Hello from Southwest Michigan!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by newtnn, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. newtnn

    newtnn New Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I'm Nick and I live in Fennville, Michigan. I'm hoping to get started with beekeeping this spring and plan to make two top-bar hives by then.
    I'm very excited to get started with keeping, and look forward to discussions here with you all.
     
  2. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Welcome newtnn to the forum glad to have you with us, ask and we will try to answer.

    ​Ken
     

  3. Walt B

    Walt B Active Member

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    Welcome. :hi:

    Walt
     
  4. DoubleR

    DoubleR New Member

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    Welcome! Jump on in and enjoy! :)
     
  5. Versipelis

    Versipelis New Member

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    Greetings Nick,

    Welcome to the forum and good luck with your bees. May I ask, what has drawn you to Top-bar?

    Bryan
     
  6. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Welcome Nick! I have two top bar hives in my yard along with the Langstroths. The weather here in north does not seem to be a factor as some had predicted. They also seem to be hardy with very few mites. It is my humble opinion that allowing the bees to build the cells to their specifications is the reason for this (ie. no room for the mites in the cells). Critics will say bees usually build up and not horizontal as in a tbh. However, I find several healthy hives where the bees have built vertical between rafters, joists, and trusses.

    I like the tbh for the comb honey, wax for the lip balms I make, more pleasant/calm to work and to educate those who visit the yard about bees. If you haven't already chose plans for your tbh, check out http://www.biobees.com/build-a-beehive-free-plans.php. Very easy plans I use exclusively. I like to build them scraps for a challenge. Here is one I built a couple years ago from a drafting table, lol. http://www.beekeepingforums.com/thr...ees-Kenyan-Top-Bar-Hive-Build?highlight=build
     
  7. newtnn

    newtnn New Member

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    Thanks for the greetings everyone!

    Blueblood: those were the plans I was hoping to use, and seeing that you've had good success with them is encouraging!
    Do you have a covered bottom on your TBH or did you leave it open screen?
     
  8. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Welcome and Dave is the guy with the TBH experience. if you want honey production the extra cost of using Langstroth hives will be returned in increased production.
     
  9. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Solid. I have went back to solid for all my hives in fact. While on the subject of tbh builds, I would consider applying legs and doing something different with the entrance. I have problems in the winter with mice. Unless you have extra blocks to raise it up like I did. Those holes on my tbh were just begging for an invitation also. But, the large holes did help with ventilation in the absence of a screened bottom (my less than accurate construction allowed for air to escape from other places :grin: but bees are good at controlling it by applying propolis where they need to). I had to staple some 1/4" mesh over the holes for the winter. Also, you may be tempted to install a window but I am sure it will get all gumped up and look like this after a while: http://mbbeekeeping.com/top-bar-hive-with-window/ Please feel free to ask any questions about them, private message or on this thread.
     
  10. newtnn

    newtnn New Member

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    Perfect, I'll make sure to seal it up on the bottom then. I'll also be sure to avoid adding a window as well, ha!
    I'll post updates when I actually get started, I appreciate the information and help! Thanks a bunch
     
  11. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Very welcome and look forward to your project. You might consider starting a blog entry here on your tbh progress. Please don't let me discourage you from doing the window and screened board. It may work for you.
     
  12. newtnn

    newtnn New Member

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    Here's a quick update: my father-in-law is going to help me assemble two or three hives for this spring. Also my mom has a cousin that is going to split a couple of his hives this year and will be giving me two hives worth of bees. Things are getting real! :)
     
  13. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Good to see another Michigan Beek on the forum. Good luck!
    ​Two very rotten winters in a row, maybe we'll have a good one next winter.