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Author Topic: Top Bar Kenya Hives?  (Read 2886 times)
nepenthes
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« on: October 07, 2006, 01:27:24 PM »

Ok, So Ive read alot about Top Bar hives, And Im curious about them I read Bush's site
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

But I dont understand how you would get just honey instead of some brood mixed in with it. Cause ive read some places that say not to use excluders. How would you extract honey out of something like this?


           -Cody
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pembroke
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2006, 01:55:44 PM »

I'm not sure, but Michael did a lot of crush and strain. I'm wondering if this would be the way???Is there a queen excluder in there somewhere?? Pembroke
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nepenthes
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2006, 01:58:01 PM »

I should have looked over my post,

By queen excluder I ment, On "normal" hives (Boxes with Suppers and Brood boxes?)
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2006, 02:01:33 PM »

Quote from: pembroke
Is there a queen excluder in there somewhere??


Sort of....

As they draw comb on more bars,  they will establish a brood nest area that will be bound by solid drawn bars of honey.  This wall of honey acts as a queen excluder as she will not move passed these (assuming the brrod area is large enough). On my TBHs, the queens never go past the first 8-10 bars.  It obviously depends on the size of your TBH though.
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nepenthes
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2006, 02:04:39 PM »

What are some Advantages of a TBH then?
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2006, 02:11:32 PM »

Quote from: nepenthes
What are some Advantages of a TBH then?


Probably the biggest advantage is you can build one entirely out of material that you have laying around or can aquire for free or reallty cheap.  No frames/foundation/supers to buy.

In fact, I made two this year by simply splitting a blue plastic 55 gallon drum lengthwise.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2006, 02:23:49 PM »

>But I dont understand how you would get just honey instead of some brood mixed in with it.

The only reasons Langstroth beekeepers find brood in their supers is because:

1)  The queen ran out of room and the bees expanding the brood nest into the supers which kept them from swarming or

2)  There is no drone comb in the brood nest so the queen lays wherever she finds cells large enough for drone.

In a natural nest (like you get with foundationless frames, or a top bar hive, or by simply leaving a couple of frames of drone foundation on the outsides of your brood nest) the bees do NOT want a brood nest scattered all over the hive.  Under natural conditions they never scatter it.  They have to keep it warm and they always keep it all together in a roughly spherical shape.

> Cause ive read some places that say not to use excluders. How would you extract honey out of something like this?

I never use excluders except when I'm queen rearing and sometimes not even then.

Most people with Top bar hives do NOT extract.  They make cut comb or they do crush and strain.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm

Sweinty now has an extractor designed to extract top bars.  Betterbee was marketing it.  I've never bothered to try to extract them because I'm always in need of some cut comb so I just do cut comb on the nice stuff and crush and strain if it's not pretty enough for cut comb or it's the scraps left over from cut comb.
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Michael Bush
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nepenthes
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2006, 03:38:24 PM »

Ok, Thanks Alot for that information,

But Concidering that Im doing this for an Agriculture Project, A TBH wouldnt be a good canadit, unless I was selling them for the Comb. But with a Langstroth set up, I can not use a queen excluder if I give them enough space to spread out, the queen would only use what they felt was needed for brood?

So lets say that I wanted to Build a horizontal, Kind of one, that has Frames like a Langstroth set up, like the one on youre site, (link posted allready) and just make it out of frames? Or would it be more convienient to just use the regular Langstroth set up?

Thanks again

-Cody
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2006, 04:20:43 PM »

>A TBH wouldnt be a good canadit, unless I was selling them for the Comb.

But you'll get much more money for comb honey.

>But with a Langstroth set up, I can not use a queen excluder if I give them enough space to spread out, the queen would only use what they felt was needed for brood?

Exactly.  If all the boxes are the same size then it matters little to you how many the queen wants to use for brood.  The more the better.

>So lets say that I wanted to Build a horizontal, Kind of one, that has Frames like a Langstroth set up, like the one on youre site, (link posted allready) and just make it out of frames? Or would it be more convienient to just use the regular Langstroth set up?

Convenience depends on how you measure it.  If the hive is conveniently located (like your backyard) then I'd say the long hive is more convenient.  You can walk out your door and work it anytime.  If the hive is further away, a long hive takes less labor, but it takes more interventions to get the same amount of honey. You have to work to get the brood nest to expand horizontally by putting empty frames in.  You have to harvest more ofte, because a good strong hive will produce much more than the long hive will hold.  With a Langstroth hive, you can usually open the brood nest up once about a month before the flow, throw on a bunch of supers and come back and harvestit in the fall.  There is more lifting involved, especially if there is some indication of a queen problem and you have to unstack a lot of full supers down to the brood nest to figure it out and a couple of more times to get it resolved.  If I had to drive 60 miles to get to my hives, and I wanted to minimize the number of trips,I wouldn't want long hives.
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2006, 08:39:36 PM »

>>Concidering that Im doing this for an Agriculture Project, A TBH wouldnt be a good canadit, unless I was selling them for the Comb.

Correct.  As an ag project using traditional equipment and standard management practices are going to be a must.  You won't earn credit for experiments, in fact it will lower the value (grade) of your project.  even with comb honey you will be expected to use a traditional set up or Ross rounds.
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nepenthes
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2006, 11:17:30 PM »

How many Frames would a TBH have, would they all get filled up?

If the TB hives are for Combs, how much do they go for? How much would you expect to make from the average sized TBH if selling Comb's Ill have to discuss this with my Teacher, she might aproove she might dissaprove, shes allways 4 the advancement of agriculture Scientificly, and the experiments that helps things get their So this might work.
I really appreciate the help guys!
 Smiley
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IndianaBrown
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2006, 06:42:17 AM »

If you want to use standard frames but want to manage your hive more like a top bar hive, here is some more information and some plans:
http://bwrangler.madpage.com/bee/gcom.htm
The site has more informaiton on standard tob bar hives also.

I want to try a 2 box combo hive next year, although I will modify the plans to include a screened bottom and possibly slatted racks both above and below the main box.
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Ymbe
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2006, 07:10:06 AM »

This site has a description of a long hive

http://www.dartingtonhive.co.uk/index.html

and DIY images if they are of help. I know people who run these and use additional boxes as supers placed above the main body when extra space is needed for the honey crop. You can also do artificial swarming in the same box.
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nepenthes
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2006, 07:33:57 PM »

I really like the last two, cause then I can do Extractors!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2006, 08:31:53 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm

Here's my long hives.  Some with frames and some with just top bars.

They are much less heavy lifting.
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Michael Bush
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nepenthes
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2006, 08:56:42 PM »

that is why they are appealing to me!

Would you sudgest this to a newb bee keeper? or The traditional Langstroths hive, or the Horizontal Hive?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2006, 07:44:03 AM »

>Would you sudgest this to a newb bee keeper? or The traditional Langstroths hive, or the Horizontal Hive?

They both work fine.  I'd recommend a horizontal hive to anyone who need to minimize lifting.  You don't have to move boxes to get to the brood nest.  I'd say for a beginner this is a great advantage in that you can peek in the hive more often with less disruption to see what they are doing.  You can't learn much from a hive that is closed up all the time.  Smiley

Of course an observation hive is the best learning tool.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesobservationhives.htm
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Michael Bush
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nepenthes
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2006, 04:18:07 PM »

Ive conciderd the Observation, but My mom doesnt like that idea.


I also have a question, how would this do for packaged bee's? Would either of these set ups Be Bad for a 3-4 pound package bee's? how would they react to winter if they had extra space?

*edit* How long would it take for them to fill up the whole Hive on each frame also?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2006, 09:01:18 PM »

>Ive conciderd the Observation, but My mom doesnt like that idea.

I know what you mean.  It took a while for me to convince everyone.  Smiley

>I also have a question, how would this do for packaged bee's?

Fine.

>Would either of these set ups Be Bad for a 3-4 pound package bee's?

They would be fine.

> how would they react to winter if they had extra space?

I'd try to minimize the extra space, but my long hives are 33 medium frames, and that's about what I'd winter them with.  I leave them pretty much that much.  I try to let them top it off and feed if I have to to help them at the end of the fall flow.

> How long would it take for them to fill up the whole Hive on each frame also?

I varies more than ten fold depending on the bees, the flow, the rain, the weather, the temperatures etc.

For example, the goldenrod is blooming right now and some years I get a crop from it AND enough stores for the hives for winter.  I'm in a dearth and I have no idea why the goldenrod has no nectar.
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Michael Bush
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nepenthes
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2006, 09:49:19 PM »

To reduce the size would I just build a Board and put it at the end of the combs they have built on?
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