Response to a presentation - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Hot Springs, AR, USA
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    33

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    Quote Originally Posted by kzimmerman View Post
    At our last bee meeting someone gave a talk about top bar hives. He had been keeping them for 2 years, and had nothing good to say. Some of what he said made no sense, some of it did. I was thinking I would run it by the people on this forum to see everyone’s opinion. Firstly, there is not enough volume to overwinter bees. He said that they had died every winter. Secondly, the combs break constantly and cannot be reattached. Thirdly, you cannot share resources with other hives. Fourth, you have to deal with a cumbersome lid that requires 2 people. Fifth, they cannot be transported.
    Some of these I find ludicrous, some I suspect are valid. So what do we all think?
    I started with 10 frame Langs., added 8 frame Langs., and just went through the second winter with a Long Lang. It holds 32 deep frames with hinged vented lid, and a screened bottom with a hinged access for oil (or diatomaceous earth) pans. I am now building more of the Long Langs. for my spring splits. I have yet to find a real negative. Hive manipulations and management are easy and very efficient. Hobby beekeeper, zone 7, central Arkansas.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
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    1,457

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    Quote Originally Posted by unstunghero View Post
    I started with 10 frame Langs., added 8 frame Langs., and just went through the second winter with a Long Lang. It holds 32 deep frames with hinged vented lid, and a screened bottom with a hinged access for oil (or diatomaceous earth) pans. I am now building more of the Long Langs. for my spring splits. I have yet to find a real negative. Hive manipulations and management are easy and very efficient. Hobby beekeeper, zone 7, central Arkansas.
    Errr - relevance ? You're talking about a Long Langstroth FRAMED Hive - here the OP is talking about a Top Bar Hive (presumably a KTBH ?) - completely different animals ...

    I'm no fan of the KTBH, but that's primarily because of the 'Natural' bull which has become associated with it.

    It's a cheap and easy-to-build hive, ideal for a starter/transition hive in 3rd World countries. There are certainly some elements of truth in what the quoted speaker is reported to have said - but - it would have been a much fairer criticism if he had 'owned' those statements - i.e. if he'd used the form "this is MY experience with the KTBH (or whatever he was referring to), but the experience of others is frequently different".

    Having said this, I wish I were to be given a pound or dollar for every time I've read on this forum "Help - my comb has fallen off it's Top Bar - what do I do now ?".
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Hart County, Georgia
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    76

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    I'm thinking that this guy either built or bought a top bar hive that he hates. It's all about designing for use.

    If you want comb to be exchangeable with Langstroth frames or with other top bar hives then build the hive that way.
    I started with 8 frame medium langs and when I wanted to try top bars I built them with straight sides (Tanzanian Top Bar), and the size of medium frames. I'm able to easliy trade resources between those hives.

    If he's having trouble lifting the lid . . . that's why they make hinges. All my top bars have hinged lids. They are generally heavy (I like them to be in order to help the hive in high winds) but since they have hinges it's no problem.

    If he's having trouble with comb detaching, he is either not cutting it loose when he feels resistance or he's not in the hive enough to make sure they stay straight and in line. I've discovered that once I slice through the attachment they rarely re-attach it. They also seem to not attach to rough sawn wood but they love attaching to glass or plexiglass. He also might look at what type of comb guide he provides. I like the V shaped wood for both my top bars and langstroth frames (that are foundationless).

    If he doesn't like moving his top bars, that's a design flaw too. I don't move mine much but the stands are such that I can just remove a couple strews and slide them into the back of my truck (by myself)

    It's not the hive that's "natural" or not, it's the beekeeping. You can have a "set it and forget it" colony in any style of hive or you can actively bee keep in any style of hive.

    I love my top bar hives but I designed and built them to love. I have four different "styles" of hives and I like the top bars the best becasue I made them to work well.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Hart County, Georgia
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    76

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    BTW, none of my top bar hives have cost me more than $25

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,038

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    You built them from scraps, did all the work yourself?
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Delmar, MD, usa
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    Default

    He didn’t specify hive design, but from the angle he was taking made me suspect a ktbh, most likely home built. He also described a long langstroth and touched on that briefly. I personally thought he was full of it, but I have no real experience with ktbh, so I thought I would get some expert advise!

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Hart County, Georgia
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    76

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    003.jpg032.jpg032.jpg

    Yes, I use scrap wood or what I call "curbside aquisitions". I spend money on the hardware (hinges and handles) and the roofs ( I now use MDO for my top bar roofs and lang covers).
    I enjoy building for the bees as much as keeping the bees.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    Impressive. I know few if any ladies who could do that start to finish themselves.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Delmar, MD, usa
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    Default

    I do the same thing. I usually work with pallets and scraps from construction sites, although last year I managed to find a large amount of lumber from a chicken coop renovation. All kinds of 1x 2x and some well loved ply I used to build swarm traps. Last week I scored almost 150 pallets, although a lot of those have been allocated by my wife for her chickens. Scavenging is great fun, couple of months ago a fellow wanted to get rid of the wood in his shed. There was white oak, mahogany, teak and cherry. Poor guy didn’t know what he had.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hot Springs, AR, USA
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    33

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Errr - relevance ? You're talking about a Long Langstroth FRAMED Hive - here the OP is talking about a Top Bar Hive (presumably a KTBH ?) - completely different animals ...

    I'm no fan of the KTBH, but that's primarily because of the 'Natural' bull which has become associated with it.

    It's a cheap and easy-to-build hive, ideal for a starter/transition hive in 3rd World countries. There are certainly some elements of truth in what the quoted speaker is reported to have said - but - it would have been a much fairer criticism if he had 'owned' those statements - i.e. if he'd used the form "this is MY experience with the KTBH (or whatever he was referring to), but the experience of others is frequently different".

    Having said this, I wish I were to be given a pound or dollar for every time I've read on this forum "Help - my comb has fallen off it's Top Bar - what do I do now ?".
    LJ
    Sorry I aggravated you by straying from the exact question, but I had a thought that this person might not consider a horizontal set-up because of negative opinions about top bar hives.

  12. #31
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    Mar 2017
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    Delmar, MD, usa
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    If I were to go with a horizontal hive, it would be a ktbh, not a long langstroth, if for no other reason than curiosity. And the wife wants one, don’t forget about that!

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
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    2,764

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    Quote Originally Posted by kzimmerman View Post
    And the wife wants one, don’t forget about that!
    Then buy her the one from Beeline Woodenware and put a window in it. You can order direct from them or we have a couple of their distributors in our area that you could drive to pick it up. About $150. If you want to see a video of it, I have it on my bees' FB page.

    https://www.facebook.com/topbarbeehi...6096018416923/

  14. #33
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    Mar 2017
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    Delmar, MD, usa
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    Default

    I’ve been building everything we use. I got less than enamored with the commercialy available stuff. I scavenge a lot, so most of the wood is free. I’m probably going to use pallets for the top bar hive.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Hall, Georgia, USA
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    316

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    I just built a 3 footer for my bee club for $30, using full price pine from (big box home store) and some leftover paint and 2 door handles. If you are handy at woodworking it is one of the world's simplest projects. Of course, if you add windows and decks and lounges and legs stuff, it gets more complex.

  16. #35
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    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    1,859

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    yep, and if your not that handy in wood work its a snap to.

  17. #36
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    Mar 2017
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    Delmar, MD, usa
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    Default

    I could definitely see a basic top bar hive as a good beginner project. I’ve never been known for simple though! Building with pallets, salvaged cedar, and a window. I’ll put up a build thread when I get going. But, we digress....

  18. #37
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    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
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    1,154

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    This is now my 7th year with both top bar hives and Langstroth hives. In the era of varroa, a top bar hive can really suck. Until I found a way to treat, my losses in the top bar hives were almost 100% per year. Since I figured it out a few years ago, I have had close to 100% survival every year. My lids are vinyl corrugated roofing panels that weigh about 1 pound. I tie them down with rope. I share resources with my other top bar hives all the time. The volume of the ones I build are comparable to 2 eight frame deeps and a medium super. That is plenty of food for a winter in my area. Just like with a Langstroth hive, if they run out of food, give them sugar blocks. If the bees are not making it, look at the beekeeper, not the hives. I built all of mine from purchased wood and scrap. The most expensive one was about $45 to build and about 3-4 hours of work. Finally, for reasons I cannot explain, my top bar hives catch swarms twice as often as my langstroth hives do.

  19. #38
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Wise County, Texas, USA
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    78

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    My brother does Langs and I decided to do a TBH. I can make them with frames. I am looking for a small amount of honey. Just want to have bees. I went to a local Bee Meeting and there was a speaker there that basically said all TBH beekeepers were stupid and cheap. I almost didn't go back because of the anal comments from a bigot. There is room for all types of bee keepers. I don't want a job making honey for sale. I want to build my own hives. And I enjoy watching my bees. I don't even care if they swarm. I plant flowers for all the bees. We should encourage ALL bee keepers. My brother wants me to produce Honey Comb for him and he'll give me honey. Enough said.

  20. #39
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    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    708

    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    The guy I get bees from just says I'm crazy for using top bar hives. Well, yeah, but what does that have to do with bee hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by mcr View Post
    My brother does Langs and I decided to do a TBH. I can make them with frames. I am looking for a small amount of honey. Just want to have bees. I went to a local Bee Meeting and there was a speaker there that basically said all TBH beekeepers were stupid and cheap. I almost didn't go back because of the anal comments from a bigot. There is room for all types of bee keepers. I don't want a job making honey for sale. I want to build my own hives. And I enjoy watching my bees. I don't even care if they swarm. I plant flowers for all the bees. We should encourage ALL bee keepers. My brother wants me to produce Honey Comb for him and he'll give me honey. Enough said.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  21. #40
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    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    Default Re: Response to a presentation

    Quote Originally Posted by mcr View Post
    [...] I decided to do a TBH. I can make them with frames. [...]
    ??
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

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