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Hi, I am wanting to start working with bees. It seems that I think a Top Bar hive would be ideal in my backyard. I live in Layton, Utah. Will a TBH be okay in this area? And do you cover them in the winter time? Any beginning help in regards to this would be great! I will also look through the forum.
 

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Welcome to Beesource. Since there are some people that run TBH's in Canada, I'm sure they will do fine in Utah. With the crazy weather we had this year, I did end up insulating mine with the stiff blue insulation found at big box stores.

I ordered my kit from Beeline Apiaries, although there are lots of plans out there that you can built one yourself. A general rule is that it should be 4-5ft long so the bees don't always feel like swarming. I've added an observation window to mine as well, so I can peak at them. There are more pictures of my different hives on facebook, as well as some of the books that I recommend.
 

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I know people in Canada with top bars that survived this winter with -40 F temperatures. Putting styrofoam on top is probably a good idea. I would say "I would put styrofoam on top" except that I didn't...
 

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I just came through my first year as a beekeeper, and I live just a few blocks from downtown SLC. I went into winter with two hives. One died early due to mites (I believe). The other has come through with flying colors. I built my tbh’s last year using 2x10’s. I also placed them in a nice sunny spot in my backyard that is protected from the wind and gets the morning sun. They probably would have been just fine on their own, but being a nervous newbie I wrapped the main body of my surviving hive with a dark tarp sometime in January leaving both ends unwrapped for ventilation. I think I will have to use a different material next winter or just forgo the wrap altogether because it did cause some mildew/mold to grow on the outside of my hive.
By the way, do you know about the Greater Salt Lake Beekeepers Association and are you going to their monthly meeting this Friday night?
 
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