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Author Topic: TBH and Starter Strip Question  (Read 2312 times)
bassman1977
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« on: March 14, 2008, 10:40:44 AM »

I want to populate my TBH with a split from my Carnolian hive and allow this split to raise its own queen.  I was given an idea to "capture" the split, which is what I had in mind, but after building the hive I found that the top bars for my TBH are considerably shorter than that of the Langstroth.  Capturing the split on the TBH bars is not an option, so what I figured I would do is capture the split on frameless Langstroth bars. I would allow the wax to be drawn on the starter strips and give the queen time to lay eggs in the newly drawn comb.  Once this happens I could then transfer the frames of foundation into the TBH and allow the hive to build up.  Once the hive builds up enough, I could then replace the Langstroth bars with the TBH bars.

My TBH uses starter strips which are about 13.25 inches in length.  The Langstroth top bars can hold starter strips which are something like 18 inches in length.  My question is, if I put 13.25 inch strips onto the Langstroth bars would the bees only draw on that strip or could they potentially draw out the entire length of the frame?  Reason being is I need the drawn Langstroth comb to fit into the TBH.

I hope this makes sense and as always, thanks in advance.
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 10:53:26 AM »

Given time they will draw comb the full length.  They will start on the strips and if you time it right, you may get them out before they draw them out farther.  If not,  just cut the comb to fit your TBH.

How many hives do you have?  Do you have enough to have a self raised queen mated with diversity? 

I know hind sight is 20/20,  but if you build any more TBHs you may want to size them to hold Langstroth frames, that make moving split much easier.  I built mine 22" wide and can wire a Langstroth deep to the bottom of the top bars.

rob....
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bassman1977
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 11:22:32 AM »

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Given time they will draw comb the full length.  They will start on the strips and if you time it right, you may get them out before they draw them out farther. 

Cool.  If figured some timing would be needed.  That's not a problem.

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If not,  just cut the comb to fit your TBH.

At least it will be soft.  I am just afraid I will knock the comb off the bar.

Quote
How many hives do you have?  Do you have enough to have a self raised queen mated with diversity?

At the time I do this, there will be 9 hives in the yard.  There are also feral hives around the area.  I've done self-raised queens successfully with as little as two hives in the yard.  Always got some nice queens out of them.

Quote
I know hind sight is 20/20,  but if you build any more TBHs you may want to size them to hold Langstroth frames, that make moving split much easier.  I built mine 22" wide and can wire a Langstroth deep to the bottom of the top bars.

Good suggestion.  I think I will only have one TBH.  I may do as many as two just to compare hive progress, but we'll see.  The TBH is just a toy and something to learn on.
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 11:33:13 AM »

At least it will be soft.  I am just afraid I will knock the comb off the bar.

I find a serrated knife works well.  Also building a rack to hold the top bars greatly reduces the stress on the wax.  It helps keep the frame vertical and reduces swaying motion compared to holding in your hand.


Quote
Good suggestion.  I think I will only have one TBH.  I may do as many as two just to compare hive progress, but we'll see.  The TBH is just a toy and something to learn on.


Ya, don't go too crazy until you try them.  I have 4 empty ones now after trying them. rolleyes
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bassman1977
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008, 11:56:29 AM »

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Ya, don't go too crazy until you try them.  I have 4 empty ones now after trying them.

If nothing else, I will be able to get some wax after doing a crush and strain extraction.  My wife has at times showed some interest in making candles, so having the extra wax might put her interest over the top enough to actually try it.  That's my hope anyway.  It would be nice to have her involved in this in some capacity.  I think she wants to but she's not physically able to do the heavy lifting with the hives.  This would be perfect for her.
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2008, 09:35:19 PM »

How necessary is it to put a TBH on a tall stand?  I am going to have bees in mine in about a week or so.  I was just going to set the hive on some cinder blocks that is high enough not to get buried when it snows in the winter.  If it is necessary, I can build something.
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2008, 10:31:33 PM »

>How necessary is it to put a TBH on a tall stand?

I started out with mine on a tall stand and after the wind blew it over, I put it on the ground.

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/KTBH4.JPG
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2008, 10:27:55 AM »

"Good suggestion.  I think I will only have one TBH.  I may do as many as two just to compare hive progress, but we'll see.  The TBH is just a toy and something to learn on."

Thousands of beekeepers would disagree. Just because one person doesn't like them doesn't mean others won't love them.

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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2008, 01:25:31 PM »

How necessary is it to put a TBH on a tall stand?  I am going to have bees in mine in about a week or so.  I was just going to set the hive on some cinder blocks that is high enough not to get buried when it snows in the winter.  If it is necessary, I can build something.

It is not necessary,  but it helps the back.   With the hive elevated,  you can stand straight while you work on it.   Bending over gets old real quick.
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2008, 01:30:08 PM »

"Good suggestion.  I think I will only have one TBH.  I may do as many as two just to compare hive progress, but we'll see.  The TBH is just a toy and something to learn on."

Thousands of beekeepers would disagree. Just because one person doesn't like them doesn't mean others won't love them.



If everybody liked vanilla, they wouldn't make chocolate.

I never told him not to try it,  just shared my experience and recommended he not jump in with both feet.    Yes I'm sure thousands of beekeepers would disagree because that is all they have ever used or that is the only resources they have.   TBH have there place, just like chocolate.  But they surely aren't the most efficient way to produce honey.
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2008, 03:01:35 PM »

Agreed on honey production but beekeeping and producing honey are not the same thing.

I don't want maximum honey production. I want maximum enjoyment from my beekeeping. The honey is part of the equation but not the main thing for me.

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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2008, 03:07:25 PM »

I want maximum enjoyment from my beekeeping.

Enjoyment/relaxation is a major part of the equation for me too,  but I'm not sure I understand why TBH would bring more enjoyment.


rob...
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bassman1977
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2008, 03:18:42 PM »

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If everybody liked vanilla, they wouldn't make chocolate.

I never told him not to try it,  just shared my experience and recommended he not jump in with both feet.    Yes I'm sure thousands of beekeepers would disagree because that is all they have ever used or that is the only resources they have.   TBH have there place, just like chocolate.  But they surely aren't the most efficient way to produce honey.

Like I said, this is a learning thing for me and also an attempt to get more wax in hopes to get my wife more involved in what I am doing.  She seems to have some interest in candle making.  We'll see how that goes.  I do not like crush and straining honey at all, so honey production with these hives is not a big concern.  Anyway, they are neat hives so having one or two can never hurt.

...and I can't stand chocolate ice cream...mint chocolate chip is so much better   Wink
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2008, 03:22:38 PM »

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but I'm not sure I understand why TBH would bring more enjoyment.

I enjoy learning and I am learning something new.  Beekeeping has been a huge enjoyment just from the learning aspect.  It is an orgy of knowledge with the many different angles beekeeping takes you.  Various beekeeping methods (TBH and langstroth for instance), Botany, entomology, agriculture, even economics.
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2008, 03:54:54 PM »

Not to hi-jack the thread, but Robo is that TBH a blue barrel 1/2 or 1/4 ?
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2008, 07:59:46 PM »

It's a 1/2 of a barrel.

You can see more pictures and read about it here -> http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/barrel-top-bar-hive/
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2008, 10:25:42 AM »

Bassman why do you not like crush and strain for honey?  I am planning on using that method mostly because I have only one hive now and am adding two packages which to me didn't justify the expense and clean up of an extractor.  I am curious as to your expereinces
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bassman1977
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2008, 12:38:24 PM »

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Bassman why do you not like crush and strain for honey?  I am planning on using that method mostly because I have only one hive now and am adding two packages which to me didn't justify the expense and clean up of an extractor.  I am curious as to your expereinces

Mostly personal preference.  In the past I have put gloves on and squeezed the honey by hand.  After a while of doing this, my hands and wrists got sore and tired.  My left hand has a bit of nerve damage from a car accident a few years ago.  Tillie suggested using a pestal, which I haven't tried yet, but will once I harvest from the TBH.  Also I find that the mess from extraction is not as contained as it is when using my extractor (don't ask, I can't figure out why...I'm weird is all. :-p ).  I don't know what it is but there's always these little sticky spots all over the place when I am done with crush & strain, regardless of how careful I am.  Then I walk from point A to point B and get multiplying sticky spots and a angry off wife to boot.  Another reason and probably my biggest reason, is that I just don't like destroying perfectly good storage comb.  Sure they may build it back up, but why should the bees have to do so when they don't have to.
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« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2008, 12:55:21 PM »

That all makes sense.  One point that comes to mind, however, is that if your wife wants the wax for candles, wouldn't crush and strain will give you a lot more than extraction?  I am concerned about mess as well and have been given a stern warning from my wife to stay out of her kitchen when honey harvest comes.  I showed her Tillie's video about it and the first thing she said is that I was not allowed to do that in her kitchen Smiley
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Brian
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« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2008, 01:23:40 PM »

Well, I don't know if she will even get into candle making.  She showed interest in it but has yet to try.  Crush and strain would definately help getting more wax, but I am planning on doing this for a living in the next couple years (I hate working out of an office like I am doing now).  I am not going into pollination as much as I am doing it for honey sales.
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« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2008, 09:55:42 AM »

For crush and strain I plan on employing my cider press.  One more use for an already expensive piece of equipment.  I couldn't afford both a cider press and an extractor and having had and sold an extractor in the past I believe that using the cider press will give me a good quality of honey with less effort than an extractor will.  Also, in my experience, honey that has less air content crystalizes more slowly.  The wax will come out as essentially a block too making rendering in a solar wax melter easier as I can just drop the pressed wax into the melter.  Candles and Soap are some of the things I'll be making out of the wax--self reliance is import these days--most of the world is one natural disaster away from starvation and my place is not only green up self-sustaining.
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