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Author Topic: KTBH in South Carolina  (Read 2731 times)
Beeninja
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« on: December 03, 2012, 02:03:12 PM »

Hello everyone from S.C. I am in the process of building my Kenya  top bar hive and  I am not sure of what type of button is best in the Carolinas, solid or screened. All the Beeks I could find local have traditional hives no TBH's. I am new to the Beek life stile and this is my first hive. Being that the KTBH is so readily frowned upon for newbies, I expect some dissension. I am in it more for the bees then the honey. Just want to make the right choice and this site seems like the place to find answers.  All the post I’ve read were full of opinions going both ways but none from my area so I figured I would ask to see if any local KTBH Beeks could chime in. Any help would be appreciated.
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Joe D
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 02:43:58 PM »

Beeninja, I am not from your area, and I wan't get into the pros and cons of a newbee using a TBH.  But are you buying ar building the hive?  There are several different ways to build and have a SBB.  Some just have a SBB, some have a SBB with a small space and then a board that either slides out or drops down.  On mine there is a little distance between SBB and the bottom of the hive body.  I made a tray to put apple cider vinager and oil for the mites and SHBs to fall into.  You do have to empty it regularly.  But any with something to enclose the bottom shouldn't make it alot more airy in the winter.



Joe
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Beeninja
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 03:47:46 PM »

I am building it using some plans I found on the all-knowing internet. I was thinking of doing the slid out try, but I wanted to get some feedback before I did it. Another concern I had was with the light entering the hive during the day from a Mesh covered bottom verses a solid board. I have been reading books and post and talking to Beeks when I can for the past six month. I hope that for the bee’s sake I will be successful   huh

Thanks for the help
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Mannanan
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 08:56:42 AM »

I always build my Kenyans with a mesh bottom (metal mesh not plastic)  and a hinged solid bottom below. It gives me the options of open or closed. I can also slide a monitoring board beneath the mesh for routine varroa counts. ( Luckily,we don't yet have SHB in my area) I used plastic mesh on my first hive but soon learnt my lesson after a fox wreaked havoc from underneath. Many folk will also advise that an introduced new package or swarm will be less likely to abscond with a solid bottom rather than a mesh floor. Whatever you choose, good luck with your hive.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 12:04:44 PM »

I recommend making it with the SBB and the tray for the oil pan. My first 2 years I was killing the SHB by the thousands, literally. The pans would be almost solid black after 3 weeks in the hive. This past year there numbers were very low. I am hoping that because very few larvae are making it out of the hive they are not able to reproduce, hence reduced numbers.
Jim
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Beeninja
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 02:39:18 PM »

Sounds like some mods are in order for my hive. The try idea sounds like the way to go just have to work out how to attach it to the hive that is already built. I should have asked before I finished the major construction. Got to love those remodels.

Again thatnk you all for your input
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Joe D
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 07:30:04 AM »

Jim in my TBH this summer SHBs have been very low.  The most I saw doing inspections was 2, some of my langs were very low also, had a couple of lang hives that had several, 10 to 15. 



Joe
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 11:13:33 PM »

One thing you need to keep in mind with SHB's is that they all flew into the hive, usually in the evening or at night. 3  years ago we had just installed a screen top board. It was close to sundown. We were standing next to the hive with the top still open. A SHB landed on the screen and I killed it. Another on landed and killed it also. We stood there killing SHB for almost an hour. We killed over 100 SHB.
Jim
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 11:48:11 AM »

I would make the bottom solid.  It's easier, works just as well, and won't create too much ventilation which could lead to absconding and overheating as well as trouble staying warm in the winter.  I have done many of both screened and solid.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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