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Author Topic: Let's Compare Progress  (Read 3115 times)
showme714
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« on: May 11, 2011, 03:09:14 AM »

I have seen that quite a few newbs have checked in lately. I am trying to identify the newbies that have Top Bar Hives and that have made their first installations in the last couple of weeks to compare notes with. Anyone?
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VeggieGardener
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 01:18:37 PM »

I installed two packages into top bar hives yesterday. One queen was dead on arrival and a replacement is on the way. The other package had drawn out two nice pieces of comb right in the box during transport.
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showme714
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2011, 01:12:15 PM »

I installed two packages into top bar hives yesterday. One queen was dead on arrival and a replacement is on the way. The other package had drawn out two nice pieces of comb right in the box during transport.

Sorry to hear that about the queen. How's that hive doing queenless so far? How's the other hive? I'm going to go out in a bit and check my hive. I will get some pictures up from last Wednesday's inspection. So far the comb was straight and beautiful. There were 7 full bars and 2 starts ten days after installation.
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NeilTheCop
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2011, 07:36:00 PM »

My package went in about 4 weeks ago.
They seem to have settled down and there's a regular stream of bees going into the hive with yellow legs. Not sure whether to peek inside or just leave well alone. evil
One problem I have is that a colony of tiny black flys are moving into the hive. The guards are chasing them out, but they simply come straight back in. I got a small jar and made some holes in the top and filled it with sugar solution. It's drowned a couple of hundred flies so far.
Just watching the bees at work is fascinating.
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showme714
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2011, 08:25:02 PM »

NeilTheCop you got to get in there at some point to see what's going on. You want to know that the girls are building comb. If the comb is straight or not. You want to see if the queen is alive and laying eggs and for pest control. If you don't check them soon you could be headed for some problems.

My hive is about a week younger than yours. I gave them 3 days to settle in and then checked to make sure the queen had been released. She had but they didn't seem to be feeding or making comb. I changed out the feeder I made for a different type and they went to town. I waited until the tenth day to check the hive again and they were feeding well and had built 7 bars of comb and working another two. Now I check once a week on Wednesdays. So far everything looks good. No pests and the queen is much larger than when she came. There's capped brood, pollen and I'm not sure if it's sugar water or honey yet.

Here's some pics:

Here are some pics of the good work the girls are doing. They loved the guides and are building straight and beautiful comb.



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gwalker314
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 08:44:31 PM »

Nice looking comb there. I installed a 3lb package in my top bar hive about 3 1/2 weeks ago. They are doing great. They have built out 8 bars so far with about 4 of those nice brood. I did not feed the package any sugar water just to see how they would do on their own. I am very pleased with the quality of the bees. I am in central Alabama and there was plenty of nectar and pollen available. I hope all the other TBH beeks have success as well.

GW
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showme714
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2011, 12:40:45 AM »

Nice looking comb there. I installed a 3lb package in my top bar hive about 3 1/2 weeks ago. They are doing great. They have built out 8 bars so far with about 4 of those nice brood. I did not feed the package any sugar water just to see how they would do on their own. I am very pleased with the quality of the bees. I am in central Alabama and there was plenty of nectar and pollen available. I hope all the other TBH beeks have success as well.

GW

Thanks. I hope that other TBH newbies will come to this thread to sort of create like a freshman class so to speak. I appreciate all the knowledge of the experienced beeks but maybe we can grow up together as a group. I was thinking about taking away the sugar water on the next inspection. A lot of things are coming into bloom in my area now. Do you have any pics to share?
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Picobrew
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011, 01:49:38 AM »

I hived 2 packages 38 days ago.  Probably 20 of the first 27 days were wet/windy and at least 10*F below normal.  I'll I could do is wait and worry.  I had mason jar feeders in the hives but temps frequently dropped below freezing.  The bees flew on the infrequent afternoons it hit the upper 40s.

The cluster seemed to be growing so I hoped they were standing on new comb.  Eventually, there was enough comb to see through the observation window.  I took this photo yesterday


and this one today


I'm feeling much better now.  I told my wife I am a little concerned that I don't know what to worry about now.
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I think cayenne, I think cayenne.
showme714
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2011, 01:55:52 PM »

I hived 2 packages 38 days ago.  Probably 20 of the first 27 days were wet/windy and at least 10*F below normal.  I'll I could do is wait and worry.  I had mason jar feeders in the hives but temps frequently dropped below freezing.  The bees flew on the infrequent afternoons it hit the upper 40s.

The cluster seemed to be growing so I hoped they were standing on new comb.  Eventually, there was enough comb to see through the observation window.  I took this photo yesterday


I'm feeling much better now.  I told my wife I am a little concerned that I don't know what to worry about now.

Very nice. Did you build your own hive? I have an observation window on mine I built but I wished I had made it the length of the hive. It looks like you are off to a good start. I wouldn't worry too much other than staying observant for pest management. The bees will do the rest. Keep the pics coming. Thanks for sharing!
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Picobrew
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2011, 03:18:39 AM »

The sharing is easy; most of the people I see in person have had enough talk about bees, hives, and weather.  I'm happy to share all this with folks of similar interests.



I built 2 hives, largely from scraps we had around the house.  The planks are 4/4 paneling from our kitchen project, the hardware store gave me a cutoff piece of Plexiglas from his trash, one roof is left over from our house roof, the other a sheet of corrugated metal that was half buried behind the shed...

The only real money was in the electric fence.  I felt vindicated when our dog treed a bear in the yard 2 nights after we hived the bees.  He's treed a second bear since.

I'm having a great deal of fun with this new addiction.  grin
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I think cayenne, I think cayenne.
showme714
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 03:26:14 PM »

Here are some more pics. I think I did a fair job of building my first TBH. Now that I have that experience, I know I can do a better job next time out. I'm sure that I will get a second package next year. I'm already thinking about building the new hive now.






It has been very hot and dry here in Georgia. I made the girls a little watering station out of a couple of seed starter trays. I put one inside the other for strength. I added some aquarium rocks and some hydroton (expanded clay rocks) that float for the most part. They should keep the girls from drowning regardless of water level.







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VeggieGardener
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 09:03:41 PM »


Sorry to hear that about the queen. How's that hive doing queenless so far? How's the other hive? I'm going to go out in a bit and check my hive. I will get some pictures up from last Wednesday's inspection. So far the comb was straight and beautiful. There were 7 full bars and 2 starts ten days after installation.

Replacement queen arrived today, both hives seem to be doing fine. I didn't direct release the queen from the first hive but they are attaching comb to the top bars and there is no sign of any cross comb. Removed the cage with the dead queen from the second hive today and placed the cage with the replacement queen along the side wall on the bottom of the hive. There is a smaller cluster of bees in this hive but they are building comb, gathering nectar and pollen, and seem to be just as active as the first hive.
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DavesBees
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2011, 11:59:01 AM »


[/quote]
Thanks. I hope that other TBH newbies will come to this thread to sort of create like a freshman class so to speak. I appreciate all the knowledge of the experienced beeks but maybe we can grow up together as a group.
[/quote]

That’s what I’m talking about….good on ya!  We are still here if you need us.
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Dave - PM me if you are interseted in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
http://www.davesbees.com
Danger Brown
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2011, 02:30:08 AM »

I'm new and starting with top bar hives....without hesitation. I built one hive in a real hurry as a friend called and told me I could come get a swarm from him. They didn't like my hive I guess, and moved outside of it in preparation to swarm again. So I built 3 swarm traps in a hurry.

They moved into one of my swarm traps which is just a box with ventilation, but no top bars.

I'm now building 10 top bar hives all at once. All of them with windows. Got the hive bodies all assembled today. Did all the table saw work for the top bars and guides. Just need to paint, finish the top bars, install windows and door hardware, then we'll be ready for lots of bees.

I'm planning on doing trapouts, cutouts, and swarms to populate my hives. Been working hard on it so they'll have time to build up for winter.

So my only hive is in a swarm trap and waiting for me to get their hive built. I figure that once I get my hives all finished and painted, these girls will have a little brood and I'll do a little cutout on them. I'm worried about over stressing them too soon with all the moving they've done lately.
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beegardenbirder
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2011, 03:15:55 PM »

I have seen that quite a few newbs have checked in lately. I am trying to identify the newbies that have Top Bar Hives and that have made their first installations in the last couple of weeks to compare notes with. Anyone?
It seems that most of the posts are from May or before .... I would like to know how things are going now. I started my TBH  the end of April and would like to know how it compares to the rest of you... I have 7 full bars and 2 partials drawn out, they are taking in lots of pollen but it is really hot and dry here in Texas
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VeggieGardener
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2011, 10:02:10 PM »

I installed two packages on May 16th. One is off to a good start with ten full frames drawn and nectar, pollen, and brood in the combs. The second colony that arrived with a dead queen is not doing as well; only about six partially completed frames drawn but a replacement queen was accepted and is laying. I may move a frame of brood from the stronger hive into the weaker one to help give them a boost.


« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 10:14:51 PM by buzzbee » Logged
Picobrew
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« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2011, 02:20:02 AM »

I have a full set of pictures of the combs in one of my top bar hives. picasa web album  I posted it on another forum with questions I had at the time.

Someone was kind enough to point out the queen I had photographed but not been able to find.  To keep this sporting I'll share that she is on bar #6.  The two sides of the comb are identified by an E or a W denoting the direction they face.  Pretty high-tech code, eh?

I think my 2 hives are doing well.  They are working diligently bringing in nectar and pollen, their numbers are increasing, and they are building comb again.  I've really come to enjoy sitting near the hives to watch and listen as they go about beeing.  On walks my family looks for new blossoms, and checks many of them for bees.  We cannot know if they are our bees, but it is exciting each time we find one.

I'm trying to learn to relax.  Like a first-time parent I'm looking at each sniffle as possibly the first indication of immanent disaster.  I want to do what I can to help them out, but that seems to be just letting them bee.  They're pretty good at it.

My wife is the quintessential hands off beekeeper.  She doesn't understand why I read two forums each night, why I am requesting library books from across the country, why I keep finding new podcasts...  I know the intensity will fade with time but this seems like the type of passtime that potentially lasts a lifetime.  I want to prepare as best I can.

So, the bees and the hives are progressing well.  The beekeeper is trying to keep up.
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I think cayenne, I think cayenne.
lof
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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2011, 12:08:30 PM »

I have established my Warre on March 19, 2011.
I started it by splitting the Langs, just poured a queen and most of the workers into the Warre. It had two stacked hives. I put strips of wax foundation on the topbars to get them started. Since then they have filled top two hives and I have added another hive body (to the bottom - they build from top to bottom in Warre) without starter strips and they are building comb in that one now.

Photos and video of progress are on my blog: Beginner Beekeeper Blog
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beegardenbirder
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« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2011, 11:37:13 AM »

Started feeding sugar water again last week because it is very dry and hot here, now my observation window is clouding up, it looks like it has little wax bee "footprints" all over it.  Has anyone else experience this? Is it normal?
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NeilTheCop
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« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2011, 09:41:25 PM »

I finally opened my Warre for the first time today.
A touch of smoke and they all quietened down. Took off the cover and found no activity at all in the top box. I thought they built from the top down?
I can see comb in the first two boxes but there's nothing in the top two.
Is this normal, or do I have dyslexic bees?
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