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Author Topic: New beekeeper with some questions  (Read 1531 times)
TigerLily
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« on: February 16, 2007, 08:36:16 PM »

My father and I intend on domesticating a wild bee hive. We intend to collect honey and wax but really want to keep the bees in as natural of an environment as possible.

What type of hive should we construct?Are there any good construction guides out there? Thanks for the help!
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2007, 09:30:04 PM »

you need to keep them in a hive with moveable frames by law.  There are plans on beesource, probably a top bar hive is the easiest to construct.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2007, 11:01:43 PM »

>My father and I intend on domesticating a wild bee hive.

Good luck with that.  No one has ever domesticated bees yet.  Smiley
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesferal.htm

> We intend to collect honey and wax but really want to keep the bees in as natural of an environment as possible.

We change a lot from natural when we keep bees:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesunnatural.htm

>What type of hive should we construct?
If you want natural I'd do a top bar hive
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

or do a Langstroth hive with foundationless frames
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm

to get natural comb
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm

>Are there any good construction guides out there?

It's cheaper (unless you have free scrap lumber) to buy hives than build them.  The plans for top bar hives are on my site above.  Plans for Langstroth equipment is here:
http://www.beesource.com/plans/index.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2007, 11:05:43 PM »

For general information about bees:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbasics.htm

For advice to beginners:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm

For a lot of topics that are commonly asked:
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
TigerLily
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2007, 11:42:59 PM »

Thanks, I found the info on your site helpful.I did come across another hive style on another site. It is a box divided in two by a five mesh hardware cloth so the queen could only be on one side,but the workers could go back and forth between the sides. It also hade removable sides for easy harvesting. Do you know if this really works, or should I still use the top bar hive?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2007, 10:13:35 AM »

>Thanks, I found the info on your site helpful.I did come across another hive style on another site. It is a box divided in two by a five mesh hardware cloth so the queen could only be on one side,but the workers could go back and forth between the sides.

This is a common hive in Africa.  It is not legal anywhere in the US or any other "developed" country that I know of because it does not have movable frames.  The "coffee wire" queen excluder (#5 hardware cloth) isn't the easiest on the bees.  The smooth metal queen excluders are much less hard on the bees wings and will let pollen through.

> It also hade removable sides for easy harvesting.

In this case "easy" is a very relative term.  I have tried box hives for short term experiments to see how it works.  Yes, you can harvest.  Mine you could flip upside down and remove all the sides, which is about as much access as one can get without movable comb.  No, it's not easy.  It is very messy and you will drown a lot of bees doing the harvest.

> Do you know if this really works

It "works" to some extent.

> or should I still use the top bar hive?

Yes, you should have movable comb even if you were not required by law to do so.  It allows you to be a good steward of the bee's resources.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
TigerLily
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2007, 12:02:22 PM »

I'll use the top bar hive, then. Thanks again!
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2007, 05:28:19 PM »

O K good luck
kirk-o
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TigerLily
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2007, 08:06:54 PM »

I have another question now. rolleyes Now that we've decided to use the top bar hive,where do we put the brood comb? I've read on multiple sites that you tie the brood comb to a frame, but what if you don't use frames?Should I just tie it to the top bar itself?
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"It is the melancholy face that gets stung by the bee”
Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2007, 10:49:27 AM »

>where do we put the brood comb? I've read on multiple sites that you tie the brood comb to a frame, but what if you don't use frames?Should I just tie it to the top bar itself?

I don't think you'll have any luck tying comb to a top bar.  If you intend to do a cut out of an existing colony you will need to build swarm catching frames to fit the top bar hive:

http://www.beesource.com/plans/swarmframe.htm

Download the .pdf to see the plan and look at the link to "The frames being used in a swarm removal." to see how they are used.

Adjust the measurements to match your top bar hive, or adjust your top bar hive to fit standard frames like my TTBH:
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/TTBHOpen.JPG
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

If you do that you can use standard frames and just tie them in, if you don't want to build the swarm catching frames.  You can also super them if you like:
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/LongHiveSupered.JPG
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
TigerLily
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2007, 12:37:03 PM »

Thanks that was really helpful!But yet another question; do you keep the swarm frame in the new hive or do you remove it after a period of time? Thank you so much for your help!
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"It is the melancholy face that gets stung by the bee”
Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2007, 02:33:30 PM »

>do you keep the swarm frame in the new hive or do you remove it after a period of time?

Whatever you like.  It makes no real difference.  The good thing is you already have some nice natural sized cells.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
TigerLily
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2007, 11:42:44 AM »

Ok. Smiley
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"It is the melancholy face that gets stung by the bee”
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