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Top Bar Hives for Bees
October 13, 2010
9:16 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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I soo agree with doing things the older wiser ways.  Makes me really miss Gpa.

 The honey yields might not be as much and then again they might be greater!  I look at it  in the  sense of quality and  humbleness. I loved the saying Stewards of Nature.  Lovely!   With TBH you dont have to use all those drugs/ chemicals  like the traditional keepers do. Then of course its in the honey!!  YUCK!  They are forcing bees to build, live and maintain against there ways.  confusedPoor bees. confused Not to say that bad things cant happen with TBH, perfection is our direction, not our  ultimate goal.  When I first started with my Bees my goals were to have happy, healthy bees. I knew if we could do this they will grant me with some honey. Not buckets and buckets full to sell at outrageous profit. Just enough for my family.  Sadly many so called beekeepers do things that I will never agree with. I have a very hard time bitting my tongue!lips-are-sealed

October 13, 2010
10:59 am
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BuckeyeGirl
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I have a question, and one that maybe I should go to one of the bee sites to ask, but I'd like to float it here first if I may.  I live in a rural area, I don't garden extensively because my yard is hilly, somewhat shady though not dark and dank… just difficult really, but some of my neighbors do though I don't have many neighbors.  There are hay fields and overgrown fields within sight, it seems to me there'd be quite a bit of nectar within range for bees, but I don't want to starve bees either!

Is it unreasonable for me to give this a try with one hive?  Maybe see how that goes… if they do well, expand from there maybe?  I'm trying to decide if I should try building one of these over the winter…  also, do guinea fowl eat bees?  If I got guinea fowl, would they be gathering around a hive waiting for bees to emerge? 

…sign me,

~ undecided ~

Located in N.E. Ohio

October 13, 2010
12:24 pm
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NorthCountryGirl
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Buckeye Girl:  I went to http://www.beesource.com and found the following info regarding how far honeybees travel to obtain nectar: 

 

The area covered by bees increases exponentially with distance from the apiary since the area of a circle is a function of the square of the radius:

Flight range Acres covered
1 mile
2
3
4
2,011
8,658
18,092
32,166
 

 Per the article, they will fly as far as they have to to get nectar for the hive.  You should be okay.

October 13, 2010
1:55 pm
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hershiesgirl
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NorthCountryGirl said:

Buckeye Girl:  I went to http://www.beesource.com and found the following info regarding how far honeybees travel to obtain nectar: 

 

The area covered by bees increases exponentially with distance from the apiary since the area of a circle is a function of the square of the radius:

Flight range Acres covered
1 mile
2
3
4
2,011
8,658
18,092
32,166
 
 Per the article, they will fly as far as they have to to get nectar for the hive.  You should be okay.
   

Yes, that is why the USDA requires you to OWN 45,000 acres or more, to labell your honey ORGANIC. Whew!
October 13, 2010
4:09 pm
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lavenderblue
WNY
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hershiesgirl: I always wondered how they knew a bee's honey was “organic”. Is that as far as they figure a bee can fly without dropping dead?  Otherwise it just seems arbitrary to me.

Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.  Ogden Nash

October 13, 2010
4:57 pm
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Helen
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lavenderblue said:

hershiesgirl: I always wondered how they knew a bee's honey was “organic”. Is that as far as they figure a bee can fly without dropping dead?  Otherwise it just seems arbitrary to me.


Is the only criteria that determines if honey is organic or not the 45,000 acre rule?  If so, then I can't print what I think about that!  Let me sum it up with one word:  BOGUS.

George Orwell - 1984
- Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

October 13, 2010
6:02 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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Well, I found this, which isn't anything official… but it makes sense.  http://world-of-honey.com/hone…..nic-honey/  The official stuff I found didn't list anything for bees or honey.

Located in N.E. Ohio

October 13, 2010
9:41 pm
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hershiesgirl
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lavenderblue said:

hershiesgirl: I always wondered how they knew a bee's honey was “organic”. Is that as far as they figure a bee can fly without dropping dead?  Otherwise it just seems arbitrary to me.


Well its not that they will drop dead….  but given the distance that bees will travel from the hive, that is the only way you can be certain that your bees did not visit and/or pollinate on plants that are not grown under Organic Standards…..that you own and have control of ALL the land and plants that they might visit.

 

Just don't get me started on what I think of Organic Certification

October 13, 2010
10:05 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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Yeah, I know hershiesgirl, it's probably a topic we should be careful of though since it can get touchy.  It's one of those subjects that gets big fast. 

Located in N.E. Ohio

October 15, 2010
8:13 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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hershiesgirl said:

lavenderblue said:

hershiesgirl: I always wondered how they knew a bee's honey was “organic”. Is that as far as they figure a bee can fly without dropping dead?  Otherwise it just seems arbitrary to me.


Well its not that they will drop dead….  but given the distance that bees will travel from the hive, that is the only way you can be certain that your bees did not visit and/or pollinate on plants that are not grown under Organic Standards…..that you own and have control of ALL the land and plants that they might visit.
 

Just don't get me started on what I think of Organic Certification

 

I wouldnt waste the $$$ on this particular  ” organic???”


October 15, 2010
8:34 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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BuckeyeGirl said:

I have a question, and one that maybe I should go to one of the bee sites to ask, but I'd like to float it here first if I may.  I live in a rural area, I don't garden extensively because my yard is hilly, somewhat shady though not dark and dank… just difficult really, but some of my neighbors do though I don't have many neighbors.  There are hay fields and overgrown fields within sight, it seems to me there'd be quite a bit of nectar within range for bees, but I don't want to starve bees either!

Is it unreasonable for me to give this a try with one hive?  Maybe see how that goes… if they do well, expand from there maybe?  I'm trying to decide if I should try building one of these over the winter…  also, do guinea fowl eat bees?  If I got guinea fowl, would they be gathering around a hive waiting for bees to emerge? 

…sign me,

~ undecided ~

Bees will travel approx 7 miles for food. If you live near hay fields, they absolutely LOVE alfalfa. Makes wonderful light colored honey. And if its overgrown, as is mine, theres ragweed, and  all kinds of wild flowers. And they will also visit various grasses. If you choose TBH ( I wish you would hint, hint) Its elevated so Guineas wouldnt get to them.  Dont worry about the hills, bees dont mind. They will get their bearings from whatever is tallest and then fly out from that height. When you first get your bees, early spring, you'll need to feed them for the first 2 weeks at least. Maybe more or less dependent on whats available for natural food source at that time.

Starvation happens for many reasons. Mostly when too much honey is taken, harsh winters, etc… Youd be shocked if you knew what was in store bought honey! Or what commercial beekeepers do to “feed” there bees.

 Dont be too overwhelmed, its only scary if you let if be. Your “right on” with doing your research. I can do my best to help you from here too. I dont know whats going on in all states. I hear things at my meetings but???? Id look for a bee club near you if possible too.

At my last meeting I heard of a man that has kept a hive going for over 10 years, its a very strong and healthy hive and guess what? He has done nothing to it, never opened it on a regualr basis, nothing. I wouldnt recommend this but just to give you an idea. 

Ill help ya the best I can, you know what Im going to suggest…. You CAN DO IT!!!sun

 


October 15, 2010
9:33 am
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Joyce
Western WV
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Some of the best honey comes from trees, Sassafras is lovely and so is Sourwood and of course  Basswood,  the bees also make honey from  Poplars in the Spring though that is usually pretty dark.  So you do not have to have lots of flowers for the bees to have honey.  As Buckeye girl said overgrown fields provide lots of food,  if you do try the bees I wish you well they are lovely to have around.  To me hearing the bees buzzing as they collect pollen from the corn tassels means summertime.happy-feet

October 15, 2010
6:26 pm
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hershiesgirl
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I love the sound of bees and other pollinators buzzing around as I garden and do outdoor stuff. Well, except for maybe those big ol' honkers that sound like jets comin' in….    :)

October 22, 2010
8:43 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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It is a beautiful orchestra. Now that its coming on fall,   Im missing all my buggy  songs. Preparing my hive for winter soon.  I do hope my ladies have a tummy full of yummy honey  and a warm winter.  Cross your fingers and say a prayer for the Bees please.  This is my first over winter with my TBH and bees…. Im a wee bit nervous.   The Wolly Worm says we are in for a mild winter, I hope so. (Winter driving is not my best.  Ok so any driving is not my best but it is a good excuse! ) Looking forward to helping others get started in Bees.  Ill do my best to help in any and all ways that I can. Read, study, learn and talk. Get ready  for your Bees! Spring will be back!!! sun

October 22, 2010
10:30 am
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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I am excited to get started… saving up my pennies for a hive!

October 22, 2010
2:25 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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OH, Grit magazine has an article about TBH in the Nov/Dec issue.  It's written by Phil Chandler of “Barefoot Beekeeping” fame. 

I'm leaving in a little while to go to a nearby sawmill to see if they have some wood which would be good to use for one of these.  I want some heftier than normal wood to more closely mimic a hollow log for the bees, and for winter protection for them.  This is a local carpenter who has gone blind (legally though not totally) and he and either his son or nephew (can't remember off hand) run it now.  They specialize in rough sawn lumber and many local farmers swear by him for things like hay wagons and heavy duty things the older gentleman can still manage. 

I'm taking the plans PJ Chandler has posted for free on his site with me, and who knows, they may be able to help me construction wise too.  I confess I'm a little curious about if they'd consider slapping some of these together for sale right there, they often have a few projects set out for sale.  A small yard sized trailer, a shed, a playhouse etc… I guess during slow times they build a few things for sale.  I'm wondering if it's the sort of thing that a local business like this could encourage local beekeeping too!  It can't hurt to discuss it with them and I admit I'm ever the optimist about helping new ideas, or in this case, new OLD ideas.  What about if they cut the lumber and sold it as a kit? 

Just brainstorming a little, sorry to babble, too much coffee today!

Located in N.E. Ohio

October 24, 2010
11:04 pm
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hershiesgirl
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In the Grit article about top bar beekeeping is:

 

FOR FREE: detailed hive plans, see “How to Build a Top-Bar Hive” at

http://www.Grit.com/top-bar-hive

 

Send pictures when you are done! Good Luck!

October 25, 2010
2:53 pm
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Angela P
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I looked al over town yesterday for this magazine…B&N didnt have it nor did my local TSC….Im still hunting. Would love to have read the article and by the sounds of it, this just might bee a magazine Id subscribe to….Im still looking. Thanks for your posts Hershie girl and Buckeye girl. Keep us posted, love yourhug enthusiasm even if its coffee inducedlaugh

October 25, 2010
8:22 pm
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Miss Judy
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Angela P said:

I looked al over town yesterday for this magazine…B&N didnt have it nor did my local TSC….Im still hunting. Would love to have read the article and by the sounds of it, this just might bee a magazine Id subscribe to….Im still looking. Thanks for your posts Hershie girl and Buckeye girl. Keep us posted, love yourhug enthusiasm even if its coffee inducedlaugh


Grit magazine can be very hard to find! Wal-mart does carry them but …usually out of stock.cry I really enjoy Grit. They have some very informative articles and good recipes! I've decided to subscribe!

Oh they also have some good special publications too. They have one on the stands right now on Homemade Bread.

October 25, 2010
9:48 pm
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CATRAY44
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