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Top Bar Hives for Bees
January 3, 2011
6:32 pm
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LK
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You can also catch a swarm during swarming season. We found information on how to do this on a couple of sites. It really sounds easy and inexpensive if you can find one.

James Zitting of Beelanding.com (who writes for Mother Earth News) might be able to find somebody local for you as well.

Our preference would be not to get bees by mail, but to find another source, preferably from someone local who already has sustainable bees and has not medicated their hives or fed them syrups and the like. We will be searching out our options, but are still very interested in the idea of catching a swarm.

January 31, 2011
12:33 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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I really like this. We recently had an article in our local news paper about a man doing research in this area. He will be writing for Mother Earth News!!     http://www.tanglewoodhollow.net

Now is the time to “bee” making arrangements for bees. If you choose to buy by mail or locate a local breeder, do so now. Its Bee Season!  If you choose to go the natural swarm route Id suggest getting plans together to purchase or make  your hive bodies. Dont forget there are plans online to build top bar hives, these  are free plans, not hard to build  yourself  just think rectangle box ;) Keep it simple.

February 26, 2011
5:57 am
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Whoopeee!!!!  Just got my top bar hive ordered and will pick it up in 2 weeks!  My first meeting with the Mid-State Beekeepers Assoc will be the first Tuesday in March.  I am so excited!!!!

February 26, 2011
9:08 pm
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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My bees and hive are ordered, too!  I am a mix of nervous and excited!  

February 27, 2011
12:27 pm
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lavenderblue
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When you all get your bees could you keep the rest of us here updated?  Even though my husband says he bets we could disguise a TBH and keep it in our little backyard, there are several reasons why I really don't want to. The first being, he is allergic to bee stings. Yes, he is that kind of a guy. When I point out that bees in such a small little area would probably be quite unhealthy for him,  he just says “That's what 'epi-pens' are for.”

The second reason is we have new neighbors with small children and no fence between our yards. We also have a beatiful wooden swingset that my kids have out grown, even though they all still gather there. I know the little ones next door won't be able to resist. The bees would be right there, so no.

Plus, the town fathers would probably frown on it, even though the mayor could find nothing against keeping chickens and told me to go ahead and see what happens.

Anyway, what I'd like to know is how much time you actually put into working with the bees, because we do have land around my parents house a few miles away (my parents passed away a few years ago and I turned the house and decision making over to my sister. She's hanging on to it but it is setting idle) She would probably be okay with a hive or so as long as I did the work, but I can't get there often. It is only a couple acres but nobody is in the house.

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

February 27, 2011
2:02 pm
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Sonia
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This is all very new to me and I am a total novice beekeeper, but I will try to post my experiences as I go along.  One of the members of the Mid-State Beekeepers Ass. is going to give me some of her boxes to use as a hive…they are probably not the TBR, but I am very thankful for her help, and I will be setting it next to my TBR.  I have not even attended the first meeting yet, and only met them through email, and they are all so willing to help me.  I definitely suggest Googling the nearest Beekeepers Association or Club. Working with the other members is going to be awesome, and their knowledge of beekeeping is going to be the biggest and best help I can get. It was suggested that I talk with the Sec. of the Ass. to see about picking up a package of bees as it will probably be cheaper that way, and of coarse they are always willing to help us newbies.  I want to try locally first, but will branch out if I have too. Getting very excited!!!!!  Oh wait….not getting…I think I am already there…Whoopeeeee!!!!shimmy

March 6, 2011
4:27 am
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Sonia
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YeeeeHawww!!  My TBR has arrived!!!!!  Now the wait for my bees begin.  The packages ordered thru the club will arrive May 20.  They are late in getting the bees this year because of some kind of error.  Drat it! 

March 7, 2011
5:12 pm
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holly
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I     have my top ar hives done and Im looking to paint them soon, Im also excited to do bees this year, any one else near Pittsburgh PA  interested in top bar hives, I went to a lecture through Penn State Extension and they didnt even have any one who knew any thing  about them

I felt discouraged  but not enough to  do them, maybe Ill Be the first woman in Pittsburgh to do top bar hives— YAH!!!!

March 7, 2011
10:50 pm
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Honey girls boy
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I have found a type of bee hive that is similar to the Top Bar but is much easier to manage.  I have been keeping bees in Warre hives.  The only thing I can say is just look at it and make your own choices.  Check out his site, it is probably the best on Warre hives.  I'm not trying to advocate anything, but after keeping bees since I was 12 in commerical hives, I love this hive.  It is natural and easy to build and as much for the bees as it is for the keeper.   http://warre.biobees.com/index.html 

Just look, anyone that wants to try it, or even just more information, I would happy to help.

Ernie  

March 8, 2011
6:09 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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Im sooo excited bee cause your all excited!  ( bee humor)  Seriously, how wonderful!  I am and always will be very passionate about Top Bar Hives. This year Im adding a warre hive to the mix just for even more fun! Looking forward to the adventure. My packages arrive in April!

Lets keep the support going! Thank you to all!

March 9, 2011
5:08 am
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Sonia
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The Warre hive looks to be a cross between a TBR and the conventional hive.  I will probably be getting one, but first want to cut my teeth on my brand new TBR, yipeee!!!  The wild bees are probably getting tired of me constantly standing over them and watching them gather that wonderful flower nectar, but they are just so cute!!!!  What can I say, I am a bee junkie.yes

March 9, 2011
8:49 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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waveHey Sonia, Im a bee stalker !  I loose hours watching them, amazing!

 I agree with ya. They ARE cute! heart

March 12, 2011
12:57 am
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Sonia
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Oh my, just stared at that new TBR with a silly grin plastered on my face. Dreaming of those little bees flying in and out of the hive. I should have a bumper sticker that reads, “I’m nut’s for Bees”. I have pulled up feeding recipes for spring and summer. My plan is to just feed them when their nectar sources are low. Oh, my TBR has an observation window. That way I can check on the status of the hve without opening up the top.

March 12, 2011
1:28 am
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MaryB
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Hi Ernie.  wave  Welcome to the forum!  Thanks for the info and help!!!!

March 12, 2011
6:10 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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Sonia said:

Oh my, just stared at that new TBR with a silly grin plastered on my face. Dreaming of those little bees flying in and out of the hive. I should have a bumper sticker that reads, “I'm nut's for Bees”. I have pulled up feeding recipes for spring and summer. My plan is to just feed them when their nectar sources are low. Oh, my TBR has an observation window. That way I can check on the status of the hve without opening up the top.

Heres another bumper sticker idea that will surely give people a double take….”I get a buzz by my bees!”  LOL!!!!

Get ready Sonia, with that obersavtion window your not just going to enjoy hours but but you;ll loose days mesmorized by them. Get a cool drink and maybe  some depends. Sit long, enjoy much!

March 14, 2011
6:25 am
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Sonia
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LOL!  That is not a bad idea.  I better make a run to Sam's before the season begins.  I know once I plop myself down to watch, I will definitely become hypnotized by their dancing and buzzing and all of their other activities.  bug-eyed

I am getting ready to order a few supplies from Brushy Mountain.  I am going to need a bee brush, hat and netting and pollen patties.  Even though my original plan was to not treat for mites and nosema, I have decided after talking with area beekeepers that I am going to at least treat once in the early spring (before nectar flows) and once in the fall (after honey harvest) for the health of my hive.  I just cannot stand the thought of my little bees picking up these pesty problems.  By keeping my hive in full sun, it will also help to control the mite problem. Next month, I am hoping to meet up with some Beekeepers in Raleigh, NC for one of their meetings.  They just meet somewhere for a bite to eat, then they will just sit around talk bees, and then off to one of their bee hives to demonstrate a few things like starting hives, etc.  I am so hoping I can get off of work.  It is about a 4 hour drive, but it will be well worth it. 

March 14, 2011
2:33 pm
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Karen in Alabama
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hershiesgirl said:

I am waiting till we move to N Alabama to start beehives. 1- I don't want to have to move them and 2- here in FL we have those nasty Africanized bees moving in, and that just scares the poo out of me. :)

Don't know if you are still viewing this thread, but just an FYI. #1) you can't move bees into the state of Alabama from another state (except nucs or packaged bees) without jumping through hoops. We had the state bee inspector at one of our bee meetings last month and he was running down the laws. All bees must be registered with the state and he comes out and checks them each year.

March 14, 2011
3:05 pm
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hershiesgirl
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Karen in Alabama said:

hershiesgirl said:

I am waiting till we move to N Alabama to start beehives. 1- I don't want to have to move them and 2- here in FL we have those nasty Africanized bees moving in, and that just scares the poo out of me. :)

Don't know if you are still viewing this thread, but just an FYI. #1) you can't move bees into the state of Alabama from another state (except nucs or packaged bees) without jumping through hoops. We had the state bee inspector at one of our bee meetings last month and he was running down the laws. All bees must be registered with the state and he comes out and checks them each year.

Karen, we don't have bees yet–  I'm (im)patiently waiting.  :)

March 14, 2011
7:06 pm
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Angela P
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It will come, and when it does, just think how even more special that first package of bees will bee!

March 14, 2011
7:13 pm
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Angela P
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lavenderblue said:

When you all get your bees could you keep the rest of us here updated?  Even though my husband says he bets we could disguise a TBH and keep it in our little backyard, there are several reasons why I really don't want to. The first being, he is allergic to bee stings. Yes, he is that kind of a guy. When I point out that bees in such a small little area would probably be quite unhealthy for him,  he just says “That's what 'epi-pens' are for.”

The second reason is we have new neighbors with small children and no fence between our yards. We also have a beatiful wooden swingset that my kids have out grown, even though they all still gather there. I know the little ones next door won't be able to resist. The bees would be right there, so no.

Plus, the town fathers would probably frown on it, even though the mayor could find nothing against keeping chickens and told me to go ahead and see what happens.

Anyway, what I'd like to know is how much time you actually put into working with the bees, because we do have land around my parents house a few miles away (my parents passed away a few years ago and I turned the house and decision making over to my sister. She's hanging on to it but it is setting idle) She would probably be okay with a hive or so as long as I did the work, but I can't get there often. It is only a couple acres but nobody is in the house.

Lavenderblue,  Its not very intensive. At first you would have to feed them until they have a good source of natural food to pollinate. Usually about a qt or 2 a week. Sugar syrup 2;1 and I use Honey Bee Healthy. Surely some water in a shallow tray, dont want our darlings to drown….And then let them do as they were created to do…be bees!  I would check on them about every other week. I have an observation window so I can peek in on them often and it doesnt seem to bother them. I never leave the door open. They do all their work in the dark. Im not sure of your location, but predetors… are always a concern. Theres only so much you can do. Im in SW MI so I dont have really any worries there, other than a good wind.

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