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Author Topic: Why are top bar hives perceived as inferior?  (Read 14013 times)
IndianaBrown
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2007, 05:54:11 PM »

Polystryene is available in the US from at least a few sources. 
For example: http://betterbee.com/departments2.asp?dept=118&bot=83

So far, during my first year, I have been very pleased with my polystyrene Langsforth hives.  But since I don't need to move the hives in my backyard I eventually want to try out a combo hive:
http://bwrangler.farvista.net/gcom.htm
However I doubt that this design would not be very practical for commercial beekeping.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2007, 08:27:15 PM »

>I'm not sure I understand.  A top bar hive, by definition, has combs attached to bars that can be removed one at a time.  If they can be individually lifted and examined, what does it matter whether they have frames around them or not?

Exactly.

On the cost of drawing wax:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2007, 12:43:19 AM »

An educated idiot is a person who is womeone who no longer believes inventiveness is necessary. 
If you lock yourself into doing things one way and one way only you only grow in your ignorance.  My mentor, I think, would embrace todays innovations and love to see the way I do things now as much of the equipment I use is so different with the basic Langstroth that he started with in 1899.  He taught me to explore the needs of the bees and that there was more than one way of doing things. 
Finsky has developed a good system that works well for him and would work well for anyone wishing to maximize honey production.  Unfortunately, Finsky frequently comes across as a person who can not see why someone would not wish to operate on the same baises as he does.  It might surprise him to find out that I am not concerned with whether I get a honey crop or not.  Getting and selling honey is not the reason I keep bees. 
I sometimes lose hives because my experiments don't always work like I think they should.  But, in any event, I continue to learn about bees and now know a variety of ways of doing the same thing so I have options.  Finsky got to where he is by not shunning different ideas but by finding new methods outside the box, it is to bad that he now sometimes seems to ridicule the experiments of those who want to learn by their own hands.
American is a land of ideas, that is what has made us great.  It affects everything we do.  In my travelings around the world I found that People of other countries cannot understand the maverick (feirce individual independence) that Americans exhibit.  They see it as a weakness--failing to see it as our greatest strength. 
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Finsky
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« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2007, 12:47:24 AM »


I'm not sure I understand what you mean here.  20 12x12 frames would be approximately the same volume as two deeps on a lang. [/quote]

50 years ago we had mostly German Black crossbreeded bees. They were mostly small colonies because big ones swarmed twice. Now bee colonies are about 3 fold bigger that 50 years ago.

When beekeeper had a big colony, telescopic cover rises over its limit and cover was hanging on supers. Nothing good in this style.

Our wax factories make large plate and he cuts what ever size. 30 x 30 cm was very common size and sold  ready. I use to bye foundations whic are 10 mm lower than frame gap.
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Finsky
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« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2007, 12:54:56 AM »


I met this summer 83 years old beekeeper . I have seen his hives during 20 years beside road. He has in the middle of summer only 2 box at it's best.

I asked where are bees from? He said that xxxx. I had bought two years ago queens from xxxx and another hive had 9 boxes and another 7 boxes. I stopped those raising because they had much chalkbrood.

However that man had a model how to keep hives "under horizont". Not much to lift.  He has a stock which is like 50 years ago. He had nursed bees 53 years.
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wff
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« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2007, 11:51:39 AM »

When beekeeper had a big colony, telescopic cover rises over its limit and cover was hanging on supers. Nothing good in this style.

OK, now I understand.  The cover wasn't built to handle enough supers for a big colony.  That's why Michael says top bar hives take more frequent work. 

However that man had a model how to keep hives "under horizont". Not much to lift.  He has a stock which is like 50 years ago. He had nursed bees 53 years.

As Michael Bush says, "anything will work if you let it." 

I worked for a very traditional beekeeper 30 years ago using langs in a much warmer climate.  I didn't learn much from him because he wasn't interested in teaching.  He was a mean boss, and it was best just to do what he said and stay out of his way.  He saw a langstroth hive as the closest he could come to a brute force way to get what he wanted from the bees.  I might have become more interested in bees much earlier if it hadn't been for him and his attitude.

Three years ago I decided to have some bees of my own.  Getting them was easy, and getting advice locally was easy as long as I did what I was told and didn't question thier methods.  On overwintering bees, the advice was "don't bother trying - it's just a game and it's a waste of time."  I had read about different methods used in Canada and about different hive types and about small cell methods, and I kept asking "what if."  I was too stuborn to accept that killing bees was the only option here, and soon none of the beekeepers I know locally would talk with me any more (there are some who I didn't know then who are a bit more open minded, but they're still not enthusiastic about wintering bees).

I've tried and failed to overwinter bees here twice now, always in top bar hives.  I don't believe the hives are the reason I failed.  I'm sold on top bar hives.  Lots of people tell me they're inferior, they're just toys, that they can't possibly produce as well as langs, but no one has been able to give a specific reason for that, and most who don't like them have never tried them.  Mr. Johanesson's comment about "I'm not going to waste my time learning about them, you should just burn them" is typical.  That kind of closed mindedness frustrates me, and that's where my original question came from.  Too many people just aren't willing to let them work.

Finsky, I hope I don't appear to be challenging or trying to be argumentative with you specifically.  I'm grateful for all your advice, and you've taught me more about keeping bees at high latitudes just from reading your posts on this forum than all the Alaskan beekeepers I've talked to for four years.  Your system works for you, and would probably work for me if I adopted it, but I'm confident that I can incorporate much of what I learn from you into a system using top bar hives too.  I respect your knowledge and experience a lot.
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Finsky
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« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2007, 01:36:27 PM »

  Finsky got to where he is by not shunning different ideas but by finding new methods outside the box, it is to bad that he now sometimes seems to ridicule the experiments of those who want to learn by their own hands.
American is a land of ideas, that is what has made us great. 

Well said Brian.  Ofcourse everyone does what he want. Almost all are here adult wise people who work and manage well.

But as long as I am this forum, I will change the future of American beekeeping and I am going to stop your vain efforts and you will shoot right into the goal, what ever it is. That is so simple. cool
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Jorn Johanesson
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« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2007, 01:47:32 PM »


Johanesson's comment about "I'm not going to waste my time learning about them, you should just burn them"

Sorry I did not mean that. I said as a Bee inspector I would not waste my time. But I am not a bee inspector and I am dam interested in learning about other ways of doing beekeeping. That’s why I travel around to learn. I have seen Romanian Hives, Swiss Hives, Russian Hives, Slovenian Hives Both the Stock hives and the AZ hives. I hope to travel to Makadonia this summer to visit some beekeeper friends there. I bet they will have another hive type. Also the Greek way is different. And all this due to tradition, which comes from that, it works. If you can get TBH to work in Alaska, I for sure will clap my hands. And this is not ironic said. We had an experiment going transferring the Black original Nordic bee to Greenland, just to have a gene pool. The People there reported a yield of honey about 100lbs. They have to winter in a cellar, but the last I heard was that it was still going on. The use styropor hives normal langstroth.
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Finsky
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« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2007, 02:21:58 PM »

I am dam interested in learning about other ways of doing beekeeping.

Hmmm. I have tried to learn beekeeping better and better during 45 years. Often first year beekeeper come and tell :" Hey old fart, why don't you  change all your system to something else."  It is like sosialism: away, but where to?
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Jorn Johanesson
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« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2007, 02:37:53 PM »

I am not sying I will adapt to, I am saying I am interested in how you are doing, be it as Honey Stealing or in modern way. I am not paticipating as a teacher, but just as interested in beekeeping.
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Finsky
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« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2007, 03:22:07 PM »


As I have wroten, beekeepers may have very opposite methods to nurse bees. However they get same yield from same pastures. And why. - And if beekeeper leave 50% of hives yield for winter food he has half yield compared to "greedy beekeeper". But fact is that bees survive with sugar very well over winter. 

Facts and feelings ?  Feeling have much motivation.

Bees are those who gather nectrar and pastures rule how much nectar is on fields to be gathered.

Most of stuff what beekeepers keep as important, are only for beekeepers  convinience. Many think that blue hive would be good but if bees have white hive, they must come home, what ever they think about colors.

Top bars, Langtroth, tree hole, stryrofoam what ever, bees do not know better life and they do not know that they may have alternatives. If they knew they surely would escape away and very far. Bees are not clever. If they were, they will attack on me at once when they se me.
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wff
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« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2007, 11:06:15 PM »

[quote author=Jorn Johanesson link=topic=7236.msg43832#msg43832

Sorry I did not mean that. I said as a Bee inspector I would not waste my time. But I am not a bee inspector and I am dam interested in learning about other ways of doing beekeeping. [/quote]

I'm sorry if I misinterpreted your comment.

Quote
We had an experiment going transferring the Black original Nordic bee to Greenland, just to have a gene pool. The People there reported a yield of honey about 100lbs. They have to winter in a cellar, but the last I heard was that it was still going on. The use styropor hives normal langstroth.

I'd love to read more about that.  Is there any information on the internet about it?
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Jorn Johanesson
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« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2007, 05:18:42 AM »

I'd love to read more about that.  Is there any information on the internet about it?

I am afraid there is nothing written about this project. And I also fear the reason is that it might have failed. But what in the first run happened was that the Black Nordic bee (only remaining population on the Ireland Laesoe) was threatened by mixing up by Italian crossbreeds. This story is found on my web. But some beekeepers wanted to keep this gene pool alive, so they contacted two Greenland sheep keepers who agreed to manage 4 hives as a start. All I know about this project after the start, is that the report of honey yield was 40 lbs a hive first year and 100lbs next year. The Danish leader of the project is no longer a beekeeper, and has disappeared from the beekeeping world. So I am afraid the story ended there. But I have put a question into the Danish Beekeeper Society.

What is important here is that the hives are stored through the winter in a shelter of some kind. And the hives were Styropor Langstroth Hives.
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Jorn Johanesson
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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2007, 06:13:33 AM »

I'd love to read more about that.  Is there any information on the internet about it?


I found this : http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/info/info/species/beekeeping-in-greenland.shtml

Ole Hertz is a photographer concentrating on development beekeeping.
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Finsky
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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2007, 08:33:48 AM »

We have a beekeeper Aapo Valo who lives 200 miles from Polar Cirle to north. H ewon "best honey" competion 2005 with cloud berry honey. Ivalo you may see "on the neck of Lady Finland"

http://www.m-w.com/maps/images/maps/finland_map.gif

Ivalo landscape





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DBoire
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« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2007, 09:47:04 AM »


Now a lot depends on perspective. Finsky is looking at Honey in a capital way. Well, my wife is going organic local cosmetics, using the TBH "excess" wax as a raw material. Just look at what women are prepared to spend on cosmetics and you will agree with me that honey is of little consequence (to most).


An excellent point,... The markup on cosmetics  evil rolleyes
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Finsky
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« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2007, 10:01:40 AM »


. Well, my wife is going organic local cosmetics, using the TBH "excess" wax as a raw material. Just look at what women are prepared to spend on cosmetics and you will agree with me that honey is of little consequence (to most).

Under our laws no one cannot sell with false advertisement. But never mind. Your honey will be not used in cosmetics.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2007, 11:24:46 PM by Finsky » Logged
Kirk-o
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« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2007, 05:19:25 PM »

Yiu know I don't know for dure must bee something about them.I think the combs might be a bit mor fragile and not easy to super I guess not sure really I'll bet Michael Bush knows
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« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2007, 07:49:46 AM »


Mon cher Finsky.

> Under our laws no one cannot sell with false advertisement.

This is the THIRD World. No Pestizide, no Herbizide, not even industrial Fertilizers anywhere near here being used. Neither do I (or any of the other beeks I know around here) use any chemicals, powders, substances, whatsoever to treat our bees. Neither do we have foundation or any of that other fancy stuff you regularly use.

I would not claim we are organic beeks by choice - it's just that all those things are simply NOT AVAILABLE. It's another world out here.

I could get "Organic" certification as per all regulations/laws on subject I have read anywhere so far.

> Your honey will be not used in cosmetics.

umpf. She uses a concoction of soap/egg yolk/honey and rubs it into her scalp. According to her, that works wonders to regenerate her hair. Her shampoo I think contains honey and beeswax. Her body lotion beeswax.

I sometimes call her "sweets" in private - maybe I should change that to "honey".  afro  grin
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Finsky
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« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2007, 08:19:22 AM »


umpf. She uses a concoction of soap/egg yolk/honey and rubs it into her scalp.

My Honey ( honey) use honey too in her skin when she is in sauna.  But I am not going to recommend her to use more because it is away my selling.  - And I do not want that my wife is natural or at least organic.  I like make up.
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