Okay, just how much less honey are we talking about with Lang's vs top bars? I know it varies by hive and season, but is there anyone out here who has worked a bunch of both, to make same season comparisons on a number of hives?
We have 8 frame Lang's now, mostly due to me being too small to lift a full 10 frame deeps. a bale of hay, a sack of feed, OR a full 8 box deep are about my limits. And I think it is smarter for 2 to lift a full deep, or move it to an empty covered deep on a wagon. Feed doesn't care if you drop it & neither do you :evil: Off topic...
I am very interested in the top hives, for learning more about the bees & observing them, but also because, yep, we can see that the constant replacement of Lang equipment adds up. Just adding new hives costs big, even if you get swarms & do your own splits.
I have heard estimates ranging from 8 pounds of honey thru 20 pounds of honey energy & time are needed by the bees to produce 1 pound of wax. Would it be accurate, that if you are doing crush and strain, which sounds necessary with top bar, then you would necessarily be costing that much honey production vs pulling supers from a Lang, uncapping, extracting and putting the wet supers right back on? That would be a con....
Of course the pro would have to be that you would be finding a market for the wax, or making/selling wax based products from that wax. Should be fairly light/good quality wax if it is being used only once (vs left on supers for a few years)?
How much honey and how much wax does one get from each full bar of a top bar hive? If I play with this, I would want to make top bar hives as compatible with Lang frame tops as possible for size.
It sounds like basically, no one has come up with a foundationless frame or top frame holder so that they could be spun in an extractor and returned to the hive? Or would the force just cause whatever grid you used to tear thru the wax?
If that is the case, if we wanted to keep hives to extract from, would long hives with Lang frame & foundation be what we would be looking at? Could we do observation windows on those?