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Author Topic: TBH for beginner?  (Read 2647 times)

Offline emmasma

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TBH for beginner?
« on: November 06, 2005, 07:38:24 PM »
I  haven't yet begun my beekeeping experience, but Ive been reading up on the internet and I'm eager to give it a go.  I'm very poor at the moment and can't put a lot of money into this endevor.  
      I was alittle discouraged until I started reading about top bar hives.  I am somewhat handy and could contruct them myself for free. I absolutly couldn't afford an extractor, so I would be harvesting comb honey anyway.   This really seems like my best choice.  
      Is this a bad idea? How much honey can one expect from a TBH?

Offline Michael Bush

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TBH for beginner?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2005, 11:13:25 PM »
>I was alittle discouraged until I started reading about top bar hives. I am somewhat handy and could contruct them myself for free.

If you can get some scrap lumber, yes you can.

> I absolutly couldn't afford an extractor, so I would be harvesting comb honey anyway.

Or you can crush and strain some of it.  It's  nice to have some of both, but I really like comb honey.

> This really seems like my best choice.
Is this a bad idea?

I don't think so.

> How much honey can one expect from a TBH?

About that same as from any hive.  You never know.  Often, none the first year.  Sometimes 20 or 40 pounds the first year.  It depends on too many things to predict.

There are pictures of my TBH on my web site:  www.bushfarms.com
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline Markalbob

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Re: TBH for beginner?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2007, 04:38:18 PM »
So Michael,

Sorry for bumping this, but what do you consider an "average" yearly yield from your top-bars?  I am under the impression (while it varies tremendously) that a typical Langstroth is maybe 50-200lbs, but I'm really new so even that may be way, way off.

Offline Finsky

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Re: TBH for beginner?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2007, 05:03:48 PM »

> How much honey can one expect from a TBH?

About that same as from any hive.  You never know.  


The yield  depends mostly on pastures, how much is nectar on fields.

Second, it depends on beekeepers, how lucky he is with his hives.
Escaping swarms are usual to beginners and when swarm goes, so goes the yield foragers.


Offline Michael Bush

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Re: TBH for beginner?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2007, 09:50:08 PM »
The yield would depend, as Finsky says, on the pasture, controlling swarming, and harvesting often.

I see no reason you can't get just as much from a TBH *IF* you control swarming and harvest often.  That is not convenient if the hives are a long drive away.  But it's no problem when they are in the backyard.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline Apis629

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Re: TBH for beginner?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2007, 08:16:47 PM »
I would say that a Top Bar Hive is perfect for a beginner.  Not only because they're easy to make from readily available, and cheap, materials but, they offer a perspective of the hive not seen in Langstroth hives.  In my experience, the bees are less excitable in a TBH (saving the cost of  gloves, a beekeeping jacket, etc).  You won't get the same huge yields of honey but, I don't view that as a necissarily bad thing. They're alot of fun, especially in comparison to Langstroth hives.  Lang hives have perfectably respectable uses as commercial hives or for honey production but, TBHs are just a joy to work.