Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
November 24, 2014, 06:14:03 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: 24/7 Ventrilo Voice chat -click for instructions and free software here
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Two colonies in one TBH? and Warré questions...  (Read 2632 times)
elsietee
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7

Location: Sierra Foothills, CA

Newbie beek - hoping to start hives Spring '10


« on: October 07, 2009, 06:23:57 PM »

I posed this question on another beekeeping forum, but it would probably be more appropriate to post it here, since you guys specialise in TBHs. My location is hot dry California, where the 100 degree summers dry everything to a crisp, so although the bees don't need to "winter" for long, there's not an overabundance of flowering plants in the summer either.

Theoretical question: If you had a 48" long KTBH with entry holes on the long edge, and put a follower board in the middle and put a colony in each side, is it likely the two colonies would outgrow the box? (and in what time period? Ok the first year; overflowing the next?)

Is a 48" KTBH more than big enough for *one* colony, but potentially not quite big enough for two? Or could you safely stuff two colonies in so long as you're very conscientious about checking for excess honey and removing it to allow more space?

Or is this a prime reason to not stuff two colonies in one box, because you lose the flexibility to enlarge/reduce the size of the hive?

Thinking on the above, I started up with various "well, you could engineer it so you could add a super over the top of the KTBH..." but that kind of got me into the realms of "wouldn't that just be a funky Warré Hive?" 

And on that subject, what is the difference between a Langs and a Warré, other than the frames v. top bars and a quilt on top?

I get that TBHs are less stressful on the bees - less intrusive to open up for inspection; open mesh bottom for mites to drop out of - but how is a Warré less stressful on the bees? Don't you have to unpack it all to inspect? Wouldn't the mites just drop into the next box below? Or have I totally missed something?

Thanks!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Lucy Chaplin Trumbull
elsietee AT foothill DOT net
Repotted english person in the Sierra foothills, CA
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Logged

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Lucy Chaplin Trumbull
elsietee AT foothill DOT net
Repotted english person in the Sierra foothills, CA
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
fermentedhiker
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 514


Location: Midcoast Maine


« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 06:51:49 PM »

I've heard about people doing what you're talking about.  If a colony starts to outgrow their half you just move them to a new TBH.  As far as if a 48" is too big I can't say never having done one myself.  From what others have posted it seems unlikely that an average colony would make use of the whole thing, but that's no reason not to give it a try.
Logged

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
--Douglas Adams
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6422


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 09:02:24 PM »

Theoretical question: If you had a 48" long KTBH with entry holes on the long edge, and put a follower board in the middle and put a colony in each side, is it likely the two colonies would outgrow the box? (and in what time period? Ok the first year; overflowing the next?)


Length of the hive is only one dimension,  it is the volume of the cavity that matters.   Both of these TBHs have 2 colonies in them, one has top entrances and the other has bottom entrances.



Quote
Is a 48" KTBH more than big enough for *one* colony, but potentially not quite big enough for two? Or could you safely stuff two colonies in so long as you're very conscientious about checking for excess honey and removing it to allow more space?

Or is this a prime reason to not stuff two colonies in one box, because you lose the flexibility to enlarge/reduce the size of the hive?

Once again, with large enough volume 2 colonies in one hive will work

Quote
And on that subject, what is the difference between a Langs and a Warré, other than the frames v. top bars and a quilt on top?

hive body dimensions,  Warre is a square ~12" x ~12",  Langstroth is 16 1/4" x 19 7/8"  and management style is completely different.

Quote
I get that TBHs are less stressful on the bees - less intrusive to open up for inspection; open mesh bottom for mites to drop out of

Per human believe, or at least those who are proponents of TBH.   How do you know that having a vertical nest structure where the bees can easily move up and down combs is not "less stressful" than having to horizontally transverse the brood chamber?

Quote
- but how is a Warré less stressful on the bees? Don't you have to unpack it all to inspect? Wouldn't the mites just drop into the next box below? Or have I totally missed something?

Warre's protocol does not unpack/inspect the brood nest,  his belief is nest temperature/humidity/scent should never be disturbed.  Supering is from the bottom and harvest is from the top once a year.  By the way, you also assume that natural mite drop is significant enough to make a difference,  some will argue it is not.

BTW, Welcome to the forum grin
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


luvin honey
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1540

Location: Central WI


« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 12:10:58 AM »

Welcome!

I don't know how much difference your site and climate compared to mine would make. That said, here in zone 4 in WI, my 3# Italians exploded in size. They were in virgin topbars, building ALL their own comb, in a year that experienced beeks here say was dreadful. One hive swarmed at least once, probably twice. Both were also split twice (6 bars taken total from each).

So, I would hazard a newbee's guess and say that unless your climate REALLY stinks for bee keeping, you would need to keep a very close eye on a 2-colony topbar.

BTW, mine is also 48" long. I can't remember exactly, but I think the top is about 13", the bottom about 8".

Good luck! Are you planning on starting next year or is this question truly hypothetical?
Logged

The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
bigbearomaha
Guest
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 07:45:28 AM »

Quote
Quote
I get that TBHs are less stressful on the bees - less intrusive to open up for inspection; open mesh bottom for mites to drop out of
Per human believe, or at least those who are proponents of TBH.   How do you know that having a vertical nest structure where the bees can easily move up and down combs is not "less stressful" than having to horizontally transverse the brood chamber?

 I think there is enough evidence in the number of feral colonies found in roof rafters, horizontal logs, even among walls where vertical capacity is limited, that bees will work wherever there is space for them, regardless of it being vertical or horizontal.

There are enough videos of cut outs on YouTube to give similar anecdotal evidence that bees are found very often in horizontal hives they built on their own.

Personally, the fact that bees almost always build combs side by side to fill out any space they reside in suggests that they aren't inhibited by horizontal settings any more than vertical settings.  otherwise, we would see far more incidents of one incredibly long comb running up and down the length of whatever cavity they inhabit.  instead, they will build several combs horizontal to each other to fill out the space available to each other.
Up, down, left ,right, they don't give a darn.  As long as they have somewhere to hang their itty bitty little hats and keep working, they are good to go.

Big Bear
Logged
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6422


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 09:00:54 AM »

The question wasn't whether they could or would,  it was some human decision of what is "less stressful".   But I will add,  in the ferals that I have removed that had large enough spaces,  they all tended to build the nest more vertical than horizontal. 
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


elsietee
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7

Location: Sierra Foothills, CA

Newbie beek - hoping to start hives Spring '10


« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 11:37:13 AM »

Welcome!

Thanks Smiley

Quote
I don't know how much difference your site and climate compared to mine would make. That said, here in zone 4 in WI, my 3# Italians exploded in size. They were in virgin topbars, building ALL their own comb, in a year that experienced beeks here say was dreadful. One hive swarmed at least once, probably twice. Both were also split twice (6 bars taken total from each).

So like everything, "it depends"... sounds like it might be worth just putting one colony in to start with and seeing what happens. I can always add a second in the future, eh? <grin>

Quote
So, I would hazard a newbee's guess and say that unless your climate REALLY stinks for bee keeping, you would need to keep a very close eye on a 2-colony topbar.

Understood.

Quote
BTW, mine is also 48" long. I can't remember exactly, but I think the top is about 13", the bottom about 8".

I think I was worried that 48" was overkill, but it sounds like not necessarily.

Quote
Good luck! Are you planning on starting next year or is this question truly hypothetical?

I'm thinking of starting a couple of hives next spring, but right now can't decide what type to try. A friend has volunteered to make me a "bee box" (he knows nothing about hives, so I'm wondering how elaborate I should get). Right now, I'm leaning towards giving him the TBH plan found on the §¤«£¿æ site - with Roger's observation windows modification (Roger - I was pouring through the photo archive last night - good food for thought). Keeping it simple to start with seems the best way to go for me.

The Warré hive, although appealing, has me worried. I'm 5' 2" and although I'm strong, I'm not sure I could lift a full Warré to add boxes below without a catastrophic outcome <grin>.

I have read the "do bees go vertical or horizontal" argument. The comment that made sense to me was that the bees could still starve even if they had honey over winter if they got too cold to be able to get to it. But our winters aren't usually terribly cold, so maybe that's a moot point for me.

Anyway, thanks for all your thoughts - the pieces of the jigsaw are gradually dropping into place.

--
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Lucy Chaplin Trumbull
elsietee AT foothill DOT net
Repotted english person in the Sierra foothills, CA
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Logged

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Lucy Chaplin Trumbull
elsietee AT foothill DOT net
Repotted english person in the Sierra foothills, CA
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
luvin honey
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1540

Location: Central WI


« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2009, 02:46:04 PM »

You sound like where I was late last winter Cheesy I did a lot of reading, a lot of forum cruising and a lot of chatting with other beeks. Eventually, one method and hive type starts to make the most sense for you and your location.

I don't want to try to sway you either way, but I am LOVING TBH beekeeping. My friend got 4 Langstroths at the same time. She enjoys hers also, but especially with the observation windows in the topbars I feel like I have learned so much more about my bees than I ever could have from a Lang. (or Warre, for that matter).

I'd like to get a couple Warres built for next spring and try those next year, but you make a good point about lifting, one of the great appeals of the topbar in the first place.

One more comment--It is really nice to start with at least 2 colonies and another extra hive body. It really gives you a lot more options to work with when facing overcrowding, loss of a queen, swarming, etc.

Good luck! Keep us posted Smiley
Logged

The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
Coge
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 14


Location: Winnsboro, Northeast Texas


« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2009, 10:26:44 PM »

Robo, I have never used top bar hives, but plan to build some in the Spring. In the pictures I noticed the entrances on your hives seem to be extra long. How long are they? And if they are extra long what is the reason for the length?
Also I have built a barrel hive per your website which I plan to put a package in next Spring. The bung hole seems to be too large for an entry. Should I cut a hole in the center of the bung? Or am I too concerned with the size of the entry?
Coge
Logged

But for the grace of God it would be you instead of me.
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6422


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2009, 10:40:26 PM »

Robo, I have never used top bar hives, but plan to build some in the Spring. In the pictures I noticed the entrances on your hives seem to be extra long. How long are they? And if they are extra long what is the reason for the length?
They are 1/2" x 6".  I just made them that size to reduce issues with mice.
Quote
Also I have built a barrel hive per your website which I plan to put a package in next Spring. The bung hole seems to be too large for an entry. Should I cut a hole in the center of the bung? Or am I too concerned with the size of the entry?
Coge

The plastic barrels I used had bungs that could be opened to accept 3/4" pipe inserts.   I used the bungs with the 3/4" opened as entrance reducers.
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Coge
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 14


Location: Winnsboro, Northeast Texas


« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2009, 07:31:54 AM »

Thanks Robo.
Coge
Logged

But for the grace of God it would be you instead of me.
RyanB
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 63


Location: Lafayette, OR


« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2009, 03:13:11 PM »

In my limited experience, I would not put more then one colony in a 48" hive from §¤«£¿æ's design. I made a 36" and a 48" hive this year (being my 1st year). By mid summer both hives were full and I had to 'super' the 36" hive.
Logged

Currently Fermenting:

Cherry Melomel - 1Gal
Pear Melomel - 1Gal
White Pyment - 1Gal
Root Beer Mead - 1Gal
Mead Cyser - 5Gal

Recently Finished:
Sack Mead - 1Gal, Very Good!
Braggot - 1Gal, Very popular!
Mead Cyser - 1Gal, Wifes Fav!
JAO - 1Gal, Nice, A bit too sweet.
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 13877


Location: Nehawka, NE


WWW
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2009, 04:07:15 PM »

>Theoretical question: If you had a 48" long KTBH with entry holes on the long edge, and put a follower board in the middle and put a colony in each side, is it likely the two colonies would outgrow the box? (and in what time period? Ok the first year; overflowing the next?)

Why not just pull the end bar in and use the gap as the entrance with no holes?  Anyway, the answer is yes.  Most likely in the first couple of months.  But the answer also depends on the cross section of the hive.  To large makes combs hard to handle.  The typical comb size in mine is about 100 square inches or less.  And the length on mine are about four feet.  Mine typically from a package build up, fill the hive and swarm about June with only one in the hive.

>Is a 48" KTBH more than big enough for *one* colony, but potentially not quite big enough for two?

No.  It's not really big enough for one unless you harvest frequently, but then again they sometimes don't want to go much more than 48" horizontally.

> Or could you safely stuff two colonies in so long as you're very conscientious about checking for excess honey and removing it to allow more space?

No.  There is not enough space for them to have enough stores for winter.

>Thinking on the above, I started up with various "well, you could engineer it so you could add a super over the top of the KTBH..." but that kind of got me into the realms of "wouldn't that just be a funky Warré Hive?"

Yes it would, sort of.  Nothing wrong with that...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/LongHiveSupered.JPG

>And on that subject, what is the difference between a Langs and a Warré, other than the frames v. top bars and a quilt on top?

Not a lot.  Bees fill whatever space you give them.

>I get that TBHs are less stressful on the bees - less intrusive to open up for inspection;

Maybe a little.  But not a lot.

> open mesh bottom for mites to drop out of

Most top bar hives don't and I don't see that it accomplishes that at all.

> - but how is a Warré less stressful on the bees?

Most never inspect.

> Don't you have to unpack it all to inspect? Wouldn't the mites just drop into the next box below? Or have I totally missed something?

The Abbe Warre' believed that you needed to hardly ever inspect at all.  The smells and warmth of the brood nest were hardly ever to be disrupted.  I think the success of the Warre' comes down to clean wax and natural cell size.
Logged

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.562 seconds with 21 queries.

Google visited last this page October 29, 2014, 08:57:38 AM
anything