Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, after a year of using my top bar hive (personal choice after much research last year), I took a beekeeping workshop offered by the local county beekeeping association to get my certification. They opened the class by saying, "Welcome to beekeeping". The first instructor was an old timer who was a wealth of information on Langstroth hives. When asked what he thought of top bar hives, he went into a rant. According to him they were "stupid", "a waste of money", and "illegal in North Carolina" (because they don't have frames). The second instructor was little nicer. His response was, "they're better than no hives at all". After that the term "top bar" was never brought up again. Welcome indeed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
I get the same thing at my bee club. People definitely get set in their ways and are reluctant to try new things. This is my first year and I'm doing both Langs and a TBH. I also asked a question about foundationless frames at my association and you would have thought I was speaking Latin. At least there are some organic treatment free people in the room. That makes me feel a little better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
Hey, it gets worse. I have long hives, which are like top bar hives, except that they have frames, and the minute I open my mouth and say I have long hives, I get an automatic lip curl and "Oh, you mean those, uh, top bar thingies." I get labeled an idiot for using top bars, and I don't even have top bars.

I try to explain, but half the time all I get is uncomprehending confusion. I guess I'll have to bring pictures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
I am about half done with building a nice, nuc sized, model TBH for my bee club. Better than pictures! LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
I've noticed people are most critical of things they have no experience with...
Which means there is nothing to worry about. The ones doing it successfully can sit back and laugh, smile, tell jokes or whatever while watching everyone else.
I'm finishing my wife's top bar hive today. We found out that we are expecting, and this means that she won't have to squat over while working her bees. It would be a bad day if she went into labor while in the bee yard handling a bunch of bees. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
My two Top Bars died out this winter. I think they were light on feed going into it. But one still had 3 full bars of honey unused. But the first thing the pro beekeeper said to me was, "Well I guess that's why people don't use 'em....bees dont move horizontally".

So I'm restarting them this spring (with 3 Langs too) and hopefully see if I learned enough to keep them alive this time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,979 Posts
My bee club has slowly started to get more TBH beeks. Last year it was just two of us, but I know of two more newbees that are going with TBHs that have joined. I wouldn't say folks are hostile, but when I did a presentation on TBHs there were a lot of skeptics. My favorite was when someone asked where the foundation goes. When I mentioned you run them like a foundationless hive that brought up a whole new set of questions. "How can you have a hive without foundation?", that kind of thing. I enjoy the company of the club members and I'm not an evangelist, but I answer questions when I can, so for me I don't mind it too much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Its such a crying shame that humans were never able to keep bees before Langstroth built his boxes. The 5000 year old Greek top bar hives must have been just another Greek legend;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,979 Posts
I find that bee club is still fun, and I enjoy the company of the other beeks. Fun to be around people with the same interests as you, even if they go about it differently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
As a red bearded beekeeper I have nothing wrong with the red headed stepchild. But I see it from the other side in that I sell Nucs and queens and thus constantly field questions from beekeepers with problems. It always pains me when I am on the phone with some one and a simple solution is foiled by incompatible hives. For example a simple open brood move to fix to a laying worker colony can be impossible if a top bar hive does not take frames from a friend's lang hives. Naturally I also have to turn away a lot of beekeepers seeking to repopulate their top bar hives with my nucs. So those top bar beekeepers have to order in packages from far away rather than getting local bees.....unless they play the waiting game with swarms. Topbars are not bad at all but I am one of those who reccomends to beginners to be aware of the possible difficulties runing non standard equipment can lead too. I don't run top bar hives but I am sure they are just as much of a pleasure to tend too.....as long as they have bees in them. Its the bees that make beekeeping fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I have 3 main hobbies...beekeeping, unicycling/bicycling, and photography....I find in all three a lot of folks get really hung up on equipment....

Mike A.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
You don't do all three at once do you?
We know a guy who went to do cutouts on a pennyfarthing, took photos of the process on his I phone, carried the bees away on the bike, then sold the honey back to the homeowners with photos of their house on the jars. He had the best/funniest stories of anyone I've ever met.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,904 Posts
I belong to 2 bee clubs. For the smaller one, I'm the only member with a TBH and the old guys all tried to talk me out of it. In the other large club, I've finally found 2 others who are starting top bar hives this spring. Guess I'm kinda leading the way for our local group. Found the best way to talk about it is to set up my display hive with one or two bars at the county fair or garden center when my bee club goes.

Even the group members find the foundationless, no-frame display fascinating. It is a bit frustrating to always be on the defensive, especially with other beekeepers. My standard answer has become, I'm a horticulturist first and a beekeeper second, and I am trying to find a less expensive and low maintenance method of beekeeping for gardeners to employ to keep a couple of hives in their yard to help the bee population and for better pollination.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I've not joined our local group, as they meet when I'm unavailable. I'd like to find more local set of advisors to bounce ideas off of - but figure this community of beeks is as good as I can do now. Between work, life, hobbies, gardening/self-sufficiency - frankly, I haven't found it necessary to spend 3hrs of my valuable "free" time listening to information which does not pertain to our situation! Same for our organic garden. Same for our henhouses. Same for our project car we're building. Same for our 1915 money-pit, er...home which has a never-ending to-do list.
Perhaps when I'm "retired" I can join a local beek group. By then, tbh's will be 'old fashioned' and 'quaint'! LOL!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
"You don't do all three at once do you?"

That's funny. Got my day off with a laugh
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top