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Author Topic: buying a populated top bar hive  (Read 2560 times)
Sunnyboy2
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Location: Uinta County, Wyoming (zone 3-4)


« on: August 21, 2012, 06:18:37 PM »

I am a beginner (extreme beginner).  All my knowledge comes from reading websites, watching youTube, and talking to a friend who started his first hives this past spring. 

I was planning on starting one or two top bar hives Spring 2013, but found a person who is selling one not far from where I live.

I worry about buying a hive with problems, but the seller seams honest and has several Urban hives in his suburban yard.  Says he is reducing his numbers.  This seems to be a good opportunity to have a stronger hive next spring rather than starting with a 3# .

As I live in a cold climate is there any advice about buying a hive this time of year, necessary winter prep, or what to be concerned about with health or hive moving before buying?   Any suggestions on how to maximize my chance for having a strong hive next spring?

Thank you all.
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AllenF
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Location: Hiram, Georgia


« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2012, 07:04:10 PM »

Where are you located?   Why do you want to start with top bar hives?
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major
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Location: Oregon, USA


« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 10:19:36 PM »

find our first how much stores of honey the bees have....... next if needed support the bees with candy boards and pollen patties for the winter.   I have KTBH also ..... started them with swarms in June......and I am hoping for the best  this winter. remember most of us loose 25% of our hives each winter........ thats an average...... some more/ some less...

where in the world are you Huh?

Howard in Oregon
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Joe D
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Location: Ovett, Ms


« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2012, 09:38:06 AM »

You may want to think also about the move.  How well the bars stay in place, does it have legs, makes it heavier, and a little harder to move.  Will the comb stay on the bars for the ride.   these may or may not be a problem just something to think about.  I have 1 TBH it is harder to move than my langs, and it has angled sided frames not just a bar.  Good luck either way.



Joe
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Sunnyboy2
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Location: Uinta County, Wyoming (zone 3-4)


« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2012, 10:45:12 AM »

I live in sw Wyoming, just under 7000 elevation. (I will complete profile next, sorry).  I wanted a top bar because 1) I have bought into the idea of single space and free comb being better for bees in long run, 2) I like the look, 3) not a worried about amount of honey as I am about contributing (a little) to  overall health bee population, 4) the videos and web sites make tbh management a gentle and fun experience. (do I have sucker written across my forehead? Maybe I can use my QVC knife as hive tool)

Thanks for thought on moving.  They will be moved by pick-up for an hour. I will need to annoy good people of Salt Lake City by driving slow and carefully.
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Sunnyboy2
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Location: Uinta County, Wyoming (zone 3-4)


« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2012, 10:46:55 AM »

Great list Howard, thank you.
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pyrodragon
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Location: Walker County Alabama


« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 11:35:14 AM »

I was just wondering how the move with the pickup went? 
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Sunnyboy2
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Location: Uinta County, Wyoming (zone 3-4)


« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 06:21:15 PM »

the move went well.  I carried the hive across the bed to minimize force on the combs during stop and start.  I took the turns slow for the same reason. Temp was about 70 degrees when I moved them.   No comb breaks.  No comb fractures.  There were about 15 combs in the top bar.  There was not a lot of honey in the combs which helped protect the comb from breaks, (but, ofcourse, added to my concern for the over winter process).  I hope they have made it this winter.  I have not checked on them as we have not been above 45 degrees since december.  I have two more packages comming this spring.  Thanks for asking.
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Nathan-D
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Location: Ft. Lauderdale


« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 04:06:41 PM »

I'm brand new too, in south FL.  I too fell for the TBH hype and started my first hive in January, it's doing great and I'm glad I have it.  However, manipulating the bars for a full inspection is not that easy or fast,  it is plenty invasive.  I think it will be faster and less invasive popping out frames and popping them back in. On the other hand i don't have to lift and move boxes around either. SHB looks like it would have a hard time with no nooks and crannys to hide in but I have heard different.  Just my two cents as a brand new beek who really knows very little.
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blanc
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 08:26:33 AM »

Mt first hive I built a year ago was a TBH and caught a swarm of about two pounds of bees. A year later it is still my strongest hive and takes up about three ft x 14 in depth box. It is not an easy managed box for getting honey so I moved to langs and will be using my TBH for splits which I will be doing in the next week or so. I suggest give it a shot if you are looking for pollinators. For honey production stick with langstroth boxes.
Blanc
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Psalm 19:9-10
The fear of the Lord is clean,enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea ,than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Nathan-D
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 07:32:27 PM »

blanc - Do you split the tbh by just placing several dividers along the way with all the splits in the same box?
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Joe D
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Location: Ovett, Ms


« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2013, 11:19:27 PM »

Nathan, you can remove some of the empty bars to give you some room.  Then slide a bar toward opening and so forth to inspect.  I made my tbars frames, you don't have to be quiet as easy with them.  Good luck

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