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Author Topic: Hello from Lapland, Sweden.  (Read 1670 times)
snowdog
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« on: February 18, 2012, 08:33:51 AM »

Hello.


Googling around before building my first two (top bar) hives. Registered here to ask about wintering. Smiley
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all human societies will be judged on how well they take care of the weak.
yockey5
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 09:35:26 AM »

Welcome snowdog.
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Joe D
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 12:41:03 PM »


Welcome to the site.  There are several people here from northern areas that will help,(don't have to worry abouth that much here), have read where the insulate etc.
Good luck with your bees.

Joe
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snowdog
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 04:17:41 PM »

Thanks guys. I imagine some people have their hives in even harsher climate, but getting through the first winter worries a bit.

If you know where to go for help then point me in that direction, OK?
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all human societies will be judged on how well they take care of the weak.
AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 05:13:07 PM »

Finski can answer your cold climate questions.    Check out anything he has posted.   And welcome to the forum.
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snowdog
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 04:00:58 AM »

It seems he's not using top bar hives. Sad ...and he seems to live in Helsinki, which is way down south from here. Sad But i'll read more of his posts to see what i come up with. I'm at page nine now.

Thanks for the welcome, Allen. I've been lurking for too long.
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all human societies will be judged on how well they take care of the weak.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 06:33:58 AM »

>Registered here to ask about wintering.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#winter
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
snowdog
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 08:05:37 AM »

Michael, I've visited your site numerous times and it's simply fantastic. Thanks to my lovely fiancée i have it in dead tree version too (christmas gift). Been scouring this forum as well for information and found a great deal. All that knowledge is needed before my first two hives get built. It's hard to rebuild them while they're full of bees...


This is how I understand things.

You stated in a forum post that only the top of the hive needs insulation. This is achieved with a polystyrene block on top of the top bars, but beneath the roof material. What about snow? Do i use it as additional insulation? What happens if the hive is snowed over? Do i keep the hive higher off the ground or will the heat of the cluster keep the entrance open anyway?

Your site describes the top entrance of your hives as a slot between the wall and the first top bar. This entrance is covered by the protruding roof material. The opening can be quite wide in the summer and is minimized for the winter. Is there some part added to make the entrance even smaller in the winter?

My bees will be wintered with honey stores and harvested in spring. Up here most beekeepers have Apis Mellifera Mellifera (a.k.a. nordic bees) and their properties seem to be suitable for my use too. I have more that 80 kilometers to the nearest beekeeper so the choice of bee is free. But most of the available nucs, if not all, will be big bees. How do you suggest i regress the bees in the TBHs? I have some time to do this as the varroa mites haven't reached this part of Sweden yet.
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all human societies will be judged on how well they take care of the weak.
FRAMEshift
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 03:10:06 PM »

Hej snowdog.  I lived in Umea and Goteborg but I have never raised bees there.  Tbeek and Michael Bush are the guys who have done horizontal hives in a cold climate.

I just want to remind you that there is no reason why a horizontal hive must have just top bars.  We use normal frames in our horizontal hives and they work great.  The big advantage is that you have less adhesion to the sides of the box and better comb support.

Are there native honey bees where you live?  If so, I would open mate to use the genes of the survivors where you live.  Then you don't need to worry about what type bees you have.

If you don't have mites, you could just use foundationless frames.  Over time the bees will make natural size (regressed) comb.  Just rotate out the comb from the first year or two and you will be at natural cell size.

MVH,
FRAMEshift
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"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
snowdog
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2012, 04:58:17 PM »

Thanks for the reminders, FRAMEshift, och tack för dina råd.

I live about 130 kilometers west of Umeå. That should be enough of a clue for you. Smiley It's a nice little town to live in but there are no feral or native bees here. No bees at all.

The reason for building top bar hives is that every supplier is quite far away. By thinking like people in poorer countries i still get enough opportunities for beekeeping. I don't aim for anything  grand anyway. Just some honey and wax for my little family. If the experience is nice then we have two more locations for bees, but that's way beyond my visions at this time. At first i thought of having just two or three hives, but because of the slightly remote location i'll probably have more eventually to be on the safe side.

I'll try to find some small nordic bees (a.m.m.) but still prepare to regress by rotating out brood comb.


After some searching on the forum almost all of the small tidbits are in place. In one posting i found the size of the top entrance that Michael Bush uses in his TBHs in winter. It's 3/8" or roughly a centimeter. Could the entrance be even smaller? Another post gives the info on insulation. The hives need to have a block of styrene on top of the top bars, but nothing on the sides. I might make the block slightly ridged, though. 3/4" lumber (19 millimeter) will do.

Michaels hive design is simpler than the one I intended to build. There might be minor changes to the original design, though. One would be to adapt to one of the swedish hive standard widths. The A.m.m bees might need different bar sizes too, but i'm hoping they won't.

I guess i can safely start building my hives now.


While writing this post i noticed some words and names getting changed by the forum software. Why does that happen?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 05:27:33 PM by snowdog » Logged

all human societies will be judged on how well they take care of the weak.
kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2012, 09:43:09 PM »

there is a filter to keep it family friendly.  sometimes it changes things that are not bad words or meant as slang.  it might also happen if you have an auto checker for spelling or use the spell check on here...although it should prompt you for changes.

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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
snowdog
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 02:53:02 AM »

Thanks kathyp.

I did some searching on the forum and found out the reason for the rewritten words. Some sort of controversy back in 2008, it seems.

These things happen.
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all human societies will be judged on how well they take care of the weak.
BlueBee
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 06:01:30 AM »

Snowdog you might want to post your idea/desire for a top bar hive in the far north in the “General Beekeeping – main posting forum” and see what people say.  Finski doesn’t seem to use the other areas of the forum very often.  If you post it the main forum, you may get some response from him!  I recall Finski and Frameshift having an entertaining conversation about top bar hives a couple months ago.  As Frameshift says, there are also beeks on here from northern Wisconsin and Minnesota which get VERY cold in the winter.  They may have some ideas too.
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snowdog
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 09:59:12 AM »

BlueBee, do you have a link to that conversation by Tbeek and Finski? It would be interesting to read.

Going through some posting histories looking for wintering tips. If i can't find all the things i'm looking for then i'll post there and on the TBH area. Thanks for the tip!

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all human societies will be judged on how well they take care of the weak.
boca
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 10:55:31 AM »

I think TBH vs. frames makes a difference to the beekeeper not to the bees. Finski's advice on winter preparation is valid in your case as well. If the colonies are healthy, populous with young wintering bees, young queen, they have good capped stores around the cluster and insulation/ventillation is OK, then wintering can be successful in a TBH as well.

Here I have four little nucs wintering under the snow:
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snowdog
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2012, 06:43:48 AM »

Finski's knowledge is well worth reading up on, and i do. Does he post in finnish somewhere? I spent parts of each summer of my youth in Helsinki, so i understand a bit of the tongue.

Top bar hives should winter as well as other hives, with the right preparations, of course. That's why i'm asking about what those preparations might be. Especially those that concern the construction of the hive. I think have things figured out (thanks to some good advice) and hopefully any change from now on could be solved with mere bolt-ons. It's hard to study top bar hives because of the wealth of different (and sometimes opposing) designs available. Without going into details it just takes a lot of reading and thinking. What needs to be understood is the different demands by the bees in different locations. ...and that I'm just a wannabe looking for enough of a subset to help my bees survive the next winter.

What a beautiful photo, boca. It makes me long for the coming spring. Kiitos.
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all human societies will be judged on how well they take care of the weak.
laurabat
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2012, 08:02:52 PM »

Hello and welcome. Glad you found us! Wink
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specialkayme
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2012, 09:06:30 PM »

Welcome to the site!
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Hippie-Beekeeper
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2012, 10:31:58 PM »

Welcome Sweden happy to have you join as an if you need help just ask there are nice people here once again welcome and enjoy the site. =^..^=

Hippie-Beekeeper Brawley, Ca U.S.A.   afro
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