The bees' new home

The bees' new home

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:01 pm

This is how I spent my break from the bus on Friday morning. My friend Frank came over and helped me to move my bees from my standard square box hive to my new Top Bar Hive. It took us about 2 hours. I moved the entire hive to one TBH for simplicity sake. After we poured the box of bees in the TBH and closed it up, I put all the old equipment in front of it and the loose bees flocked to the area. It took another hour or two before they all moved in the new hive. That tells me the queen is probably in the new hive. After it calms down I'll split the hive in two and move one half to the other TBH. I'll be adding a new 3 lbs package of new bees to that hive as well. The bees seem to have taken to their new home - at least they haven't left when I wasn't looking. The weather has helped me in that regard. The bees won't fly if it's under 45* and wet so they have been forced to stay in and fix the comb I messed up with the move. I'll check mid-week to see if the queen actually made it and how the repair work is going. Once the weather clears, I'll post more pictures of the finished apiary.
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This is after we shook and brushed as many bees as we could into a moving box. They wintered really well and I estimate there are between 25,000 and 30,000 bees in the hive. I'm the short one on the right.
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Moving the box of bees to the sun so the bees stay warm while we cut the square frames to fit in the TBH. That was a mess due to the brood and honey we had to cut through. DK couldn't get a good picture because he wouldn't come outside. There were a lot of bees flying around but there was only one sting.
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Here you see the old square hive and the empty TBH. We are about to start the cutting.
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lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:10 pm

Fascinating!. My wife is beginning to take an interest in beekeeping.
lsayre
 
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Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:33 pm

I sure am also.. it looks very cool
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Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:47 pm

Interesting!
Wood'nCoal
 
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Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: dcrane On: Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:01 pm

did I hear free hunny samples at the meet :P
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:31 pm

Finding out lots of people around here used to do that back in the day. After talking with a few of them, it seems my constantly breaking cars, buildings, & equipment wouldn't allow the time needed for the bees survival.

Now to build that still .... ;)
SMITTY
 
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Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:37 pm

What's a top bar frame? I have a bunch of regular square hives. The guys by me use either 8" or 10" sqare or rectangle. What is the advantage of the TBF?
Scottscoaled
 
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Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:06 am

Scottscoaled wrote:What's a top bar frame? I have a bunch of regular square hives. The guys by me use either 8" or 10" sqare or rectangle. What is the advantage of the TBF?


A top bar frame is the good kind :nana: as William would say "Its the Glenwood of Hives :lol:
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: Freddy On: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:45 am

Now, Lisa, a simple black bar across your eyes so people couldn't identify you would have been enough. No need for the full white suit & hood. :)

Is that a tiny bit of exposed skin on the shirt cuff? You are a brave and knowledgeable lady. I'd want a cast iron suit with inch thick windows.

The new hives look cool! I've never seen anything but the white boxes. Very nice workmanship on the foundations. Keep up the good work.
Freddy
 
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Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:13 am

lsayre wrote:Fascinating!. My wife is beginning to take an interest in beekeeping.


She should look into Top Bar Hives. They are perfect for a backyard beekeeper who can't lift the heavy white boxes or don't want to have to deal with a lot of honey at the end of the year but wants to help the bees. Have her contact your local bee association and they'll get her started. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:15 am

Poconoeagle wrote:I sure am also.. it looks very cool


Contact your local bee keeper assocaition and they'll get you started. You will be surprised how many backyard beekeepers are in your neighborhood already. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:29 am

Scottscoaled wrote:What's a top bar frame? I have a bunch of regular square hives. The guys by me use either 8" or 10" sqare or rectangle. What is the advantage of the TBF?


A TBH is inexpensive to make out of scrape lumber and doesn't require a lot of phyiscal strength to maintain. They produce less honey, enough for family and friends but not enough you have to have a lot of fancy equipment to operate or harvest it. In my opinion, this makes them perfect for the backyard beekeeper with a day job. It's all in your prespective. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: Sting On: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:41 am

Back in the 60's I would tag along with my father and grandfather - they had 3 yards with 150 supers- I never knew anything but the square box hives.
Sting
 
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Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 am

Sting wrote:Back in the 60's I would tag along with my father and grandfather - they had 3 yards with 150 supers- I never knew anything but the square box hives.


Hi Sting,

The Top Bar Hive is actually a lot older then the Box hives everyone knows. We're talking thousands of years older but when the industry standardized the white box hive you see everywhere in 1891 the TBH took a backseat. With the Box hive you could make surplus honey and a lot of it and with that comes money. It's swinging the other way now. While many TBH owners do make money with the hive, mostly they are just backyard beekeepers with day jobs who want to have honey for family and friends and help the bees. You can expect to produce 50 or 60lbs of honey from each box you place above the brood nest of a box hive and that's just too much to deal with for a hobbyist. With that amount you need to have all this special kind of equipment and lots of time. The TBH is very simple. You harvest by removing one top bar at a time and crushing it into a bowl through a filter. Then you eat it. That's it, no special equipment except maybe a toaster. Take care, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: The bees' new home

PostBy: KLook On: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:14 pm

I fail to see in the pictures how it is superior. I understand all about the work as I had the extractor and all the other stuff. Time consuming and a mess.
Somehow, you remove comb and squeeze it more easily then the rectangle frames. How do you keep the queen out of the comb and what size and shapes are they to make them more manageable? I will go do a little research at Dadant as I am goingto have a hive or 2 here in Tenn. I see them all over the place.

Kevin
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