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Author Topic: Pros and Cons of the Topbar?  (Read 16126 times)
cidersabuzzin
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« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2010, 05:49:28 PM »

>>* Facilitate natural beekeeping. Bees build the broodnest their way.
>

Hi Mike
I am new to TBH not even got any bees yet but KTBH built, I was wondering when I get my first nuc, the frames will be wired, so can I shake the bees into the TBH as long as the Queen go's in! Is this the correct thing to do considering the loss of brood? How long will it take for new comb to be built. Queen breeders do not seem to produce 'packages' in my neck of the woods, as is normal, TBH are looked on askance, with questions about how the bee inspector can inspect your hive for AFB & EFB etc. Would I be better trying to get a swarm?
Regards
cider
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luvin honey
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« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2010, 09:43:54 PM »

So far so good. I have been observing them coming and going from the hives on the nice warm days.
I peaked in last week and they are clustered on a couple of the bars.
Ditto to mine. My 2 that got robbed, I didn't expect to make it. And they didn't. My strong split is still going strong. Crossing my fingers for these last unpredictable months of WI winter/spring.
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The pedigree of honey
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2010, 11:48:27 PM »

Why would you buy a nuc and waste the brood?  You could buy a package cheaper and not waste the brood.  Or make frames and do a cutout of the brood.  There is no advantage to a nuc if you are not going to use the combs.  Buy a package.  You can find a bee club that brings them in.  You can get them mailed to you.  If you're going to waste the brood anyway, then shake the nuc into the box and give the frames back to the nuc producer...

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Michael Bush
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Highlandsfreedom
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« Reply #43 on: March 10, 2010, 08:06:13 PM »

Hello all hope all was well this winter I wanted to chime in on a few of my friends here in Denver who have TBH.  They all have made it and we had a few -18 deg. weeks early on and I have 3 hives in my back yard in Langs and I lost a colony and the TBH's all made it so I really dont see the differance in them I will be adding a few TBH's to my yard this year after watching the fun of them last year and seeing how they over wintered really well.  Thats my 2 cents in the matter...... I'm for 'em!!!  grin
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Natalie
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« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2010, 11:03:06 AM »

I agree, I don't think there is any difference in winter survival between the tbh and langs, it depends on the colonies themselves, food left for them etc.
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Somerford
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« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2010, 04:21:31 PM »

For me, the biggest disadvantage is 1. the fact one is encouraged to leave the bees alone encourages swarming, and for me, if you loose your bees, you aren't a 'beeKEEPER' !! 2. Let alone beekeeping in the current age of varroa etc flies in the face of wanting to deal with the bla*ted mites  - yes I know all about some of the theories about small cell size etc but, and it is a big but, there is very little scientific evidence to date, more theory and conjecture to back up ideas.

That said, we are running a TBH & Warre as a comparison to conventional hives (before anyone says I'm blinkered ! )

regards

S
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Natalie
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« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2010, 06:03:48 PM »

I think you are extremely confused to say the least. We are discussing topbar hives.
 Who says you are suppose to leave them alone?
There is no recommendation that if you have a tbh you are suppose to leave them alone. You can inspect them as much as you want, the theory is that you are not disturbing the entire hive every time you need to go in for something, not that you are suppose to leave them alone.
I think you are confusing the warre' hives with the tbh.

Who says you lose more bees in a tbh?

Who said anything about small cell?

If you are using a tbh then you are allowing them to build their own cells in any size they choose and they do not build all small cell, they build all sizes in the very same hive.
That is referred to natural cell size.

 More importantly, the comment about if you lose bees you are not a beekeeper is.... huh everyone everywhere loses bees. Period.
How in the world can you make a statement that if you lose bees you are not a beekeeper?!
That is absurd. If you haven't lost any of your hives yet then you probably aren't a beekeeper yet.
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Somerford
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« Reply #47 on: March 12, 2010, 07:07:00 AM »

Natalie - I am not confusing either hive - this is the way the §¤«£¿æ keeper in our association has interepreted the management of the hives and that is the way he manages them.

Whether or not you agree is a matter of opinion - small cell is one way of managing varroa, although I have yet to see if it makes a difference, and it could be one of the ways he will manage the mite IF he decides to continue with his 'minimum interference' course of action.

Bee Looser / Bee Keeper - just a little bit of fun my old mentor used to discuss with me when I lost my first swarm of bees over 20 years ago. I do all I can to prevent swarming as a result !

kind regards

S
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Natalie
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« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2010, 11:08:32 AM »

The thing is, we are not discussing any of that here. We were talking about the topbar hives and you went on about small cell, varroa and all that when we were not previously discussing that.

You are saying that your mentor is interpeting things in that way, yet we are not and have not led anyone to believe that we are, so when you jumped in claiming that if you run topbars you are suppose to leave them alone but then they will swarm, you lose more bees, they are small cell etc. all of which are at best not completely accuarate it appeared that you were confused.
This reminds of someone..... Rosanna, Rosanadanna.  grin
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Somerford
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« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2010, 12:28:18 PM »

Nats, you missed the title of the thread - PROS & CONS of Top bar Hives - this is what I was discussing when I put these in the cons/pros in my 1st response to the question. They are a con in my eyes, although in others they may see a pro. They also lends themselves to warres which are similar in that they also use top bars, although the hive is a more conventional shape.

Please re-read and your confusion will be abated.

I have no idea who rosanna is

regards

S

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wd
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« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2010, 01:01:10 PM »

In my eyes, any hive design will eventually swarm for one reason or another, It's the bees nature, instinct for survival - What would happen if they didn't?

I've had comb fall off standard frames a few times. In my area, the concern I have about the TBH is the comb falling off the bar in the heat when getting into it to _________. It's the same concern with warre.
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2010, 02:09:54 PM »

Actually,

Quote
For me, the biggest disadvantage is 1. the fact one is encouraged to leave the bees alone encourages swarming

The most given advice is not to leave tbh's "alone" but that they benefit from increased observation.  Not that one has to go through every comb every time, but one needs to keep an eye that the colony has plenty of room to expand.

Quote
yes I know all about some of the theories about small cell size etc but, and it is a big but, there is very little scientific evidence to date, more theory and conjecture to back up ideas.

 'small cell' is a concept associated with frame foundation.  in a TBH, the comb and cell size is determined by the bees as it is drawn and one comb will have various cell sizes.  Bees have survived approx 150 million years in 'natural' size cells and comb,  I think that should stand as evidence enough for it's efficacy.

In terms of mites,  they have been found to have lived with honey bees in various parts of the world for a very long time and there are honey bees in those parts of the world who have been found to have become tolerant and more hygienic as a result.  Hence the introduction to the U.S. of the 'Russian' Honeybee as a response to the mite incursion.  

This 'hive envy' that is displayed by one side or the other is a bit pesky and really only serves to show ignorance in action.  There really is no need to criticize any one hive as bees have been known to independently move into anything from a tree to a house wall to an old car or camper.

Think of it in terms of a tool that is designed for a specific purpose.

Langs were designed to force increased production of honey and to make culling said honey easier for the beekeeper.  Plain and simple and they succeed very well at what they were designed for.

One could say the tbh is designed for a more 'conservation' oriented approach to working with bees and is a tool that offers what those people using it consider a less overall intrusive and more 'bee friendly' environment at the expense of convenience or high honey production.

Use the tool that suits your objectives best and let it end at that.

I use mostly tbh's in my endeavors for the present and future but I have langs I use for purposes they meet best as well.  

enjoy the bees

Big Bear

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luvin honey
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« Reply #52 on: March 12, 2010, 04:10:20 PM »

This 'hive envy' that is displayed by one side or the other is a bit pesky and really only serves to show ignorance in action.  There really is no need to criticize any one hive as bees have been known to independently move into anything from a tree to a house wall to an old car or camper.
Totally agreed. I love my TBHs! But, I would someday like to try Warre and Langs, too. Pros and cons to all of them, like most things in life.
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The pedigree of honey
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Somerford
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« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2010, 04:52:05 PM »

LOL

I have a BeeHaus ....


...no one can accuse me of being blinkered !

regards to all

S
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Natalie
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« Reply #54 on: March 12, 2010, 08:17:42 PM »

Soms, the point I was making is reiterated by bigbearomaha. The cons you are listing for the tbh are not recommendations associated with topbar hives. Small size, leaving the bees alone... etc. again, have nothing to do with those types of hives.
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Somerford
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« Reply #55 on: March 13, 2010, 03:28:26 AM »

Nats, considering this is a worldwide bee forum - in the UK there are a number of beekeepers who consider TBH to fall under the 'let alone' banner, while there are others who do inspect regularly. Obviously this is not something that has yet (?) been considered in the US. That was why I wrote what I did.

As mentioned though - with a minimum 2 TBH and a Warre populated by this summer, at least 1 will be totally 'let alone' to study if small cell can reduce/eradicate varroa while the others will be inspected.

and there is then the beehaus which, I can assure, has caused more uproar over here than the TBH/Warre/Bio -Beekeeping put together !

hey ho, it's off to beekeep we go !

regards

S
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JP
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« Reply #56 on: March 13, 2010, 10:03:59 AM »

Ok folks, let me throw this out. If your hives are not in a residential but rural area, is it so bad that your bees swarm?

So they swarm and go feral living in trees and they make it season after season adapting to what mother nature has to throw at them.

Congratulations, you have just added survivor stock to your local gene pool. Nothing wrong with a little diversity.

I'm setting up two TBHs I got from uncle Bud last season just for fun. Not expecting anything but pure pleasure. Gonna bring them to my place in Ms and let them bee.

May pull some honey from them, might not. Gonna let them swarm if they want to, make 'em happy spreading their oats. Hopefully, I can be there to see it happen, gonna stand right in the middle of 'em, waving goodbye.

Its all good with bees.


...JP
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annette
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« Reply #57 on: March 13, 2010, 11:52:57 AM »

I really appreciate that approach of yours JP because I know it becomes such a stressful issue among beeks "OH MY GOD, THEY SWARMED". I was very stressful my first couple of years when I began beekeeping, dreading the swarm season, but now I have relaxed with it all.  I will do my best and after that, well adios amigos. 

I think my main concern with the swarming is they might take up residence in a nearby house. My bees are approximately 300 feet from the nearest structure.

Looking forward to hearing about the TBH's this year. All of a sudden it has become the newest thing and I am on board with it all also, having turned my electrician onto beekeeping this year. He built a TBH and I will help him with it.

Annette
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JP
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« Reply #58 on: March 13, 2010, 12:12:34 PM »

Just to verify, I'm not proposing its ok for your bees to totally swarm out on you, but losing some here and there is not that bad of a thing. And I'm dead serious about adding bees to the gene pool. It can only help.

Call it outlaw beekeeping if you will.


...JP  Wink
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luvin honey
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« Reply #59 on: March 13, 2010, 11:24:51 PM »

Ok folks, let me throw this out. If your hives are not in a residential but rural area, is it so bad that your bees swarm?

So they swarm and go feral living in trees and they make it season after season adapting to what mother nature has to throw at them.

Congratulations, you have just added survivor stock to your local gene pool. Nothing wrong with a little diversity.
That's exactly what I told myself when mine swarmed beyond my reach this summer Smiley
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
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