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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if there is anyone in Minnesota near the Twin Cities who uses the TBH. I'd like to try these myself and would like to talk to someone about their use and management.

Thanks.
 

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I'm not that close to you, but I do have a TBH. It is empty right now. The italians that were in it starved out last year too late to get a new package for it. I want to try some carnis or a mutt breed that is used to our winters in it and see how they do but that isn't probably going to happen this year either unless I shake my own package to install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The last I checked Mann Lake still had some Italians. I don't know of any available from anyone else. I'm getting some Carni's this spring.
 

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I'm in northern Michigan and can tell you that Warre TBHs are superior to Kenya TBHs for over-wintering bees. I would urge you to learn about Warre's and to try them instead of Kenya hives. It seems like I constantly read about winter losses in Kenya hives up north. I know that people will bark at me for saying this, but Kenya hives were and are designed for use in tropical climates. Good luck with whatever you decide!

Regards,

Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

www.thewarrestore.com
 

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Chris,
I agree with you to a certain point. The warre' has a quilt box, but I love my TBH is thriving here in W. Pa, with our greatly fluctuating late winter and early spring temps. I simply put a bale of hay on top, to prevent condensation in the hive over the cluster. This also keeps it from being blown over by the wind. I'm only first year, so what do I know, but I do know I love it, and the bees do too.
Carrie
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Chris,

I saw your website. I like it. How do you treat for mites in this type of hive? What about checking for foulbrood, etc and small hive beetles?

Ron
 

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I think the difference is only a question of ventilation profiles, the tbh is horizontal so it needs different ventilation and condensation management then warre or lang hives. I would like to add that the tbh wasn't "designed" for African use, it was adapted, I have seen bees occupy horizontal eaves and winter beautifully.
 

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Butter Churn,

Our modified warre and octagonal hives allow for all of the same manipulations as do Langs, so no difference with those as far as ability to inspect/treat, although I have not had to treat for varroa since I use 4.9 foundation and/or natural comb. (Please, no one start a debate here about that!) With standard warres (no frames), treatment is limited, although I understand that foulbrood (I have never seen it) can be smelled quite easily. We don't have small hive beetles here (at least I have never seen one of those, either), but I think that screened bottoms reduce the beetle's comfort zone, so that helps. I am also going to offer beetle traps that consist of a very similar floor assembly to what I have now but with 6 mesh, so the beetles fall through the floor into a shallow pan of mineral oil.

Thanks for looking and commenting!

Chris Harvey

www.thewarrestore.com
 

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We just had a very hard winter with a lot of losses. The horizontal hives were among those who survived. I see no difference in winter survival. According to Eva Crane the horizontal hive was through all of history and still is today the most common hive in every climate in the world. It may not be here in the US, but it is in Russia and the Nordic countries all the way to the Middle East and Africa. Horizontal hives are not now and never have been limited to tropical climates. Swienty sells a "chest" hive still:
http://www.swienty.com/shop/default.asp?catid=1096 to it's nordic customers...
 

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Butterchurn2002, did you end up trying a TBH? I'm hoping to start beekeeping TBH in the twin cities in the next few years, and was curious if you tried it.

bsquad
 

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I can tell you it can be done. I'm 30 miles east of you. I overwintered a TBH in 2008/9. If you click on my profile, and then search my posts you'll see my experiences. I'm not running a TBH now, I have it in my shed, I don't regret running it. I learned some valuable things.:)
I am now working with regular Langs. My TBH allowed me to try bees on an economical basis. I doubt whether I would have been able to justify the expense if it hadn't been for TBH's, and Michael Bush's website. If you build it yourself use MB's design - it works. :thumbsup:
 

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Adrian,

Thanks for the response. I've been reading and re-reading the posts on wintering TBHs in the upper midwest, and haven't seen too much (I missed your 'staying alive' post somehow). I'm hoping to start beekeeping in a simple/frugal way and want to make sure that success is at least a possibility. :)
 

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I'm planning on building two KTBHs this winter. If all goes according to plan I will be getting a nuc of carnies and eventually splitting to fill the second. I live in the Brainerd area. So I'm just going for it. Just wanted to let you know.
 

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Glad to hear it, Bush 84. It'd be great to see pictures and/or hear updates along the way. Best of luck!!

Do you know which plans you'll use?

bsquad
 

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I think building two TBH's is a good idea. Without a spare box to put it in, a swarm is a big problem. :eek:
One thing I can't emphasize enough is how level the hive has to be. "Near enough" is not good enough. It should be spot on, or the comb will not be perpendicular to the top bars and it becomes a pain to manipulate.
 

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Glad to hear it, Bush 84. It'd be great to see pictures and/or hear updates along the way. Best of luck!!

Do you know which plans you'll use?

bsquad
I plan on using Chandler's plans. I've also watched the videos from Dave's Bees website. I plan on putting the entrance on the sloped side to one end. Holes to the same size as a wine cork. Not entirely sure what I am using for a top. I am getting all free oak from the guy I am building it with. He seems to think that we should go with a sloped roof. So I guess it depends on what he has around.

I am going to get these hives for the cost of screws and a mesh bottom and a few bottles of home brewed mead!!
 

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Adrian, Bush (and other TBHers in Minnesota or surrounding very cold areas)

I'm specifically curious about the over-wintering ventilation that's worked for you in the past. I've read a bunch of times that you need lots of ventilation but not too much, which isnt terribly helpful for a beginner like me. Can you describe what you've done that worked? Closed bottom boards? Wrapping TBHs? Styrofoam above the top bars? How many and what size of entrances?

Thanks in advance -- really appreciate the responses!

bsquad
 

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Well I cannot speak from experience as I don't even have my hives build yet. I am not sure how big of an issue moisture is in MN as our winters are already extremely dry. I guess as of now I am thinking about plugging up my circular entrance holes and leaving only one open. I plan on using plastic covered insulation to put between the top bars and the roof. I intend on wrapping the hive in some black material that I have not decided on yet. I also intend on building my hives to have a screened bottom, but maybe having a hinged bottom board, which would be shut in the winter. I am considering using some sort of snap down latch for closing. Something like this picture.

http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-801700-Bright-Brass-Chest/dp/B00004Z0V3

I have also read about people putting towels or blankets between the bottom board and the hive to ensure a wind tight seal.

Again none of this is from experience, but just from what I have read. I am very interested to hear what people have tried that has worked.

Edit-Adjusting link
 
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