A top bar hive in the apiary?

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bazaljett's picture
bazaljett
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Joined: 27/03/2009

Does anybopdy fancy building a top bar hive for the Montybees apiary, or fancy helping with one?

Noel
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Joined: 03/10/2009
Top bar hive

I,d be interested in building and or helping with a top bar hive or maybe even two ,

One would be a Warre hive the other a horizontal hive, sometimes known as a backyard hive or  a Tanzanian,

I,m new to beekeeping so this will be a learning experience for me in more ways than one !

I intend to keep my own bee,s in a horizontal top bar hive , if I can get a swarm?

 then a Warre would be a second choice,

It may be easier to move a nuke from a National to a Warre,

Any help would be most welcome, as would offers of a swarm !

Best regards Noel

Noel
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Joined: 03/10/2009
Request for mentor

Hi ,

My name is Noel ,

I live in Abermule,

My intention is to start keeping bees this year,

I,m particularly interested in keeping my bees in top bar hives , Namely Warre and Tanzanean type hives ,

Is there an experienced bee keeper amongst the club who would offer me some mentoring in bee handling and beekeeping skills,

 , who may also interested in learning along with me about top bar style hives ?

I,d be keen to come and join you at your apiary to observe and learn about how to handle bees and work on the hives in general, As I,m aware that all those skills are needed and transferable whatever type of hive is being used.

I,d be glad to hear from any club member who may be interested in taking on a beginner and who may also be interested in learning about a different style of bee keeping

Best regards Noel

 

bazaljett's picture
bazaljett
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Joined: 27/03/2009
top bar hives

Noel,

I'm interested in this too, but I haven't had my bees for twelve months yet, so I'm not really in a position to mentor anybody. I'm about 6 miles west of Llanidloes, but we could co-ordinate building a warre/tanzanian for the apiary between us so that it is ready to go there when the initial fabric of the apiary (viewing area, bee fence etc) are in place. I see you at most meetings, so we can talk next time if not before.

Cheers,

Chris

 

Debs
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Joined: 08/04/2010
I would be interested in

I would be interested in learning more about TBH as well.

Roy Norris's picture
Roy Norris
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Joined: 28/07/2009
Top Bar and other hives

The Bees Abroad website http://www.beesabroad.org.uk/ has a link to information on top bar hives. 

There is also the possibilty of log hives.

Both these hive types are of little use for honey production.  Not impossible, but difficult to get a clean product.  Any form of extraction is likely to result in the loss of brood.

The other issue to consider is swarm control.  Very difficult with log hives.  Possible with top bar hives.  Swarm control needs to be considered if you have near-by neighbours.  They might not be comfortable with the dramatic sound of a swarm and the sight of a settled swarm on their patio!

Roy.

 

Noel
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Joined: 03/10/2009
Top bar and Warre

Hi again ,

Sorry for delay in responding ,

I havent been on line much for several weeks now ,

So busy with gardening and sorting out my bees !

I,ve now put my Warre hive up at the apiary in Gregynog , There should be bees in it later today ,

theres another Warre there too now, this one belongs to another member, Brandon, He,s still waiting for some bees,

Theres also a horizontal top bar hive ( commercially produced one )

 not a very good example in my humble opinion , VERY basic , no legs, no dividers ,very basic pieces of wood as top bars ,just a piece of bare plywood as a roof, quite alot of extra work involved to make it a usable hive, and quite expensive for what you get ! but thats just my opinion,  

Back at my home apiary I,ve put a recent swarm in my Horizontal top bar hive and yesterday added/united yet another swarm with a failed queen , theres plenty of lovely straight white comb being built but no eggs as yet ,they do have a queen (I,ve seen her !)

She is a virgin queen and I think the weather just hasn,t allowed her to go out to be mated yet ,

Fingers crossed and watch this space !

I,m just wondering if it might be possible to organise a meet or a training session to inform those interested about top bar hives , what would be the interest in such a session ?

 please put names here to register interest and then perhaps we can set something in motion ,

Are there any other members who have a top bar or experience working with them ?

Best regards Noel

Noel
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Joined: 03/10/2009
Top Bar update

The Queen has been laying for about two weeks now ,

the brood has grown to nine bars all with lovely straight comb and a perfect pattern of;-

 nectar, honey, eggs, brood, and sealed brood ,

The colony continues to grow and is doing very well indeed ,

It,s going to be interesting to compare this hive with the three national,s I now have on the same site ,

All are swarms from the original nuc I purchased in April, and so are related

Honey production ,growth and desease/survival etc will be monitored and recorded in order to make a reasonably accurate comparison .

The expected bees for the Warre hive at the Gregynog apiary did not materialise ,

So I,m hoping for a swarm( any offers ? ) to be put in there as soon as possible

Roy Norris's picture
Roy Norris
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Joined: 28/07/2009
Top Bar Hives

Found this site which might be helpful:- http://www.cornwallhoney.com/top-bar-bee-hive.html

Design seems much better than that available from a "well known supplier".  Apparently sides with an angle of 120 degrees are essential for management. 

See also "The Quest for the Perfect Hive", by Gene Kritsky - ISBN 978-0-19-538544-1.  Available from IBRA - see:- http://www.ibra.org.uk/ : (2010) Oxford University Press, Hardback. pp. 198.  He suggests that beekeepers need to rediscover the innovative thinking of the 1800's.  MBKA is leading the way in the Gregynog apiary!

Swienty; see http://www.swienty.com/shop/default.asp?catid=1166 have a stainless steel honey press, which would, I guess, be useful for honey extraction when using Top Bar or other systems where the traditional extraction methid might not work so well.

Hope this is useful.

Roy.

Roy.

 

Noel
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Joined: 03/10/2009
Top bar hive

We have had our Top Bar hive at Gregynog for about a month now ,

I,ve heard that a swarm was put in there a couple of weeks ago,

Has anyone checked on developments in that hive recently ?

It,s easy to just open the flap (on the side facing the obsevation hut) and take a peek through the observation window,

Theres no need to open the top of the hive

you should hopefuly see some combs being built and the population growing ,

I,ll be up there in this next week sometime to have a look and I,ll report back on here

Noel