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Top Bar Hives for Bees
October 30, 2010
5:36 pm
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Paws_Bakery
Southern Ontario
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Good Job Helen
 

That must have been something to watch.

Hugs Cheryl   smiley-puppy

October 31, 2010
9:14 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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Helen said:

All day there had been a bee on our porch.  First she was on the railing, but then the wind must have blown her off the railing, because she was on the porch floor.  I went out with a cup of hot tea just now and she was still there.  I felt really bad for her, but I didn't know what to do.  Then I had an idea.  I put the hot cup down right next to her, which blocked the wind and gave her a heat source.  I sat down to watch, and in a minute she started to thaw a bit.  She actually sidled up to the hot cup and snuggled right up against it.  In another minute she was washing her face and cleaning her antennae.  Next she started to shake her wings and buzz a little, and then all of a sudden she flew awayhappy-flower


Awww. You are sooo sweet!  I had a similar experience. One morning I noticed ( Maybe one  of my honey bees ) on the  window screen, she was obviously chilled. She was there for quite some time so I got a grape, smooshed it and put it up to the screen, from the inside, and she began eating it!!!!  Next thing I knew she flew away! I was soo touched by that little experience. Like I made a difference in a wee little Bees day!

  Glad to see Im not the only one.

Thank Youhappy-butterfly

November 2, 2010
3:11 pm
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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November 3, 2010
3:45 pm
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hershiesgirl
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CATRAY44 said:

Ok, my Bee friends…   What thinkest thou of this?

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/Observation-Bee-Hive-Top-Bar-bee-hive-Tanzania-Hive-/220680096775?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33618f0c07#ht_500wt_1156


Ok I stole this from Matt's previous post:

Abbe Warre's Beekeeping for All – It can be downloaded for free here: http://warre.biobees.com/

There was a good commentary (I'm pretty sure this was the site I read it on) about the pros and cons of observation hives – what to look for and what to avoid – apparantly, size matters for observation.

 

Jackie

November 4, 2010
12:28 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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Hey Cat, I think the TBH looks pretty good, as we discussed.  Warre hives are very different than TBH, but still a good choice :)

November 4, 2010
6:14 pm
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rileysmom
Rural Montana
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Lurk……Lurk!!!

November 7, 2010
9:49 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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Well at least  you admit it! LOL!  Leave it to you….hug

November 8, 2010
7:04 am
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NorthCountryGirl
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Angela, 

I've been following your posts on the subject of Top Bar Hives.  I have been interested in keeping bees for some time now but after sending for catalogs and seeing what all is involved with a regulard hive, I didn't know if I wanted to get into all that.  Then you mentioned the Top Bar Hive.  I checked it out and it's so much simpler than the hives I've seen.  Sounds like something I could manage.  There was even a Top Bar Hive on Ebay for a very reasonable price.  Thanks to everyone on this post for all the info.  Maybe I will put the TBH on my Christmas List.  happy-flower

November 8, 2010
8:34 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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A new post here reminded me that I picked up the sassafras for my winter construction project of a TBH this past week.  It's a gorgeous chunk of 1″ thick (a REAL inch, not a lumber yard inch!!!) rough sawn sassafras wood.  I'll get a picture of that board, and Mr Redgate ripped the wood for the top bars to the correct width for me too. 

Just FYI, I can handle our table saw in the basement, and all the hand saws too, but ripping a long board (cutting it down lengthwise -with- the grain) is awkward for me by myself.  Yes I know that a manly man does that stuff all the time, and I HAVE done it.  I have a bad wrist though, it's awkward for me, and I dislike doing it.  Maybe I'm a bit of a chicken over it, but I'm ok with that.

I'll still go to a lumberyard for the pressure treated wood for the legs, and a bit of plywood too…  AND I'm going back to Redgates for some of that barn-siding you'll see in the pictures below.  I want to make a duck-house this winter too.  I WANT DUCKS!!  That's another subject though isn't it?

Here's a few photos from going to get the wood.

The sign out front, a small shed that one of the guys built.  It's a great barn!  It would have been a fantastic small chicken coop building… it's as solid as a rock too.

 

The stacked up siding, gotta get some of this.

 

that blade is over 4 feet tall.  it's HUGE!  I didn't see it in action, and he's still working on getting the building around it completed in between orders.

again

 

He frequently re-builds farm equipment, he uses white oak which is especially good for such things because of it's strength and weather resistant nature.  Mr. Redgate does this because he loves doing it, the whole process I mean.  I could probably have just used white oak for the TBH, but when I explained what I was doing, and that the plans I was using suggested using western red cedar, he immediately told me that he had some sassafras that would be perfect so I took him at his word.

 

Image Enlarger

 

Here you can see how thick that chunk of wood is!  My hands aren't small.  It's at least 3″ thick.  SOLID!

 

And here's just a bit of his wood supply.  This is recently delivered, he's got to make room in the pole barn sheds where he stores his other logs to season where the'yre out of the worst of the weather.  Obviously nothing he has gets 'kiln dried'.  It's just time for him!

Image Enlarger

Located in N.E. Ohio

November 9, 2010
4:31 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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Buckeye Girl,  Thanks for the fantastic post!  Im so excited for you!!!  You are a Gravatar genious….Im not!  I loved all the photos, its like we were right along with you, so cool! Sounds like your bees are going to have a very nice home.

 

I have to say Im a wee bit, no Im very envious of your lumber yard.  I would love to have a place like that near me. Your very lucky.

 I completely agree with you on not wanting to “rip down” the lumber, not my favorite thing either.  I really dont like any of those power tools. Appreciate and respect them yes.  But they scare me. Especially the circular saw…. I dont mind the compound miter, but you cant always use that one.  I usually wait for Mr. P to help me with using the table saw and circular saw too. I think I might hae wrist issues too. wink

Best of luck  to you on your TBH journey.  Ill help you in all and any ways I can.

I also wanted to say Thank You from the bees hug

November 9, 2010
4:46 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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NorthCountryGirl said:

Angela, 

I've been following your posts on the subject of Top Bar Hives.  I have been interested in keeping bees for some time now but after sending for catalogs and seeing what all is involved with a regulard hive, I didn't know if I wanted to get into all that.  Then you mentioned the Top Bar Hive.  I checked it out and it's so much simpler than the hives I've seen.  Sounds like something I could manage.  There was even a Top Bar Hive on Ebay for a very reasonable price.  Thanks to everyone on this post for all the info.  Maybe I will put the TBH on my Christmas List.  happy-flower


They are  sooo cool. I really enjoy my TBH and their philosphy on beekeeping also all the outreach that many TBH beekeepers do. I could go on and on…I also like things to be practical and affordable. Not just with my bees.

Like everything it has its pluses and minuses. I like to concentrate on the possible.

My focus with the club I belong to and this was to let people know of the possibiblities with beekeeping. When I first got into it three years ago all I knew about was the usual, langstroth. Thats a fine set up too. But way out of my $$ range. Then I found out about TBH. THe more I read the more I knew this was for me. Im very pleased with my decision. I hope you will be too.

Maybe you and Catray are looking at the same one on Ebay? She mentioned it in an earlier post. It was pretty sharp!

I think it would make a wonderful Christmas gift….

Best of luck to ya, its a fun hobby!sun

November 10, 2010
8:34 am
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hershiesgirl
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I spent a lot of time talking to my friend Bill this weekend, he has an Apiary, and makes his full-time living off of keeping bees.  I am always fascinated… he has a hive of bees that came from a feral nest in a tree that fell in my back yard.

I just love watching the bees in his observation hive. I think I just might have to start out with one…I think Bee TV could be just as good as Chicken TV or Goat TV… ok, almost, I don't suppose bees do as many cute or funny things….. :)

November 10, 2010
9:07 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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I so agree.. Bee TV would bee cool :)   They do do some amazing things. Of course Im the type of person that was so enthralled with my HE front loader washer that I could have watched that for quite some time….I guess dish and d tv need some new channels..hee! hee!

November 13, 2010
9:00 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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I was just wondering, did anyone notice an extra amount of honeybees around yesterday? Its been unseasonably warm here in SW  MI and they were every where, in my chicken coop, barn, yard…..all over the place. I think I saw more bees yesterday than all summer! I took some pictures, hopefully I can post. OK later…..

November 18, 2010
10:01 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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I wanted to add a couple more links to this thread. Good reading for dreary days of upcoming winter….

http://www.beemaster.com

http://www.nationalhoneybeeday.net

http://www.backyardhive.com  Gaiam interviews Corwin Bell.

November 18, 2010
10:18 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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Angela, would you please post your links in the “Links” thread as well as here?  This way we all can find them much easier later on too.

Here's the right thread for it.  https://chickensintheroad.com/forum/the-old-barn/farming-and-animal-links

Located in N.E. Ohio

December 24, 2010
6:29 pm
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LK
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While searching for any TBH hives in Manitoba, I found a site that has someone (Waldner) from our province on it. For us, we would be driving about 4 hours, but would be able to see a hive in action this summer and be able to ask questions in person. I also found, when looking under their TBH section, some additional interesting advice as well. The guy from Manitoba mentioned that TBH tend to house tamer (friendlier) bees. That sounded good to me as I am really not wanting to be stung! He mentioned as well how he started off with a swarm of bees. To add to all of my findings on this site, I found a recipe for root beer flavored honey soda. What an interesting recipe to try. I thought that I would post it on here for all the beekeepers and wanna-be-someday beekeepers as well. Please forgive me if this site has already been mentioned. I did look at the links for other sites earlier, but forget if this one is one of the sites mentioned. Anyway, here is the recipe link:

http://www.beesource.com/resources/elements-of-beekeeping/honey-soda-made-the-easy-way/

***

By the way, it looks as though we are seriously looking at doing TBH for this summer now. We would like to get at least 2 hives ready and try our hand at catching some swarms or a swarm to start us off during swarming season. It sounds interesting and exciting, not to mention affordable to try to start out that way. No additional debt sounds really appealing! We are looking forward to it!!

***

I do have a question that I haven't found an answer to yet in my searches…how do you control the rodents that will want to nest in the hives? We would prefer not putting anything toxic into the hives. Can this be done and how could we avoid such a problem as that?

December 24, 2010
6:43 pm
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Helen
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Thank you so much for that link!  We are seriously planning on starting a TBH this spring, too.  I am so excited…I can hardly wait!  I just love bees and honey and mead and bees' wax, etc. 

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

December 30, 2010
8:08 pm
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holly
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I  am having someone buiild  me top bar hives this winter, can any one tell me where to get bees< I live in PA , Thanks, Holly

December 30, 2010
9:18 pm
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Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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Probably your best bet is to ask a local bee keeper. My friends here order theirs by mail or UPS.

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