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Author Topic: Advanced skill set  (Read 475 times)
Vance G
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Location: Great Falls,Montana


« on: September 30, 2013, 06:49:55 PM »

Last spring our new family Dr found out I was a beekeeper.   He told me that he had built two warre hives and was going to keep bees too.  He asked if I had bees for sale but he needed packages to fill his equipment.  I told him we could figure out some nucs for him but he wasn't interested.  My wife went to see him today and he swore her to secrecy because his bees had abscounded over the summer and he didn't want me to give him any grief. 

I really believe that keeping bees in Warre and top bar hives has got to be an advanced skill set!  How do you help if needed when you can't get in to see if there is a problem?  Top bars are fragile as eggs and I can't imagine having to work with them regularly.   I have been in a friends TBH's (now deceased) and I was deathly afraid the whole time of a comb breaking off.  My hats are off to those who keep bees that way but I can't imagine a beginner having a lot of fun trying to keep bees that way~!
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rwlaw
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Location: Grand Rapids Michigan


« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 08:55:03 PM »

I guess it's what's your accustomed to, cause I wouldn't know how to keep bees on a warre either, and the only way I'd keep bees horizontal is in Lang frames.
Sounds like your doc got in over his head and either didn't recognize the hives were in trouble or too proud to ask, or both.
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Can't ever say that bk'n ain't a learning experience!
Joe D
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Location: Ovett, Ms


« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2013, 12:56:01 AM »

I started with a TBH, built it, it has frames, also made, because had a cut out.  And thought it would make it easier to rubber band in with frames.  Have had it several years now, this is the first year I turned the frame wrong and part fell out.  Picked it up and rubber banded it back in.  I have a box close to it that will hold a few frames.  So I will put 3 or 4 frames and place them in it.  That gives you plenty of room to just slide the rest down one at a time and inspect in the hive, or you can pick it up.  When done put em all back tighten them up put in the last one and done.  Its not really much different.  Never messed with a Warren either.  Good luck to you all.



Joe
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chux
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Location: Eastern NC


« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2013, 08:09:32 AM »

I started keeping bees this year. My first hive was a Top Bar that I built myself. No frames. I put the first swarm I caught in there and they stayed for a few days and built a little comb. I left a feeder bag for them, and had to go on a trip. When I got back 3 days later, they had absconded. A week later, I caught another small swarm and put them in. That was April 16th. Those bees love it in there. I've got them in too much shade, and will move them out a few feet before cold weather, but they are doing well. And I really enjoy inspecting the hive. Every couple of weeks I go in there and look through the comb to see that all is well. When the comb is new, it is dangerous to move it too much during hot weather. But after it ages a couple of weeks and the weather isn't blazing hot, I can turn the combs over and look at what I want. I will admit that I do not turn the comb over when it is fully drawn out now. It's so tall. Don't want to risk the loss. The thing that is critical in keeping a TBH is watching for and correcting cross-comb. I have had very little trouble with cross-comb, but when I saw it starting on the farthest out bars, I either straightened it, or cut it out. The girls have kept straight comb in there, and have attached very little to the sides of the box. It's a breeze to go through the hive, and fun. I love my TBH. Plan to fill another next year and run two from here on out. I also have 4 lang hives now, but I started with the TBH.   
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tefer2
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2013, 08:38:22 AM »

I think that beginning beeks get the idea that top bar hives are a more natural way of keeping bees. There seems to be so many that start out with them only to end up with no bees after winter. I really don't see any advantage to them other than they are cheaper to get started with. Most that are successful with them have kept bees for a few years in langs already.
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chux
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Location: Eastern NC


« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2013, 10:01:18 AM »

tefer2, you could be right. When I first started reading about keeping bees, I was looking for a cheap way to start, and quickly found TBH plans. I bought into the idea of this being more "natural." A commercial beek reminded me a month or so ago that lots of bees build in trees. Vertical. I've done several cut outs where the bees were building vertically up walls. I've also done cutouts from under the floor of houses where they were building horizontally. No one direction is more natural.

As for surviving the winter with a TBH...Here in eastern NC the winter shouldn't be too harsh for the bees. My TBH bees have 6 bars of fully drawn brood comb right now, covered in bees. They also have over 8 bars of fully drawn capped honey comb. I'm leaving it all for them this winter, and will take any that might be left next spring when they start bringing in nectar.

Seems like some TBH folks think they are in some way "better" than their contemporary langers. I've also seen some langers act like TBH folks have lost their mind and know nothing. Do research on both and try what you want. Seems to me that it's good to know there is more than one option out there. 
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