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Incatatus 

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has anyone tried a top bar hive, they are meant to be quiye simple, might be an interesting experiment?
 

Brosville 

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Easy and cheap to build, kind to bad backs, encourages good practice, uses no pre-sized, possibly contaminated foundation - as a user of them I'd say they're THE way to go.....:party:
 

dolbz 

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Easy and cheap to build, kind to bad backs, encourages good practice, uses no pre-sized, possibly contaminated foundation - as a user of them I'd say they're THE way to go.....:party:
Do you only use Top bars? I'm planning to start with Nationals and learn the craft but would like to try a top bar to compare the methods. Luckily my associations teaching apiary has one so I should get chance to have a look at some point.

Sorry to hijack the thread slightly but... what do you do about honey separation from the brood nest as if I understand correctly you don't use QE's in top bar hives?
 

Widdershins 

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...bees left alone will do things the natural way - so in TBH's, the brood is in the middle with the outer combs for storage - just like in a conventional hive.
Obviously, you wont be putting the comb in an extractor - you would need to break off a chunk and either strain it through a sieve or whatever or go the cut comb route.
 

Finman 

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Varroa is not a problem and top bar has nothing to do with varroa.

In Finland we had no bees either 200 y ago.

Yes, 2 000 years ago there was a religion in Israel that the human world is too technical. We must return to nature!
 
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Brosville 

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Thank you so much for the "in"
Step back 200 years, to a gentler time, before man's arrogance presumed that nature was theirs to rape and pillage as they may - to bend it to their wills, to dominate and control it..........
If you're bee-all and end all is honey production, top bar hives won't maximise production, the whole focus is on allowing bees to "do their own thing" as much as possible - if you want to make money, probably not the way to go, if you want to save it on the other hand............
(to date, 2 top bar hives, one bait hive, one Warre, 3 colonies, all the gear I'll ever need, total outlay, about £130......):hurray:
 

Incatatus 

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i like the sound of this. is the practice much different. i gather from tje discussions so far you don`t do weekly inspections?
 

Brosville 

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Good heavens no! Destroying all that lovely Nestduftwarmebindung..... sheer madness! Nor do I mark or clip queens......
It doesn't mean lackadaisical or complete hands off, but a much more "laid back" approach, and the use of simple gentle techniques like varroa counts and icing sugar when needed.........
 

susbees 

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The stocking of TBH is a potential issue. We cut and cropped a 6 bar nuc into a TBH a few weeks back. OK, not a scientific comparison as he lives a few miles away but I know the bloke who has my queen's sister and bees in a National. They have got off to a much better start. We have another three TBH to stock but will only stock with AS or swarms, or nucs made up in our TBH nuc boxes.

Have a couple of commercial hives here too and an empty National so prepared to not be evangelical without adequate experience of both methods :).
 

Finman 

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(to date, 2 top bar hives, one bait hive, one Warre, 3 colonies, all the gear I'll ever need, total outlay, about £130......):hurray:
When I go to nurse my bees to summer cottage, the gasoline is 40 euros.

However, as a hobby I have bought with honey my first city flat.

Nothing else is so expencive than poor's living.
 

Brosville 

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hmmmm - comparisons - I really think it's trying to compare chalk and cheese.......... let me explain - I think that if you want to "compare" how bees "do", it would be fairest to put similar sized swarms into the two hive types to be compared at precisely the same time - "cutting and cropping" is going to be horrendously destabilising.......... then if we're "comparing", comparing what precisely?.... the two hive types are coming at it from totally dissimilar directions - with completely different means and ends.
The TBH is designed to put the bees first - to allow them their own stocks in winter, the ability to build what comb THEY deem they need, of whatever size - if they want loads of drones, absolutely fine- they're the experts, not us - somewhere down at the bottom of the list is the requirement to "maximise output" - if you want to buy a flat, probably not the first choice!:D
I'm not in the least "commercial" about beekeeping, it's a pleasant hobby that I hope will do it's tiny bit in preserving the poor old beleagured honeybee, some honey will be nice, but it's NOT my prime driver!
So to compare them is rather like trying to measure the value of a wheelchair by the parameters demanded of a Ferrari - they both have wheels, they are both drivable, apart from that, they both fullfill entirely different needs and aims..............
 

thebhoy 

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For more info on the various types of Top Bar hives visit

http://www.biobees.com/forum/index.php

Like this site, it has many members from around the world sharing their views, ideas etc and is a great source of info, photos and so on.

(Yes, I know you are also a member there Brosville and am surprised you hadn't already suggested it)

Thebhoy
 

Brosville 

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There is method in my madness...... firstly, admin may not take too kindly to "out links" to other fora, secondly, and more importantly, I'm keen for top bar and Warre hives to be accepted by a wider public than just a few "enthusiasts", so to talk about them here is all to the good.
As I've said, the hives suit me and my chosen way of beekeeping- and contrary to popular opinion, top bar hive users are actually a very civilised bunch, unlike the baby-eating "eco-terrorists" (sic!) - that certain braindead "suits" in the BBKA hierarchy try to make us out to be:D
I was utterly horrified at the venom-spitting bile I encountered from a VERY few members of my local association* when I dared to mention my desire to use as few chemicals as possible, and that I rather liked the look of top bar hives - in as little as a year, I'm glad to see attitudes are changing, long may it continue.
(*not in the least general, most members were lovely people who were of the "coo, top bar hive, can we come and look?" persuasion)
 

Norm 

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As someone who has had quite a bit of experience with TBH's and conventional hives with frames, I can honestly say that TBH's are easier on the bee and the beekeeper. As long as you keep on top of the cross combing issue, it is so simple. It is a doddle to check on the bees without them hardly noticing you have done so because you don't expose the brood nest above. I think the best way to populate a TBH is with a swarm. I also think (other TBHers don't) that a package is also quite good. I don't like the chop & crop technique as it usually means cutting through brood.
 

Finman 

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How often you have got from top bar 100 kg honey or 150 kg?

My success measure is honey. Of course you may keep bees like you think but if you want to keep bees at top level,
top bar is not that level.

Top bar is like to keep Lada of the British Lada named Sunbeam. It is very different from Toyota.

Lada has a big car feeling: a great curving radius, 4 WD ( dwar from all door) and a big gasoline consumtions.
 
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Brosville 

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It's a Ferrari, not a bloody lorry!:D:D:D
 

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