Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Top bar hives in the cold North  (Read 2342 times)

Offline edward

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Gender: Male
Top bar hives in the cold North
« on: February 27, 2012, 08:35:41 PM »
What kind of problems can one encounter with tbh in cold climates with long cold winters and short summers?
I'm thinking Northern Canada , Alaska , or other harsh climates , near the arctic circle Mountain alpine terrain ? How far north is okay?

Things to do , not to do , differences from hives with frames ? Different kinds of ways to keep bees ?

mvh edward  :-P

Offline backyard warrior

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 475
Re: Top bar hives in the cold North
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 10:12:19 PM »
You dont want my opinion on these hives especially in the far north but i wont comment frameshift is watching :)

Offline edward

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Gender: Male
Re: Top bar hives in the cold North
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 11:27:48 PM »
I have an open mind  :)

I am interested in all the sides positive or negative , troubles and how to avoid them , benefits and profits.

The good the bad and even the ugly  :jerry:

Preferably from first hand knowledge

mvh edward  :-P

Frameshift ?

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 14159
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Top bar hives in the cold North
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 04:22:49 AM »
I'm in USDA zone 5 (winter before last we had -27 F for a couple of weeks) and my top bar hives have done well for many years.  Dennis Murrel is in zone 4 (Casper, WY) and his have done well for years.  Youc an lose any hive, of course, if you don't manage it well and stores have to be managed well if you're cutting the comb to harvest.  You can't just feed at the last minute if you didn't leave them comb to store it in...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#winter
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline edward

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Gender: Male
Re: Top bar hives in the cold North
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 05:32:21 AM »
Ok , = -33oC , How long are they in a winter ball without flying or using the facilities ?

I was thinking about climates that make them stay inside over 4-5 months

One interesting thought , is that they need to bee fed winter feed earlier so they have time and temperature to build comb to store winter stores.

Mvh edward :P

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 14159
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Top bar hives in the cold North
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 07:17:42 AM »
>Ok , = -33oC , How long are they in a winter ball without flying or using the facilities ?

Very hard to predict.  One year it got nasty cold in October and didn't get above freezing or warm enough to fly until April.  That is very unusual.  Most years they get a few chances over winter to fly.  I think that is irrelevant to the top bar issue, but certainly relevant to how difficult it is to overwinter them in general.  A few years ago they were still rearing brood in December and we hadn't had a hard freeze yet...
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline flyingbrass

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Top bar hives in the cold North
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2012, 01:07:10 PM »
I installed my bees last week in my top bar hive in Arkansas and they did the opposite, started building comb in the back of the hive away from the entrance.

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 14159
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Top bar hives in the cold North
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012, 12:30:18 AM »
>I installed my bees last week in my top bar hive in Arkansas and they did the opposite, started building comb in the back of the hive away from the entrance.

You can never tell with bees.  If you have narrow and wide frames then I'd swap some narrow ones into the place they are clustered one bar at a time.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

 

anything