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Offline Hi-Tech

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Question regarding topbar
« on: June 03, 2006, 01:35:53 AM »
I have a topbar hive and it seems to be doing well. They made comb down probably 6 bars (out of 24) and are working steadily from back to front. My question is this...

If I want to take honey from this hive, can I just cut some honey comb out or do I need to super some kind of way?

How much honey should i leave there?

Should I touch it at all its first year?

Should I wait until they have drawn out every bar?
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Question regarding topbar
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2006, 06:27:23 AM »
Robert,

I don't have a TBH although I'm thinking I might build one, but there are several things that jump out at me.   The only way to effectively harvest honey from a TBH is to remove it one frame at a time, the way they're designed supering is out of the question.  Cut some from a likely looking spot (no Brood) and the bees will rebuild the comb there.

I believe, again relying on the pictures of TBH's I've seen, that the concept behind TBH's is to take what you need when you need it.  The Bees will R&R (rebuilb & replace) what is removed. Just be sure that you always leave them enough stores to survive.

My questions are:
Can you send me a copy of the plans you used to make it?
Did you get the last item I e-mailed you?
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Offline Apis629

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Question regarding topbar
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2006, 11:48:09 AM »
I DO have a top bar hive and, while they can be supered by building a special bar, I prefer not to.  You can harvest in two ways; either when you want, or all at the end of the season.  As for determining how much honey they need to get through the winter, do the square inches for the combs in your standard super they need (shallow, medium or deep) and convert that to the square inch measurement of the combs in your top bar hive.  Anything extra is your's for the taking.  As for actually harvesting, cut the comb off the bar leaving 2 inches or so, so that they will rebuild it next season or, this season (depending on when you harvested it).

Offline Michael Bush

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Question regarding topbar
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2006, 01:08:03 PM »
I guess my rule of thumb would be twice as much room as the cluster occupies.  The ferals and Carnis seem to have much smaller clusters and use a lot less stores than the Italians.  Twice as much honey as the cluster occupies will PROBABLY be way too much.  The problem is some hives decide to go crazy rearing brood and starve if you don't leave plenty.  Also a hive won't rear a lot of brood in the spring if they are short on stores.
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Offline Hi-Tech

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Question regarding topbar
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2006, 12:02:47 AM »
Thanks everyone... Thats about what I had figgured. I may still try to find a way to make some kind of honey super next year.... Maybe...

Brian.... Yes and Yes...
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Offline Piper

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Question regarding topbar
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2006, 10:10:43 AM »
Hope it's ok if I piggy-back this post... just installed 3 lb. package of bees in my new made-from-scratch TBH this past Thursday! This was a huge accomplishment for me (first time ever with bees). Things appear to have gone ok.. but not sure since I have nothing to compare this too, and can't peek yet. With TBH how long do you wait to look inside? We made an observation window, which is covered with a wood panel, but I haven't even peeked in there for fear of upsetting the hive early on. Queen was direct released, and day after I uncorked her she appeared to have gone inside, but again, not sure yet. One observation, in the spot at entrance to hive where queen cage was placed, there seems to be a small clump of bees that just kind of hang out there at all times.. why do you think that is? There are little bits of wax in that area as well.  The comings and goings seems to be happening more on the right side of the hive entrance, and they are actively flying about come mid-day.  Today is the first really sunny day since I installed so am anxious to do some more "Bee watching."

IndianaBrown

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Question regarding topbar
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2006, 10:41:23 AM »
I don't know if this could be adapted for your top-bar hive Hi-tech, but take a look:
http://bwrangler.madpage.com/bee/gcom.htm

There is more explanation on how to manage it here:
http://bwrangler.madpage.com/bee/gche.htm

I am thinking about building something like this over the winter and trying it out next year.