Beekeeping forum: Best Top Bar Bee Hive Advice Needed

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Name: PrairieGirl
Central Illinois (Zone 5a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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prairiegirl
Apr 8, 2015 5:04 PM CST
This newbie is looking for your best advice on top bar bee keeping! I am about to build my first (2) top bar hives and have bee pkgs arriving momentarily! I'm a bit nervous about managing swarms... sideways comb building, ventilation, mites, etc... But overall, I think this hive is the best bet for my low-maintenance garden! Advice welcome!
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Apr 8, 2015 5:34 PM CST

Moderator

Hi Prairiegirl I think @dave has a top bar hive maybe he can tell us more about maintaining one.

Have fun with the bees.
Name: Tom
Nooksack, WA (Zone 8a)
Ponds
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TomPNW
Apr 10, 2015 2:07 PM CST
Hi there Prairie Girl, Welcome to beekeeping. Welcome!
Pest and disease management is a big concern to all beekeepers. Scheduled inspections and preventive measures are essential for controlling mites, swarms and general well being of the bees. Feeding syrups, fondant and candy may be necessary during parts of the year when nectar flows are low or when they do not have enough stores for raising brood or to survive through the winter. I would suggest do a lot of reading, join a local bee club, find a mentor to help you. I made all the mistakes when I started beekeeping in assuming the bees would just fine fending for themselves but those days are long gone. I lost all four hives that first year. There is so much to learn and every year I become a better beekeeper.

Here's a well thought out and easily manageable horizontal hive similar to a TBH but uses Langstroth frames. It's worth a look.
http://www.honeybeesuite.com/the-valhalla-hive-long-low-and-...
Plans are available for purchase or you can buy ready made - link on right of the page.

Pros: easy to manage, easy to access, comb stays straight and stronger if using natural comb, can also use plastic or wax foundations, durable, good insulation, ventilation and water proof, can harvest excess honey without destroying comb.
Cons: a bit difficult to construct, more expensive than a Kenya TBH, not particularity easy to move but no TBH is.

I wish you good luck in this adventure you're about to take. There will be ups and downs but the conquest and satisfaction will make it all worth while.
Tom
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Apr 10, 2015 3:33 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks for chiming in Tom. I couldn't remember who else besides Dave had experience with TBH.

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