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Top Bar Hives for Bees
March 14, 2011
9:26 pm
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Karen in Alabama
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hershiesgirl said:

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

I know how you feel. Are you living in AL yet? What county? We are in Marshall. There is a guy up by Fort Payne who I got splits from. I would recommend a split over packaged bees. It is just about time to put supers on here now. If you get a split you may very well get honey this year.

March 15, 2011
5:21 am
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Sonia
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Came across a site that had lots of neat information. The site is http://www.bushfarms.com

March 15, 2011
5:23 am
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Sonia
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Hi Karen in Alabama. I was born and raised in Huntsville. Sure do miss being there.

March 15, 2011
5:38 am
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Sonia
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Got a question for you Angela. My TBR has 27 frames. After setting up your hive, how many bars did your bees build up to the first season…also, did the brood comb stay at the front and the honey comb in the back without any brood laid in the comb?

March 15, 2011
7:35 am
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Karen in Alabama
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Hi Sonia,

 

We love it down here. We are and hour south of Huntsville.

 

I have a question. I haven't read all 7 pages of this thread, but is there any of you that have kept bees the traditional way and the TBR way? (I never heard of it until I saw this thread, and have forwarded some info to our bee club to see if someone might talk on it).

 

If so, can I get a comparison on the different techniques?

 

thanks

March 15, 2011
8:59 am
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hershiesgirl
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Karen in Alabama said:

hershiesgirl said:

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

I know how you feel. Are you living in AL yet? What county? We are in Marshall. There is a guy up by Fort Payne who I got splits from. I would recommend a split over packaged bees. It is just about time to put supers on here now. If you get a split you may very well get honey this year.

Karen, I might have to get that guys name and number from you when we get up there. We are 9 miles N of FP in Valley Head. We bought the house 2 years ago, and were *supposed* to have moved already, but the economy has done a number on our plans! We are hoping to finally make it up there this summer. Fingers crossed!

March 15, 2011
1:27 pm
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Angela P
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Sonia said:

Got a question for you Angela. My TBR has 27 frames. After setting up your hive, how many bars did your bees build up to the first season…also, did the brood comb stay at the front and the honey comb in the back without any brood laid in the comb?

Sounds like a nice sized hive! Congrats!  At first my girls filled 13 combs and they were huge! The whole thing started from the center and worked out from there. My brood was towards the  center-back of the hive. They will lay some brood in the center of a honey comb. Not all combs will have brood. There will be just honey combs. Does that help? I wish I could use that gravatar easier…..I have some photos that would better explain.

March 15, 2011
8:44 pm
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Sonia
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Karen in Alabama said:

Hi Sonia,

 

We love it down here. We are and hour south of Huntsville.

 

I have a question. I haven't read all 7 pages of this thread, but is there any of you that have kept bees the traditional way and the TBR way? (I never heard of it until I saw this thread, and have forwarded some info to our bee club to see if someone might talk on it).

 

If so, can I get a comparison on the different techniques?

 

thanks

Karen,

I am a beginner in beekeeping this year, so my TBR is my first hive.  I first became acquainted with the TBR after stumbling on it while researching beehives.  I was so impressed with it, that I decided then and there that was the hive for me. I just came across a web site that might help explain both types of hives for you better than I could explain the differences.  Take a look at http://www.bushfarms.com and just click on the Beekeeping tab.  I found them to be very descriptive of the TBR and the traditional way. There is alot of other information that was very helpful to me as well.  Hope this helps

March 15, 2011
9:02 pm
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Sonia
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Yeah, the hive is a beauty!  It is all cypress except for the bars which are made of yellow pine. I cannot wait to hear the hum of the bees from the inside.  It will be like putting your ear up against a dryer and being lulled to sleep from the sound of the motor.  The neighbors probably think I have now lost it, I stood there today and rubbed my hand across the top and talked to it like it was alive.  Oiy!  Just wait until the bees arrive, they will definitely think I have gone nuts.  My new profession, Sonia the Bee Whisperer.

I do have another question for you Angela, did you have a problem with the comb curving inward at the ends of the bar?  I have read briefly about this, and Ken Novy also mentioned it. Ken built my hive for me.   He said to just gently cut the comb from the bar at the ends where it begins to curve, then just gently straighten out the comb and just press the wax back onto the bar to reattach the corner.  He also mentioned attaching the comb with a hair clip, but for the life of me I cannot remember what the situation was that required the attachment with the clip.  Have you heard of any situations that required this method?  I guess I will probably have to email him again and have him clarify this once more for me.  He also said that the best tool to use to detach the comb from the sides of the hive is a bread knife.  I believe I have also read this somewhere on the internet. 

March 16, 2011
4:08 am
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Sonia
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Just so it will not confuse anyone…TBR is what stuck in my head at the beginning for Top Bar Hives instead of the usual TBH for Top Bar Hive.  Somewhere along the line my brain refused to use the H.  So, TBR was born.  I guess it came to stand for just Top Bar, or maybe it just flowed better. Anyway, I guess subconsciously I had to add that  “r” sound.     

Or, I can blame it on working third shift. Yeah, that will be my excuse.yes

March 16, 2011
6:08 am
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MaryB
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You can blame anything on 3ed shift.  lol  Lack of sleep does funny things to people!  surprised

March 16, 2011
3:26 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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Congratulations Sonia! The hive sounds beautiful. Id be out petting it and talking to it too…oh yea!     Do post photos!!! Easier for you than me ;)   I built my hive ok…my husband and I…When we built the top bars, we took the table saw and cut about an 11 degree – 15 degree  angle cut into the pine  bars . We cut the groove into the bar so that when the girls draw out their comb it will follow that degree, like an angle , instead of the wax line or triangle cut bars  that are the norm on tbh. Those are usually straight up and down. This angle cute prevents “cross combing”.  If your hive has the usual, its ok. Your on the  right track… if you see this and it becomes a huge problem, gently try to push them back into place. Its gonna get sticky and the girls will be mad!  You may have some very close combs. Also, your bars just might be wide enough that you wont even have this situation…. Even though I did this angle cut, I still had 2 cross combs. I think the big issue is not  able to inspect  each individual  comb(s). I still could see what was going on in between the crossed combs. I do not believe in getting in to each and every comb all the time. I let my bees…be. The more you disturb them, the more stress and sickness will follow.  In langstroth they also have cross combing, its just built up with bur comb and or propolis.

Sorry I have never heard of using a hair clip??? Interesting though…

March 16, 2011
7:30 pm
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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How to use a hair clip to repair comb on a bar.

http://www.ehow.com/how_6895148_attach-using-hair-clip-method.html

 

March 16, 2011
8:55 pm
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Sonia
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LOL!!!  You are so right MaryB. I would embarrass myself if I mentioned all the goofy things that I seem prone to make.  Working thirds is definitely in a class all by itself, LOL!

March 17, 2011
8:50 am
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hershiesgirl
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CATRAY44 said:

How to use a hair clip to repair comb on a bar.

http://www.ehow.com/how_6895148_attach-using-hair-clip-method.html

 

Ok out of curiosity…I read the e-how….it tells you to put two zip ties, one on each end of the hair clip. You clip the hair clip over the bar, but then it never tells you what to do with the zip ties. What's the purpose?

March 17, 2011
10:44 am
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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I think you anchor the clip to the bar with the zip ties.

March 17, 2011
9:05 pm
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Karen in Alabama
NE Alabama
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FYI for anyone in Alabama, Top Bar Hives are illegal in the state of Alabama.

 

I requested someone discuss Top Bar Hives at our bee meeting sometime, and the state inspector (really nice guy and lives in town), sent back the above message.

March 18, 2011
9:04 am
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BuckeyeGirl
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That just seems outrageous Karen!  Do they follow wild swarms around and write them citations if they settle into the wrong location?

I suppose if I was going to be generous, I could think it was because they feel traditional hives provide better protection or ability to monitor disease or parasites etc… unfortunately I have to think that someone, or some lobby has a lot of sway in the Dept. of Agriculture there… or else possibly again on the kinder side of thinking, just someone in charge of things who is afraid of change or anything not 'normal'.   *sigh*

Located in N.E. Ohio

March 18, 2011
9:26 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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Karen in Alabama said:

FYI for anyone in Alabama, Top Bar Hives are illegal in the state of Alabama.

 

I requested someone discuss Top Bar Hives at our bee meeting sometime, and the state inspector (really nice guy and lives in town), sent back the above message.

FYI for anyone in Alabama, Top Bar Hives are illegal in the state of Alabama. I requested someone discuss Top Bar Hives at our bee meeting sometime, and the state inspector (really nice guy and lives in town), sent back the above message.

 Karen is it because they think you cant inspect and remove each individual frame?  Im in MI and we had a similar law, Honey Law Act 412, that was changed almost 20 years ago. TBH as well as skeps are legal here. Thank goodness.

If it were me, Id push for it! But then again, thats me…

March 18, 2011
9:29 am
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Angela P
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CATRAY44 said:

How to use a hair clip to repair comb on a bar.

http://www.ehow.com/how_6895148_attach-using-hair-clip-method.html

 

That is pretty cool.  Hopefully Ill remeber this if I ever run into a comb situation..(?)

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