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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all,

I'm new to beekeeping/guardianship and am entering this culture in the TBH arena. Just yesterday I attended an all day workshop with WAM and am totally smitten. I do however have a question. I had already purchased a beautiful cedar TBH from Beethinking.com. I love it, however, am now bothered by the fact that the entrances are on the side, not the ends as appears to be the norm. My question is, does anyone here have experience or advise about this? I am totally leaning towards drilling two new entrance holes in the end and plunging up the sides except for ventilation. I would very much appreciate anyones input. Thank you :)
 

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Welcome to beekeeping & beesource! I have 3 TBH's from kits from Beeline Apiaries. All of the entrances are on the side. The bees don't seem to mind and you can actually section them off into 3 individual small colonies. I have WAM's book, and I do see where all of his are end entrances. Keep that hive how it is, and build another box with side entrances and watch to see what the differences are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advise! I love your quote, "everything works if you let it" my life philosophy is "in all life situations, timing is everything" I'm X-ing off days on the calendar until my first package of bees arrives.
 

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Welcome, neighbor!

We're over in Prince William county, and members of PWRBA. Most parts of Virginia have active beekeeping associations where you can attend classes (probably a bit late this year), find a mentor, or just ask questions. Look these folks up: http://www.virginiabeekeepers.org/beekeeping-clubs/beekeepers-association-northern-Virginia. Or, if we're closer, you'd be welcome to cross the creek and attend our meetings just outside Manassas. Our bee class just graduated last week.

Expect a welcome ... our experience is that beekeepers love to share. And you'll almost certainly find a core group of TBH loonies. We were advised not to start out with those, not because they are a bad way to go, but because the selection of mentors is more limited. But we've also been assured that TBH works well, and you will be able to find local mentors. Our mentor just got his first one.

A mentor is particularly nice when you install your first box of bees. It's not that its all that hard, but there are ways to screw it up and you'll probably be in a bother of worries when the bees arrive ... nice to have someone there to talk you through it, and who maybe knows what you're supposed to do with the marshmallow they say you should have handy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Phoebee, what a nice welcome!

I have joined BANV and just completed my eight week beginners course. I have to say though, I'm not feeling a lot of love from this group towards top bar hiving. I too was not encouraged to start out this way, but feel that I have no bad habits to unlearn and am very drawn to this approach. I have secured a mentor, but he is moving to a farm about an our away so that is making me a little nervous. The good side however is that he is only a phone call away and the internet is a plethora of information. I may not have all the knowledge I need, but I'm overflowing with enthusiasm.


Welcome, neighbor!

We're over in Prince William county, and members of PWRBA. Most parts of Virginia have active beekeeping associations where you can attend classes (probably a bit late this year), find a mentor, or just ask questions. Look these folks up: http://www.virginiabeekeepers.org/beekeeping-clubs/beekeepers-association-northern-Virginia. Or, if we're closer, you'd be welcome to cross the creek and attend our meetings just outside Manassas. Our bee class just graduated last week.

Expect a welcome ... our experience is that beekeepers love to share. And you'll almost certainly find a core group of TBH loonies. We were advised not to start out with those, not because they are a bad way to go, but because the selection of mentors is more limited. But we've also been assured that TBH works well, and you will be able to find local mentors. Our mentor just got his first one.

A mentor is particularly nice when you install your first box of bees. It's not that its all that hard, but there are ways to screw it up and you'll probably be in a bother of worries when the bees arrive ... nice to have someone there to talk you through it, and who maybe knows what you're supposed to do with the marshmallow they say you should have handy.
 

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You might want to drop by a PWRBA meeting then. We have several die-hard TBHers.

The one TBH we've seen, about 2 weeks ago, was recently given to our mentor, and is in bad shape. The population was sparse but the queen was alive. The bottom was filthy ... housekeeping was slipping. It had a side entrance. Evidently you change the hive size with sliding barriers at the ends ... our mentor thought it curious that the hive had one only at one end, thought he might add a one at the other end. If so, end entrances would be useless.

He showed us an old British gizmo for combining colonies that he was building for his Langstroth hives. It is a spacer with changeable entrances on all four sides. Evidently, changing the entrance arrangement befuddles the bees ... they leave that part of the hive and don't return, but instead go into the main entrance of the main hive. Or something like that. I imagine you'd get the same effect if you blocked entrances on a TBH.
 

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Bees do like to enter at end comb not in the middle. If you look at hives in the wild, the comb always run parallel to the opening. An old timer told me to always drop a bee tree onto the entrance or on its back, the comb is stonger inline. It wouldn't matter to them what hole on the side they entered. I have a lang/long hive with holes on front and sides. they closed the front holes
 
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