disadvantage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bloomington In
    Posts
    788

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    Why would a top bar hive be any different?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gallatin, Montana, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    Not sure what the big deal is about having top bar hives in the north. I have two and have overwintered both successfully for two consecutive years. They just went thru -44 actual and -56 wind chill last week, and were flying yesterday when it hit +40. They take a lot more attention than langs, and they are swarmy, but I enjoy having them. I also have langs, long langs, and a couple of warres. My opinion is the warres are the hardest to keep going.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
    Why would a top bar hive be any different?
    Think about how bees live in hollowed out trees. Almost always in a vertical cavity . If I can get posts from 20 out of a hundred of pics by people showing swarms living in horizontal cavities with combs built perpendicular to the ground before the tree toppled over I will be a believer.

    The question is "what do the bees do when left to their own devices"????

    Not to say it cant be done. The deeper the comb the higher I would suspect the overwinter success rate would be. Bees have a hard time moving vertically in the cold.. if the only food supply is to the left and right of them they are apt to starve out when the next nor-easter shows up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,673

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    The question is "what do the bees do when left to their own devices"????
    The only cut out I have been involved in in the last 20 years had bees in the soffit of a Church. That space had been occupied many times for 30 years. The combs were horizontally placed, w/ the brood between one set of rafter ends and the honey between another pair of rafter ends. Just an anecdotal case.

    So, I would say that bees do what they wish when left to their own devices. They occupy the space they choose.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bloomington In
    Posts
    788

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    Think about how bees live in hollowed out trees. Almost always in a vertical cavity . If I can get posts from 20 out of a hundred of pics by people showing swarms living in horizontal cavities with combs built perpendicular to the ground before the tree toppled over I will be a believer.

    The question is "what do the bees do when left to their own devices"????

    Not to say it cant be done. The deeper the comb the higher I would suspect the overwinter success rate would be. Bees have a hard time moving vertically in the cold.. if the only food supply is to the left and right of them they are apt to starve out when the next nor-easter shows up.
    I do a lot of bee removal jobs, I find more bee's between floor joist, my largest removal was between rafters, 11 runs of comb 5ft long. I got 180lb of honey from them. I have remove 3 from walls in 6 years. I also gave a price on a removal where the bee's were in the floor joist, the house was 28ft wide bee's ran the whole span between the joist. Bee's will live any where they find.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    >Think about how bees live in hollowed out trees. Almost always in a vertical cavity .

    I've seen many in horizontal, hollow limbs... granted the larger cavity typically is in the trunk, but they have no quamls occupying soffets and floor joists, and old car gas tanks, and old water tanks laying on the ground. I have removed as many bees that chose horizontal cavities as vertical cavities.

    I've had bees in horizontal hives here in Nebraska and the survive at exactly the same rate as vertical hives. I have a top bar hive that has been continuously occupied by the same colony for the last five or six years with little to no intervention on my part. I would have intervened, but I've been too busy.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Benton, Ky
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    There's a very good reason bees use hollow tree trunks instead of hollow limbs.
    Quality Top Bar Hives and Accessories
    http://www.organicbeehives.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gallatin, Montana, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    I did a removal from a horizontal space this past year also in the "frigid north". It was the blackest comb I have ever seen. I don't know how many years it was there but it was several. Bees will do what it takes in the space they choose. They have a difficult time moving any direction when it is cold. In my opinion the key is the type of bee, and again my opinion is that carni's winter better for many reasons. I think the key with them is the very small amount of reserves they need to overwinter. They just don't move much. And they don't have a huge cluster. The key for the beekeeper with northern tbh's is to manipulate the combs in the fall so the cluster can only move in one direction for feed. My tbh's are made from 2x lumber so I don't insulate them, and they have upper entrances for ventilation. One of my tbh's produced almost 200# of excess honey last year. I am a "hobbiest" beekeeper and really enjoy the diversity of different hive types.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,416

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    The hardest thing for wintering a TBH is emergency feeding sugar. I make a frame and pour candy board into it. We have cold winters here, just not Montana cold, and my TBH is doing well in its second winter. In fact it was the only colony that survived last winter, the langs starved with honey next to the clusters.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Benton, Ky
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    And the answer is.....The rot that hollows out a tree almost always starts in the trunk. So. Even the very rare large enough hollow limbs for bees to live in were mostly started in a hollow trunk. There just aren't that many hollow limbs...But tons of hollow trunks..
    Quality Top Bar Hives and Accessories
    http://www.organicbeehives.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    805

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    the further north the harder it is to use a TBH. it can be done but it is harder. it is hard enough to winter bees up north without taking target practice at your foot.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,673

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    Quote Originally Posted by crabbcatjohn View Post
    There's a very good reason bees use hollow tree trunks instead of hollow limbs.
    Because there are more hollow trunks than there are hollow limbs, I'm guessing?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gallatin, Montana, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Because there are more hollow trunks than there are hollow limbs, I'm guessing?
    I'm guessing also. Having a hard time following this analogy. Went from top bars up north, to where the rot starts in the tree. It would be real interesting to compare overwintered tbh's to other types by percentage of total hives of each in the north.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,849

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    My 2cents. I tried 2 TBHs for a couple years, died out each winter. Tried a long hive, it died during the winter. Langs beside them survived. They are here for free if you want them. I believe those bees in joists and attics, walls are warmed by the house/church and have an advantage over a TBH in the cold.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gallatin, Montana, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    I agree that the bees that share a heated dwelling with humans have a huge advantage. However, I've lost langs next to my TBH's. I think it is a never ending battle and boils down to what does the new or experienced beekeeper want. I would never discourage someone from giving any type of hive a try. All they need is encouragement and facts based on experience.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    The hardest thing for wintering a TBH is emergency feeding sugar. I make a frame and pour candy board into it. We have cold winters here, just not Montana cold, and my TBH is doing well in its second winter. In fact it was the only colony that survived last winter, the langs starved with honey next to the clusters.
    Are you sure starvation was the cause, if they had honey within reach...?

    Quote Originally Posted by crabbcatjohn View Post
    And the answer is.....The rot that hollows out a tree almost always starts in the trunk. So. Even the very rare large enough hollow limbs for bees to live in were mostly started in a hollow trunk. There just aren't that many hollow limbs...But tons of hollow trunks..
    Indeed, hollow branches tend to simply break and fall.
    www.apisrustica.com (French-only website) Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens / northern hygienic bees

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,673

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I believe those bees in joists and attics, walls are warmed by the house/church and have an advantage over a TBH in the cold.
    I wouldn't consider floor joist space heated unless it was between the first and second floors. Sofitts certainly aren't heated. Not where the church bees were.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: In the NORTH

    Sam Comfort has tons of Top bar hives in NY so it can be done just fine.

Page 1 of 2 12 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