Top Bar Hive as a Beginner - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Bakersville, NC

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive as a Beginner

    I started with 8 frame, all-medium langs just because that's what my (wonderful, invaluable) mentor used. I was in Arkansas then and my mentor had tried tbhs but didn't like all the comb loss when a fully loaded comb peeled off the topbar due to the high humidity combined with high temps in the summer there...which was enough to concern me. Also, there was no one in the club (who wasn't a beginner) who was using them and could help me.

    Have had great luck with the 8-frame langs and am up to 8 hives with a handful of overwintering nucs too. Treatment free. Lots of honey (starting year 3), lots of bees, raising nucs for other people (year 4). Feeling like an advanced-beginner. Now that I have lots of drawn comb (on plastic foundation) I alternate frames with only a starter strip of foundation and have freeform comb too, for comb honey.

    Four years in, I attended a top bar workshop (Les Crowder) out of interest and curiosity. I think it would be such fun to build the tbhs. Walked away kind of amazed that anyone would *start* with topbar. It seemed so much more complicated, seemed to require more skill working very closely with the bees right away (cutting comb that had been attached to the sides to keep it from ripping the comb off the bar; cutting away burr comb, etc).

    I was nervous when messing around a lot in the hives my first couple of years and wasn't that dextrous at first either. All that initial comb management with the tbh may have put me off bees then.

    Now, in my 5th year, I feel I have the skills to try it and I plan to swap bees this spring for a lovely tbh build by a neighbor (who, I have noted, has had some trouble keeping bees alive in tbhs in our cold, wet climate). Want to experiment now, but in my experience, in the two climates I've lived in while beekeeping (hot/humid, then cool/humid) would not recommend to a new beekeper unless there are plenty of experienced mentors available to assist. (At least 4 successful years in, imo. There are lots of beginners who think they know enough to mentor, but the saying 'the map is not the terrain' cannot get any truer than in beekeeping.)
    -- BlueRidgeBee: NC Mtns Zone6 Elev 3004 ft / Beekeeping at Five Apple Farm Podcast

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    KC, MO, USA

    Default Re: Top Bar Hive as a Beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Cabin View Post
    Do wintering nucs have a lower winter survival than TBHs???
    I would guess that nucs have a better survival rate, and it might only be because more experienced beek have nucs on hand and more new beek have TBH.

    M Palmer and R Oliver seem to have a lot of experience keeping their nucs alive. For me the big 2 and 3 deep hives have the best survival rate. But I am beating these odds by wintering my nucs and smaller hives in the garage during cold spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    I ran both. The tbh and the lang for the first season. Second season I traded the TBH for two complete (frames too) langs.

    My only TBH that I built and traded.
    Beeman curious as to the reasons you traded your TBH?

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