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Author Topic: Top Bar or Lang for a newbie?  (Read 4620 times)
bilder
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« on: October 06, 2012, 10:25:32 PM »

I have been reading lots of info on beekeeping and came across the other types of hive designs other than the Lang.

Would a top bar be a good hive for a beginner?  I could build one for next to nothing and the cost savings is really appealing, but I was curious if they are a good hive for a beginner to start with.  Or should I save my money up to get a lang?

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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 06:18:37 AM »

Here is a bit on TBH:
http://www.bjornapiaries.com/topbarbeekeeping.html

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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2012, 07:35:23 AM »

I'd go with 3 Lang's if your a new beekeeper alto to learn and next year  get TBH .
I know I'm going into my 3rd winter as a beekeeper and next spring I'm going to use a TBH that my wife built me last year.
I think your better off learning LANGS the first two years and then when  you get a feel for  beekeeping your TBH will go much better I'm sure.
Matter what you chose bee's don't really show there true colors till the secone year then  you'll know what beekeeping is get ready to lean sure is
fun.
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 10:49:14 AM »

There are pros and cons to each.  I think that the most people here like the langs.  When you go to extract, I don't know of away to use an extractor for TBH.  I have some of each, and I like them both.  I also use the 1 1/2 in wide bars like Bjorn but I had a cut out right after I built it so I made them into frames.  Good luck with which ever you decide.




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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 11:17:41 AM »

I have been reading lots of info on beekeeping and came across the other types of hive designs other than the Lang.

Would a top bar be a good hive for a beginner?  I could build one for next to nothing and the cost savings is really appealing, but I was curious if they are a good hive for a beginner to start with.  Or should I save my money up to get a Lang?




IMHO save your time and money and do not buy/built a TBH. Good luck with which ever you decide.


« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 11:35:18 AM by Jim 134 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2012, 12:22:57 PM »

you have a lot to deal with and learn as a beginner.  i'd go with the Lang to start.  you can do the top bar type anytime.
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2012, 02:01:08 PM »

I always find the whole "Do the Langstroth first" a bit interesting.

While I could care less which someone selects, why the big issue with seemingly suggesting that TBH are somehow more difficult?

What education points are gained by having a Langstroth for a year prior to doing a TBH?

With the exception of perhaps horizontal issues as compared to vertical issues, and a tad harder (But not impossible) to feed a TBH, beekeeping is beekeeping. What in the world would you learn about TBH beekeeping a year with a Langstroth, that would prepare you for a TBH?

TBH even has their advantages. It is far less difficult to open and inspect, and removing empty bars and moving through the comb, is much easier than popping an inner cover, removing stacked boxes, etc.

Nothing is so drastically different or difficult that a beginner could not get a TBH first.  And I fail to see any advantages of promoting a year or two with Lanstroth hives prior to getting a TBH, that would make it worth a wait.

I'm not out for a debate. Just curious to see what reasoning there is on this matter.
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2012, 02:53:59 PM »

My biggest issue is the why so many are advised to get started with a top bar. To hear all the internet gurus explain it the lang is the root of all evil and to steer a new beek into a TBH on those grounds is pure malpractice. FYI TBH is not the cure for the evils of modern beekeeping and it never will be. If anything it will be the tool that cripples more up and coming beeks than any other. JMHO

Now why I think a new beek should always start with a standard langstroth is the plain and simple truth that the lang is the industry standard and has been for over a century and will be long after all of us are dead and gone. Why not avail yourself of all of the knowledge and skills, not to mention off the shelf everything, accrued since Reverend Langstroth had his epiphany. Contrary to the many who are successful TBH beeks and advocates everything TBH is a one off proposition and will be for the forseeable future. Maybe someday the TBH will be standardized as the lang already is but when that happens I am quite sure it will gain it's own detractors as well.

New beeks are going to make mistakes, that's a given as old beeks still make mistakes. It is just so much easier to correct those mistakes in a piece of equipment that better lends itself, if for no other reason than commonality, for instant correction. I also opine that any new beek that is successful enough to reach the next level will be required, by the same industry standards, to move into a majority langstroth operation if he/she desires to interact with the rest of the beekeeping universe.

So unless one is willing to create out of whole cloth every facet required of a apicultural operation and is willing to restrict oneself to an entirely self contained existance then the Langstroth is the only thing going. The same applies to all other alternative means of housing the honeybee as well.
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2012, 04:09:14 PM »

Please read the above carefully. No where have I condemned the TBH as unfit for beekeeping. I actually think it is a great tool for those who fully understand it's limitations and can dedicate themselves to it's idiosyncracies. Just not the best option for those with no other beekeeping experience as there is not a fall back position as of yet, maybe someday but not now.
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2012, 04:57:03 PM »

Ok, to sum that up, Langstroths are pushed for reason of....

Because some promote TBH, for whatever the reason while making wild claims ( I agree - not a good thing), that it should be done the same for Langstroth. A kind of "tit for tat" to level out the playing field.

Because Langstroth is the oldest, and you should give homage to always doing the same thing without change.

Because Langstroth will be here long after we are all dead.

Because mistakes are more easily corrected in a Langstroth.  huh

Because, just in case, your ever going to be commercial beekeeper, Langstroth hives are more suited.  rolleyes

Ok, anyone else have anything? Perhaps a list of mistakes more easily corrected? The rest is really made up stuff IMO or trivia that adds nothing to someone looking for details. It seems apparent that the whole "advocates everything TBH" type comments are bringing in nothing but bias to the conversation.

I don't push either one. I state both pro and con issues on my website.

I'm just trying to find out in detail why some think you need a couple years of Langstroth under your belt before some beekeeper should try a TBH. So far, that has not been answered.
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 05:03:15 PM »

new beekeeper are dealing with all the anxiety that goes with handling bees.  it's much easier to manipulate and examine full frames than top bars.  it's easier to figure how how much, if any honey you can take.  Langs are easier to move if you find you put yours in the wrong place.  having the Lang equipment lends itself more easily to swarm catching...although a cardboard box will do  Wink
if you belong to a club and need resources, it's more likely that someone will have frames, rather than bars, of bees

there's nothing wrong with either, but for a beginner i'd lean toward the least complicated for starting out.
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2012, 05:20:00 PM »

Okay, numbnut, how about this scenario for the simple. I'm holding in one hand a textbook on the subject and in the other a handful of bees. What pictures are in the book? Simple enough?
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2012, 05:48:31 PM »

FWIW, I'm in my fourth year of beekeeping.  All of what I've done the previous three years is 10-frame Langstroth hives.  This year I built and added in a Warre hive.  It was a LOT of fun, maybe just because it was new, but I wished I'd discovered it earlier.
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2012, 06:18:32 PM »

For me and from my perspective, the decision was based less on what I wanted and more on where I could learn more from.  On NJ, there are many more Lang beekeepers and I wanted to take advantage of that.  Now entering my 4th year, I am considering a TBH

HTH

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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2012, 08:28:54 PM »

Thanks for the tips guys. 

I appreciate the input.
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2012, 10:10:43 PM »

Okay, numbnut, how about this scenario for the simple. I'm holding in one hand a textbook on the subject and in the other a handful of bees. What pictures are in the book? Simple enough?

Who needs a book?  beemaster

Pictures..... huh

Thousands of beekeepers on a forum like this, and you narrow it down to what a beekeeper can find in probably an outdated book, looking at pictures.  grin

Keep going.....you haven't found a good point yet to answer the simple question of why a beekeeper needs years of experience under his belt prior to getting a TBH.

But I give you credit for creativity.  grin

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« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2012, 10:42:57 PM »

how do top bars overwinter compared to langstroth especially in colder climates?
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2012, 06:37:16 AM »

new beekeeper are dealing with all the anxiety that goes with handling bees.  it's much easier to manipulate and examine full frames than top bars.  it's easier to figure how how much, if any honey you can take.  Langs are easier to move if you find you put yours in the wrong place.  having the Lang equipment lends itself more easily to swarm catching...although a cardboard box will do  Wink
if you belong to a club and need resources, it's more likely that someone will have frames, rather than bars, of bees

there's nothing wrong with either, but for a beginner i'd lean toward the least complicated for starting out.

kathy,
Since there are all types of TBH designs, it might be helpful for you to post a picture or two of your top bar hives. I know the design and styles I use, tends to be thought as very easy to inspect. You work from the empty end, removing empty bars, and can inspect bees with little irritation to the bees, as compared to the removing of an inner cover from a lang exposing all the bees to light from above. I can not remember the last time someone did not comment how docile the bees were in the TBH.

How a picture? That might answer some questions. Perhaps there is more to the "complicated" part I am missing.  
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« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2012, 11:17:39 AM »

Bjorn, are you arguing that the newbie should go to the TBH because "this is the way we have always done it" is bad thing or we need more "thinking outside the box". I don't get where you're coming from. I will agree that the former can be just as crippling to a new beek as anything else because each of us are going to have to find what works for us, screw old idealogies. The danger with the latter is that without a basis in the box the tangents that outside thinking can go can arise from anywhere and not nessesarily a good starting point.
My biggest reason for supporting starting in a lang is to establish the baseline. Without a solid grounding flights of fancy like the TBH can come crashing down.
Nothing at all wrong with starting with a TBH if, and that is a very big IF, you have garnered the much needed knowledge of the honeybee and it's biology. As we all know from perusing this and other forums those newbies are the exception and not the rule, heck I would even apply that to many who aren't so new.
As a teacher on the subject myself, among the many I have taught, I am of the let's walk before you fly mindset. Let's get them firmly grounded in the fundamentals and then by all means encourage them to fly as high as they dare.
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2012, 02:01:52 PM »

My vote is to start with a Lang hive first. I started with warres and TBH, then moved to langs. I'm not impressed with the warre and the TBH is ok but the lang hive is by far my fave. If I need more parts I can just order them, not so with the other hives. If I need some first hand mentoring with an old fart from my club he/she has no clue what to do with anything other than a lang hive. TBH and warres have angry me off with comb welded to the sides as well. I'm working on phasing out the warres completely from my bee yard and the TBH might be next. Maybe I'll keep a TBH as an example....hmmmm. As for warres they have to go. If I want "pet" bees I'll just put them in a log gum.
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