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Hello everyone! I'm from Deep East Texas just to give ya a location. I've never kept bees before in all my 4 decades of life but here I am. I've watched all the docus I could on Netflix and Amazon Prime, and well, there's the Mother Nature channel too. I've always been intrigued by bees and finally having some time to set aside(not sure really, because the bees certainly don't need me) I decided to try my hand at keeping them. I built a Kenyan top bar hive, found a keeper that had some for sale(wish I had waited but I'm still happy), and so here I am.

After 4 days, I never expected them to have so much comb drawn. It still amazes me. And 12 days later I still have a hard time believing how much work they've accomplished. I never wanted this for the honey. I didn't want to have to heft those heavy boxes so I chose something different. I love to take my chair out by my hive and just watch and read. It's really very relaxing. I know that at some point I will have some untoward tasks that will be just as unnatural as humans keeping bees in any sort of boxes! but right now I just get to watch.

I don't like gloves. They interfere with my sense of touch. I don't like to smoke my bees; that just seems to make the ones on the other side of the bar fan much more, and make one or two upset. I do like my brush because it's just one layer of very soft horsehair and I only use it to prod the ladies in the direction they already want to go, which is inside. I am still feeding them, even though they are foraging but we had an unexpected cool front along with a heavy deluge of rain. I worry about that but I'm sure they know best.

I wish all of you the best! I am happy a place of information like this exists; it's very useful. I will post some photos when I next upload my phone.
 

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Welcome! I've been beekeeping two years and have two top bar hives. It's been the most interesting thing I've ever done. I was able to get by without gloves or smoking the first part of the year when they're in full foraging mode but in the fall they get a little testy about you messing in the hive. They know that whatever honey is there has to last them through the winter. Sounds like they're building fast so you need to give them lots of room in the hive or they'll swarm. Stay on top of their comb building by inserting empty bars between the bars of comb they're already working on. Good luck! I think you'll enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I didn't put in an observation window but will probably adapt the future hive for one! This was just a basic KTBH.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hiya BeeGora and thanks for the welcome! I don't get on my comp much(kinda why I picked up beekeeping; tired of the fast world, so to speak). I pulled out my feeder today as it seems the bees haven't really hit it much. They're laying in honey and pollen and building comb, and I've already put in more bars. I was kinda surprised when the new bar I put in one week ago...instead of starting their comb build from the side, they were starting from dead center! I was really happy about that! The queen is doing great and covering lots of comb. Lots of brood. Really and truly adaptive creatures. Folks sure could learn a lot from them! Anyhoo, I posted some photos on the top bar hive forum, and I have many more to post too. Again, thanks for the welcome!!!:banana:
 

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Robin,

Welcome to beekeeping and top bar hives! I have 4 1/2 colonies right now and one is in a top bar hive. I envy your ability to forego gloves. I'm still a little too nervous for that, although my TBH is so much more peaceful than the others, I think I could do it. I can relate to having to make the tough decisions--my TBH girls were making some crooked comb and it broke my heart to have to destroy even one cell that they had worked so hard to build! I was more clumsy than I could have been, but I'm much better at redirecting their efforts now.
 
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