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Top Bar Hives for Bees
April 4, 2011
2:30 am
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The Reluctant Homesteaders
Willamette Valley, OR
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CATRAY44, I would agree with Sonia that the best thing to do is consult with a local bee keeper for hive placement. That said, bees do need to stay warm in the winter, fall and spring and cool in the summer. It would be easier to shade the hive for summer than have your bees struggle to keep warm for the other three months. The harder the bees have to work to keep their brood warm the less bee power they have for other tasks, like making honey and collecting pollen.

When you say “out of sight” do you mean for you or the neighbors?

We have lawn chairs in front of our hive. We love sitting and watching them.

If it's the neighbors, my brother in law had hesitant neighbors. He gave them honey and now they like the bees.

May 15, 2011
5:58 pm
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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Angela and her patient son, Jacob, came to visit me today and… HELPED ME INSTALL MY BEES!  Woot Woot!  I am so very excited!  Now the learning begins!

May 15, 2011
6:13 pm
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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shimmy  I've been thinking about you girls all day!!!!

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

May 15, 2011
10:50 pm
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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It was very exciting, lol.  Angela is wonderful and her son is very patient and knowledgeable.  It was a really great experience for me and so nice to see them again. 

May 16, 2011
2:23 pm
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Paws_Bakery
Southern Ontario
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CATRAY how nice!!! wow that's exciting to have your hives set up… Keep us posted on your progress!!!  pawprint

May 16, 2011
7:38 pm
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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Opened the hive up to remove the feeder that was in the hive.  Will keep one outside the hive until Fall. That was exciting!  I can't imagine doing it without a bee suit, but, I have to say… it is kind of exhilarating!

May 17, 2011
1:39 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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Hey Cathy,   We had the best day with you and your lovely family. You all were so kind to Jake and I. Not to mention the most wonderful meal!!! Thank You!!!!  Im trying to post pictures here…help…..You are on your way to beecoming the best beekeeper!  Best of luck to you and your hive, know Im only a phone call or text away.

May 17, 2011
1:48 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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Image Enlarger

 

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Image Enlarger

May 17, 2011
3:47 pm
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Paws_Bakery
Southern Ontario
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Hey Angela, keep trying with the photos.. please ;)   I want to see what you 2 were up to.  I have bee hive envy  pawprint

May 17, 2011
7:56 pm
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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My bees are hanging on the bars in a bowl shaped mound.  Very busy doing something!  It is hard to not keep peeking, lol.  So glad I had an observation window put in!

May 17, 2011
7:58 pm
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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Paws, are you on Facebook?  I have some pictures on there that Angela's son took…

May 18, 2011
8:57 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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WOW!!! I posted pictures….sometimes I amaze myself. Or was that Cindy P???? Anyways, Im grateful!

Cathy, your bees are busy building comb. In a day or two you should “bee”  able to see   creamy white combs.  Im so glad you got the window in, did you get the chair out there too??? You'll need one!     The girls will  “cluster” around the queen, until they have a safe place for her. That being the combs, for her to lay eggs in etc… . I dont think its necessary to continue to feed them at this point but it wont hurt. Theres lots blooming now and I have noticed pollen on my bees too.  Bee looking for it on yours. Ill try to get a photo on here so you'll know what it looks like. When I first wrote where to look it just didnt sound right. ;) Gotta keep it G rated….

May 18, 2011
9:15 am
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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It was Cindy P that posted the pictures…She is a computer genius.  Thank you Cindy.  Your the bestest! hug

May 18, 2011
2:17 pm
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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Thank you, Cindy!

May 24, 2011
7:32 am
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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My bees have drawn out some lovely comb!!!  I am excited! I now truly see where the term 'busy bees” comes from!

Thanks, Hershiesgirl, that questionbutterfly was from last year.  My new hive was started the second week of May, this year.

August 16, 2011
9:44 pm
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leandjean
mossyrock, wa
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I have been looking into top bar hives for a few months now.  As soon as I saw them, I liked the idea of them compared to the normal drawer type.  My boss had several hives, but the last one died or moved last year.  I have a good friend that used to make her living raising bees and selling queens.  She had several hundred hives and her father had over a thousand.  All I want is one!!  I've read that queens are shipped in January….is that true?  That's what one site I went to that sells them said.  Where did you get your starter bees?wave

August 17, 2011
6:38 am
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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Leandjean, I searched for bee supplies in Washington state.  I found this place.  Maybe call and talk to them?  In Michigan, we are able to order bees in January and they arrive in April and May.

 

http://www.cedarglenbees.com/

August 19, 2011
4:45 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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Beethinking.com is out your way too…..Best of luck. I ll bee putting th TBH plans on here too, if you want to try and build one yourself or have one built for you. Much cheaper.

August 23, 2011
1:49 pm
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Angela P
SW Michigan
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My husband drew these plans out for me to share here :)

 

Top Bar Hive PlansImage Enlarger

 

To print plans, click on the image to enlarge, right click, save image. You can print the “picture” from your computer.

August 27, 2011
10:23 pm
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The Reluctant Homesteaders
Willamette Valley, OR
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Leandjean, I got my first bees from a swarm off Craig's List.

Angela P is right it is very easy and inexpensive to build your own hive. I built my own hives from my own plans, out of scrap lumber for very cheap. I have pics of my TBH on my blog http://thereluctanthomesteaders.blogspot.com/ . As far as a TBH, in rainy Oregon and Washington it is good to have a roof on your TBH that keeps the rain away from the entry of your hive. If the hive entry is on the long side, I highly recommend having a “shed” roof on your hive. I am very happy with them. The shed roof keeps the hive completely dry in the rainy winters and “chimneys” the heat away in the summer.

TBH are super fun and low stress to have. Very down to earth.

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