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I have been working for the past 3 seasons for a guy who has a couple hundred hives. I got hooked quick and bartered last year for five nucs. I got them late in the season and luckily we got a fall nectar flow here in Pa. Long story short it looks like only 2 of them made it through. I have been pursuing a sustainable lifestyle and it seems that top bar is more attractive to us type of ppl. This year I will build and try my hand at this style of equipment and natural comb to see if it feels right to me. Thank you folks on this forum for the stories and encouragement. I will start to document this adventure as it unfolds.
 

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Top bars are great for the backyard hobbyist. You won't get as much honey from them as a Langstroth and they require more hands-on attention but they're a lot of fun. I live in the city and have two in my backyard. Get hives with an observation window if you can. Good luck.
 

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Best wishes for your new adventure GreenWay!
You are fortunate to have all that bee working experience already. Most of us start our TBs 'green' with just book learning and youTubes or a class under our belts. TBs appeal to us old folks that don't want to Lift too. :) I agree with BeeGora to have a window in at least one of your new hives as well. It's just infinitely fascinating to do easy checking on them that way.
Don't feel bad about 2 out of 5 nucs making it. Even whole insulated hives had a bad winter in some places. I go to a homesteading forum that has a bee keeping thread and Gads! People had losses and more losses this year. I only had one TB and the arctic freeze didn't hit Oregon so mine made it.:D I'm getting a second package in a week for my second hive and starting Year Two as of April 9. I hope you are starting with 2 hives or more (I had just one and did OK but after-the-fact I learned two with the same measurements is Really the smarter way to start.
Congrats on striving for sustainability. I know from experience that your own bees can help your fruit trees and gardening (unless your place was full of bees anyway;mine wasn't as I'm 10 miles from another beek). It's not hard to learn canning with honey either. ;)
Looking forward to your updates! I enjoy "stories" on this forum as much as the "information" part. :shhhh:
 

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Thanks for the kind words Happy Beeing. I agree with your advice about starting two hives, I have heard this before and see it's usefullness as far as having resources from one to boost up the other and so on. Glad to hear about your TBH making it through what seems to be one of the worst winters in quite a while. I do feel lucky to have some experience keeping other ppl's bees before keeping my own. When you get the chance to go through hundreds of hives you really start to understand the complexities of the beehive. I'll keep you posted.
 
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